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The Mulbuie Murderer

The Mulbuie Murderer by John Adam

john adamOn Friday 16 October 1835, the inhabitants of Inverness, the capital of the Scottish Highlands, witnessed their last public hanging.  The man on the gallows was John Adam – The Mulbuie Murderer.  But who was John Adam?  Who did he murder and what was his motive?

Contemporaneous reports claimed:
… a more deliberate deed of atrocity perhaps has not been perpetrated in Scotland since the days of Burke and Hare;

… few murders have ever been committed under circumstances of more cold-blooded determination and cruelty.

Of John’s guilt there was little doubt – although the evidence was purely circumstantial.  But the discovery of the victim’s body, the post-mortem, the trial, the execution and its revealing aftermath are riddled with ineptitude, confusion and bizarre practices—such as the medieval interrogation known as the ordeal of the bier, the medical science of phrenology and the legal procedure of

It is for those associated features, not just the barbaric offence itself, that the Mulbuie murder has enduring fame and notoriety, on which this book throws much new light.  The storyline itself is relatively simple – a classic deceitful love triangle.  But how did John Adam’s bones become lost?  What happened to his lover?  Where does his victim’s body lie at rest?  And why did the Lord Advocate decree that her heirs should pay for John Adam’s defence?
Dr Graham Clark graduated from Edinburgh University and followed a career in scientific research and educational management in Further and Higher Education.  In retirement he lives on the Black Isle where he researches aspects of the local history and is an active participant in various archaeological and historical projects.  He also indulges his interest in walking, golf and the development of the University of the Third Age (U3A) across Scotland.


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