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From Oscar Wilde to the Kray brothers—a unique history of the lives and crimes of the United Kingdom’s most famous, and infamous, inmates.
Their names can chill the blood of true-crime aficionados: Peter Sutcliffe, aka The Yorkshire Ripper; child-torturer Ian Brady; cannibal Dennis Nilsen; serial killer Beverley Allitt. Some are tinged in glamour: beautiful nightclub hostess Ruth Ellis, hanged for a crime of passion. While others hold a bizarre fascination, like bare-knuckle boxer Michael Gordon Peterson. Called “the most violent prisoner in Britain” he changed his name to Charles Bronson in honor of the Death Wish star. Only to change it yet again to Charles Salvador, in honor of his favorite artist, Dali. By any name, the “one-man riot” was a prison superstar.
Britain’s Most Notorious Prisoners tells the stories of these lives and many more inside the Big House where prison culture breeds a strange, unreal community. It’s also where the system learns to cope with those who refuse to live by the law of the land: killers and rapists, spies, gangster, hit-men, political prisoners, and serial offenders—as well as some who were egregiously wronged. From headline-makers to long-forgotten villains, these stories make for a thrilling and harrowing look at life, death, and survival behind bars.