Murder Mystery and Mayhem on the Railways – 1 day to go!

1 day to launch blog image

Hello Readers. Here is my final blog concerning my third and newest true crime book which should go live on  Amazon on  Christmas Day ( and if not then on Boxing Day!) It is a very different kind of book to  my first two. It does not concentrate on one single story as they do.  It is actually a casebook of railway crime, calamities and mysteries from 1830-1899 and contains 12 chapters.  The final chapter is devoted to railway mysteries and there were many of those. One of the greatest mysteries was the frequent discovery of bodies on the railway lines throughout the country. In such circumstances the law dictated that a county or town  coroner should convene an inquest. The most important task was to identify the individual and  determine the cause of death. Take this actual example which is mystery number 2 out of 32 in my final chapter, produced verbatim here…

“A coroner’s inquest was held August 13th 1867 in the Canterbury Arms in Brixton. It was tasked with discovering the cause of death of railway guard Louis Williams Masson, aged 24 years. His body was found in a very odd place, on top of the 11.45 pm train from Victoria to Ludgate Hill. He was found flat on his back with his feet towards the engine. His wounds were severe. He had a fractured skull and cuts about the head and face. It was believed he had been killed by walking or crawling about on the roof of the train and had been struck by a bridge. The court considered two theories to explain how he died. The coroner pointed out that on some lines society had been outraged by guards watching a man and a woman when they got into a compartment believing they were going to do wrong. Only the previous week a guard had been killed whilst standing on the running board, watching a lady and gentleman. They were shocked at seeing him killed with his face pressed close to the glass. The other theory concerned a 10 shillings reward offered by the railway company for apprehension of felons who had been cutting carriage linings. They climbed onto the roof, cut the roof material, removed the horsehair then put their hands into the compartments to steal curtains and brasses. The court considered the possibility the guard was on the roof trying to catch the felons. Inspector Harris pointed out it was a breach of duty for the guard to leave his brake for any purpose. The jury could not decide which was the correct theory but reasoned this was an accident and recorded such as their final verdict. The mystery of what the guard was really doing on the roof was never solved.”

Here there were two possibilities that might explain how the guard died. Was the  guard a peeping Tom spying on  the couple in  the compartment? Or was he doing his duty trying to catch felons damaging the train? The jury certainly could not decide. When  passengers jumped or were thrown out of a train they usually died quickly of terrible injuries. If the fall did not kill them they could be knocked unconscious and then be  run over by a train. Both men and women often seemed  to be falling out of trains. Inquests considered many possible reasons including some odd ones like sleepwalking. Drink or should I  say too much drink seemed to be involved on some occasions. Men would get into arguments or fights or lose their inhibitions about their behaviour with a lady in the carriage. Physical assaults would drive some  men  out onto the running boards and sexual advances would do the same to most ladies. In  short the mystery of why a body came to be lying dead upon the rails often remained a mystery – despite a coroner’s inquest. My final chapter is full of these odd mysteries and I invite my readers to read and  solve them……if you can!

Well my book is complete and should be available very soon. For those who have been  following and reading my blogs or who may be interested in my work I now have a very special offer. For  a very short time on Christmas and  possibly Boxing Day 2015 YOU can  help yourself to  a free download. Just click on  the hyperlink below and if my book is showing a zero price it will be free to download. DONT MISS it, I have no plans to offer it free again in  the near future.

This is researcher and writer Mike Sheridan signing off for Christmas 2015 .BEST WISHES and a MERRY CHRISTMAS to YOU ALL!!



About bakersfieldlad

July 2015...... I published my first book on Amazon - "Savilles Spinnney". On April 1st 2015 I published my second book - "Arsenic Sally". Christmas Day 2015 I published my third book " Murder Mystery and Mayhem on the Railways 1830-1899. That's 3 books in roughly 18 months. I enjoy researching and see no reason to stop writing. There will be many many more books and while I would love to be taken in by a publisher I am content to make my books available via Amazon. Keep checking my blogs for updates about my upcoming projects......
This entry was posted in Coroner, Coroner's Court, Coroner's Inquest, Court Case, Crime accounts, Crime and Murder, Crime on the Railways, Crime story, crime writer, Crime Writing, Death on a Railway, First Great Train Robbery, Historical crime, Ideas for writer, Liverpool to Manchester Railway, Mayhem on the Railways, murder mystery, Murder on the Railways, Murder stories, Murder Story, Railway accident, Railway Crime, Railway Criminal, Railway History, Railway Robbery, Railways, Tragedy on the Railways, Train Robbers, Train Robbery, Writer, Writiing true crime, Writing, Writing about Railways, writing ideas and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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