Edinburgh Answers


Horatio Cattermole (Doctor)


Garrote Wire



CASE DE-BRIEF (Full Story):

Dominic Francis was a prominent Edinburgh doctor, but secretly a keen anatomist, working on a project to map the entire human body. Due to the lack of cadavers available for his work, the doctor turned to the underworld to find bodies; becoming an associate of Burke and Hare to deliver them, with no questions asked.

It turns out that Doctor Francis was paying Constable Jock McKensie to turn a blind eye to what he was doing. Every Thursday the two would meet around the back of St Giles Cathedral, where they would exchange information, so the Constable could arrest Francis’ competitors, while also being paid off not to pursue him.

Their agreement appeared to work smoothly for a while with the Constable looking good for arresting certain body snatchers, and the doctor almost finishing off his work. But slowly as the position for the head of the Scottish Police became available, Constable McKensie started going against his word arresting everyone, but still taking money from the doctor! Doctor Francis was struggling to complete his work and grew extremely angry. His relationship with the constable broke down quickly; but was still paying him to not get arrested. The final straw was when the Constable arrested Burke and Hare, the doctor’s final duo that were still delivering cadavers.

The doctor was very close to publishing his anatomical work which would have made him world famous; but with no more bodies he could no longer finish his thesis. In an act of vengeance against the arrest of his friends, betraying his trust and anger at not being able to finish his work, the doctor snapped and murdered the Constable.

On that fateful night, the pair met in their usual place behind St Giles Cathedral. Standing in the shadows waiting to collect his money the Constable was gently smoking his pipe. Silently and without hesitation the doctor came up behind him and strangled him with some garrotte wire. Using the nearest thing he found, Doctor Dominic Francis forced Constable Jock McKensies’ body into a whisky barrel. Sitting in a pile, it was not until the barrels where moved up to parliament square did anyone realise one of the empty barrels was heavier than the others.

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