Crimes of the Century provides a stunning single volume visual record of many of the most memorable British crimes of the twentieth century All of life is here: passion, cruelty, stupidity, obsession, love and selfishness. Crimes of the Century examines the curious themes in British crime. There was the obsession with dismemberment of ones former loved one pioneered by Doctor Crippen which reached a grisly climax in the 1920's when it became coupled with the belief that putting the body in a trunk was an effective mode of disposal. Crimes of the Century describes the evolution of the British Serial Killer after the Second World War and looks at the unjustly forgotten case of Dr Bodkin Adams who if he had been found guilty would be second to only Harold Shipman in the all time murder record breakers.
But what makes a great crime? For a murderer quantity can not be the only criteria of greatness. Why is Dr Crippen such a twentieth century icon when his crime was the relatively common one of murdering his wife? Some crimes became famous because of their association with new forms of detection such as the new sciences of ballistics, fingerprinting and DNA profiling. Other criminals such as the Kray brothers became part of the modern cult of celebrity and their crimes became notable.
Many other crimes achieved notoriety through their association with miscarriages of justice and others for their part in the history of capital punishment. The Great Train Robbery is probably the most famous robbery of the last century but only a relatively modest quantity of cash was taken. The great financial frauds such as Polly Peck, BCCI. Nick Leeson and Robert Maxwell each netted more money than the sum of all other crimes perpetrated in those years.
Crimes of the Century provides a unique insight into British criminality - it is supplemented with examinations of the main themes in the criminal history of the twentieth century, and while of course not a how to book will point out some of the more obvious errors that led to the conviction of most of the characters in the book. It is packed with over 300 fascinating photographs, many of them previously unpublished, of some of the greatest and grisly crimes in history
Click here to see some of the crimes detailed and their locations.
The author Jim Crawley has worked in publishing for over twenty years. Other than an unfortunate fascination with the darker side of British history Jim has been involved with historical writing as both an editor at The History Press and as a Sales Director of the history publisher, Sutton Publishing. Currently he is an author's agent specialising in historical writing. He lives in the Forest of Dean with his wife and two children.
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