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People/Characters: William Burke

People/Characters by cover

Works (21)

The anatomist by James Bridie
The Body Snatcher by Robert Louis Stevenson
British Folk Tales by Katharine Briggs
Burke & Hare by Owen Dudley Edwards
Death at the Jesus Hospital by David Dickinson
Doctor Who - Medicinal Purposes by Robert Ross
Fleshmarket by Nicola Morgan
The Grave Robber's Secret by Anna Myers
Great Medical Disasters by Richard Gordon
Imaginary Lives by Marcel Schwob
The Infamous Burke and Hare: Serial Killers and Resurrectionists of Nineteenth Century Edinburgh by R. Michael Gordon
The Invention of Murder: How the Victorians Revelled in Death and Detection and Created Modern Crime by Judith Flanders
Judge Dredd: Complete Case Files 03 by John Wagnerrobot
The Pirate Hunter: The True Story of Captain Kidd by Richard Zacks
Scottish Bodysnatchers: True Accounts by Norman Adams
The Shoemaker's Son (Prequel #2) (Assassination Series) by Gayle Ramage
Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach
The Titanic Story by Stephen D. Coxsteward
The Vampire by Montague Summers
The Veil by Chloe Neill

Character description

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.

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