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Classic Cases

Books devoted to a single murder case

Classic Cases

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1 DALLAS '63. The British Forum for Views and Research Into the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Number 2. Volume 1. May 1994.
UK 1994 First Edition Soft Cover VG 4to 
40pp. Illus. in text. Grey card covers with black spine. Chapters in this edition of the Magazine include Tributes to Larry Howard (co-founder and Director of the Dallas based JFK Assassination Centre); How news of the Kennedy and Oswald murders first reached Britain (Ian Griggs); The Garrison Case (Justin Bowley); The Frank Ragano Allegation (Paul Byrne); The Killing of the President, Review (Mike Royden) etc. 
Price: 15.00 GBP
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2 THE GREAT MURDER TRIAL. Centennial, Woodstock, Ontario
not stated 1990 First Edition Illustrated Card Covers VG 8vo 
16pp + Programme. Illus. in text. The front cover states 'We want to rope you into the 100th Anniversary of the Birchall-Benwell Affair, October 26 to 28th 1990, Woodstock, Ontario, Canada' and the folded Programme lists the events to take place, including talks, a dinner, bus tour, Benwell Memorial Service, and even a Play. The booklet gives a brief account of the infamous murder case when Reginald Birchall and his wife Florence, lured two young men to Canada with promises of including them in a money-making land scheme. Frederick C. Benwell was ultimately found dead in the Blenheim Swamp, but the other young man, Douglas Pelly, recognised the victim's picture in the newspaper and contacted detective John Wilson Murray and revealed the story about the Birchalls. Organized by the Birchall Committee 1989-1990 and The Princeton Benwell Committee 1990. A nice clean copy. (postage will be adjusted on this light item). 
Price: 10.00 GBP
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3 VERBATIM REPORT OF THE TRIAL OF WILLIAM PALMER at the Central Criminal Court, Old Bailey, London. May 14 and following days 1856 etc.
London J. Allen 1856 1st hardcover VG no dj 8vo 
326pp. Taken from the shorthand notes of Mr Angelo Bennett. Finely bound in half calf with marbled boards. Manuscript index on rear endpaper. The trial of the notorious English poisoner who claimed up to fourteen victims among his family, friends and creditors. At the Inquest on John Parsons Cook, the jury returned a verdict of murder before Palmer was even arrested. The great wave of hostility towards Palmer led to Parliament passing the 'Palmer Act' making it possible for an accused person to be tried in London if he was unlikely to receive a fair trial elsewhere. Two parts numbered consecutively, Evidence for the Prosecution and Evidence for the Defence. A nice copy. 
Price: 95.00 GBP
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4 ALLES, A.C. FAMOUS CRIMINAL CASES OF SRI LANKA. VOL.8. The Galenbindunuwewa Murder Case.
Sri Lanka A.C. Alles 1983 First Edition Paperback VG 8vo 
78pp+illus. in text. On May 16th, 1973, police sergeant Neil Gunawardene was charged with the murder of a young woman who had been his mistress. Her body was found near the police station, she had been strangled. Two trials and appeals lasted eight years, then the prisoner was finally released. A remarkable case of circumstantial evidence which took so long to resolved that sympathy shifted to the young man who it was felt had been sorely provoked. 
Price: 12.00 GBP
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5 ALTICK, Richard D EVIL ENCOUNTERS. Two Victorian Sensations
London John Murray 1987 First Edition Hardcover Nr Fine VG 8vo 
vii+164pp. Illus. in text. In July 1861, London newspapers excitedly reported a 'Deadly Encounter in Northumberland Street', off the Strand, between Major Murray, a retired Army Officer and William Roberts, a moneylender. The encounter left Murray with bullet wounds in his head and neck and Roberts with several bones in his skull shattered. On the same day the papers were full of news about the attempt by a French nobleman, the Baron de Vidil, to bludgeon his son to death while out riding along a secluded lane in Twickenham. Index. 
