December 24, 1828

On This Date in! in 1828, William Burke and William Hare, went on trial in Edinburgh, Scotland for murder. They would find search out and befriend men newly to Edinburgh at various bars. When they found one who had no family or friends in the area, they’d buy him drinks until the man passed out. They’d then take the victim to their home where they’d suffocate him and then sell the fresh corpse to the Dr. Robert Knox, who’d use the fresh corpse in his very popular anatomy lectures. They started out grave robbing, but when they found that Dr. Knox paid more for fresher bodies, they quickly turned to murder. When they were discovered, William Hare was given the opportunity to turn ‘king’s evidence’ for immunity and he sang like a canary and William Burke hanged for all sixteen murders committed by both men. Dr. Robert Knox, who paid for the fresher bodies, was never charged and continued his anatomy lectures, but with bodies considerably less fresh.

About Joel Byers

Born in North Georgia and educated at some very fine public institutions. Real education started after graduating from college and then getting married and raising two boys. Has the ability to see the funny and absurd in most things and will always remark on it, even if it means getting the stink-eye from his victims.
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