When two young bank clerks boarded a late night London train and stepped into an opulent first class carriage, they found that a gentleman had left his hat and walking cane in there. The young men thought little of this until they sat down and one of them found that his seat was damp. Removing his hand, he found it covered in blood. But not even the young clerks could have known that this horrible portent was to signal a nationwide search for a killer, a national news obsession and even a transatlantic man-hunt. It was 1864 – the golden age of the railway – and an incident like this was just not supposed to happen.
In this gem of a historical find, Colquhoun tells a story of an investigation that, in itself, careers off the tracks as we follow an assumed assailant across the water to America. But it is at the trial – reminiscent of Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood – that the issues of the age are brought into play. Will the clouds of prejudice and hysteria win the day? Or will justice finally prevail?
Come along for an great evening of intrigue with an award-winning historian and author.