Dark Histories

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Conan Doyle & The Case of Oscar Slater

In December of 1909, a few days before Christmas, the murder of a wealthy old woman in Glasgow sparked a cascade of events that would go on to write an incredible story of prejudice, conspiracy and eventual justice. Featuring a starring role by none other than the creator of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, it was then and remains still, one of the most fascinating, perplexing and straight confusing incidents of cause celebre in modern history.
 
SOURCES
 
Doyle, Arthur C. (1912) The Case of Oscar Slater. Leopold Classic Library. London, UK
 
Roughead, William. (1910) The Trial of Oscar Slater. William Hodge & Company, Glasgow, UK
 
Toughill, Thomas (2006) Oscar Slater: The Immortal Case of Sir Conan Doyle. The History Press, London, UK
 
Fox, Margalit. (2019) Conan Doyle for the Defence: A Sensational Murder, the Quest for Justice and the World's Greatest Detective Writer. Profile Books, London, UK.
 
‘Glasgow West End Murder. Slater Trial Opened,’ Greenock Telegraph and Clyde Shipping Gazette, Greenock, 04 May 1909, P. 4.
 
‘Glasgow Flat Tragedy. Slater On Trial,’ Greenock Telegraph and Clyde Shipping Gazette, Greenock, 05 May 1909, P. 4.
 
‘The Slater Trial. Third Days Proceedings,’ Greenock Telegraph and Clyde Shipping Gazette, Greenock, 06 May 1909, P. 4.
 
‘Glasgow West End Murder. Slater Found Guilty,’ Greenock Telegraph and Clyde Shipping Gazette, Greenock, 07 May 1909, P. 4.
 
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Music was recorded by me © Ben Cutmore 2017

Other Outro music was Paul Whiteman & his orchestra with Mildred Bailey - All of me (1931). It's out of copyright now, but if you're interested, that was that.

The Horror of M.R. James

Something a little different this week, as you may have guessed from the title. All is explained at the start of the episode, but the long and the short of it is that the episode I completed for this week, seemed, in light of the current events, somewhat tasteless to me if I'd have released it right now. So... for now that episode is benched to return at a later date and instead, I put together a very quick episode introducing the genius of M R James and have narrated two of my favourite of his stories for your listening terror!
 
Normal service will be resumed from next episode, I appreciate the patience for bearing with me on this one and I hope you all understand where I was coming from in making this last minute switcheroo. Cheers!

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For extended show notes, including maps, links and scripts, head over to darkhistories.com

Support the show by using our link when you sign up to Audible: http://audibletrial.com/darkhistories or visit our Patreon for bonus episodes and Early Access: https://www.patreon.com/darkhistories

Connect with us on Facebook: http://facebook.com/darkhistoriespodcast

Or find us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/darkhistories

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Or you can contact us directly via email at contact@darkhistories.com

or via voicemail on: (415) 286-5072

or join our Discord community: https://discord.gg/6f7e2pt

Music was recorded by me © Ben Cutmore 2017

Other Outro music was Paul Whiteman & his orchestra with Mildred Bailey - All of me (1931). It's out of copyright now, but if you're interested, that was that.

Chimeras: Ilya Ivanov & The Humanzee

Stories of human-animal hybrids have existed for centuries, from the ancient Greeks, to modern Hollywood cinema, as humans, we have always held a fear and reject the idea of science meddling with genetics in uncomfortable ways. Creating wild stories of half human-half beast monsters, or conspiracy theories of hushed up, top secret laboratories operating on man made mutations, the fundamental fear of the hybrid has persisted. Our mythology, folktales and conspiracies have created fictional accounts which horrify some, and morbidly entertain others, but whilst the story of Stalin's desire to create a half man, half ape, super warrior army may be entirely fictional, the science behind stories such as these is far from made up.

SOURCES:

McNamee, Shane Patrick. (2015) Human-Animal Hybrids and Chimeras: What’s in a Name? European Journal of Bioethics, Vol. 6/1, No. 11.

Rossianov, Kirill. (2002) Beyond Species: Il’ya Ivanov and His Experiments on Cross Breeding Humans with Anthropoid Apes. Science in Context, Vol XV.

