Tag Archives: Poisonings

Mini Mystery – The Wireless Murder

On 13 July 1910, Inspector Walter Dew of Scotland Yard called at 39 Hilldrop Crescent where, in the cellar, he found the remains of Cora Crippen. Married to Dr Hawley Harvey Crippen (pictured), a doctor of homeopathic medicines, Cora had been poisoned with hyoscine, the only time hyoscine has been used to commit murder.

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The Crippen’s marriage had been stormy. A would be music hall singer, Cora had indulged in a number of affairs, while Dr Crippen had taken up with his secretary, Ethel Le Neve, a woman twenty-one years his junior. Inspector Dew suspected Dr Crippen of murder, but he couldn’t locate the doctor.

Meanwhile, on the SS Montrose, a steamship bound for Canada, the ship’s captain, Henry Kendall, became suspicious of two passengers, John Philo Robinson and his sixteen year old ‘son’; rightly so, because Crippen had shaved off his moustache while Ethel had cut her hair short and donned boy’s clothing.

Captain Kendall informed Scotland Yard. In haste, Inspector Dew boarded the SS Laurentic and moments before Dr Crippen and Ethel could disappear into the vast continent of North America, he arrested Crippen, the first man to be captured by wireless telegraphy.

 

Saving Grace – The Inquest Begins

Saving Grace, an Amazon top 100 Hot New Release

Victorian Gull Inquest

Professor Vernon Pennington, called as the first witness in the Charles Petrie Inquest. Professor Pennington suspected suicide, however none of the evidence supported his theory. Therefore, the question remained: who poisoned Charles Petrie?

Victorian Crowd

Crowds gather outside the Seabank Hotel as the inquest into the poisoning of Charles Petrie reveals sensation and scandal. People are so keen to get into the courtroom that they are bribing police officers and court officials.

Victorian Florence Upset

Grace Petrie breaks down while questioned by advocate Lewis Murdoch. Murdoch is convinced that Grace poisoned her husband, Charles, and his questions lead the jury to share his opinion. With the gallows rope beckoning, can Grace’s advocate, Daniel Morgan, save her?

Victorian Verdict

As the witnesses reveal the scandals in Grace’s life, the press make eager notes for their newspapers, and the search for justice is lost amidst the sensation. The courtroom drama of the Victorian Age, everyone had an opinion on who poisoned Charles Petrie. I have constructed the courtroom scenes in Saving Grace from these newspaper reports, each authentic word adding detail to the drama.

Victorian Inquest Gull

The inquest into the poisoning of Charles Petrie reaches its conclusion. Will Grace hang for the murder of her husband, or can Daniel Morgan and Professor Vernon Pennington, called to give last minute evidence, save her?

Victorian Foreman

The court of inquiry has heard the evidence and the foreman of the jury rises the deliver the verdict. Is Grace guilty? Who poisoned Charles Petrie? You can discover the answers and the solution to the greatest poisoning scandal of the Victorian Era in Saving Grace, available now for the special pre-order price of $0.99/£0.99/€0.99.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mini Mystery #2

A Murderous Affair

In March 1855 well-to-do Madeleine Smith, aged 19, met a humble clerk, Pierre L’Angelier, aged 31 and, against her father’s wishes, entered into an affair. The couple exchanged a stream of passionate love letters. However, because of the gap in their social status they found it difficult to meet.

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In an effort to keep their affair secret, Madeleine burnt Pierre’s letters, but he kept the 198 epistles she sent to him. The letters reveal that the couple consummated their affair on 6th May 1856. Madeleine’s father, James, found out and forbade any further contact.

Madeleine asked Pierre to return her letters. Besotted with her, he insisted that the affair should continue, or he would send them to her father. Then, on 23rd March 1857, L’Angelier died of arsenic poisoning. The letters were discovered and Madeleine was arrested.

At her trial, Madeleine admitted that she bought arsenic, but insisted it was for cosmetic purposes, not for murder. The evidence placed the Scottish jury in two minds and they returned a verdict of ‘not proven’. Madeleine walked free. Later, she began a new life in America, where she died, aged 93.

Hannah Howe, author of the Sam Smith and Ann’s War Mysteries.