Square Mile of Murder

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Special Collections
Level 5, The Mitchell Library, North Street, Glasgow G3 7DN
0141 287 2988

Square Mile of Murder

Photograph of Lynedoch Place, Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow c.1900A view of Lynedoch Place at Sauchiehall Street, near Charing Cross, Glasgow c.1900
The Mitchell Library is at the heart of Glasgow's infamous Square Mile of Murder - the site of four notorious crimes that took place during the 19th and early 20th centuries.


Madeleine Smith

The privileged daughter whose torrid love letters were read out in court. Did she murder her lover or was the case found 'not proven' because of her well-to-do background rather than lack of evidence?

Jessie McLachlan

Lucky not be hanged, servant Jessie McLachlan still spent 15 years in Perth Prison for a horrific murder that no-one - except the judge and jury - thought she had committed. And the prime suspect? Never brought to trial for lack of evidence. 

Dr. Edward Pritchard

When Dr.Pritchard's wife and mother-in-law died within a month of each other, an anonymous tip-off alerted the police to the possibility of foul play. Their bodies were exhumed, poison discovered and the philandering Pritchard became the last man to be publicly hanged in Glasgow in front of 100,000 spectators. 

Oscar Slater

Wrongly-identified as the man seen leaving a crime scene, Oscar Slater spent 18 years in prison for a murder he did not commit. Although innocent, he happened to be foreign, Jewish and living with a woman who was not his wife. 


These murders, with the exception of the case of  Dr.Pritchard, remain unsolved. Special Collections at The Mitchell has a number of resources, including newspapers, where you can read about these cases and draw your own conclusions.  ​​​​​

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