It’s all in the kill

Dark Angel seems to have gone down well with the critics. It tells the story of a Victorian serial killer, Mary Ann Cotton, from County Durham who many believe was the worst murderess in UK history.

That got me thinking about crime and murder in general. How times have changed.

In Victorian days, which were safer in England than many would believe, men tended to use violence and force to kill, women tended to be poisoners like Mary Ann Cotton.

Whilst firearms were more available in the UK back then, you were more likely to be bludgeoned with a blunt object or truncheon. Of course the ‘lucky’ people who were bludgeoned would wake up with a very sore head on board one of their Majesty’s Royal Navy vessels having been the victim of the Press Gang.

One volunteer is better than ten pressed men

You don’t really hear of people being bludgeoned anymore. Have we used technology to come up with more efficient ways of killing people? Or do the press & media simply dress killings up with less grizzly language?

The use of the Press Gangs faded out around 1814 when the Napoleonic Wars ended.


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