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Crimes of the Century poster

Crimes of the Century by Jim Crawley

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"Crimes of the Century" provides a stunning single volume visual record of many of the most memorable British crimes of the twentieth century. Packed with 250 fascinating photographs, many of them previously unpublished, "Crimes of the Century" will provide a unique insight into British criminality. All of life is here: passion, cruelty, stupidity, obsession, love and selfishness. "Crimes of the Century" examines curious themes in British crime. There is the obsession with dismemberment of ones former loved one that appears in the 1920's. The belief that putting the body in a trunk is an effective mode of disposal. "Crimes of the Century" describes the evolution of the British Serial Killer after the Second World War and looks at the unjustly forgotten case of Dr Bodkin Adams who if he had been found guilty would be second to only Harold Shipman in the all time murder record breakers. But what makes a great crime? For a murderer quantity can not be the only criteria of greatness. Why is Dr Crippen such a twentieth century icon when his crime was the relatively common one of murdering his wife?Some crimes became famous because of their association with new forms of detection such as the new sciences of ballistics, fingerprinting and DNA profiling. Other criminals such as the Kray brothers became part of the modern cult of celebrity and their crimes became notable. Many other crimes achieved notoriety through their association with miscarriages of justice and others for their part in the history of capital punishment. The Great Train Robbery is probably the most famous robbery of the last century but only a relatively modest quantity of cash was taken. The great financial frauds such as Polly Peck, BCCI. Nick Leeson and Robert Maxwell each netted more money than the sum of all other crimes perpetrated in those years. The book is supplemented with examinations of the main themes in the criminal history of the twentieth century. Lastly "Crimes of the Century", while of course not a how to book, will point out some of the more obvious errors that led to the conviction of most of the characters in the book.

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