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The Body on the Moors

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  • The Body on the Moors

    Another Moors Mystery;

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/resources/...b-c4fccd53dd24

  • #2
    Originally posted by Joshua Rogan View Post
    Actually fascinating mystery here. One minor point - in the section trying to link the death to recent cases of interest (Brady and Hinkley and the Moor Murders, the 1949 plane crash, the avalance), there was a reference to an unsolved murder of a father and son in the early 1800s. In my copy of Guy B. H. Logan's "Guilty or Not Guilty?" (London: Duffield, 1930), there is a chapter on this case: Chapter X, "The Bill-o-Jack's" Murder". Bill-o-Jack was the name of a wayside inn on the road between Greenfield and Holmfirth in Yorkshire, run by William Bradbury (whose father Jack Brackbury founded the inn years earlier) and his son Tom. The two were found murdered by William's granddaughter Mary on April 3, 1832 (they were last seen alive the previous day). Tom had seriously injured his leg falling down a gully while getting provisions, and was in no condition to defend himself and his father. They were bludgeoned to death. probably by an instrument like a hoe. The inn was plundered of money and other items of an unknown nature. It was assumed that more than one person was involved, William was still barely alive when found and managed to only say the word "Pats", or somethng that sounded like that to the doctor who was brought in, named Higginbottom (it was later suspected he may have meant a local named "Platt" who was suspected). A local alcoholic ruffian named Red James Bradbury had been arrested for poaching on the land owned by the two victims, and had boasted that Tom (who witnessed the poaching) would not live to appear against him. As a result he was arrested for the double murder with his son Joe. But the evidence was weak. Moreover Reuben Platt (the local whose name sounded like the weak "Pats" heard by the doctor) said he saw some Irish laborers seeking instruction to go on a route to Holmfirth passed the inn the night before - and there were such laborers in a nearby field. The result was that James and Joe Bradbury were acquitted. But public opinion condemned them anyway. The younger man left the district and Red James remained with his wife and children, but acted very circumspect from then on - including giving up drinking. Saddleworth Churchyard is where the two murder victims were buried together, and it has a memorable poem carved on the tombstone regarding the killings. Logan says he visited the area of the murders and the grave in 1899.

    Jeff

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    • #3


      "His head was uphill and his legs were straight downhill - perfectly straight. His arms were across his chest.


      Does this sound to anyone like strychnine poisoning?

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      • #4
        Where were the convulsions?

        Did someone else arrange his body afterwards to appear as if he had just lain down to nap? If so, was this an "assisted suicide"?

        Yet, the man had no "life-threatening illness" according to the autopsy reports.

        Is it a case of espionage or terrorism? How and why?

        Fascinating story-- thanks for the link.
        Pat D. https://forum.casebook.org/core/imag...rt/reading.gif
        ---------------
        Von Konigswald: Jack the Ripper plays shuffleboard. -- Happy Birthday, Wanda June by Kurt Vonnegut, c.1970.
        ---------------

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        • #5
          A strange one for sure.
          G U T

          There are two ways to be fooled, one is to believe what isn't true, the other is to refuse to believe that which is true.

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          • #6
            Very odd. It reminds me a bit of the Talman Shud case, doesn't it, Gut, in which a man, never identified, was found lying on a beach as if asleep, in 1948. He was believed to have died from some form of poisoning, like this man, and like him, there were no identification pointers on the body, at all, no wallet, papers, clothing labels, nothing.

            Sometimes people just want to go somewhere peaceful to die, though I have to say that strychnine poisoning, though speedy, would be quite unpleasant, and you'd think the body would be twisted and the facial expression tortured.

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            • #7
              If not for the strychnine mystery I'd have guessed the man's aim was to lie down and let exposure to the elements do for him, given his unsuitable clothing and the unheeded warning about not getting back from the mountain in daylight. Could he have taken the poison when his body was already too cold and weak to respond to it in a way one might expect?

              The return train ticket reminds me of poor Monty Druitt. Was it in case he couldn't go through with it? And was the strychnine for when he couldn't bear the cold any longer? Did the old leg injury give him intolerable pain?

              What a sad story.

              Love,

              Caz
              X
              Last edited by caz; 06-08-2016, 03:07 AM.
              "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


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              • #8
                Originally posted by Rosella View Post
                Very odd. It reminds me a bit of the Talman Shud case, doesn't it, Gut, in which a man, never identified, was found lying on a beach as if asleep, in 1948. He was believed to have died from some form of poisoning, like this man, and like him, there were no identification pointers on the body, at all, no wallet, papers, clothing labels, nothing.

                Sometimes people just want to go somewhere peaceful to die, though I have to say that strychnine poisoning, though speedy, would be quite unpleasant, and you'd think the body would be twisted and the facial expression tortured.
                It does a bit. (Taman shud, I thought) also a rock band here in Newie, later to become The Sunsets, knew a couple of them. Nothing to do with the case, but first time the names jelled, Taman Shud means Ended or similar in some language, Egyptian maybe?
                G U T

                There are two ways to be fooled, one is to believe what isn't true, the other is to refuse to believe that which is true.

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                • #9
                  Yes, that was the first case that came to mind for me too; I wonder if they checked his coat for secret pockets? (If I recall correctly, the Persian words Tamam Shud were found on a piece of paper sewn into the coat lining of that body).

                  With regard to strychnine poisoning. I understand that it can cause severe muscle spasms and contractions before death, and the more the victim convulses, the more spasms are triggered. But, presumably, it's usually taken inadvertently or unknowingly. So I wonder if, having taken it on purpose and embraced death, it would be possible - using meditation, Jedi mind powers, etc - to remain calm and overcome the pain and the urge to writhe and twitch until the respiratory system shut down completely?

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                  • #10
                    I doubt it, Joshua, unless he was a Vulcan.

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                    • #11
                      I didn't think so, Robert, but what are the alternatives? The autopsy was wrong? His body was arranged after death? It's most perplexing....and also, as Caz says, very sad.

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                      • #12
                        Indeed. I suppose one theory would be that he had arranged to meet someone, who then forced him to drink the poison and straightened out his body while leaving the empty bottle on his person. But that's just bizarre.

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                        • #13
                          My ex husband broke his femur in a motorbike accident before we met, when he was a teenager, and had a pin fitted, which was later removed. I know the leg has given him considerable pain over the years, particularly in damp weather, so I could imagine someone with a worse injury having had enough of it in old age and wanting to end it all without any fuss. If he obtained the strychnine while in Pakistan he must have had his reasons for coming back to England to die alone. I do feel suicide is the most likely explanation. It looks like a lonely and voluntary journey up to the moors on that December day.

                          Love,

                          Caz
                          X
                          "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


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                          • #14
                            Caz, how would someone with such a plate get through the airport machines? Would they bleep, or what?

                            Yes I did wonder if the man drank strychnine having brought the wrong box, and thought he was drinking painkiller or morphine or something. But we still have the problem of why he appeared to be lying so peaceful.

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                            • #15
                              It reminds me of the scene in the film "Little Big Man" in which an elderly Native American is lying on his burial platform, just waiting to die.

                              I wonder if all the wandering around at the train terminal was because "Neil Dovestones" was not yet decided about what he was doing, or was trying to see if anyone was following him, or was passing time aimlessly. He walks into shops and right out again, which seems to me to discount the last one.
                              But, you never know...
                              Pat D. https://forum.casebook.org/core/imag...rt/reading.gif
                              ---------------
                              Von Konigswald: Jack the Ripper plays shuffleboard. -- Happy Birthday, Wanda June by Kurt Vonnegut, c.1970.
                              ---------------

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