Fridman, E. P. & Bowden, D. M. (2009) The Russian Primate Research Center - A Survivor. Laboratory Primate Newsletter, Vol 48, Number 1.

Etkind, Alexander (2008) Beyond Eugenics: The Forgotten Scandal of Hybridizing Humans and Apes. Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences.

Regal, Brian (2009) Pseudoscience: A Critical Encyclopedia. Greenwood Press Inc. CT, USA.

Sykes, Bryan. (2015) The Nature of the Beast: The first genetic evidence on the survival of apemen, yeti, bigfoot and other mysterious creatures into modern times. Coronet, London, UK.

McNulty, Timothy (1981) Chinese Aim To Implant Human Sperm in Chimps. Chicago Tribune, Feb 12 1981. Accessed Online 5 March 2020: https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=sbdaAAAAIBAJ&sjid=rFgDAAAAIBAJ&pg=6991%2C3347287

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For extended show notes, including maps, links and scripts, head over to darkhistories.com

Support the show by using our link when you sign up to Audible: http://audibletrial.com/darkhistories or visit our Patreon for bonus episodes and Early Access: https://www.patreon.com/darkhistories

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Or find us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/darkhistories

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Or you can contact us directly via email at contact@darkhistories.com

or via voicemail on: (415) 286-5072

or join our Discord community: https://discord.gg/6f7e2pt

Music was recorded by me © Ben Cutmore 2017

Other Outro music was Paul Whiteman & his orchestra with Mildred Bailey - All of me (1931). It's out of copyright now, but if you're interested, that was that.

Joseph Vacher: The French Ripper

In 1888, Whitechapel, was gripped by fear of a brutal series of murders perpetrated by a sadistic killer that named himself Jack the Ripper. He would go on to be one of the world's most famous, and elusive serial killers of all time. Jacks escapades took place just a single step ahead of the curve of criminal forensics, an opportune window in time aiding him in his flight from capture. Across The Channel, just a decade later, another, less well known nightmare was stalking the countryside. No less brutal in his killing spree, Vacher the Ripper, was tearing up victims in secluded forest pathways and the deserted barns of isolated, rural communities across France. The march of science, psychology and criminology had not been standing still, however, and what were only the nuclei of ideas during Jack's reign, were emerging as full fledged methodologies, developed to pull a criminal from the shadows or a brutal murder out, from under the shroud of speculation.
 
SOURCES
 
Starr, Douglas. (2011) The Killer of Little Shepherds: A True Crime Story & The Birth of Forensic Science. Vintage, London, UK.
 
Gibson, Dirk C. (2012) Legends, Monsters, or Serial Murderers? The Real Story Behind an Ancient Crime. Praeger, CA, USA.
 
Renneville, Marc. (2005) La Criminolgie Perdue d’Alexandre Lacassagne (1843-1924) History of Criminology, Volume 1. Accessed online 17 February 2020: http://journals.openedition.org/criminocorpus/112
 
V comme VACHER Joseph : Itinéraire et parcours de vie d’un des premiers Serial Killer Français. Accessed online 16 February 2020: https://mesracinesdu07aujura.wordpress.com/2018/11/26/v-comme-vacher-joseph-itineraire-et-parcours-de-vie-du-premier-serial-killer-francais/
 
Un Tueur en série d’autrefois. Accessed online 18 February 2020: http://collections.bm-lyon.fr/presseXIX/PER0044ae55cdc069a7
 
Smith, B. Timothy. (1999) Assistance and Repression: Rural Exodus, Vagabondage and Social Crisis in France, 1880-1914, Journal of Social History, Vol. 32, No. 4. P. 821-846. Oxford University Press, UK
 
Renneville, Marc. (2010) L’affaire Joseph Vacher: La fin d’un “Brevet d’impinité” pour les criminels? Droit et Cultures, 60 | 2010, p. 129 - 142. Accessed online, 18 February, 2020: https://journals.openedition.org/droitcultures/2323#quotation
 
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For extended show notes, including maps, links and scripts, head over to darkhistories.com

Support the show by using our link when you sign up to Audible: http://audibletrial.com/darkhistories or visit our Patreon for bonus episodes and Early Access: https://www.patreon.com/darkhistories

Connect with us on Facebook: http://facebook.com/darkhistoriespodcast

Or find us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/darkhistories

& Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dark_histories/

Or you can contact us directly via email at contact@darkhistories.com

or via voicemail on: (415) 286-5072

or join our Discord community: https://discord.gg/6f7e2pt

Music was recorded by me © Ben Cutmore 2017

Other Outro music was Paul Whiteman & his orchestra with Mildred Bailey - All of me (1931). It's out of copyright now, but if you're interested, that was that.

