Latest Articles

  • Lethal Vet "Put Down" Human Victims With Strychnine
    (Murder Most Foul No.104)

    Born on his parents’ farm in Randolph County, Arkansas, in 1872, John Kizer grew up among the animals and liked them, with one exception. He hated dogs, perhaps because he was bitten by one when he was a child. By the time he was 15 he thought nothing of sitting up all night with a sick sow, but he’d kick any dog that crossed his path. At 25 he decided to become a vet. No qualifications were needed at that time – the Arkansas authorities required none until 1915, and even then anyone with two years’ practice received a licence without examination. In 1917 he married Mrs. Birdie Brooks, a widow with three grown-up children… more »

  • 12 Die In Cumbria Massacre
    (True Crime May 2017)

    Derrick Bird’s life was in a mess. The self-employed taxi driver hadn’t paid any tax for years. He had hidden £60,000 in a secret bank account and he was convinced the Inland Revenue were about to have him clapped into jail. On top of all that, he wasn’t on the best of terms with his fellow-cabbies. Friends and acquaintances were beginning to make it very clear to him that he had a personal hygiene issue. Even his cab wasn’t clean, they said. Bird – Birdy to his buddies – lived alone in a shabby terraced house in Rowrah, Cumbria, where for those who knew him he was a quiet, popular man. But those who knew… more »

  • Katherine Skinned And Cooked Her Lover
    (Master Detective May 2017)

    Katherine Knight was an expert with a knife. For her, its cutting edge was an extension to her hand, and she could wield it as effortlessly as a magician does a wand. From the age of 16, when she joined the Aberdeen abattoir, she worked her way up the hierarchy until, after years of training and experience, she became a skilled slaughterhouse woman on the meathouse floor, a realm of sudden death usually reserved for blood-soaked men, coarse of tongue and wedded to their razor-sharp blades. Her erstwhile partner John Price – “Pricey” to everyone in Aberdeen township, New South Wales – had gone to bed at 10 p.m., and had drifted into sandman country… more »

  • Forensics Found Police Officer Dissolving In Acid
    (True Detective May 2017)

    Stefano Brizzi’s first thought was to get rid of the body. He dismembered it first, disposing of part of it in the River Thames, and trying to dissolve the rest in acid in his bath. He was still working on it when, five days after the murder, he visited a DIY shop near his flat and spent nearly £140 on equipment including a big plastic bucket, a perforated metal sheet and cleaning products. CCTV footage showed him in the shop, inspecting the bucket he intended to buy. At Brizzi’s subsequent Old Bailey trial for murder, Crispin Aylett QC, prosecuting, said: “Bearing in mind he planned to dissolve the body in acid, he was interested in… more »

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