Hello Readers.My third true crime book is almost ready for publishing and all being well should be available for downloading on Christmas Day. For the next five days I will be providing some information about it via this blog including excerpts and quotes. This is a casebook of Victorian railway crime and will record all of the major incidents on the railways for the period 1830-1899. It will also investigate the shocking number of dead bodies found frequently on the lines. Some were undoubtedly suicides yet others seemed to be murder victims. The brutal truth is that the mangled bodies were too damaged for a coroner’s inquest to get at the truth. The book or should I say novella will also look at the design of the railway carriage which actually facilitated crime including serious assaults and murders yet stayed mostly unchanged. There is a delicate chapter concerning the dangers faced by lone female passengers. In all twelve chapters are provided and the final one contains a a cornucopia of railway mysteries.
The first chapter details the first day of the railway age in September 1830. It was supposed to be a proud day for the Liverpool and Manchester Railway. It was marred by a terrible tragedy when one of the principal and local guests was run over at Parkside by the locomotive Rocket, winner of the Rainhill trials. The invited guests included the Prime Minister the Duke of Wellington and assembled Lords and Ladies. They made the difficult decision to carry on to Manchester, a decision they would regret. A large and angry mob of millworkers and weavers were waiting for them at Liverpool Road,waving flags and banners.Few of the wealthy patrons left the train and decided on a hasty retreat to Liverpool. The inaugural dinner in Manchester was a thinly attended event and the Lords and Ladies had a nine and a half hour journey back to their starting point. Their train was pelted with bricks and stones as it crawled home. In the evening the unfortunate man run over by locomotive Rocket succumbed to his injuries, entering the history books as both the first railway accident and death. From the very beginning the railways had a dark side. Within 12 months came more deaths, the first railway staff to die and the first ticketed passenger. This was just the beginning.As the railways spread across the country more deaths followed. It seemed the railways were an accident waiting to happen. Yet worse was to follow. Criminals of all types soon found the railways to be a new opportunity and new place to ply their trade. As the number of passengers increased so did the number and types of crime.
This casebook will bring you all the big stories of the period. You may at times think they seem far-fetched. Rest assured reader they are all true. Please come back and read a few more snippets in this blog series and then final blog will provide a link to Amazon where you should be able to look inside and read the first few chapters free of charge…….until tomorrow this is Crime Writer Mike Sheridan whose dinner is calling…….