By Geoffrey Wright
Foul Deeds and Suspicious Deaths round Southport takes the reader on a sinister trip via centuries of neighborhood crime and conspiracy, assembly villains of every kind alongside the way in which - cut-throats and poisoners, murderous fans, baby-farmers and baby-killers, burglars, fraudsters and the so-called 'doctor of death'. The e-book files crime and punishment in Southport in all its surprising style. among the acts of wickedness Geoff Wright describes are the shoemaker homicide, the disappearance of Alfred Brewer, the unsolved homicide of William Rhodes, the drugging of Councillor Fletcher, the wife-killing Dr Clements and the baffling homicide of businessman Harry Baker. His chronicle of Southport's hidden background - the heritage this Victorian seashore lodge would like to omit - should be compelling interpreting for somebody who's attracted to the darkish aspect of human nature.
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Additional info for Foul Deeds & Suspicious Deaths Around Southport
But perhaps he tired of her and saw his wife as a barrier to further amorous conquests. Dr Clements was most certainly a wily bird, but in the end a careless one. He does not seem to have studied sufficiently the subject of murder by morphine. Had he done so, he could have instilled atropine into his wife’s eyes which would have dilated the pupils, masking the characteristic pin-points which denote the presence of morphine. On 3 July 1947, in the House of Commons, Stockport’s MP asked: In view of a recent case at Southport, was the Minister of Health aware that the law permitted medical practitioners to issue death certificates in respect of close relatives, and if he proposed legislation to end this practice?
Dr Houston was quite correct in his findings,’ Clements replied. Mighall left it there, glad to get out into the fresh air. He then went to see Dr Houston, to ask if he was sure Mrs Clements died from natural causes. Houston became flushed and nervous: I made a thorough examination and ascertained the cause of death. What could possibly be wrong with that? The senior officer had been surprised that the nursing home’s mortuary had not used, instead of the patient’s bed. ’ Mighall was non-committal about there being a second post-mortem and left.
On Tuesday, 25 June, the coroner’s (triple) inquest on Mrs Clements, Dr Clements and now Dr Houston was opened by the Southport coroner, Mr Cornelius Bolton. The courtroom was thronged by sightseers. Many of the reporters who had returned to the town following the second suicide, did not leave until after this triple inquest, which was the longest in local history, extending over four days; more than sixty newspaper representatives attended. The most difficult aspect of the case was undoubtedly to give a factual report of the happenings and history of Dr Clements and not to allow a too vivid imagination to turn a sensational story into a fantastic one.
Foul Deeds & Suspicious Deaths Around Southport by Geoffrey Wright