The Bill o’Jack’s Murders: The Multiple Retellings of a Mystery

In the 190 years since the Bill o’Jack’s murders, there have been numerous books, articles, poems and plays published on the story. Some are creative, some are more academic. Do any of them shed any light on what might have happened?

Read More The Bill o’Jack’s Murders: The Multiple Retellings of a Mystery

The Bill o’Jack’s Murders: The Scene of the Crime

When Thomas and William Bradbury were discovered on 3 April 1832, the scene was horrific, as were their injuries. Both of these were described in gruesome detail at the inquest and in the newspapers. Do these descriptions give us any clues about what happened in the Bill o’Jack’s murders?

Read More The Bill o’Jack’s Murders: The Scene of the Crime

The Bill o’Jack’s Murders: Suspicion Falls on Reuben Platt

By the end of April 1832, it was still not known who had murdered Thomas and William Bradbury at Bill o’Jack’s. The main problem was that there was no way to identify a suspect. The only direct evidence against anyone was the mumbled words of William Bradbury as he lay dying. It was not even certain what he said. But this did not stop suspicion from falling, if we can believe the words of Joseph Bradbury in Saddleworth Sketches, upon Reuben Platt…

Read More The Bill o’Jack’s Murders: Suspicion Falls on Reuben Platt

The Bill o’Jack’s Murders: The Red Bradburys

As the people who had been detained on suspicion of murdering William and Thomas Bradbury were gradually released, it seemed that the culprits would never be found. But then two new suspects emerged – a father and son who it was claimed had a strong motive for silencing Thomas Bradbury. For years afterwards, the family were believed to be involved. But was there actually any evidence against the “Red Bradburys”?

Read More The Bill o’Jack’s Murders: The Red Bradburys

The Bill o’Jack’s Murders: The Tales of Thomas Smith, Ammon Platt and Joseph Bradbury

Apart from the three journalists who covered the story for the newspapers, we have two other accounts of what happened in the hours after the discovery at Bill o’Jack’s. But the major source for many who wrote about the murders afterwards was a book called Saddleworth Sketches. And its author, the mysterious Joseph Bradbury, did not always tell the truth…

Read More The Bill o’Jack’s Murders: The Tales of Thomas Smith, Ammon Platt and Joseph Bradbury