Square Mile of Murder

Horrific Glasgow murders.

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Book review: Square Mile of Murder

Four murders that shocked Glasgow

‘Square Mile of Murder’ by Jack House (Black & White Publishing 2002)

This is possibly the best work by Jack House. In this book he describes in great detail four famous murders that took place within one square mile of each other in the city of Glasgow. These are the notorious cases:

A Kiss, a Fond Embrace (The case of Madeleine Smith) This world famous case shocked Victorian Glasgow’s upper classes. Madeleine Smith was a debutante and came from a well-to-do family. She was sent to the High Court in Edinburgh, accused of poisoning her lover, Pierre Emile L’Angelier. Jack House gives us his own interpretation of the evidence - was Madeleine Smith guilty of murder?

The Man Who Did (The case of Jessie McLachlan) This case is still officially unsolved. In 1862 a brutal murder took place at 17 Sandyford Place. The victim was Jess McPherson. The accused, Jessie McLachlan, left a footprint of blood on a wooden plank.

The Human crocodile (The case of Edward William Pritchard) Dr Pritchard was the last man to be hanged in Glasgow. Jack House believes that Pritchard committed no less than three murders - and took great pleasure in committing all of them.

The Man Who Didn’t (The case of Oscar Slater) In 1908, in a respectable street near Charing Cross Glasgow, Miss Gilchrist was brutally murdered. She was 83. Oscar Slater was wrongly accused of her murder and spent nearly 19 years in jail. But who killed Miss Gilchrist?

  • Jack House (1906-1991), known to Glaswegians as Mr Glasgow, a title well-deserved for a man who wrote so much about this city. His books about Glasgow were in-depth and knowlegeable, but lovingly told. He was also a broadcaster and appeared regularly on television. He services to Glasgow were recognised in 1988 when he was awarded the Saint Mungo Prize .

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