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

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Join the UK’s leading criminologist Professor David Wilson, author of the fascinating new book Murder At Home as he explores how, for so many victims, their safest space is the place they are most in danger. Delving into infamous as well as lesser-known cases, this examination of how murderers have used different rooms in a house is perfect for fans of The Dark Side of the Mind and The Mind of a Murderer. When it comes to accommodation in Scotland, there's a fantastic choice of amazing stays from luxury hotels to glamping getaways. 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. Discover wonderful wildlife tours to book and experience in Scotland, including bird watching safaris, whale watching, farm tours and much more!

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. 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”. The door and the doorstep become an almost perfect example of when the homely can become uncanny and frightening’ Detailing a mix of infamous and lesser-known cases – amongst them the crimes of Ian Brady (and Myra Hindley), Mary Ann Cotton, Fred and Rose West, and Peter Tobin, and a review of the Clydach Murders – each chapter groups them by the location within the home where significant elements of the crimes took place. Where necessary, there are some graphic crime scene descriptions and insights into the murders as they were committed, though Wilson ensures the victims are front and centre of his analysis and treats them with respect. The subject of dark tourism is also touched upon: murderers fascinate us – perhaps certain types of murderers more so – their psychology and the circumstances surrounding their crimes never failing to mystify and intrigue, but it is always important, specifically when dealing with true crime, to remember that people have tragically lost their lives and the impact still felt by their loved ones to this day. Now you have the opportunity to hear David’s story – from idealistic prison governor straight out of Cambridge University to expert criminologist and emeritus professor. With experiences unlike any other and an unparalleled knowledge of murder, David will discuss his fascinating and compelling study of human nature, delving into infamous as well as lesser-known true crime cases in an attempt to make sense out of the senseless.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. 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. 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.

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. Murder at Home explores different cases where people have been killed in the home. The book is structured a bit like a walkthrough of a house, each chapter focuses on a different space such as doorstep and bedroom. In exploring the cases, David also shows the significance of the location of the murder and what this can tell you about the situation and the perpetrator. Similarly, an act of murder in a living room can be “part of a process of showing the private self to the outside world”. The location of a murder may, according to Wilson’s methodology, help to determine the culprit. Issues of dominance and control particularly express themselves when bodies are buried in gardens or within the fabric of the house itself, and the state of the crime scene can suggest a great deal about the interplay between a killer’s conflicting desires to evade justice and yet be recognised as the author of their crimes.David Wilson assigns each room its own chapter and then talks the reader through accounts of killings that have happened there. Some of these are familiar; eg the death of Jill Dando is covered in the chapter on doors/the doorstep, as well as the murder of Edward Evans in the living room at 16 Wardle Brook Avenue, and the murders committed by John Reginald Halliday Christie in the kitchen at 10 Rillington Place. 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. These adverts enable local businesses to get in front of their target audience – the local community.

Like all books on the more morbid end of the true crime spectrum, the case studies (which include Reg Christie, Fred and Rose West and Ian Brady) are profoundly horrifying and depressing. But they do provide insight into the psychologies of their subjects from the perspective of an expert of 40 years’ standing, twinned with a genuine desire to understand what the concept of “home” represents to us, and how violent death can both shatter it and expose the hidden, implicit meanings beneath the surface. Post moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. 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. 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.I was anxious to read this, the title alone is enough to put you off! We all think of our homes as a safe place…. This book disputes that! 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.

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