The Mad Gasser of Mattoon

In 1944, residents in the town of Mattoon in Illinois came under a prolonged series of attacks by a man the papers named as “The Mad Gasser” and “The Phantom Anesthetist”. Despite the witness accounts that claimed to see a man stalking around the victims houses on multiple occasions, the authorities and subsequent psychological studies chalked the whole saga up to nothing more than a case of “Mass Hysteria”, but did that diagnosis really answer every question posed by the evidence of events that ran for over two weeks, as summer faded over the small farming community, or was it just a convenient outcome for a police force with no answers to give the troubled population?

SOURCES:

Maruna, Scott. Mad Gasser of Mattoon: Dispelling the Hysteria (2003), Swamp Gas Book Co. 

Evans, Hillary & Bartholomew, Robert E. Outbreak!: The Encyclopedia of Extraordinary Social Behavior (2009) Anomolist Books, TX USA

Bartholomew, Robert E. Little Green Men, Meowing Nuns and Head-Hunting Panics: A Study of Mass Psychogenic Illness and Social Delusion (2001) McFarland Publishing, USA

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For extended show notes, including maps, links and scripts, head over to darkhistories.com

Support the show by using our link when you sign up to Audible: http://audibletrial.com/darkhistories or visit our Patreon for bonus episodes and Early Access: https://www.patreon.com/darkhistories

Connect with us on Facebook: http://facebook.com/darkhistoriespodcast

Or find us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/darkhistories

& Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dark_histories/

Or you can contact us directly via email at contact@darkhistories.com

or via voicemail on: (415) 286-5072

or join our Discord community: https://discord.gg/6f7e2pt

Music was recorded by me © Ben Cutmore 2017

Other Outro music was Paul Whiteman & his orchestra with Mildred Bailey - All of me (1931). It's out of copyright now, but if you're interested, that was that.

Scratching Fanny & The Cock Lane Haunting

William Kent was what some might have called a rather unlucky man. Twice widowed shortly after marriage to his relatively wealthy wives, his relationships had not been the fairy tales he had longed for. The 19th Century was an age where bumping off an unwanted spouse could be as easy as a trip to the local apothecary, and as such, one might have expected William to harbor fears of a few unsavoury rumours surfacing around him, however, when this inevitably did happen in the spring of 1762, his shock could certainly be forgiven when it became apparent that the accusations levelled against him were from none other than the spirit of his recently deceased second wife.
 
SOURCES:
 
Carthew, G.A. The hundred of Launditch and deanery of Brisley :
in the county of Norfolk : evidences and topographical notes from public records, heralds' visitations, wills, court rolls, old charters, parish registers, town books, and other private sources : digested and arranged as materials for parochial, manorial, and family history collected by G.A. Carthew. Norwich. Vol. 3. (1879) Miller and Leavins, UK.
 
Goldsmith, Oliver. The mystery revealed; containing a series of transactions and authentic testimonials: respecting the supposed Cock-Lane ghost: which have hitherto been concealed from the public. (1762) W. Bristow, London, UK. Eighteenth Century Collections Online, Text Creation partnership, https://quod.lib.umich.edu/e/ecco/004882880.0001.000?rgn=main;view=fulltext, accessed 22 January 2020.
 
Chambers, Paul. The Cock Lane Ghost: Murder, Sex and Haunting in Dr. Johnson's London. (2006) The History Press Ltd; UK
 
Leeds intelligencer Tuesday 02 February 1762, p3
 
The Scots Magazine - Monday 01 March 1762, p37
 
Various historical Parish records found on https://www.freereg.org.uk/
 
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For extended show notes, including maps, links and scripts, head over to darkhistories.com

Support the show by using our link when you sign up to Audible: http://audibletrial.com/darkhistories or visit our Patreon for bonus episodes and Early Access: https://www.patreon.com/darkhistories

Connect with us on Facebook: http://facebook.com/darkhistoriespodcast

Or find us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/darkhistories

& Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dark_histories/

Or you can contact us directly via email at contact@darkhistories.com

or via voicemail on: (415) 286-5072

or join our Discord community: https://discord.gg/6f7e2pt

Music was recorded by me © Ben Cutmore 2017

Other Outro music was Paul Whiteman & his orchestra with Mildred Bailey - All of me (1931). It's out of copyright now, but if you're interested, that was that.

