Top 10 Crimes That Rocked the UK

Whether it’s the assassination of an eminent public figure, a revenge murder carried out by a spurned lover, or a high profile robbery, the UK has been home to some of the world’s most horrific crimes.  For many, the ghoulish details serve as a talking point for discussions in workplaces up and down the country – but the reality behind each crime is frequently more macabre than any water cooler gossips could imagine.

In fact, for each crime, a group of specialists – whether it’s the police, ambulance or a trauma scene clean up team – carry out a thorough investigation into these offences, whilst trying to deal with the occasionally harrowing aftermath of the incident. With that in mind, read on to explore the top 10 most infamous crimes that rocked the UK and captured the headlines of the day.

Top 10 Crimes That Rocked the UK

10. The Burke and Hare Murders

In 19th century Edinburgh, Burke and Hare found that supplying bodies for the purposes of science was a money-spinning business. Consequently, the pair began to take the lives of prostitutes and the elderly in order to sell their corpses. Once caught, though, Hare testified against Burke in return for immunity, and Burke was hanged in 1829.

9. The Kray Twins

In the 1950s and 60s, the Kray twins, Ronnie and Reggie, were a foreboding presence in old London town. The pair carried out various murders and indulged in a vicious life of criminality. They were both arrested in 1968 and sentenced to life in prison. Ronnie died in 1995 with Reggie following suit in 2000.

8. Great Train Robbery

August 1963 saw a gang of robbers steal £2.6 million in cash from the Royal Mail’s Travelling Post Office train – which is the equivalent of £40 million in today’s money. To this day, a large amount of the stolen money has never been traced.

7. The Moors Murders

Between 1963 and 1965, Ian Brady and his lover, Myra Hindley, murdered five children during a horrific crime spree. Referred to as “the Moors Murders”, the victims were found buried on Saddleworth Moor near Manchester.

6. Ipswich Prostitute Murders

In December 2006, the bodies of five prostitutes were discovered around Ipswich, which led to one of the biggest manhunts in Suffolk Police Department’s history. During the course of the hunt, police scoured around 11,000 hours of CCTV footage. Thanks to DNA evidence, Steve Wright was eventually arrested and charged with the murders.

5. James Bulger’s Murder

Two-year-old James Bulger was murdered by Robert Thompson and Jon Venables in 1993 after the pair dragged him away from his mother and led him across Liverpool. Once they reached an unused railway track, the boys used bricks and sticks to beat the toddler, eventually killing him by dropping a piece of steel railway track on his head.

4. Fred and Rosemary West

In 1994, police began an investigation into Fred and Rosemary West after a claim that Fred West had raped a family member. Subsequent searches of the home found human bones and bodies buried under the floor and in the garden, with two of those bodies actually the couple’s own daughters. In total, the West’s were charged with killing 11 people.

3. Harold Shipman

Shipman was a family doctor who is known to have murdered 218 of his patients. However, some estimate the real number to be closer to 555. Shipman killed his victims – 80% of whom were elderly women – in their own home by injecting them with a lethal dose of diamorphine.

2. Dunblane Massacre

In 1996, Thomas Hamilton walked into a primary school in the Scottish town of Dunblane and opened fire on a gymnasium full of children. He took the lives of 16 kids and their teacher before turning the gun on himself. Interestingly, the tennis superstar Andy Murray was a pupil in of the classes waiting to use the gymnasium before the massacre.

1. Lockerbie

The 21st of December 1988 is a dark day in Scotland’s history as a hidden bomb caused Pan Am flight 103 from London to New York to explode over the small town of Lockerbie. All 259 passengers and crew perished, with Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi later convicted of planting the device.

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