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True crime stories that span more than 200 years in south London history—from poisonings to passion killings.
We are all drawn to understand the circumstances that lead others to commit unforgivable acts of violence—the moment that turns a caring human being into a killer, the series of events that drive ordinary people to murderous acts of inhumanity, or the slow, premeditated steps of the callous criminal. And the circumstances—and the twisted motivation—behind such violent acts are the subject of Caroline Maxton’s fascinating investigation of individuals whose misdeeds have tarnished the history of the Croydon area.
Maxton investigates a wide range of murders and unexplained deaths, some of which are truly stranger than fiction. The events cover a span of several centuries, and the locations will be chillingly familiar to the inhabitants of Croydon. Local crimes that hit the national headlines, like the Bentley case of 1952, are covered in fresh detail, but the author concentrates on less well-known but equally intriguing, and shocking, episodes: the bizarre ‘mustard and cress’ murder of 1870, the brutal murder of Eliza Osborne in 1877, the Kenley Stud Farm mystery of 1922, the Birdhurst Rise poisoning of the late 1920s, and the notorious unsolved murder of eleven-year-old Miles Vallint of 1959.