At a time when Edwardian Britain seemed a golden place, basking in its imperial glory, Dr Hawley Harvey Crippen and his wife Belle lived among the suburban villas of North London, renting a house at 39 Hilldrop Crescent. After supper on 31 January 1910, their friends went home and Crippen killed Belle with poison, dismembered her body and buried some of her remains beneath the brick floor of the coal cellar. Crippen never admitted killing his wife and took the secrets of the crime with him when he was hanged, following his conviction for murder. It is assumed that Crippen killed for the love of his mistress, Ethel le Neve. They began living together as man and wife, but under intense suspicion they fled disguised as father and son. The chase - indeed everything about the murder - was reported in fine detail, in Britain, in America and the rest of the western world. Crippen was finally arrested and with Ethel was brought back to England for trial. David James Smith has investigated afresh this celebrated murder case, and his researches have uncovered unexpected and startling information about 'Chamber of Horrors' stalwart Dr Crippen, Belle and Ethel.
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