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The Macabre Tale of John Horwood: A True Crime Podcast


It’s a tale as old as time. Boy grows up beside girl. Boy falls for girl. Boy shoots his shot. Girl rejects boy. Boy unleashes a campaign of harassment, including death threats, against the girl. As such the 200 year old tale of Eliza Bolsom’s death in 1821, shows how stalking, harassment and violence has always been interlinked.

This podcast, from BBC Radio Bristol, takes us through the set up, the violence, the death and the subsequent trial. And just to keep up with the theme of the exhaustingly dull and unimaginatively repetitive way that stalking and harassment plays out there is even a historian interviewed to tell you that he didn’t think John, who had been recorded threatening Eliza’s life, actually meant to hurt Eliza he probably just wanted to scare her.

However, curious comparisons about the eternal nature of patriarchal assumptions in attitudes towards crime is not the purpose, or the climax of the podcast. Indeed, what makes this case worthy of this fun size podcast is what the doctor who tried to save Eliza’s life did with John Horwood’s body afterwards. In order not to spoil what will either be a shock or a surprise to you I shall currently keep that information to myself, however it is highly indicative of a culture which was far less squeamish than our own.

For more historical true crime podcasts check out…

Bad Bridget

Lady Killers

Criminal Broads

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