John Haigh essays

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John Haigh essays

Murder is usually a very gruesome subject. However, it is also a very interesting subject, especially in the case of John Haigh who managed to evade the criminal justice system for many years on end. Although he was a murderer he was also one of the greatest criminal masterminds of all time.
Haigh entered this world on the twenty fourth of July 1909. He was born into a religious family and grew up a content child. Everyone who knew him said he would grow up to be a perfect gentleman. However, as Haigh began to grow up he joined a gang of youths and appeared in court on several occasions. Finally, in 1934 he was sent to prison for theft.
Being a man of optimism, Haigh viewed prison as a "temporary setback," and vowed to gain knowledge during his time there that would be useful to him when his sentence ended. To fulfil his vow, he read many books and in one book came across a particular passage that intrigued him. The Passage was entitled "Corpus Delicti" and Haigh convinced himself, after reading the passage several times that murder could not be proved without a body. During the long months he spent in prison, he became positively obsessed with murder. Whilst in prison, he worked in the tin factory and obtained sulphuric acid from his workstation. He did this to test his theory on destroying an animal bone structure. Haigh believed that if he could entirely dissolve an animal bone structure there would be no body and therefore he could not be found guilty of murder. His unfortunate "volunteers" were the mice he caught in his cell. Sadly for five unsuspecting people he found his theory to be correct.
When Haigh was released from prison, he had not lost his appetite for murder, quite the contrary. He immediately began demonstrating psychopathic behaviour. He came upon his fist victim by pure luck. He was William McSwan, a childhood friend of Haigh's who had the misfortune of meeting Haigh in a …