Can you help solve real-life Bucks mysteries?

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A long time before John Nettles and the TV show Midsomer Murders first aired, Buckinghamshire was frequently the focus of the nation’s attention because of its notorious real-life murders.

On Saturday Dr Jonathan Oates will discuss tales from his book Bucks Murders with members of Bucks Genealogical Society.

The 43-year-old archivist for Ealing Council has published 21 books. He was born in Buckinghamshire and decided to unearth the county’s violent past with a book that was published in 2011.

Tales include the brutal slaying of a family of seven in Denham in 1870, an apparent suicide in Chesham which turned out to be murder and the doctor who disappeared in 1933 and whose decomposed corpse was found a year later in Buckinghamshire woods.

During the talk, Dr Oates will focus on the 1881 murder of a butcher’s wife and the 1983 shooting of a farmer – which both remain unsolved.

Dr Oates muses: “There was suspicion against several local residents but no one was ever convicted. I hope to invite a little audience participation.”

When asked what he hopes the audience will get from the talk, the archivist, of Yiewsley in Middlesex, said: “An understanding of two nineteenth century crimes and how police investigation worked – or didn’t – in that period.”

The Bucks Genealogical Society talk takes place on Saturday at Southcourt Community Centre in Prebendal Avenue from 2.30pm.

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