John George Haigh - The Acid Bath Murderer


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On the 18 February 1949, 39-year-old John George Haigh had invited 69-year-old Olive Durand-Deacon to his factory in Sussex, which was in fact just a small store room.  He had recently become friendly with her, telling her of his ideas to market cosmetics.

After driving Mrs Durand-Deacon to the factory he shot her dead with his .38 Webley revolver.  He stripped her body of all valuables and put her body into a forty gallon drum.  He then filled it with sulphuric acid which over time destroyed the body to sludge, he would then dump the remaining fragments outside the factory in the dirt.

Haigh then went to the police station and reported that Mrs Durand-Deacon was missing.   Suspicious police discovered that he had a criminal record and investigated him and visited his factory.

Inside the factory they discovered a recently used firearm.  They also found traces of blood and fragments of Mrs Durand-Deacon.  When Haigh was arrested on suspicion of murder he told police that he had killed her but they could not prove murder without a body.  Mrs Durand-Deacon's dentist identified a denture found at the factory which had survived the acid as belonging to her.

Haigh admitted to killing eight people, all of which he disposed of the body by bathing it in acid.  His motive was gain, by collecting the valuables of his victims.

Haigh was tried in July 1949, he was found guilty and executed in Wandsworth Prison on 10 August 1949.



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Modus Operandi - Serial Killers