John George Haigh - 'acid bath murderer'


I will tell you all about it. Mrs Durand-Deacon no longer exists. She has disappeared completely, and no trace of her can ever be found again.... I have destroyed her with acid. You will find the sludge which remains at Leopold Road. Every trace has gone. How can you prove murder if there is no body?

Having taken her into the storeroom at Leopold Road, I shot her in the back of the head. Then I went out to the car and fetched in a drinking-glass and made an incision, I think with a pen-knife, in the side of the throat, and collected a glass of blood ...

Haigh during questioning by police at Chelsea police station, London 26th February 1949 (Bailey G. The Fatal Chance. 1969)






The really interesting thing that emerges from the letters he wrote to his parents is that he rarely addresses the question of his actual crimes. Nor does he write about his hanging. He also exhibits delusions of grandeur - he is proud to read about himself in the papers, for instance. These are typical indicators of psychopathy.

There is also very little evidence he understood the emotional impact of what he had done; it is as if he hears the tone but does not understand the music. Obviously the intense and bigoted upbringing by his parents was important, but it may not explain the whole story. I believe there could also be a mental predisposition at stake here.

The only acknowledgement in the letters of his pending death comes in the very last note, in which Haigh accepts this will be the last time he writes to his parents. Unlike every other letter home, in which he signs himself "Sonnie", in this last document he also signs off as "John George".

Professor Friedrich Loesel, Director of the Institute of Criminology at Cambridge. 2007



Your browser does not support iframes.


Your browser does not support iframes.


Your browser does not support iframes.

the Leopold Road site, Crawley, Sussex


Leopold Road workshop then ...

and now ....


an acid drum at Leopold Road

Simpson examining debris at Leopold Road


Simpson examining debris at Leopold Road

Search site

© 2009 All rights reserved.