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KENT MURDER AND MAYHEM
Bibliophile price: £5.50
Take a drive through the delightful countryside of the Garden of England - who would have thought that a crime as terrible as murder would happen in a place of such natural beauty? Ingleton has written extensively on criminal history and the history of policing and here focuses upon some of the most notorious episodes in Kent's criminal history. The punishment of hanging, drawing and quartering was reserved for treason during the reign of Henry VIII, but he introduced a new punishment, death by boiling, reserved for poisoners, such was his fear of this crime. One of the first people executed in this appalling manner was Richard Rouse, a cook for the Bishop of Rochester, in 1531, although there is little evidence that he was guilty of anything other than forgetting to wash his hands. From the late 17th century hanging became the favoured method of judicial execution and Peneden Heath just outside Maidstone was where many hundreds of murderers would breathe their last. On this sinister journey through some of the worst crimes imaginable, Ingleton reassesses the evidence, the investigations and the court cases of the cut-throats, poisoners, murderous husbands, desperate wives, violent thieves, child killers, infanticides - in fact pretty much every example of murder - recalling not just the anatomy of a grisly crime but how the actions of some sad or unsavoury characters throw a revealing light on their unfortunate lives and the society of the day. 20 cases covering a period of 400 years. 192pp softback.

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