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Murder at Home: how our safest space is where we're most in danger

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Spanning over a century and a half of murder, the narrative interrogates how time has impacted these spaces and individual rooms, as the result of changing social attitudes and even technology. In recent times, we have only to open our social media feeds to see inside people’s homes; yet, perhaps, never before has there been such a veneer over those private spaces. Sometimes, the more we can see, the less we are seeing. We truly never know what is happening behind closed doors. The usual suspects are here, of course - Brady and Hindley, Fred and Rose West, Mary Ann Cotton et al, and there's plenty to get your teeth into in this book. Wilson also adds a terrific list of "Further Reading" (including a biography of Ian Brady written by my old RE teacher 😳) for anyone wishing to delve into the subject more deeply. This book isn't just about rooms, however. Wilson also introduces the concept of "whole house murders", or 'annihilations' - which are as horrific as the name suggests. These are murders that usually involve a male setting fire to a property after killing his family and then committing suicide. This chapter was one that really made me angry because so many seemed to be the result of a wounded male ego.

David Wilson is the UK’s leading criminologist and his knowledge of murder is unparalleled. By walking through each part of the house, he explains how each room’s purpose has changed over time, the weapons they contain, and ultimately, how these things combine in murder. The bedroom, now considered an inner sanctum, was once a much more communal space, a fact illustrated by the case of Mary Ann Cotton, who poisoned Joseph Nattrass (very likely her 17th victim) in 1872, under the guise of nursing him through gastric flu. In Wilson’s view, the more public nature of bedrooms in those days, suggests that she, like many bedroom killers, wanted on some level “to be seen”. She was, and witnesses to her treatment of Nattrass ensured she ended up on the gallows.David Wilson is Emeritus Professor of Criminology and the founding Director of the Centre for Applied Criminology at Birmingham City University. Prior to taking up an academic appointment in 1997, David was a prison governor working at a variety of establishments in a number of different roles. Wilson covers a number of cases for each room, some from different eras, and others more contemporary, and all are fascinating in terms of the psychology behind them. It should be mentioned, however, that Wilson goes into great detail about these murders, and this makes for macabre reading. He also introduces a great deal of psychology and current thinking into the mix, and this adds to an already rich concoction. This gripping new title from the author of My Life with Murderers and A Plot to Kill explores the tragic prevalence of domestic murder and how, for so many victims, their own home is the place they are most in danger. The home is the place where murder most commonly occurs. In England and Wales, each year on average 75 per cent of female murder victims and 39 per cent of murdered men are killed at home.

In a career spanning 40 years David Wilson has met all sorts of killers: hitmen, mass, spree and serial killers and those murderers who seem to kill “in 5 minutes of madness”. Sometimes he meets them in a tense interview in a cell; sometimes to share a cup of tea (or something a little stronger); or sometimes just to look them in the eye as he tells them that, yes, they really are a psychopath. How our safest space is where we’re most in danger.A new title from the author of My Life with Murderers and A Plot to Kill, in this book David will be exploring the tragic prevalence of domestic murder by walking the reader through each room of the house, and discussing how, for so many victims, their own home is the place they are most in danger. So much personal and cultural significance has been invested in the idea of the home. And, as the use of various rooms has changed over time, so have those meanings, along with their practical utility and symbolic value to a murderer. The kitchen, once set off from the main house due to its smells and risk of fire, has been transfigured into the domestic hub, and with changes in the role and status of women become a “contested space”. Discover wonderful wildlife tours to book and experience in Scotland, including bird watching safaris, whale watching, farm tours and much more!Professor Wilson appears in the print and broadcast media as a commentator and presenter. His publishing includes Hunting Evil, A History of British Serial Killing, Signs of Murder, A Plot to Kill and his professional memoir, My Life with Murderers, which was shortlisted for the Saltire Prize for Non-Fiction.

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