Facebook X YouTube Instagram TikTok NetGalley
Google Books previews are unavailable because you have chosen to turn off third party cookies for enhanced content. Visit our cookies page to review your cookie settings.

London Serial Killers (Hardback)

P&S History > By Century > 19th Century P&S History > True Crime > Jack the Ripper World History > UK & Ireland > England > London

By Dr Jonathan Oates
Imprint: Pen & Sword True Crime
Pages: 224
Illustrations: 30 black and white illustrations
ISBN: 9781399003698
Published: 1st April 2022


£14.00 was £20.00

You save £6.00 (30%)

You'll be £14.00 closer to your next £10.00 credit when you purchase London Serial Killers. What's this?
+£4.99 UK Delivery or free UK delivery if order is over £40
(click here for international delivery rates)

Need a currency converter? Check XE.com for live rates

Murders and murderers fascinate us – and perhaps serial killers fascinate us most of all. In the twentieth century the term came to be used to describe murders committed by the same person, often with similar methods. But, as Jonathan Oates demonstrates in this selection of cases from London, this category of crime has existed for centuries, though it may have become more common in modern times. Using police and pathologists’ reports, Home Office and prison files, trial transcripts and lurid accounts in contemporary newspapers, he reconstructs these cases in order to explain how they took place, who the killers were, what motivated them, and how for a while they got away with their crimes. He does not neglect the victims and provides a revealing analysis of the killers, their circumstances and their actions.

Among the nineteenth-century cases are the infamous killings of Jack the Ripper and the less-well-known but terrifying crimes of the only female killer, the Deptford Poisoner. Twentieth-century cases covered in forensic detail include the Black-out Ripper of 1942, the Thames Nude Murders of the 1960s and the multiple killings of Joseph Smith, John Christie and John George Haigh. There is also one especially troubling unsolved case – the notorious Soho prostitute killings of the 1930s and 1940s, which may be the work of one man.

Jonathan Oates’s gripping accounts of this wide range of serial killings gives us a powerful insight into the nature of these crimes, the characters of the killers and the police methods of the period.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This was a fascinating look at serial killers and how these crimes most likely happened. Absolutely fascinating and nothing like I had read before.

NetGalley, Jamie Britain

London is well known for the Jack the Ripper killings - but there are other serial killers who roamed the streets, and stayed in the shadows.
Crime is ever present, but most serial killers in this arena have taken a backseat to the more well known - however, it is a shame to dismiss them out of hand. Reviewing these old cases shows just how desperate some people were, and what they would do in order to cash in on life insurance, obtain property, or just killing for pleasure.

The bathtub murders, a poisoner, and more - all are listed in these pages, and you are not going to be disappointed! I really enjoyed the many different killers that were shared in these pages, and even found a few that I did not know about!

True crime lovers - grab this one now!

NetGalley, Rebecca Hill

This was an interesting and jam-packed book filled with the disturbing history of London’s less notorious killers. I enjoyed this immensely and found it so intriguing to learn about the other crimes that were taking place in the shadows of the infamous killers of this period. Something different, well researched and well written.

NetGalley, Kirsty Carson

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I am a massive fan of true crime books so I was delighted to be able to pick up a copy of London Serial Killers, I love picking up a new book on the topic and seeing a different perspective, as well as noting if there is anything new for me in the book.

I had read about most of the Serial Killers featured in the book but there were a few that were new to me and I loved finding out more about them. Serial Killers are fascinating to me, I have a passion for the psychological side of it all and what makes them tick and what drove them to commit the crimes.

I loved the layout for this book, the chapter length was great – plenty of detail and just long enough to speak an interest to enable you to read further around some of those mentioned if you have a wish to do so. It is easy to follow and it is a book that you can easily dip in and out of too and I loved the mix of well known, and little known killers written about.

It is 5 stars from me for this one – very highly recommended – I thought that it was a great read!!

NetGalley, Donna Maguire

There’s just something about murder that fascinates people. Add in a serial killer and you’ve got them hooked. This book did just that. I loved learning about UK serial killers, especially being from the US. It was truly an interesting book to read and I enjoyed the details.

NetGalley, Ayla Bermudez

This has been well researched and is presented in a clear and factual way, without unnecessary drama and subjective observations. It is this approach which gives it such balance across the components of each case -the criminal, the victims, the police and their procedures, the crimes themselves. There are some fascinating cases here, some of which have received limited attention in other such analyses. This is a great book for people interested in true crime without the theatrics.

NetGalley, Louise Gray

“London Serial Killers” is a comprehensive, well written and interesting book that any reader will undoubtedly digest and enjoy, and it is one that I recommend thoroughly.

