The End of Hare the Bodysnatcher

Most people have heard about Burke and Hare the bodysnatchers and murderers, but I aways assumed they were both hanged. Not so! This is from Highways & Byways in The Border:

Ettrick possesses no feature of interest but … in 1818 two harmless-looking hawkers with a cart were wont to call at intervals ostensibly to sell fish. Said their real errand been known it is little fish they would have sold and short would have been their shrift at the hands of he roused and horrified country-folk. They were Burke and Hare the notorious body-snatchers and the real purpose of the cart in which they brought fish was to carry back to Edinburgh the bodies they might procure in the country.

…Hare turned king’s evidence. After the trial and execution of his accomplice he was smuggled away to the United States. There his identity was discovered and an infuriated mob threw him into a limekiln where he was badly burned and his eyesight destroyed. After a time when the rage and error aroused by his misdeeds might to some extent be supposed to have died away he returned to England and as late as 1855 he was alive and in London. A blind, white haired foully ragged old man led by a dog used daily to slouch up Oxford Street, turn at the Circus towards Portland Place, post himself near where the Langham Hotel stands and beg were from charitable passers-by. How may of the word have given had they known that this old man was hair a ruffian stained with the blood of perhaps had a score of victim?

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