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The story behind the murder.

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2 years ago

The story behind the murder

About two hundred years ago today. Britain is having a great time in medicine. Various researches are constantly opening various doors of possibilities for the researchers. But still there was a problem. And that is the lack of legal corpses. As the days went by, it became more and more difficult to find dead bodies. The biggest source in this case was the bodies of the criminals, which were handed over to the medical schools after the execution. But day by day the number of bodies coming from this source also started decreasing. As a result, the doctors became desperate (please don't blame the doctors). They began to think of ways to collect useful corpses to give students a hands-on knowledge of anatomical dissection. And their thoughts give rise to a series of murders that could easily thrill anyone even after all this time.

Let's turn the calendar page. Let's go to one push in 1818 AD. At some point in the same year, William Burke left Arnie, Northern Ireland, for Scotland, where he worked as a navigational engineer on the Union Canal. It was here that he met Helen McDougall, who later led the way to marriage.

William Burke

Recently another man named William Hare moved to Scotland for the same purpose, starting work as a worker for the Union Canal. Here he meets a man named Log, who has opened a lodging house for street beggars and nomads. When Log died in 1828, Hare married his widow, Margaret Laird. From then on, Margaret continued to look after the lodging house business, and the hairdresser.

William Hair

What a strange game of Bidhata! Two men came from outside and set up base in Scotland, but neither of them knew the other. And later, the two got to know each other so well that it is written in the black letters of mourning on the pages of history.

It was like seeing Burke's house from behind

Hair's lodging house

The game of destiny

Around 1827, Burke and Helen coincidentally came to a place near Hare's home. Within a few days as a neighbor, a wonderful relationship developed between the two families. Hare and Burke became good friends.

On November 29 of the same year, a retired soldier at Hare's home died of natural causes. Hare got 4 pounds from him. He became desperate to save the money. So the two friends came up with a plan. According to the plan, they filled the man's coffin with the bark of the tree in such a way that no one would suspect. Then they went to the University of Edinburgh. There, they secretly started looking for customers to sell the body, and finally found it. They saved the body at 8.10 pounds from an aide to Dr. Robert Knox. The profit is 3.10 pounds.

Dr. Robert Knox

When it comes to Robert Knox's name, let's introduce him briefly. He was a Scottish anatomist, zoologist, ethnologist and doctor. At the time he was Britain's most famous lecturer on anatomy. But all that is now past. History remembers him more now for his later days with Burke and Hair.

Anyway, let's get back to the main story. When the two friends saw that the profit gained by gaining 4 pounds was almost doubled, another thought came to their minds, “Well, what about trading in corpses? The less investment, the better the profit. Okay, that's fine. But where will the corpse come from? Why? We will kill! ”

Needless to say, perhaps they themselves could not have imagined that recovering the money owed could take them to this stage.

Killing mission

Their first victim was a tenant of Hare's house, named Joseph, who was a mill owner by profession. They killed Joseph by drinking too much alcohol and suffocating him! A murder done in the cold head.

The second murder took place a few days later. Not getting any tenants, this time they pay attention to the pedestrians. In February 1828, an old woman named Abigail Simpson was returning home. Along the way he meets Burke and Hare. By then it was night. So at the request of two friends, he agreed to spend the night at their home. Ish! If he only knew what was going to happen to him that night. This time too the same thing is repeated. Abigail was killed by overdrinking and later by suffocation. This time they earned exactly 10 pounds!

Two more were killed that spring. Margaret invited them home. Then, as before, they were made to drink excessively. Hare came home and completed the next step.

The next murder was committed in the same way. There is only one change. This time Burke committed the murder. Burke later killed a woman named Mary Patterson. Burke's next victim was a woman he knew, named Effie. He made a living by selling things picked up from various dumps. Effie used to sell pieces of leather she had collected at various times to Burke. These helped Burke's cobbler. But this EFK also seems to be a victim of Burke. Burke gained 10 10 again by selling to Effie.