Read the full review here

The True Crime Enthusiast

This book looks at about 10 cases through recent times starting off with the Jack the Ripper case, through the various stories or events the writer Jonathan Oates takes us through the event, then looks at the investigation, mistakes, evidence and the various court reports, readings and records. Oates actually does a really good job, and a lot of research and writing has gone on. So it is a very good book in my opinion, certainly for any true crime buffs.

Read the full review here

The History Fella

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

As a writer of true crime myself, (Bloody Yorkshire series) I know what hard work and research go into these books. I enjoyed this book, a great read for us true crime buffs. Recommended.

NetGalley, Wendy M Rhodes

The author writes accessibly and well, without resorting to overly lurid detail. The chapters are arranged chronologically by subject, starting with the perennial (Jack the Ripper), and including both well and lesser known killers, both male and female down through the 20th century. The author examines both motives and methods along with the biography and historical highlights. There are a number of fascinating transcripts from the trials of the murderers.

The text is meticulously annotated and written in accessible and easy to understand language. The chapter notes and bibliography will provide hours of further reading for students of true-crime history. The text is enhanced with an appendix which contains historical and modern photos of the environs and some of the sites where the murders occurred as well as facsimile documents. There are no lurid crime scene photographs.

Four stars. Well written and absorbing. Recommended for readers of true crime history.

NetGalley, Annie Buchanan

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

An informative, entertaining, and well researched true crime book that talks about the serial killer in London history, starting with Jack the Ripper.
It's talks about the killing, the victims, how the police investigated, and the suspects/culprits.

Highly recommended.

NetGalley, Anna Maria Giacomasso

Love reading true life crime and this was good. Well written, explained well, detailed.

NetGalley, Louise Pridige

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Lovers of True crime will love this collection of Killers from London. There are some cases I've heard about and some this was the first. I loved how detailed it was.

NetGalley, Dee A.

This is a really in depth review of the infamous and not so famous serial killers of the early 19th century. Some we have all heard of, and many that were unknown (at least to me) until I read this most informative book. It was interesting and horrifying at the same time.

NetGalley, Marilyn Rhea

Very in depth view and gave more information that I'd never heard before, this book showcases some of the most notorious and lesser known serial killers. As a fan of true crime I would very much recommend.

NetGalley, L Callaghan

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

It is no secret that Pen & Sword are my FAVOURITE book publishing company! I just enjoy many books they release and whenever a book is available on NetGalley I do my best to read it! London Serial Killers being my most recent.

I found this to be very fasinating and it is ideal for anyone who enjoys true crime.

With each chapter I was engrossed and was excited to keep reading more…. Even if it was freaking me out!!

NetGalley, georgi_lvs_books .

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

If you love a murder book this is for you, one of the best murderer books I’ve read in a while, full of information, facts and truth.

NetGalley, Claire Weglowski

I am a fan of real crime and I watch everything on TV to do with serial killers , fiction and non fiction. This was good. It was easy to read with interesting information with many new names that I hadn't heard of prior to reading this book.

NetGalley, Victoria Bee

Why are we so fascinated by serial killers? Is it because we are so curious to try and work out what goes on in their head? I don’t know but I do know I am always totally engrossed in reading about them. This book was so interesting and so easy to read. It went into detail about the killers, their life and their victims. Do I suggest you read it? Hell yes.

NetGalley, Chris Cairns

Wow what a great read! Jonathan Oates’s gripping accounts of this wide range of serial killings gives us a powerful insight into the nature of these crimes, the characters of the killers and the police methods of the period. You will want to keep the lights on while reading this chilling tale! That squeaky door that needs to be oiled, do it before you read the book, With solid writing, good dialogue, and an wealth of information you will enjoy this book from start to finish. I thoroughly recommend!

NetGalley, Michelle Coates

I enjoy true crime books and this was a wonderfully researched book. This combined both history and the psychology behind the murders and the killings themselves. The author included some backstory and how rare murders were then. This is the first book I've read on serial killers that wasn't modern and American. The prevalence of poisoning was also surprise to me. I found this book to be both enjoyable and informative.

NetGalley, Jaime Shaw

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I would like to premise this review by stating that I enjoy learning about history and psychology. As such, London Serial Killers by Dr. Jonathan Oates was right up my alley. The author flawlessly executed the melding of both history and psychology of each serial killer examined within this book. It was masterfully executed and made this book a complete and utter joy to read, so much so that I completed this book in approximately 6 sittings in a period shy of a week. The book itself contained no discernible errors and was edited superbly.

London Serial Killers by Dr. Jonathan Oates did not read like a textbook. Oh no not at all, the author sets the stage for each killer examined by giving the reader a back drop of the cultural and historical aspects of the society when the murders took place. Thereafter, he examines the victims themselves, the investigations conducted and then of course the serial killers themselves. I found myself absolutely loving how the author structured the book because we get the background to the era, the investigative styles, the names of the investigators, the victims, name, descriptions and background, as well as, what was done to them and by whom. This book is a wonderful read with clear and concise analysis of the killers, their victims and the period in which they killed. It was also a breathe of fresh air to read research and analysis conducted and written in this format about serial killers in the United Kingdom, specifically London because the market is flooded with information about American serial killers. As such, it was great to learn something new about serial killers and how law enforcement approached them in another jurisdiction.

