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…

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The Bill o’Jack’s Murders: The Night Before

While we can be fairly certain of most of the events which followed the discovery of William and Thomas Bradbury at on 3 April, there is much less clarity about what happened the night before. Almost everything we know comes from the evidence of one man, Reuben Platt. He spent maybe a couple of hours with Thomas Bradbury that evening before the two went their separate ways . His description of their encounter with three suspicious men formed the basis of a frenzied hunt for suspects in the following days, and much speculation since.

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