Square Mile of Murder

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The Square Mile of Murder relates to an area of west-central Glasgow, Scotland. The term was first coined by the Scottish journalist and author Jack House, whose 1961 book of the same name was based on the fact that four of Scotland's most infamous murders were committed within an area of one square mile (3 km2).

The Area[edit]

Locations of the 'Square Mile' murders

The area stretches northwards from Blythswood Hill in the western end of Glasgow city centre to Sauchiehall Street and west towards the Charing Cross area. It is nowadays bisected by the M8 motorway.

The murders and locations[edit]

The four murders were committed between 1857 and 1908.

  1. The case against Madeleine Smith was found to be not proven, that she laced her lover Pierre Emile L'Angelier's cocoa with arsenic (Blythswood Square).
  2. The Sandyford murder case, in which Jessie McPherson was brutally struck forty times with a meat cleaver. Her friend Jessie McLachlan was accused and found guilty of the murder; McLachlan always maintained her innocence, accusing McPherson's employer's elderly father of the murder instead.
  3. The serial killer Dr Edward William Pritchard, known as "The Human Crocodile". His three victims included his wife, whom he poisoned, then had the coffin lid unscrewed so that he could kiss her (Berkeley Street, Sauchiehall Street).
  4. Oscar Slater, who was the subject of a major miscarriage of justice in 1908 (West Princes Street).

Television Adaptation[edit]

House's book was adapted as a six-part television series by the BBC in 1980. The cast included George Baker (as Madeleine Smith's father), Anthony Bate (as Pritchard), Simon Cadell, Neil Connery, Gregor Fisher, Rikki Fulton, John Grieve, James Hazeldine, and Tony Roper.


External links[edit]