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Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Strangeways by Martin Baggoley. Strangeways Gaol opened in , and replaced the New Bailey Gaol, where public executions had taken place before their abolition that same year. Strangeways was to be a major location of execution for murders commited in the Northwest of England, for the next years.

Between and exactly people were hanged, several women included in this number. Get A Copy. More Details Original Title.

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Rating details. It was his married daughter Mary Dawes who tried to give it to him by taking him in under her own roof after Holden was reduced to living in a workhouse. In August of he took another of his grandchildren — not by Mary Dawes — to a quarry to cut tobacco, then hurled a stone that hit the child in the head.

George Eldred was badly injured, but survived. What resources of state or charity could they have called upon, short of consigning him to the miasma of some gaol?

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At 57 years of age, Holden was already 10 years past the male life expectancy for the time and looked still older thanks to the ravages of alcoholism. Maybe Mary thought that having him at her hearth would stabilize him well enough to dignify whatever little measure of life remained to her father. A murderer named Oscar Mattson — a Russian sailor who had slain a young English prostitute named Mary Ann Macguire in a rage over stolen money and rebuffed advances — did win a Home Secretary reprieve on the same day that Holden hanged.

When they did so, he simply pleaded guilty. Part of the Themed Set: Filicide. Tags: , s , december 4 , joseph holden , manchester , mentally ill , strangeways prison. Thanks to Meaghan Good of the Charley Project for the guest post. She was the third-last woman hanged in Britain and the very last woman to be executed at that particular prison, which now houses only men; the job was performed by Albert Pierrepoint.

Born in , Louisa had already served prison time for ration book fraud by the time of the murder, and she lost custody of her four children due to her excessive drinking and neglect. She took her final position on March 12, , after she and her husband of one month, year-old Alfred Edward Merrifield, became housekeepers and live-in companions to Sarah Ann Ricketts, a spinster who was nearly eighty years old.

The suspicious GP refused to sign a death certificate and insisted on an autopsy, which revealed the cause of death as phosphorus poisoning , administered in the form of a rat poison called Rodine.

Strangeways prison Manchester

The Merrifields found themselves charged with murder. Louisa was arrested first, two weeks after Sarah Ricketts died, and Alfred a few days later. At their trial in July , Louisa was convicted and sentenced to hang. He was released and in due time inherited a half-share in Mrs.


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He died in at the age of Tags: s , , albert pierrepoint , louisa may merrifield , poison , poisoner , september 18 , strangeways prison. A general practitioner of Persian descent, Ruxton was born in India and moved to the United Kingdom in to set up practice in Lancaster. He met a married Englishwoman, Isabella Van Ess, and took up with her after her divorce.

Ruxton had a reputation as a good doctor and a compassionate one who waived his fees for indigent. At one point she reported her husband to the police for domestic violence, but they paid little attention to her complaints.


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  • On September 15, , Ruxton flew into one of his rages, stabbed his wife five times in the chest, beat her and strangled her with his bare hands. He battered the maid to death as well, since she had been unlucky enough to witness it. A clever little rhyme memorialized the story, one of its various versions is printed below:.

    Red stains on the carpet, red stains on the knife For Dr. Buck Ruxton had murdered his wife The maid servant saw it and threatened to tell So Dr. Ruxton dismembered both bodies in the bathtub and dumped the parts in a stream near the Scottish border, over a hundred miles from Lancaster. This turned out to be too clever by half: once the bodies were found in late September, the precision of the cuts told authorities that the killer was someone with anatomical knowledge and surgical skill, which narrowed the suspect pool considerably. This filter, combined with the realization that one of the newspapers Ruxton used to wrap up some dismembered bit was a special edition copy sold only in Lancaster and Morecambe, led the cops to Ruxton and not many others.

    Meanwhile, exciting new forensic techniques , helped firm up identification of the corpses: authorities superimposed a photograph of Isabella over one of the skulls and found a dramatically jury-friendly visible match. Isabella Ruxton, in life and death. Forensic entomology in this case, the gross but useful technique of checking the age of the maggots infesting the corpses helped pinpoint the date of death.

    They scrubbed his walls and he gave them some bloodstained carpets and clothing.