John George Haigh: The Acid Bath Murderer

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  • 24th July 1909
    Haigh is born in Stamford, Lincolnshire.
  • 6th July 1934
    Marries Betty Hamer
    The marriage soon falls apart as Haigh is imprisoned while she is pregnant
  • 6th July 1934
    Marries Beatrice Hammer
    Haigh marries the 21 year old Hammer despite them not really knowing each other. She has been impressed by his surface charm and manners but soon comes to realise his superficial nature and criminal tendencies - and will divorce him shortly after his first conviction later in 1934.
  • November 1934
    First conviction
    Haigh is sentenced to fifteen months at Leeds Assizes for forging vehicle documents. Already well versed in minor frauds, Haigh was on the path that would eventually lead him to murder for money.
  • 1936
    Moves to London
  • November 1937
    Receives 4 year sentence
    Haigh is found guilty of fraud at Surrey assizes and sentenced to four years imprisonment.
  • 1940
  • August 1940
    Jailed again
    Haigh has been free from prison for a few short months when he is once again caught and convicted - this time for stealing. He is sentenced to 21 months.
  • 6th September 1944
    79 Gloucester Road
    Site where Haigh murdered members of the McSwan family between 6th September 1944 and 2nd July 1945. During one spell of gainful employment between incarcerations, Haigh had found himself in the employ of William McSwan - a well-to-do fairground owner. Haigh had got on well in this position and...
    79 Gloucester Road: in depth
  • November 1944
    Haigh is involved in a car crash
    Haigh suffers a wound to head which bleeds into his mouth. He will later refer to this as the 'catalyst' for his interest in vampirism.
  • 12th February 1948
    Archibald and Rose Henderson
    Haigh happened across Archibald and Rose Henderson just as they were selling their house. While not as wealthy as the McSwan's, Haigh decided to cultivate their friendship as a precursor to his ultimate plan to dispose of them and claim their property as his own.At first posing as an interested buye...
    Archibald and Rose Henderson: in depth
  • 12th February 1948
    2 Leopold Road, Crawley
    Despite the money he acquired following his murders of the McSwan family and a series of frauds he committed afterwards, Haigh soon found he needed more money to fund his lifestyle and knew he would have to find new victims. Having moved his murderous equipment to Crawley, he began his sinister sear...
    2 Leopold Road, Crawley: in depth
  • 1st April 1949
    First hearing
    E. G. Robey openes the prosecution's case at Sussex magistrates. Haigh is relaxed and confident, making light banter throughout the proceedings as if unaware of the magnitude of what he might be facing. To many, Haigh appears as the perfect embodiment of sociopath - incapable of relating his acts to normal human emotions.

    However, many also suspect that Haigh is effectively faking. He has already discussed what happens to people who are determined to be insane and learnt that they are often spared the noose. It is at this stage, and under these circumstances that he first begins to claim to have had suffered nightmares about human blood and vampirism.
  • 18th July 1949
    Haigh was tried at Lewes Assizes. He pleaded guilty on the grounds of insanity, but the judge directed the jury to disregard this as Haigh had acted "with malice aforethought."
  • 19th July 1949
    Found guilty
    After 17 minutes of deliberation, the jury return a verdict of guilty. The judge sentenced him to death.
  • 10th August 1949
    Hanged at Wandsworth prison

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