Click here to Download A Book of Remarkable Criminals PDF Book by Henry Irving English having PDF Size 1.9 MB and No of Pages 116.
“The silent workings, and still more the explosions, of human passion which bring to light the darker elements of man’s nature present to the philosophical observer considerations of intrinsic interest; while to the jurist, the study of human nature and human character with its infinite varieties, especially as affecting the connection between motive and action.
A Book of Remarkable Criminals PDF Book by Henry Irving
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Between irregular desire or evil disposition and crime itself, is equally indispensable and difficult.”—Wills on Circumstantial Evidence. I REMEMBER my father telling me that sitting up late one night talking with Tennyson, the latter remarked that he had not kept such late hours since a recent visit of Jowett. On that occasion the poet and the philosopher had talked together well into the small hours of the morning.
My father asked Tennyson what was the subject of conversation that had so engrossed them. “Murders,” replied Tennyson. It would have been interesting to have heard Tennyson and Jowett discussing such a theme. The fact is a tribute to the interest that crime has for many men of intellect and imagination. Indeed, how could it be otherwise?
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Rob history and fiction of crime, how tame and colourless would be the residue! We who are living and enduring in the presence of one of the greatest crimes on record, must realise that trying as this period of the world’s history is to those who are passing through it, in the hands of some great historian it may make very good reading for posterity.
Perhaps we may find some little consolation in this fact, like the unhappy victims of famous freebooters such as Jack Sheppard or Charley Peace. But do not let us flatter ourselves. Do not let us, in all the pomp and circumstance of stately history, blind ourselves to the fact that the crimes of Frederick, or Napoleon, or their successors, are in essence no different from those of Sheppard or Peace.
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We must not imagine that the bad man who happens to offend against those particular laws which constitute the criminal code belongs to a peculiar or atavistic type, that he is a man set apart from the rest of his fellow-men by mental or physical peculiarities. That comforting theory of the Lombroso school has been exploded.
And the ordinary inmates of our prisons shown to be only in a very slight degree below the average in mental and physical fitness of the normal man, a difference easily explained by the environment and conditions in which the ordinary criminal is bred. A certain English judge, asked as to the general characteristics of the prisoners tried before him.
Said: “They are just like other people; in fact, I often think that, but for different opportunities and other accidents, the prisoner and I might very well be in one another’s places.” “Greed, love of pleasure,” writes a French judge, “lust, idleness, anger, hatred, revenge, these are the chief causes of crime. These passions and desires are shared by rich and poor alike, by the educated and uneducated. A Book of Remarkable Criminals PDF Book
They are inherent in human nature; the germ is in every man.” Convicts represent those wrong-doers who have taken to a particular form of wrong-doing punishable by law. Of the larger army of bad men they represent a minority, who have been found out in a peculiarly unsatisfactory kind of misconduct.
There are many men, some lying, unscrupulous, dishonest, others cruel, selfish, vicious, who go through life without ever doing anything that brings them within the scope of the criminal code, for whose offences the laws of society provide no punishment. And so it is with some of those heroes of history who have been made the theme of fine writing by gifted historians.
In the cases of Eyraud and Bompard, both man and woman are idle, vicious criminals by instinct. They come together, lead an abandoned life, sinking lower and lower in moral degradation. In the hour of need, crime presents itself as a simple expedient for which neither of them has any natural aversion. A Book of Remarkable Criminals PDF Book
The repugnance to evil, if they ever felt it, has long since disappeared from their natures. The man is serious, the woman frivolous, but the criminal tendency in both cases is the same; each performs his or her part in the crime with characteristic aptitude. Mrs. Manning was a creature of much firmer character than her husband, a woman of strong passions, a redoubtable murderess.
Without her dominating force Manning might never have committed murder. But he was a criminal before the crime, more than suspected as a railway official of complicity in a considerable train robbery; in his case the suggestion of murder involved only the taking of a step farther in a criminal career.
Manning suffered from nerves almost as badly as Macbeth; after the deed he sought to drown the prickings of terror and remorse by heavy drinking Mrs. Manning was never troubled with any feelings of this kind; after the murder of O’Connor the gratification of her sexual passion seemed uppermost in her mind; and she met the consequences of her crime fearlessly. A Book of Remarkable Criminals PDF Book
Burke and Hare were a couple of ruffians, tempted by what must have seemed almost fabulous wealth to men of their wretched poverty to commit a series of cruel murders. Hare, with his queer, Mephistophelian countenance, was the wickeder of the two. Burke became haunted as time went on and flew to drink to banish horror, but Hare would seem to have been free from such “compunctious visitings of Nature.”
He kept his head and turned King’s evidence. In the case of the Peltzer brothers we have a man who is of good social position, falling desperately in love with the wife of a successful barrister. The wife, though unhappy in her domestic life, refuses to become her lover’s mistress; marriage is the only way to secure her.
So Armand Peltzer plots to murder the husband. For this purpose he calls in the help of a brother, a ne’er-do-well, who has left his native country under a cloud. He sends for this dubious person to Europe, and there between them they plan the murder of the inconvenient husband. A Book of Remarkable Criminals PDF Book
Though the idea of the crime comes from the one brother, the other receives the idea without repugnance and enters wholeheartedly into the commission of the murder. The ascendency of the one is evident, but he knows his man, is sure that he will have no difficulty in securing the other’s co-operation in his felonious purpose.
Armand Peltzer should have lived in the Italy of the Renaissance. The crime was cunningly devised, and methodically and successfully accomplished. Only an overanxiety to secure the fruits of it led to its detection. Barre and Lebiez are a perfect criminal couple, both young men of good education, trained to better things.
