True Detective August 2021


In March 1961, a brutal and bizarre stabbing murder in the West End of London shocked the nation. Newspaper reports speculated initially that the slaying of the well known art critic Elsie Batten, the wife of sculptor Mark Batten, had something to do with an Oriental curse, due largely to it occurring in a curiosity shop where old weaponry from around the globe was on sale. Three such weapons were used by the killer. However, it would be the murder investigation that followed which would go down in the annals of British criminal history. Specifically, how the suspect was identified… Read “Crimes That Made The Headlines – First Killer Caught By Identikit” in this issue for the full story.

“The man had killed the thing he loved, And so he had to die,” the Irish playwright Oscar Wilde wrote in his poem The Ballad Of Reading Gaol, the theme of which is the death penalty. But who was the killer and who did he kill? “The Ballad Of Reading Gaol” in this issue tells the story of the real-life murder that inspired it.

Finally, to Fayetteville, West Virginia, and one of America’s most enduring and perplexing mysteries. What did happen to the children of George and Jennie Sodder? See “Questions & Answers: Five Children Died In Family Massacre…Or Did They?”

Highlights this issue include:

* Killer’s Deathbed Confession

* Crimes That Made The Headlines: First Killer Caught By Identikit

* America’s Most Evil: They Confessed On TV To Amy’s Torture-Murder

* Wandsworth’s Days Of Hanging, Part 9

* Hanged In Australia: “Battered Beyond All Recognition”

* The Ballad Of Reading Gaol

* The Letter That Hanged Winnie’s Killer

* Questions & Answers: Five Children Died In Family Massacre…Or Did They?

* Execution USA

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