|Leeds Mercury, October 1826|
Getting a body from the graveyard to the dissecting table often had its problems. Time really was of the essence, and many a bodysnatcher has met his downfall through delays in shipping.
|York & General Advertiser, November 1830
Detection usually came about when dockworkers questioned the number of barrels delivered to the same individual or from the offensive smell that would waft into the face of the unsuspecting porter when finally getting an opportunity to move that barrel that had been waiting all weekend to be shipped.
A misunderstanding over shipping arrangements at the Turf Hotel, Newcastle one September weekend in 1825, caused a box containing the dead body of a 19 year old woman to be detained longer than planned. Come Monday morning, it was not only the smell but also the liquid that was found to be oozing from the box that raised the alarm that all was not as it seemed.
In 1826, soldiers loading barrels of ‘Bitter Salts’ onto the fishing smack Latona at Georges Dock, Liverpool, caught a whiff of something offensive. The skipper, instead of removing the lid to find the cause of the stench, removed a plug in the side of the barrel and thrust his hand into the unknown! The soldiers had just stumbled upon the wholesale transportation of bodies which operated from the cellar of a house in Hope St, Liverpool. When found, twenty two bodies were awaiting transportation to Scotland, some already packed into cases and covered in brine. The three barrels that the bodysnatchers had already sent to the docks, and which led to their detection, had contained eleven bodies in total.