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…and then there was this…

But this is what I was after, really: I heard there was a new True Crime Museum in Hastings. Some may recall I am an aficionado of the genre. Me likum murder.

Anyway, this was fun. It’s on the seafront, next to pubs and shops, but this building is actually 3,000 feet of rough space hacked out of limestone. It’s a big, damp cave. Perfect.

They didn’t have an awful lot of genuine artifacts, though. Mostly information boards and simulacra. A glass case full of real bullets of various calibers. Pretty low threshold. Needs more lurid. It would have been a let-down if I’d paid full price, but I had a voucher, so I was happy enough.

Anyway, that’s the centerpiece up there. Six carboys that once held the acid John George Haigh used to dissolve his last victim. He mistakenly believed he couldn’t be convicted of the crime if there wasn’t anything left of the bodies.

These are the actual SIX CARBOYS which contained the acid Haigh used to dissolve the body of Mrs. Olive Durand-Deacon (pictured) on 18th February 1949.

Not true, of course. People have been convicted of murder without a speck of the corpse remaining, although it’s a tough sell. But in this case, poor Mrs Durand-Deacon left behind an undissolved upper denture and a small pile of gallstones. Haigh was hanged.

Got to chatting with the owner afterwards. Turns out, Haigh only used three carboys of acid to dissolve m’lady, but there were six in his workshop and they didn’t know which three. So, there. Now you know something.


Comment from Skandia Recluse
Time: May 14, 2015, 11:15 pm

Carboys of acid, just moments after going through a Smithsonian Magazine article on the photography of Diane Arbus.

What are the odds of that?

Comment from Can’t Hark My Cry
Time: May 14, 2015, 11:29 pm

Hm. Wonder how they identified the gallstones as belonging specifically to Mrs. Durand-Deacon …

OK, yeah, I know–human gallstones, where else did he get them, and anyway they tend to corroborate the bridgework. All the same …

Comment from SCOTTtheBADGER
Time: May 15, 2015, 4:37 am

Hillary Clinton supports the idea of a Constitutional Amendment to ban “certain types ‘ of political speech. She won’t say which kind, of course. Another reason not to vote for her.

Comment from mojo
Time: May 15, 2015, 5:51 am

Now all the chooks are clucking about “murder most fowl”…

Comment from sheet pile ชีทไพล์ ตอกถอนเช่าชีทไพล์
Time: May 15, 2015, 7:24 am

Wonderful blog! Do you have any suggestions for aspiring writers?
I’m planning to start my own blog soon but I’m a little lost
on everything. Would you recommend starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid
option? There are so many choices out there that I’m totally overwhelmed ..
Any tips? Bless you!

Comment from J.S.Bridges
Time: May 15, 2015, 7:41 am

Dear Pile Of Sheet –

Best of obscure-furrin’-langwitch luck to yez in yer new “writing-venture”…

Meanwhilst – pull the other’n, it’s got bells attached.

Bless you, too, yo’!

(Sweasey, you do seem to attract the more-polite class of blithering-idiot trolls.)

RE: Ol’ John George – you kind of have to wonder…just what’d he have in mind for that other three carboys of acid? Or, did he just maybe get a “deal”, and took all six, ’cause, y’know, you never know when the odd-extra few gallons of acid can make all the difference…

BTW – so, what’s the significance (if any) of the handsaw in the display, there? Inquiring minds, and all that –

Comment from David Gillies
Time: May 15, 2015, 8:17 pm

JSB: have you ever tried to dissolve a body in a bathtub full of acid without dismembering it first? It’s not easy, I can tell you.

Comment from mojo
Time: May 16, 2015, 3:24 pm

Isn’t that the famous case from the Yard where their top detective hopped a fast packet to the US and met the killer (and his girlfriend, dressed as a boy) as they came off their ship in NY?

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: May 16, 2015, 7:27 pm

No, that was Dr Crippen and Ethel le Neve. Another classic.

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