Life in the largely rural county of Dorset has not always been idyllic, for over the years it has experienced numerous murders, some of which are little known outside the county borders, others that have shocked the nation. These include arguments between lovers with fatal consequences, family murders, child murders and mortal altercations at Dorset's notorious Portland Prison. The entire country thrilled to the scandalous cases of Alma Rattenbury and Charlotte Bryant who, in the 1930s, found living with their husbands so difficult that both found a terminal solution to the problem. In 1856, Elizabeth Browne rid herself of a husband and, in doing so, became the inspiriation for Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles. The mystery of the Coverdale Kennels at Tarrant Keynston, where not one, but two kennel managers died in suspicious circumstances, remains unsolved to this day. And it was in Bournemouth that Neville Heath committed the second of his two murders, which led to his arrest and eventual execution in 1946. Illustrated with fifty intriguing illustrations, Dorset Murders will appeal to anyone interested in the shady side of the county's history.
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The History Press
February 29, 2012
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