Kill Dates 1840 – 1856
At the age of 17 Palmer had been sacked for stealing while working as an apprentice with a pharmacist, his life of crime had begun. He was later to be sacked again, after it was discovered that he was operating an illegal abortion clinic.
He carried on with his fascination for medicine, and eventually qualified as a doctor at St. Bartholemews hospital, London. Setting up practice as a GP in his native Staffordshire he married, and soon had a child from one of the servants. His married suffered through this, as well as gambling and drink, his practice also started to suffer. As Palmers debts, mainly through horse racing, increased, members of his family started to decrease. First to die was his mother-in-law, then his wife, who had been insured for Ł13,000 his brothers demise followed. Four of his children also mysteriously died, along with several of his known creditors.
Palmer finally came unstuck after killing a friend he had gone racing with, the mans wealthy family demanded an autopsy. Poison was found and Palmer was duly accused of murder. He was found guilty, and on 14th June 1856 he was hanged at Stafford jail in front of an audience of more than 50,000 onlookers.