John George Haigh, the Acid-Bath Murderer

A Portrait of a Serial Killer and His Victims

Jonathan Oates

* Fascinating reinvestigation of the Haigh serial murders of 1944-9

* Based on fresh primary research into case files and Haigh's family background

* Insight into the police methods and forensic science of the day

* Painstaking portrait of a serial killer and his criminal lifestyle
Date Published :
October 2015
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Illustration :
b&w plates
Format Available    QuantityPrice
ISBN : 9781473837935
Pages : 224
Dimensions : 9.21 X 6.14 inches
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What motivated John George Haigh to murder at least six people, then dissolve their corpses in concentrated sulfuric acid? How did this intelligent, well-educated man from a loving, strongly religious family of Plymouth Brethren become a fraudster, a thief, then a serial killer? In the latest of his best-selling studies of criminal history, Jonathan Oates reinvestigates this sensational case of the late 1940s. He delves into Haigh’s Yorkshire background, his reputation as a loner, a bully and a forger during his years at Wakefield Grammar School, and his growing appetite for the good life which his modest employment in insurance and advertising could not sustain. Then came his move to London and a rapid, apparently remorseless descent into the depths of crime, from deceit and theft to cold-blooded killing. As he follows the course of Haigh’s crimes in graphic, forensic detail, Jonathan Oates gives a fascinating inside view of Haigh’s attempt to carry through a series of perfect murders. For Haigh intended not only cut off his victims’ lives but, by destroying their bodies with acid, literally to remove all traces that they had ever existed.

About The Author

Dr Jonathan Oates is the Ealing Borough Archivist and Local History Librarian, and he has written and lectured on the Jacobite rebellions and on aspects of the history of London, including its criminal past. He is also well known as an expert on family history and has written several introductory books on the subject including Tracing Your London Ancestors, Tracing Your Ancestors From 1066 to 1837 and Tracing Villains and Their Victims.


"In his book 'John George Haigh: The Acid-Bath Murderer - A Portrait of a Serial Killer and His Victims', Jonathan Oates has presented a well-researched, detailed and exciting piece of writing using original documents and testimony to examine a case as intriguing as it is horrifying... If you are looking for a detailed, accurate and in-depth look at John George Haigh and his crimes, following through to his capture, trial and execution, this is the book for you."

- Crime Traveller

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