Vile Crimes: The Timaru Poisonings

Vile Crimes: The Timaru Poisonings

by Peter Graham


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A riveting examination of one of New Zealand's most sensational court cases of its day: the 1886 trial of Tom Hall for attempting to murder his wife Kitty by poison, and the murder of his father-in-law, Captain Henry Cain. A portrait of scandal in a newly emerging colonial society.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781877257599
Publisher: Canterbury University Press
Publication date: 11/01/2007
Pages: 164
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Peter Graham spent 30 years in Hong Kong as a Crown Counsel and barrister in private practice. Having returned to New Zealand, he now grows apples, minds a few pigs, reads a lot of history and mulls over the past. This is his first book.

Table of Contents

Preface 9

Acknowledgements 13

1 Astounding News 15

2 The Land Rush 18

3 Rhodes Town 22

4 The Golden Age of the Halls 27

5 The Prosperity of Timaru 32

6 The Widowhood of Emma Ostler 36

7 A Star in the Firmament 41

8 Holy Matrimony 45

9 The Last Legs of Captain Cain 50

10 The Mysterious Illness of Kitty Hall 56

11 Under Arrest 64

12 The Private Life of a Poisoner 69

13 The Bitter Cup 78

14 The Trial of Megrims and Tommy Dodd 86

15 A 'Woman Slandered and Maligned' 91

16 The Exoneration of Margaret Houston 100

17 The Exhumation of Captain Cain 106

18 The Hangman Cheated 123

19 Exiles 130

20 The Model Prisoner 138

21 A 'Respectable and Honoured Life' 143

Appendix The Case Stated 147

Notes 153

Bibliography 156

Index 158

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