I just returned from Halloween in Edinburgh, an amazing city and one that really seems to relish its darker side. Home of the notorious Scottish grave robbers “Burke and Hare”, ironically it turns out they were neither Scottish nor grave robbers. William Burke was in fact born in Urney, near Strabane and William Hare was from either Newry or Derry. Far from being grave robbers they were in fact serial killers would murder people by suffocating them in a manner that came to be known as "burkeing" then sell the bodies to Dr Robert Knox who dissected the bodies as part of human anatomy lectures
Here’s a bit of background to how grave robbing came about as a practice
William Burke was hung for his part in the murders while William Hare was able to escape after agreeing to tesify against burke.His hanging was a huge spectacle with over 25,000 attending to watch.
Burkes body ironically was then given over to science. Pieces of his skin were tanned and made into a pocket book by students and his skeleton and death mask remain in edinburghs surgeons hall to this day.
You can view Joe Bakers programme here: