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Listen to the Newly Released Podcast on 'The Westport Murders' Which I Co-Host with Fellow Retired Scottish Detective Simon McLean




The Westport Murders part 1

This episode, which is out now - takes a deep dive into one of Scotland's most notorious cases - the story of Burke and Hare, infamously known for their grisly serial murders in 1828 Edinburgh. Our hosts, Tom and Simon, explore the background of these crimes, beginning with the initial interactions between Burke and Hare and setting the stage with detailed descriptions of 19th-century Edinburgh's social and economic climate. The discussion highlights the duo's murderous escapades, fueled by the demand for fresh cadavers in medical research, which was booming in Edinburgh at the time.


The podcast meticulously unpacks the cold case methodology used by Tom, revealing insights into how Burke and Hare preyed on the vulnerable to supply bodies to Dr. Robert Knox and his anatomy students. Key details include their first accidental venture into murder, their selection of victims, and the disturbing method of smothering the victims to leave the bodies unmarked for medical dissection.


Sergeant Major Fisher's role in arresting Burke and Hare is given significant attention, showcasing early forensic investigation and the challenges faced by the Edinburgh police in navigating the city's divide between the upper echelons and the underbelly. The episode closes on a reflective note, discussing the broader implications of Burke and Hare's crimes on the legal, societal, and medical landscapes of the time, setting up anticipation for a further exploration of the case's aftermath and its lasting legacy on criminal and medical history.


Using AI we were able to convert a contemporary sketch of William Burke to the incredibly detailed high definition image you see associated with this podcast.


Listen to the podcast here.

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