Price: 10.00 GBP
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Alberta, Canada Frontier Books 1968 First Edition illustrated Card Covers VG 8vo 
56pp. Illus. in text. Very slight mark to front cover where label probably removed. Previous owner's address inside cover,still very clean internally. The story of Albert Johnson, the infamous 'Mad Trapper of Rat River' and the attempts by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to capture him in the snowy North West Territories in 1931/32. The story of the heroic police officers, the siege and the aftermath. Who was Albert Johnson? Very well illustrated with photographs of the participants and the weapons, the locations of the events etc. (postage will be adjusted on this lighter item). 
Price: 9.00 GBP
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London Printed for the Booksellers (Milner & Co.) c1890 Hardcover Very Good Book small 8vo 
188pp + 4pp Publisher's Catalogue (Milner & Co. London & Halifax). Not dated, c1890. Printed in double column text. REBOUND in blue cloth with black and gilt title label, original book cover laid-on. New endpapers. Couple of pages a little dusty and lightly marked, but o/w clean internally. A full account of the discovery of the murder through dreams..........inquest on the body.......apprehension, trial, remarkable defence, committal, conviction, execution and .... dissection of the body of the prisoner. To which is added Fifty-Three Letters in answer to his Advertisement for a Wife. The story of the infamous Red Barn murder for which William Corder was tried and executed. Enclosed is a coloured postcard of Corder showing relics associated with him that are held in a Bury St. Edmunds museum. 
Price: 25.00 GBP
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Scotland? privately compiled 1891 1st hardcover VG large 8vo 
66pp of newspaper cuttings from The Scotsman quoting dates as 2nd June and 11th June, 1891. Bound in quarter brown calf with marbled boards, little rubbed and worn on extremes. The majority of cuttings are rather tanned but legible. Endpapers are also tanned but rest of pages have cuttings mounted on good quality cartridge paper with manuscript pencilled page numbers. Small ex-libris label of late author Jonathan Goodman. A full newspaper description of the events surrounding an Action for Damages brought by Sir William Gordon-Cumming against some of his society 'friends' and an insinuation that he was cheating at cards at a house party in 1890 at which the Prince of Wales was present. A theatrical trial took place with the heir to the throne being called to give evidence. A most interesting collection. 
Price: 75.00 GBP
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9 ANON ILLUSTRATED LIFE AND CAREER OF WILLIAM PALMER OF RUGELEY. Containing Details of His Conduct as School-boy, Medical Student, Racing Man and Poisoner, with Original Letters of William and Anne Palmer and Other authentic Documents. Together with The Whole of His Private Diary up to the Hour of his Arrest and the Fullest Particulars respecting his Execution at Stafford.
London Ward Lock 1856 First Edition hardcover VG - covers rubbed 8vo 
136pp+illus. in text + facsimile pages of Diary + 171pp Verbatim Report of the Trial. VG original rather rubbed marbled boards with brown spine. Endpapers tanned and little dusty, last page has two small chips but otherwise internally the pages are remarkably clean. Signature to front endpaper dated 1884. Very well illustrated. This is probably the most complete contemporary treatment of the classic case of poisoner William Palmer with engraved illustrations in the text and two facsimile pages from Palmer's Diary recording Cook's death at 1 o'clock in the morning of Wednesday, 21st November 1855. The account also contains particulars of his execution at Stafford and the whole of his private diary. 32-year-old Palmer was the poisoner of possibly fourteen people, culminating in the death of his race-going friend John Parsons Cook and his trial in 1856 made history as the first murder trial to take place away from the locality of the crime in order to achieve an unbiased verdict. A number of versions of this infamous trial were published at the time, but this volume of his life story is somewhat less common. Although covers are rather rubbed and worn, still tightly bound and a very good copy internally. 
Price: 85.00 GBP
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Washington Government Printing Office 1876 First Edition Hardcover VG No Dj 8vo 
1166pp. FINELY REBOUND in half calf with marbled boards, very clean internally. Some page edges little torn and two front pages have been neatly repaired, but no text missing. The proceedings against William W. Belknap, late Secretary of War of the United States for crimes and misdemeanours whilst in office. Impeached for alleged bribery and corruption, the defendant pleaded that whilst the charges may have been true, he had resigned his position before the proceedings. Includes Index and details of the votes received from the State Senate sitting as a Court of Impeachment. (NB: Heavy item, may require additional postage on overseas orders). 
