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Plot Summary

  • The names behind the headlines of four major nineteenth century criminal cases come to life in an explosive burst of emotion.... Franz Muller, forever known as the First Railway Murderer flees the country after an horrific fatal mugging is discovered on the tracks of the North London Railway. Captured when the young German tailor docked in New York, his last minute confession before execution in 1864 remains highly suspect. Valentine Gray, a young apprentice chimney sweep, is brutally abused and killed by his master, Benjamin Davis, in 1822 on the Isle of Wight. Recriminations over his treatment galvanized the community into publicly commemorating him, and ultimately led to the abolition of child sweeps. Eliza Fenning's conviction for poisoning the family she cooked for in 1815 and her subsequent public hanging, is remembered as the ultimate miscarriage of justice. Stitched up by her jealous mistress, Charlotte Turner and chronically flawed forensic evidence, she was put to death on her wedding day. Fred and Maria Manning capture the public's disgust and fascination as a murdering couple living in a ménage-a-trois. Buried under the kitchen flagstones after being drugged, shot and battered to death, the discovery by police in South London 1849 of the body of Maria's lover, led to a major manhunt for the missing Manning pair. Arrogantly accusing his wife of the atrocity, Fred Manning ensured that the "Bermondsey Horror" would forever cast his wife as the eternal evil modern woman. What are the real stories behind the headlines?

    - Written by Sharon Holloway

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