Glasgow’s Square Mile Murders (2021)

Glasgow’s Square Mile Murders‘ [Illustrated] (Dec., 2021)

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This is Random Scottish History’s first true crime project. Glasgow’s Square Mile of Murder were a series of crimes, perpetrated by four separate individuals, that began in 1857 with the last occurring in 1908. There were a total of five victims, however, a sixth likely victim did not receive justice.


The term “Square Mile of Murder” was coined by Jack House in his 1961 publication. I wasn’t able to use his work in what we’re doing here, at Random Scottish History, as we aim to get our information from contemporary publications. The Scottish press were an easy go-to for this project. In that it’s similar to the ‘Treaty of Union Articles’ and ‘Scottish Railway Incidents.’ The information is the same as that the people of the time received with regards to these cases.

Each case has been split into 3 chapters; Pre-Trial, Trial, and Verdict & Aftermath. Some protagonists may have been known to the press prior to the murders they became implicated in, some of the trials were carried on over the course of more than a few days, others may have had a life that extended post-verdict or long-lasting nationwide repercussions. So, the chapters are of variable lengths.


The idea is to convey as full a picture to you as possible. We’re going to go right into the court trials day to day. Ultimately, though, it’s up to yourself to decide; Was justice was served? Did the victims receive the justice they were owed? Did the perpetrators receive their just dues? In taking these cases in the form we do it allows us to get right in about the details. Not just of the murders but of Glasgow life at the time. How did people live? What was expected of people in different social classes?


These cases are still widely discussed today, as many feel as though there’s still an element of mystery attached to them. If you’re one of those who has a decided view on any of the cases, you may find your ideas take another path on reading the ins-and-outs of the trials. If you’re perhaps someone who’s not come across these true crime cases then I’m happy to bring them to you as those of the time would have received the information. I’ve done my best to mitigate repetition and keep it to a minimum.


Despite how sad the events related are, especially where justice perhaps went awry, I took a lot of joy in researching the information. You can’t help but feel for the victims, of course, but also for some of the accused, too, and their families. Once you were condemned, that was it for you, even if commuted, that stigma never really left you.


It’s for you to make up your own mind as to whether justice was delivered correctly in any of these cases. Was the correct person nabbed for the offense? Were murderers left free to continue their lives unlike those unfortunates they’d come into contact with? People are still discussing the results of these cases today and I’m pleased to have been able to bring them to you in as complete a form as I was able.

To read this publication within RSH see HERE.

All research completed using the BritishNewspaperArchive‘s resources.

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