The next murder was also in the hands of this Burke. This time Burke rescues a drunken woman from the police, saying that he knows her and can take her home. Unfortunately after a few hours this woman’s place is in a laboratory.

The next two victims were an old woman and her dumb grandson. The old woman was killed by taking extra painkillers. Hare did the job of killing his grandson. He broke her spine by hitting her with a long lie down! This time the total income is 18 pounds. Hare later testified that the boy's expression at the time of the murder had always driven him away.

That bark again behind the eleventh and twelfth murders. The two who were killed this time are his former acquaintances. One was Mrs. Hostler, the other was a relative of his wife, Ann Dougal.

Thirteenth victim hair. This time the unfortunate name is Mary Haldane who used to live in Hare's house. He wanted to stay at Hare's stable for one night. Alas! Little did he know that this was going to be the last night of his life. A few days later, Peggy Haldane, Mary's daughter, came to find her mother, and two friends killed her. The fourteenth murder was completed.

The duo's next victim was a familiar face from Edinburgh; A mentally ill, lame young man named James Wilson. Everyone knew him as 'Fool Jamie'. They both deal with their confidence as they choose to embark on their play activities. However, after being caught, they were busy blaming each other. Shortly after Wilson went missing, his mother began searching for him. The next morning, when Dr. Knox sat down to dissect in front of his students, several people recognized Wilson. But Knox denied the allegations and cut off the body. As a result, there was no way to identify Wilson.

James Wilson

The sixteenth and last victim was Mrs. Mary Dosherty. Burke brought him home, saying that they had a bad relationship. He could not kill Mary immediately after he was brought home, as James and Anne Gray, two other tenants, were in the house at the time. The murder was committed after Grera left. Neighbors later reported that at night they heard the sound of wrecking and a woman screaming from Burke's home.

Mrs. Mary Dosherty

The next morning Ann Gray came to Burke's house. Because last night he dropped his socks. But Burke suspects he won't let her into the house. They later searched his house in Burke's absence and found Dosherty's body. They immediately informed the police. Earlier, McDougall wanted to stop them with a 10 foot bribe. Burke and Hare were able to remove the body before police arrived. But the problem is in their speech. Because on the one hand Burke said that Mrs. Dosherty left at seven in the morning. According to McDougall, Dosherty left last evening. This is it! The police were looking for this discrepancy. Both of them were arrested. Hare and his wife were then caught. Dosherty's body was later recovered from Knox's dissecting room.


Both Burke and Hare were brought to justice. None of them were admitting guilt. Meanwhile, the court did not have any conclusive evidence to convict both of them. So Burke was quite cunning between these two. In comparison, the hair was very cowboy. Hare was therefore offered to be released if he tested against Burke. Hair does that too. "Uncle, save your life," he said.

Burke and McDougall were charged with manslaughter, including Mary Patterson, James Wilson, and Mrs. Dosherty. He was sentenced to death for the latter. The hearing was adjourned as the allegations against the other two were not substantiated. "You now stand convicted, by the verdict of a most respectable jury of your country, of the atrocious murder charged against you in this indictment. Your sentence shall be put in execution in the usual way, but accompanied by the statutory attendant of the punishment. of the crime of murder, viz.- that your body should be publicly dissected and anatomized.And I trust, that if it is ever customary to preserve skeletons, yours will be preserved, in order that posterity may keep in remembrance of your atrocious crimes ”.

The next day, Edinburgh Evening Courant sold an additional 6,000 copies, covering the trial alone.

Crowds gathered at Burke's execution

Finally, on January 28, 1829, at 8:15 a.m., Burke was executed in front of about 20,000-25,000 people. The next day, his body was cut off in front of everyone at the University of Edinburgh. While cutting him, Professor Alexander Monroe dipped his quill into Burke's blood and wrote, "This is written with the blood of Wm Burke, who was hanged at Edinburgh. This blood was taken from his head."

Burke's skeleton

Calling-card case made of bark leather

Burke's skeleton is now on display at the Anatomy Museum of Edinburgh Medical School. Her death mask and dry skin book are housed in the Surgeons Hall Museum.

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