by Neil Watson
In May 1870, seven members of the Marshall family, including three small children, were found brutally murdered in their home in Denham, Buckinghamshire. They had all been bludgeoned to death with a sledgehammer, an axe and a poker. The crime scene looked like a battlefield or a slaughterhouse.
In THE DENHAM MASSACRE, retired Metropolitan police officer Neil Watson provides the first full-length study of this sensational but largely forgotten Victorian murder case. He carefully reconstructs the events leading up to the crimes and their aftermath, and describes in detail the police investigation and the eventual arrest of the suspect John Owen, an armed and dangerous criminal with a long record of petty offending. Following a day-long trial, Owen was convicted of the capital crimes and executed at Aylesbury Gaol by the notorious hangman William Calcraft.
The Denham Massacre stands as one of the most shocking and disturbing cases of mass murder in British criminal history. Based on years of original research into the case, and drawing on his experience as a serving police officer, Neil Watson takes us unforgettably to the very heart of a real-life Victorian murder mystery.
It is a gripping, provocative read.