The Death of George Bodle & The Birth of Forensic Toxicology

In 1833, a small village in Kent, England became the focus of attention when the patriarchal head of a wealthy farming family wound up dead, presumed murdered after an attack on the entire household, presumed to be the work of Arsenic Poisoning. The 1830’s were on the eve of a new era in Forensics, and the previously vague symptoms of poisoning were being slowly unravelled and understood on levels far deeper than ever before, but would these new methods of detection prove to be enough to not only detect the presence of poison, but to finger the culprit and see them locked away for their crimes, or would the poisoner simply slip away into anonymity as so many had done in the decades and centuries before?

SOURCES:

Hempel S. (2013) The Inheritor's Powder: A Tale of Arsenic, Murder, and the New Forensic Science. W. W. Norton & Company, London

Hughes, Michael F, et al. “Arsenic Exposure and Toxicology: a Historical Perspective.” Toxicological Sciences : an Official Journal of the Society of Toxicology, Oxford University Press, Oct. 2011, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3179678/?report=classic.

N Hughes, Michael F, et al. “Arsenic Exposure and Toxicology: a Historical Perspective.” Toxicological Sciences : an Official Journal of the Society of Toxicology, Oxford University Press, Oct. 2011, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3179678/?report=classic.

“1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Orfila, Mathieu Joseph Bonaventure.” 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Orfila, Mathieu Joseph Bonaventure - Wikisource, the Free Online Library, https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/1911_Encyclopædia_Britannica/Orfila,_Mathieu_Joseph_Bonaventure.

The Morning Advertiser - Monday 11 November 1833, Murder of Mr. Bodle. p.3

The Morning Advertiser - Friday 8 November 1833, Murder at Plumstead. p.3

The Morning Chronicle - Thursday 14 November 1833, The Murder by Poison at Plumstead. p.3

Public Ledger & Daily Advertiser - Monday 16 December 1833, The Murder at Plumstead. p.3

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For extended show notes, including maps, links and scripts, head over to darkhistories.com

Support the show by using our link when you sign up to Audible: http://audibletrial.com/darkhistories or visit our Patreon for bonus episodes and Early Access: https://www.patreon.com/darkhistories

Connect with us on Facebook: http://facebook.com/darkhistoriespodcast

Or find us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/darkhistories

& Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dark_histories/

Or you can contact us directly via email at contact@darkhistories.com

or via voicemail on: (415) 286-5072

or join our Discord community: https://discord.gg/6f7e2pt

Music was recorded by me © Ben Cutmore 2017

Other Outro music was Paul Whiteman & his orchestra with Mildred Bailey - All of me (1931). It's out of copyright now, but if you're interested, that was that.

Christmas Campfire Episode 2019

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone! Thank you so much for all your support over the previous year! This years Christmas Campfire is a bumper one, full of diverse and fantastic stories. I thought it was a really great snapshot as to how weird and wonderful the world is and how diverse a range of people listen to the show. Putting it together was an absolute pleasure as always!
 
I start the whole thing off with a short story from M.R James, titled "A School Story" from his 1911 compendium, "More Ghost Stories from Antiquity". If you enjoyed it, I definitely recommend giving his other work a shot, one of my favourites is a story called "Number 13", but it's considerably longer than the one in this episode. Then we're on to the listener stores. Thank you everyone who sent stuff in to be included, it was a great deal of fun reading them this year!
 
