A close and personal look into the lives of murderers and the murdered in the city of Hamilton Ontario, Canada. The stories were inspired by the destruction of the old Hamilton City Jail. The sad story of an Irish renegade and his common law wife. The much maligned butcher of Hamilton. Ben Parrett's tragic demise and the frantic murder of his taunting mother. A cheating barefaced liar plies his wit and tries to out manoeuvre a cunning policeman. A man who swore his innocence to the very end. The hapless slaughter of a beautiful woman and the ensuing insanity that rocked the world. A madman kills then runs amok in the city jail.

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Excerpt from Blood in the Streets - Murders in the City of Hamilton

“Let me in you old bastard,” he bellowed at the top of his voice. He then ran into the barn and returned with an axe in his hand. With great vigour and rage he commenced to smash the door with the axe. Suddenly he realized Bridget had made her escape via the front door. With the speed of the devil himself Ben rushed around the side of the house, in time to see the old lady fleeing from the front.

Because of his youth, strength and agility he caught her as she reached the opposite sidewalk. Bridget turned to face her foe, but with an almighty blow that practically severed her arm she was knocked to the ground. She fell and lay on her uninjured side moaning and bleeding.

Ben bellowed something quite unrepeatable and buried the axe in the old lady’s head. He withdrew it and struck her again and yet a third time. He stopped petrified by the sight of her brains oozing from the gaping hole in her head. He visibly trembled as he stood looking at the stricken woman.

Suddenly Ben fled from the scene and ran into his barn. There he dropped the bloodstained weapon. For a moment he ran in circles not knowing what to do, or where to go. Then he spotted Robert Richardson the coloured neighbour, of 25 Nightingale Street and with a short exchange of words fled into Nightingale Street running in the direction of Ashley Street.

Three witnesses had clearly seen the attack. One, Mr. Walter Jackson of nine Ashley Street, a salesman from Riddell’s Tinsmith shop. The second whiteness was little Willie Burgess and the third Mr. John Dorman a teamster.

Walter Jackson ran to Taylor’s store to phone the police. Upon returning to the scene of the crime, John Doorman, the teamster placed a bag over the victim.

“She’s dead,” he exclaimed.

Allen MacDonald a well-dressed passer-by came over, he suggested they remove the body from the street. A heated discussion commenced as more and more people came to view the old lady lying on the cold ground.

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Blood in the Streets - Murders in the City of Hamilton by Wentworth M Johnson

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