Bucks’ most gruesome murders

Buckinghamshire Murder and Crime by Scott Houghton
Buckinghamshire Murder and Crime by Scott Houghton

Covering a range of ghastly and sad murders during the Victorian era from 1837 to 1880, Scott Houghton has written a book, Buckinghamshire Murder and Crime, that examines seven key cases and their eventual outcomes.

During a time when the death penalty was very much in use, two of the murderers featured in the book met their maker in public executions in Aylesbury Market Square while the others were executed outside Aylesbury Gaol.

Scott, who lives in Northern Road, Aylesbury, said: “I’ve harboured an interest in local history and history in general since an early age.

“I visited St Mary’s Church and was fascinated by the fire insurance plates on the houses nearby and the graves, wondering about the people therein.”

He chose the Victorian period for his book because he feels English society has a propensity toward the darkness of that time, most notably due to Jack the Ripper; and before embarking on Buckinghamshire Murder and Crime he had composed a short novella entitled the Aylesbury Ripper.

Speaking of the research needed for his book Scott said: “I expected to find most of it on the internet but this proved a futile exercise.

“I spent many hours in the Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies and contacting local historians. I also used The Bucks Herald as the reporting of the inquests and trials was exceptional.”

The seven men in the book committed their crimes in villages throughout the county, and Scott feels the most dreadful was John Owen, 38, who initially denied any involvement in the murder of seven people including four members of his own family and his own nieces.

The book is available for £9.99 from www.amazon.co.uk