I do believe that this book is perfect for students, academics and even those like myself who are interested in learning more about serial killers post of the fairly modern age and of an age long past. A reader who is just interested in the topic of serial killers will not be bored at all as this book does not read like a textbook but has all the information that a textbook would usually contain.

NetGalley, Kay R.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I have a fascination with true crime and so this book on the Serial Killers throughout time in London was such an interesting read. I loved reading about the well known cases such as Jack the Ripper alongside cases that I knew less about or hadn't even heard of such as the Black out Ripper amongst several others. It was truly fascinating to take an almost forensic look at these killers and their depraved crimes. I loved it.

NetGalley, Aria Harlow

This book is a true crime fans idea of heaven.

This book covers famous cases such as Jack the ripper, John Christie and The Acid Bath Murders. It also contains cases I have personally not heard of such The Deptford Poisonings and The The Southwark Poisoner.

The cases were chronologically ordered which I greatly appreciated. The cases he has written about are detailed and referenced by evidence sources he used.

Not only does he write about the cases he tells you about how London's police force began and how it changed over time.

NetGalley, Catherine higgins

An ideal book for any true crime fanatic. The author goes through each crime with delicacy and writes of details about the slayings that I perhaps hadn't seen elsewhere, despite my love of true crime!

One thing i really liked about this book is learning of crimes that weren't popularised! Instead of writing about all the well-known killings, the author has chosen to write about crimes over a space of time (1888-1965) and therefore putting the spotlight on crimes some people may not be familiar with - for example The Brides in the Bath Murderer, George Joseph Smith!

Congratulations to Jonathan Oates on a fantastic book.

NetGalley, Michelle Kelly

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Okay I have always been interested/intrigued by serial killers and true crime in general. Something about it always pulled me in, maybe it's all of the mystery involved in it. When I seen this book I just knew I had to read it, especially because Jack The Ripper has always been one case that interested me. However, that's not all this was about there were 9 other cases to read about. Some I had never even heard of or if I had I didn't know much about them. That's where this book really made me love it more, the attention to details, the statistics, the way each case was written out. It made it very easy to follow and if you don't know much or anything about the case it told you everything you needed to know without being boring. If you are a true crime lover, or looking to learn more I definitely recommend this book! You won't regret it, the only complaint I have is that I was not ready to finish it , I wish there had been more to read.

NetGalley, Jaycee Thompson

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

London Serial Killers is a solid, well-researched account of serial killers. There were cases I was familiar with and some I had not heard of. Highly recommended to true crime fans.

NetGalley, Sarah Watson

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

It had a very specific focus, it presented suspects and theories as well as a very researched overview of these specific murders. I feel like I am letting my field of criminology down by actually learning something from this book instead of already knowing it. However this was great.

NetGalley, Dayna K

This book is so well written and accessible. I couldn't put it down. Details of murders and investigations are gruesome and shocking.

-Well researched
-Well written and easy to follow
-Details about cases that are not commonly known or referred to in movies and tv shows

What a fascinating read.

NetGalley, erin dhondt

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Absolutely love books on serial killers and this book was one of the best.
Well written and able get feeling of being there.

NetGalley, Karen Bull

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Interesting read. Informative. To the point without excess information the reader doesn't need. I really enjoyed reading it.

NetGalley, Norma Carroll

I've been trying to get into the true crime genre, as I love to listen to true crime podcasts. This was a super interesting read! This book tells the story of Jack the Ripper, The Deptford Poisonings, The Lambeth Prisoner, The Southwark Prisoner, The Brides in the Bath, The Blackout Ripper, The Acid Bath Murders, and many more... This was a solid true crime book.

NetGalley, Lexie Johnson

An interesting read. I loved the cover and the title. The historical element definitely makes this a different read to current true crime books. I enjoyed the way each case or killer was given its own chapter which made referring back easier when I wanted to. I enjoyed it.

NetGalley, Julie McKenna

About Dr Jonathan Oates

Dr Jonathan Oates is the Ealing Borough Archivist and Local History Librarian, and he has written and lectured on the Jacobite rebellions and on aspects of the history of London, including its criminal past. His best-selling books on criminal history are John Christie of Rillington Place, John George Haigh, the Acid-Bath Murderer and London Serial Killers. He is also well known as an expert on family history and has written several introductory books on the subject including Tracing Your London Ancestors and Tracing Your Ancestors From 1066 to 1837.

More titles by Dr Jonathan Oates

Customers who bought this title also bought...

Other titles in Pen & Sword True Crime...