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William Brodie
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    (September 28, 1741-October 1, 1788)
    Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
    Cabinet maker, president of a trading guild and city councilor by day
    Housebreaker and thief by night
    One of his jobs as a cabinet maker was installing and repairing locks, giving him plenty of opportunity to copy keys of places he would later rob.
    He turned to crime partly for the thrill of it, partly to support his gambling habit, including betting on card games and cockfights.
    He also had to support two mistresses and five children fathered out of wedlock.
    When members of his gang were arrested, he tried to flee to America, but was caught in Holland and returned to Scotland.
    He was so respectable that when one victim woke up during a burglary and saw him, she refused to believe her eyes and never went to the police.
    He and an accomplice were hanged in front of a crowd of 40,000 people.
    He is the namesake for a couple of Scottish pubs.
    His 'dual nature' fascinated Robert Louis Stevenson, eventually inspiring the creation of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Credit: C. Fishel

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