I was looking at the site of Diane Kratz, who is an authority on American serial killers, and I realised that my own country, Scotland, also had a few historical uglies of that genre. Two who sprang immediately to mind were Sawney Bean and his family, and Burke and Hare.
Now Sawney Bean was so far back in time that he has assumed near mythological status. People are unsure when he existed, or even if he was real, or just a figment of some story-teller’s imagination, but his story deserves to be retold, albeit briefly. It seems that he was the head of a family of murderers who at some unspecified date in the past haunted the roads somewhere in Galloway, in the South the West of Scotland, grabbing travellers, killing them and eating them. Bean had a wife, and children and in time, grandchildren, who all indulged…
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