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Missing Presumed Murdered (Hardback)

The McKay Case and Other Convictions without a Corpse

True Crime P&S History 20th Century

By Dick Kirby
Imprint: Pen & Sword True Crime
Pages: 224
Illustrations: 35 mono
ISBN: 9781399093446
Published: 2nd March 2022

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Murders in any form, and the more gruesome the better, hold a morbid fascination to the British public but never more so than when the bodies of the victims are never found. Aside from the lack of closure for relatives and friends, this factor creates problems for police and prosecutors and has macabre appeal for the public.

Muriel McKay, wife of a senior News of the World Executive was kidnapped in 1969. Although her body, believed to have been fed to pigs, was never found, the perpetrators were convicted. The same fate was suffered by the business partner of a Polish farmer. James Camb murdered a glamorous actress feeding her to sharks but this did not stop women flocking to see him in court. John Haigh confessed to disposing of his nine victims in acid. Again, his trial was a sell-out.

Dick Kirby, former Scotland Yard detective turned best-selling crime writer has ‘unearthed’ a fascinating collection of disappearances such as the dismemberment of a gay man’s wife who had threatened to expose him in the 1950s. Later, when a woman’s head was discovered near his home, he confessed only to find that it dated from Roman times. These and numerous other cases make Missing, Presumed Murdered a riveting, if grisly, read

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Missing Presumed Murdered is a collection of gruesome murder cases. We read about the case of Muriel McKay who was kidnapped in 1969, and was believed to have been fed to pigs. We document the case of a business partner of a Polish immigrant. We read about the case of Jame Camb who murdered an actress and fed her to sharks. We also read about a gay man's wife who was murdered and dismembered when she threatened to expose him. This book sheds a light to the darkness that can be found in this world, and sheds a light on the monsters that commit these horrendous crimes.

NetGalley, Chelsea Warren

I found this book quite an interesting read. The McKay case took place right around the time I was born, and since I started reading True Crime, I really haven't found anything on this particular case so I was really happy to read this book.

NetGalley, Norma Carroll

This was such an interesting read, I have a morbid fascination with true crime and so forth and this included a lot of cases that I hadnt read or heard of before. I really enjoyed it.

NetGalley, Aria Harlow

There are lots of interesting true murder stories here, revolving around there being no body. Some I had read about in Kirby’s other books, but there were also those that were new to me. Some are from centuries ago in the UK, while others are more contemporary, yet all are creepy for the most part. Good compilation by Dick Kirby.

NetGalley, Valerie Shampine

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I loved reading this if a little gruesome at times. Anything true crime, who done it, missing person documentary etc I find fascinating so I was so pleased to get my hands on this fabulous book! Top marks from me. Dick Kirby, former Scotland Yard detective turned best-selling crime writer has ‘unearthed’ a fascinating collection of disappearances such as the dismemberment of a gay man’s wife who had threatened to expose him in the 1950s. Later, when a woman’s head was discovered near his home, he confessed only to find that it dated from Roman times. These and numerous other cases make Missing, Presumed Murdered a riveting, if grisly, read.

NetGalley, Michelle Coates

An interesting true crime read. The stories will hold your interest and keep your attention.

NetGalley, Ron Baumer

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Missing Presumed Murdered is a fascinating book by former top Scotland Yard Detective Dick Kirby.
I'm a great fan of Dick Kirby's books, his insight and acerbic comments on the state of the police and justice system today bring something extra to his true crime tales.

This book is about cases where criminals have been prosecuted for murder despite the lack of a body and always there are plenty of odd characters on both sides of the law.. The case of Muriel McKay for example ,if it wasn't so tragic, reads almost like an Ealing comedy with a motley crew of both criminals and police at times competing to see who can be the most inept and Mr Kirby's description of possibly the least successful ever police "covert operation" had me laughing out loud. I already knew the MacKay story,also that of "acid bath murderer" John Haigh but never told in such detail and I learned a lot more about both cases.
Those are only 2 of the cases featured,as usual with a Dick Kirby book I read it from start to finish with breaks only to put the kettle on.
Another great read from Dick Kirby, highly recommended.

NetGalley, Dave Blendell
 Dick Kirby

About Dick Kirby

Dick Kirby was born in the East End of London and joined the Metropolitan Police in 1967. Half of his twenty-six years’ service was spent with Scotland Yard’s Serious Crime Squad and the Flying Squad.


Kirby contributes to newspapers and magazines on a regular basis, as well as appearing on television and radio. The Guv’nors, The Sweeney, Scotland Yard’s Ghost Squad, Brave Blue Line, Death on the Beat, Scourge of Soho, Scotland Yard’s Flying Squad, London’s Gangs at War, Scotland Yard’s Gangbuster, The Mayfair Mafia, Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad, The Racetrack Gangs and IRA Terror on Britain’s Streets are all published under the Wharncliffe True Crime imprint and he has further other published works to his credit. On retirement he lives near Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. 

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