Maurice Morson has reconstructed, in painstaking detail, several of the most shocking and intriguing episodes from Norfolk's criminal history for this gripping study. He recalls the extraordinary case of Richard Nockolds, the violent weaver who revelled in assault, arson and machine-wrecking; the two cut-throats who were hanged for killing Hannah Mansfield; Herbert Bennett, found guilty of strangling his wife with a bootlace; Rosa Kowen who may - or may not - have battered her husband to death; John Stratford who murdered the wrong man; Samuel Yarham, the prosecution witness and real murderer; William Jacobs and Thomas Allen, both convicted of killing policemen; and, perhaps the most infamous case of all, the Burnham Westgate multiple murders. To these cases Maurice Morson has applied his skill as a historical researcher and his forensic experience as a former detective. Each case is closely reviewed, and the evidence is questioned.
He gives a vivid insight into the local background, the personalities of the individuals involved, their relationships, the means by which the crimes were committed, and the workings of the police force and the justice system which often seems, to our modern eyes, clumsy and mistaken. This engrossing new book confirms Maurice Morson's reputation as the leading chronicler of crime in the county.