But the one idle, greedy and vicious, the other cynical, indifferent, inclined at best to a lazy sentimentalism. Barre is a needy stockbroker at the end of his tether, desperate to find an expedient for raising the wind, Lebiez a medical student who writes morbid verses to a skull and lectures on Darwinism. To Barre belongs the original suggestion to murder an old woman who sells milk and is reputed to have savings. A Book of Remarkable Criminals PDF Book Download
But his friend and former schoolfellow, Lebiez, accepts the suggestion placidly, and reconciles himself to the murder of an unnecessary old woman by the same argument as that used by Raskolnikoff in “Crime and Punishment” to justify the killing of his victim. In a town in Austria there dwelt a happy and contented married couple, poor and hard-working.
A charming young lady, a rich relation and an orphan, comes to live with them. She brings to their modest home wealth and comfort. But as time goes on, it is likely that the young lady will fall in love and marry. What then? Her hosts will have to return to their original poverty. The idea of how to secure to himself the advantages of his young kinswoman’s fortune takes possession of the husband’s mind.
He revolves all manner of means, and gradually murder presents itself as the only way. The horrid suggestion fixes itself in his mind, and at last he communicates it to his wife. At first she resists, then yields to the temptation. The plan is ingenious. The wife is to disappear to America and be given out as dead. A Book of Remarkable Criminals PDF Book Download
The husband will then marry his attractive kinswoman, persuade her to make a will in his favour, poison her and, the fortune secured, rejoin his wife. As if to help this cruel plan, the young lady has developed a sentimental affection for her relative. The wife goes to America, the husband marries the young lady.
He commences to poison her, but, in the presence of her youth, beauty and affection for him, relents, hesitates to commit a possibly unnecessary crime. He decides to forget and ignore utterly his wife who is waiting patiently in America. A year passes. The expectant wife gets no sign of her husband’s existence.
She comes back to Europe, visits under a false name the town in which her faithless husband and his bride are living, discovers the truth and divulges the intended crime to the authorities. A sentence of penal servitude for life rewards this perfidious criminal. She was at this time about thirty-five years of age, described as “taking” in appearance, of a fair complexion, and rather well educated. A Book of Remarkable Criminals PDF Book Download
She had led a somewhat chequered married life with a gentleman named Bailey, from whom she continued in receipt of a weekly allowance until she passed under the protection of Peace. Her first meeting with her future lover took place on the occasion of Peace inviting Mrs. Adamson to dispose of a box of cigars for him, which that good woman did at a charge of something like thirty per cent.
At first Peace gave himself out to Mrs. Bailey as a hawker, but before long he openly acknowledged his real character as an accomplished burglar. With characteristic insistence Peace declared his passion for Mrs. Bailey by threatening to shoot her if she did not become his. Anxious friends sent for her to soothe the distracted man.
Peace had been drowning care with the help of Irish whiskey. He asked “his pet” if she were not glad to see him, to which the lady replied with possible sarcasm: “Oh, particularly, very, I like you so much.” Next day Peace apologised for his rude behaviour of the previous evening, and so melted the heart of Mrs. Bailey that she consented to become his mistress. A Book of Remarkable Criminals PDF Book Download
And from that moment discarding the name of Bailey is known to history as Mrs. Thompson. Life in Nottingham was varied pleasantly by burglaries carried out with the help of information supplied by Mrs. Adamson. In the June of 1877 Peace was nearly detected in stealing, at the request of that worthy, some blankets.
But by flourishing his revolver he contrived to get away, and, soon after, returned for a season to Hull. Here this hunted murderer, with L100 reward on his head, took rooms for Mrs. Thompson and himself at the house of a sergeant of police. One day Mrs. Peace, who was still keeping her shop in Hull, received a pencilled note saying, “I am waiting to see you just up Anlaby Road.”
She and her stepson, Willie Ward, went to the appointed spot, and there to their astonishment stood her husband, a distinguished figure in black coat and trousers, top hat, velvet waistcoat, with stick, kid gloves, and a pretty little fox terrier by his side. Peace told them of his whereabouts in the town, but did not disclose to them the fact that his mistress was there also. A Book of Remarkable Criminals PDF Book Free
To the police sergeant with whom he lodged, Peace described himself as an agent. But a number of sensational and successful burglaries at the houses of Town Councillors and other well-to-do citizens of Hull revealed the presence in their midst of no ordinary robber. Peace had some narrow escapes, but with the help of his revolver, and on one occasion the pusillanimity of a policeman.
He succeeded in getting away in safety. The bills offering a reward for his capture were still to be seen in the shop windows of Hull, so after a brief but brilliant adventure Peace and Mrs. Thompson returned to Nottingham. Here, as the result of further successful exploits, Peace found a reward of L50 offered for his capture.
On one occasion the detectives came into the room where Peace and his mistress were in bed. After politely expressing his surprise at seeing “Mrs. Bailey” in such a situation, one of the officers asked Peace his name. He gave it as John Ward, and described himself as a hawker of spectacles. A Book of Remarkable Criminals PDF Book Free
He refused to get up and dress in the presence of the detectives who were obliging enough to go downstairs and wait his convenience. Peace seized the opportunity to slip out of the house and get away to another part of the town. From there he sent a note to Mrs. Thompson insisting on her joining him.
He soon after left Nottingham, paid another brief visit to Hull, but finding that his wife’s shop was still frequented by the police, whom he designated freely as “a lot of fools,” determined to quit the North for good and begin life afresh in the ampler and safer field of London.