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Foul Deeds in Kensington and Chelsea (Hardback)

Local History True Crime London Photo Books

By John J Eddleston
Imprint: Wharncliffe True Crime
Series: Foul Deeds & Suspicious Deaths
Pages: 192
ISBN: 9781845631284
Published: 12th May 2010

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Stories of violent death will always hold us in a grim but thrilling grip. The dreadful crimes related in Foul Deeds in Kensington & Chelsea are shocking examples of murder cases that readers will never forget. Crimes of passion, opportunistic killings, political assassinations - the full spectrum of extreme criminality is recounted here.

John Eddleston has selected a series of notorious episodes that give a fascinating insight into criminal acts and the criminal mind. The human dramas he depicts are often played out in the most commonplace of circumstances, but others are so odd as to be stranger than fiction.

Cases of involving the killing of wives, lovers and children are among those he describes, but he also reconstructs in forensic detail several more unusual crimes – two men shot dead at a lecture, the field marshal who was assassinated on his doorstep, the acid bath killings, and the murders of two ill-fated countesses.

These lethal episodes give a fascinating insight into the dark side of the history of Kensington & Chelsea.

John J. Eddleston is an authority on British criminal history and a prolific writer on the subject. His many books include Murderous Sussex, Murderous Manchester, Blind Justice, Jack the Ripper: An Encyclopedia, The Encyclopedia of Executions, A Century of Welsh Murders and Executions, Manx Killers, Foul Deeds and Suspicious Deaths in Southampton and Miscarriages of Justice: Famous London Cases.

Brutally stabbed by her own husband just outside their home and in front of her friend, Mary Ann Losch quickly died later in hospital. Being the oldest account of a murder in this book, Mary Ann Losch's husband, Francis Losch, was hanged outside Newgate Prison for an hour before being taken to St Bartholomew's Hospital to be dissected. This is the first of many murders, each seemingly more sadistic and shocking than the previous. The murder of Mary Ann Losch was not highly unusual in terms of circumstances, but a for a mother to kill her very own daughter is unthinkable. However, on a Tuesday afternoon in 1908 Alice Jane Money slit the throat of her one year old baby. As horrifying as it is, it is also fascinating to read about and to learn Jane Money's reasoning behind the killing. With many different types of murders; passion, opportunistic and even a political assassination, Kensington and Chelsea have had many chilling murders in the last century. The murders that John Eddleston has selected for his book are sometimes gruesome and grim but a very interesting read. These dreadful murders make for a thrilling read about the darkest side of Kensington and Chelsea's history.

Brian R (Customer Review)

A truly insightful perception of the criminal mind is presented in this chilling, yet fascinating read. The killing of wives, lovers, children, field marshals and politicians, to cite but a few, by means ranging from shootings and assassinations to acid baths are all recounted, and some even reconstructed, in forensic detail within this gripping series. The dark and mysterious will always engage its reader, but these dreadful acts and their perpetrators' apparent reasons provide a full spectrum of cases that their audience will never forget: the majority played out in the most common of circumstances and settings, but several unfold so oddly that they are misconstrued for fiction. A genuinely arresting and thought-provoking book.

James Tweal

As another in the Foul Deeds series, John J. Eddleston's investigations here are bound to tempt anyone with a morose interest in the morbid, not just those with a local interest in the criminal and social history of the area at hand. As with Geoffrey Howse's book Murder & Mayhem in North London, Eddleston is able to investigate some shockingly brutal cases of murder which I suppose is fitting for the nation's capital. Of course, the areas of Kensington and Chelsea today are very upmarket which makes the cases covered here seem all the more brutal and shocking, including political assassinations, the acid bath killings, and the murder of a policeman. Eddleston, akin to the other authors of the rest of the series, plays the role of researcher and presenter of facts rather than 'storyteller' however he can perhaps be given credit for a more colourful scene-setting than others in the series. What is interesting about this book's construction is that each case is chaptered chronologically and is titled according to the name of the perpetrator rather than the deed itself, meaning readers go into each case unaware of what is to follow. This may not be to everyone's taste, however I enjoyed this angle; this, and the splash of picture-painting Eddleston provides for each case, adds an extra dimension to these cool and clinical cases.

Carl (customer review)

About John J Eddleston

John J. Eddleston is an authority on British criminal history and a prolific writer on the subject. His many books include Murderous Sussex, Murderous Manchester, Blind Justice, Jack the Ripper: An Encyclopedia, The Encyclopedia of Executions, A Century of Welsh Murders and Executions, Manx Killers, Foul Deeds and Suspicious Deaths in Southampton and Miscarriages of Justice: Famous London Cases.

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