The Infamous Burke and Hare: Serial Killers and Resurrectionists of Nineteenth Century Edinburgh

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McFarland, Aug 26, 2009 - Social Science - 273 pages
7 Reviews
Body snatchers and grave robbers were the stuff of Victorian lore, but two real-life culprits took the crimes out of shadowy cemeteries and into criminal court. William Burke and William Hare aided Scottish surgeons competing for anatomical breakthroughs by experimenting on human corpses. As the duo evolved from petty theft to premeditated murder, they unwittingly brought attention to the medical practices of the era, leading to Burke's death by hanging. This account not only explores the work of the resurrectionists, it reflects the nature of serial killers, 1820s criminal law, and Edinburgh's early role as a seat of European medical research. Readers interested in the legal aspects of these crimes will find the trial testimony included to be a valuable resource.
  

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - loumarday - LibraryThing

I found this book morbidly fascinating but not entirely engaging. It seemed a bit over done to me and by that I mean...repetitive. I did not need to hear I don't know how many time what their "usual ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - SpongeBobFishpants - LibraryThing

I was more than a bit disappointed in this book. I expected more I guess. More of what though? I'm not sure. It seemed that so much of each section was taken up with a excessive amount of "And how is ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
I The Field and the Players
5
II The Many Works of Burke and Hare
37
III The Legal System Does Its Work
95
IV A Postscript for Resurrectionists
161
Appendix 1
217
Appendix 2
221
Appendix 3
237
Appendix 4
240
Appendix 5
242
Appendix 6
248
Appendix 7
251
Chapter Notes
253
Bibliography
261
Index
263
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

R. Michael Gordon is the author of several books, and has written extensively on Victorian London and the Ripper phenomenon. He lives in Long Beach, California.

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