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John George Haigh
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Murderer
    (July 24, 1909-August 10, 1949)
    Born in Stamford, England, United Kingdom
    Conman and serial killer
    Killed 6-9 people
    Disposed of victims in vats of sulfuric acid
    Executed by hanging
    He was fired from a job in insurance for stealing from a cash box (1931).
    He served several short terms in jail for fraud, usually for falsely posing as a solicitor.
    He determined how well sulfuric acid would dispose of a body by experimenting with mice.
    He killed his victims, disposed of their bodies in acid, then forged documents that let him sell off their property.
    He kept having to find new victims because he kept blowing his money on gambling.
    When police were investigating the disappearance of his last victim, he told them, 'Mrs. Durand-Deacon no longer exists. I've destroyed her with acid. You can't prove murder without a body.'
    However, Ms. Durand-Deacon's dental plate had not yet dissolved in the acid and was identified by her dentist.
    During his trial, he pleaded insanity and claimed he drank the blood of his victims.
    He had earlier asked a detective, 'What are the chances of anybody being released from Broadmoor [England's hospital for the criminally insane],' so everyone pretty much concluded he was faking insanity.
    Growing up, he was confined behind a 10-foot fence that his religiously conservative parents put up to lock out the outside world.
    He won scholarships to the Queen Elizabeth Grammar School and to Wakefield Cathedral.
    He bequeathed his clothing to Madame Tussaud's wax museum so his statue in the Chamber of Horrors would be properly dressed.
    His case is often used to illustrate that corpus delecti ('body of the crime') does not necessarily require a body in murder cases.

Credit: C. Fishel


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