I wish you all the best for the New Year, health and happiness for you and your loved ones, thank you as always for joining me in making Dark Histories, Ben x

Season 3 Finale Bonus

Hey everyone, thank you so much for listening this year! This is the season finale which I sort of didn't expect to do, so I'm releasing a bit of an intro that explains whats going to be happening throughout the Dark histories season break in December and what episodes will be coming out and included a patreon bonus episode for this weeks fix! I hope you enojoy it! Remember, if you'd like to get your story in for the Christmas Campfire episode this year, do go ahead and get your story in to me before the 20th December, it's going to be great and I'm really looking forward to reading through them all, it's always a lot of fun, every year! Thanks again for listening, I'll see you all throughout December and will be back to normal scheduling with regular episodes on the first week of January. Cheers!

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For extended show notes, including maps, links and scripts, head over to darkhistories.com

Support the show by using our link when you sign up to Audible: http://audibletrial.com/darkhistories or visit our Patreon for bonus episodes and Early Access: https://www.patreon.com/darkhistories

Connect with us on Facebook: http://facebook.com/darkhistoriespodcast

Or find us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/darkhistories

& Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dark_histories/

Or you can contact us directly via email at contact@darkhistories.com

or via voicemail on: (415) 286-5072

or join our Discord community: https://discord.gg/6f7e2pt

Music was recorded by me © Ben Cutmore 2017

Other Outro music was Paul Whiteman & his orchestra with Mildred Bailey - All of me (1931). It's out of copyright now, but if you're interested, that was that.

The Yatton Demoniac: George Lukins

“Sir, When you can spare room in your Gazette, I think you will not be able to present your readers with an account so extraordinary and surprising, as the following.”

So began the letter, written to the Printer of the Bristol Gazette, from the Reverend William Robert Wake in the Summer of 1788. The account he wrote of was one of possession and exorcism that would spark a controversy and ignite bitter debate over belief versus non-belief, enlightenment versus superstition and materialism versus spiritual salvation. As the debates raged on, the facts fell by the wayside, leaving readers with a story of demonic possession or absurd playacting, depending on individual outlook. This is Dark HIstories, where the facts are worse than fiction.

SOURCES:

Barry J. (2012) Methodism and Mummery: The Case of George Lukins. In: Witchcraft and Demonology in South-West England, 1640–1789. Palgrave Historical Studies in Witchcraft and Magic. Palgrave Macmillan, London

Grose, F. (1790) A Provincial Glossary With A Collection Of Local Proverbs And Popular Superstitions, S. Hooper, London

Norman, S. (1788) Authentic anecdotes of George Lukins, the Yatton doemoniac; with a view of the controversy, and a full refutation of the imposture, Bristol

Emory, J (1832) The Journal of the Reverend John Wesley: Sometime Fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford, Volume 2, J. Emory & B. Waugh, New York.

Young, F (2018) A History of Anglican Exorcism: Deliverance and Demonology in Church Ritual, I.B Tauris & Co. Ltd., London

W. R. W. Rev. (1792) A Narrative of the extraordinary case of George Lukins, of Yatton, Somersetshire: who was possessed of evil spirits, for near eighteen years. : Also an account of his remarkable deliverance, in the vestry-room of Temple Church, in the city of Bristol, extracted from the manuscripts of several persons who attended. : To which is prefixed, A letter from the Rev. W.R.W, Bristol.

Salisbury and Winchester Journal - Monday 23 June 1788, p.3

Stamford Mercury - Friday 04 July 1788. P.4

Tyne Mercury; Northumberland and Durham and Cumberland Gazette - Tuesday 19 February 1805 p.2

“Seizure Clusters.” Epilepsy Foundation, 10 May 2008, https://www.epilepsy.com/learn/professionals/refractory-seizures/potentially-remediable-causes/seizure-clusters.

 
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For extended show notes, including maps, links and scripts, head over to darkhistories.com

Support the show by using our link when you sign up to Audible: http://audibletrial.com/darkhistories or visit our Patreon for bonus episodes and Early Access: https://www.patreon.com/darkhistories

Connect with us on Facebook: http://facebook.com/darkhistoriespodcast

Or find us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/darkhistories

& Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dark_histories/

Or you can contact us directly via email at contact@darkhistories.com

or via voicemail on: (415) 286-5072

or join our Discord community: https://discord.gg/6f7e2pt

Music was recorded by me © Ben Cutmore 2017

Other Outro music was Paul Whiteman & his orchestra with Mildred Bailey - All of me (1931). It's out of copyright now, but if you're interested, that was that.