William Burke (executed 1829): Irish laborer turned murderer. Born probably in 1792 in Ulster, Burke served in the Irish militia, then went to Scotland seeking work. He spent time as a navvy on the Union Canal, but when that was finished, he had to work odd jobs. He lodged with William Hare, another Ulsterman in Scotland, and eventually they supplemented their income by suffocating other poor people and selling the corpses to a surgeon who dissected them for his students. After about fifteen murders, Burke and Hare were apprehended. Hare turned King's Evidence, and Burke was convicted and later executed. Hare, who -- by his own admission -- had taken part in numerous murders, was allowed to go free and disappeared.