Mention bodysnatching and people fall into two camps. They’ve either never heard of it or immediately mention the Edinburgh duo Burke & Hare. Not here, to me Burke & Hare were murderers, using the dissecting table and the surgeons desperation for cadavers as a means of hiding their evil wrongdoings, and pocketing a pretty penny in the process.
My interest is not in the sensationalized stories of Burke and Hare or the ‘Italian Boy’ copycat ‘murderers’ Bishop, Williams & May. I’m interested in the unknown bodysnatcher, the opportunist and the ‘bumbler’; the bodysnatchers that history has forgotten.
I research daily through newspapers, criminal registers and local history books among other things, in an attempt to find the forgotten bodysnatchers of Great Britain. I spend my free time hunting out watch-houses and mortsafes so that I can attempt to gain an understanding of how someone could do such an act. Whenever I visit a new site, I pause and remember that at some point in history, someone stole a cadaver, (or maybe two), slung it over their shoulder, marching off either to to sell it to the local anatomy school or ship it to the likes of Edinburgh or Glasgow.
Here you will find stories and snippets about the long lost Resurrection Men of Great Britain and hear a tale or two in the process. Sometimes the stories are just that, pranks or hearsay, but others will be bizarre,shocking and perhaps even unbelievable.
I hope you enjoy my take on this macabre topic.
If you’d like to read more on Britain’s forgotten bodysnatchers, ‘Digging up the Untold Stories of Britain’s Resurrection Men’ is available to buy through Pen & Sword Books amazon.co.ukand amazon.com as well as all good book shops.