Ruth Ellis was the last woman hanged in England. She shot her lover David Blakely dead outside a London pub, the crime a tragic consequence of passion, jealousy and abuse.The evidence against her was damning but as a brave young mother of two she inspired massive public sympathy in 1950s Britain and beyond. This book reveals the facts using original witness statements, police exhibits, trial records and correspondence held at The National Archive.


During the sweltering first week of August 1889 a young American named Florence Maybrick was tried in Liverpool for the murder of her English husband. It was a trial that gripped the imagination of Victorian society and created a huge furore on both sides of the Atlantic. The story was a particularly juicy one involving sex, drugs and arsenic poisoning. At the heart of it was Mrs Maybrick herself, a pretty young widow, a foreigner with a colourful background, who had married a respected member of Liverpool’s commercial elite. The case against the Alabama belle was a complicated one but the British Establishment was convinced of her guilt – with tragic results.