Price: 65.00 GBP
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London Tho. Kelly 1824 1st hardcover VG no dj 8vo 
xxii+512pp+viii Contents. A full account of the infamous crime and the Trial and Fate of John Thurtell, the Murderer, and his Accomplices; with Biographical Sketches of the Parties concerned and a Comment on the Extraordinary Circumstances Developed in the Narrative in which Gambling is proved to be the Source of Forgery, Robbery, Murder and General Demoralization. To which is added The Gambler's Scourge, a complete Expose of the Whole System of Gambling in the Metropolis; with Memoirs and Anecdotes of Notorious Blacklegs. Illustrated by Portraits drawn from life and other Copperplate Engravings of Peculiar Interest. The 'Gambler's Scourge' section commences at page 343 but the pages are numbered throughout. The frontis. of Thurtell is missing but all other illustrations present. Edges are dusty and some pages have light foxing and tanning, but mainly quite clean. Contents pages a little creased. Bound in brown calf with gilt banded spine just slightly chipped, morocco and gilt title label, blind decoration to covers. New endpapers. A nice looking copy. (Heavy item, may require additional postage on overseas orders). 
Price: 115.00 GBP
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Compton House, Compton Chamberlayne Hygeia Press Limited Edition Reprint Printed Card Covers NR FINE Not Called for A5 Booklet 
Prelims+17pp. Brown card covers just very slightly marked. Printed at Compton House, the seat of the Penruddock Family, this is No:47 of a strictly Limited Edition of only 100 copies. (First published 1655). A reprint of the Trial for Treason and Speech which John Penruddock delivered the day before he was beheaded in the Castle of Exon, 16th May 1655, together with his prayer on the scaffold, the last letter he received from his virtuous lady and his answer to same. A very nice copy. (postage will be adjusted on this light item). 
Price: 15.00 GBP
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Boston Herald Steam Press John A. French 1850 1st hardcover VG 8vo 
92pp. Illus. in text. Original paper covered booklet FINELY REBOUND in tan buckram with polished, blind decorated calf spine with red morocco and gilt title label. New endpapers. Title page and one portrait have been expertly laid-on and a few page edges have also been professionally restored. Some tanning to lower edge and endpapers, but not affecting text, o/w a little scattered foxing. The trial of the highly respected Professor of Chemistry and Mineralogy at the Massachusetts Medical College in 1849. Webster financed his extravagant lifestyle by borrowing money from various sources, including Dr George Parkman who grew resentful when he would not repay his debt. He went to Webster's college rooms and demanded his money back but in the ensuing argument Dr Parkman was killed. His body was dissected and put in the assay oven. A college janitor had seen Dr Parkman enter Webster's room. He investigated the oven and found the remains of the body. 
Price: 95.00 GBP
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14 ARCENEAUX, William NO SPARK OF MALICE - The Murder of Martin Begnaud
Baton Rouge, USA Louisiana State University Press 1999 0807124478 / 9780807124475 First American Edition Hard Cover Fine Fine 8vo 
xii+map+349pp+illustrations. On April 22, 1896, the forty-five-year-old Begnaud was brutally murdered in his general store in rural Scott Station, Louisiana. He was bound, gagged, blindfolded, stabbed more than fifty times, and robbed of several thousand dollars. Eventually Ernest and Alexis Blanc were arrested - two polite, educated and popular teenagers who had worked on a local plantation. It resulted in one of the most electrifying trials in the history of the American South. The author vividly describes the events as well as the background to Acadian history from the 1604 establishment of a French colony, to the ruthless expulsion of Acadians from Nova Scotia during the French and Indian Wars. Bibliography and Index. 
Price: 15.00 GBP
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Elstree, Herts. The School Press 1962 First Edition Hardcover VG 8vo 
18pp unpaginated. Woodcut illus. in text. Signature to endpaper but o/w very clean. Beige cloth patchily faded on covers. The author was Senior History Master at Haberdasher Aske's School in Elstree. He provides an interesting little study of the infamous murder in 1823 which exposed the viciousness of the sporting gentry known as 'The Fancy'. Their base was the gambling clubs of the West End of London and one of the vast army of gamblers, cardsharpers, bullies and their ladies, was William Weare. He was a skilled cardsman who fleeced many of their money and when he fell foul of a man called Thurtell, his revenge was swift and deadly. Along with Joseph Hunt and William Probert, he set upon Weare in a dark lane and left him dead in a pond. Includes some nice illustrations and a quote from the poem 'The Owl' by the Rev. John Milford. 
Price: 15.00 GBP
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Warwickshire History into Print 2006 1st soft cover trade paperback FINE 8vo 
x+94pp+illus. The first full account of the tragic life of Henry Thomas (Harry) Gaskin who committed the murder of Lizzie Talbot (his wife) at Hednesford, Staffordshire in 1919. Gaskin had been in trouble with the law on several occasions, at one time serving hard labour at Portland prison. On his return from the Western Front in WWI he found his wife with a child, allegedly fathered by a soldier named Monty Harris. On the 19th February, 1919, he sent a note to his wife arranging to meet her and she was not seen alive again. According to evidence Gaskin had totally lost control during an argument about her immoral behaviour and literally ripped his wife to pieces, later throwing the remains into the water under the gasometer. He tried sending a note home saying Lizzie was safe and signing it from a friend, but he was soon in Cannock Police Station. His trial was held at Stafford in July and he was hanged by Ellis on 8th August. (The case also became known as The Hednesford Ripper). 
Price: 7.00 GBP
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17 BEGG, Paul & Keith Skinner THE JACK THE RIPPER A-Z
London Headline 1991 0747204241 / 9780747204244 First Edition 2nd printing Hardcover VG VG slight wear to extremes 8vo 
x+335pp+illus. Ex-Library with stamps to endpapers but o/w internally clean. Pages are just slightly tanned at edges. A comprehensive encyclopedia of the Ripper crimes, including much information and many photographs that were published for this first time in this edition, as well as a previously unidentified police suspect. An unbiased assessment of all the facts, theories, suspects, police, politicians and journalists involved. Foreword by Donald Rumbelow. Includes Index of Victims, Suspects, Policemen, Books, Writers and Articles, plus General Index. 
Price: 20.00 GBP
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Cape Town Howard Timmins 1971 1st edition hardcover VG No dj 8vo 
206pp+illus. A sensational case that has passed into South African legal history. Ronald and Susan Cohen, an apparently happy couple, were blessed with wealth and lovely children. In 1970 Susan was brutally murdered by someone in a frenzy and totally beyond control. Ronald was tried but the judge found "extenuating circumstances" and sentenced him to 12 years imprisonment. A vivid study of the crime and the husband's psychiatric and personal background, plus some other cases where extenuating circumstances were a dominant feature. 
Price: 10.00 GBP
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19 BIDWELL, Austin FROM WALL STREET TO NEWGATE via the Primrose Way
Hartford, CT. Bidwell Publishing Co. 1895 First Edition Hardcover VG 
535pp+44pp Appendix unpaginated + frontis. and illus. in text. Green cloth with gilt titles, just very slightly rubbed at extremes. Odd spot of foxing but very clean internally, with pages just lightly tanned. The author was tried at the Old Bailey in 1873 for his part in the 1,000,000 forgery on the Bank of England and was sentenced to life imprisonment. His brother George was released in 1887 as he was ill and the prison authorities thought he did not have long to live! Austin, however, remained incarcerated while George recovered to fight for his release. Includes 40 full page illustrations, the story of his life, crimes, desperate attempts to avoid the law, arrest in Havana and the horrors of prison which he did not leave until 1893. Appendices include Safeguards against Forgery and Forgers; English Ticket of Leave; How Austin was Freed; Fenians in English Prisons etc. 
Price: 60.00 GBP
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Los Angeles Nash Publishing 1971 2nd Printing Hard Cover Very Good  8vo Bill Lignante 
xii+map+431pp, illustrations in text. This is the anatomy of the Tate/La Bianca murder case from its inception to the conclusion of the trial of four defendants whom the author calls "the most improbable group of accused murderersin the annals of premeditated homicide".  
Price: 14.00 GBP
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