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20 February 2013 @ 07:10 am
Is there a serial killer in your family history? 2.5million criminal records published online  
Wednesday 20 Feb 2013 12:01 am
(Pictures at the source)

A notorious baby killer and a woman who cut up and boiled her employer are among 2.5million criminal records published for the first time.

Dating from 1770 to 1934, the findmypast.co.uk archive is the largest collection of rap sheets from England and Wales ever released.

Everything from Edwardian ‘Asbos’, where habitual drunks were banned from pubs, to mugshots, court documents and appeal letters have been made available.

One case history features infamous Amelia Dyer who is thought to have killed 400 babies. The ‘baby farmer’ tricked desperate mothers into thinking she offered a caring home for illegitimate children.

But after pocketing a fee she strangled them with a ribbon and threw their bodies in the Thames. Her crimes went undetected for 16 years until police caught her and she was hanged in 1896.

Another highlighted case has links to TV naturalist Sir David Attenborough. The head of 55-year-old widow Julia Thomas was dug up in the grounds of the derelict Hole in the Wall pub beside his home in Richmond, south-west London, in October 2010. She was murdered in March 1879 by her thieving housekeeper Kate Webster.

She pushed Mrs Thomas down the stairs, strangled her, then chopped up her body and boiled it in a laundry copper.

The documents, taken from the National Archives, also feature newspaper articles which are packed with detail.

‘We have painstakingly published online entire registers containing mugshots of habitual drunks that feature incredible descriptions of criminals’ appearances, demeanour and identifying marks,’ said Debra Chatfield at findmypast.co.uk.

SOURCE: http://metro.co.uk/2013/02/20/is-there-a-serial-killer-in-your-family-history-2-5million-criminal-records-published-online-3504854/