“Come all you Thoughtless Young men, a Warning Take by Me, And Think on My unhappy Fate to Be Hanged on a Tree; my Name is William Corder, to You I Do declare, I Courted Maria Marten, most Beautiful and Fair.
I Promised I would Marry Her upon a Certain Day, instead of That, I Was resolved to Take her Life away. I Went into her Father’s House the 18th Day of May, Saying, my Dear Maria, we will Fix the Wedding Day.
If You will Meet me At the Red barn, as Sure as I have Life, I Will take You to Ipswich Town, and There make You, my Wife; I Then went Home and Fetched my Gun, my Pickaxe And my Spade, I Went into the Red-barn, and There I Dug her Grave.”
So began a ballad printed in a broadsheet in 1827 detailing the infamous Red Barn Murder. It’s the tale of the killing Maria Marten by William Corden. And this story is a doozy! We are talking Bastard Kids, Cross Dressing, and of course; Murder! But, let’s not forget the ties to Spring-heeled Jack, Mole Spuds. Public Execution, Mole Spuds again because heck yeah, AND, get this, a book bound in the skin of the executed outlining the tale of said execution. Oh, and don’t forget, the ghost of the murdered solved her own case (and that part was even admitted as evidence in court). So hold onto your butts, or at least the skin from said butts, it’s The Red Barn Murder this week on Hysteria 51
Special thanks to this week’s research sources:
Celebrated Trials of All Countries, and Remarkable Cases of Criminal Jurisprudence | John Jay Smith
An Authentic and Faithful History of The Mysterious Murder of Maria Marten, With A Full Development of All The Extraordinary Circumstances Which Led to The Discovery of Her Body in The Red Barn; to Which is Added, The Trial of William Corder | J. Curtis
Weird Suffolk: The Red Barn Murder, Polstead – https://youtu.be/5UMd6PmMK9E
WALKING IN SUFFOLK | POLSTEAD | THE RED BARN MURDER – https://youtu.be/Aw2a3DyR8BI
MARIA MARTEN: The Murder In The Red Barn – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jzAnm2_Csjw
Red Barn Murder Wiki – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Barn_Murder
Crime Reads – https://crimereads.com/the-infamous-deeds-and-postmortem-travels-of-william-corder/
Skeptoid – https://skeptoid.com/episodes/4606
Internet Archive – https://archive.org/details/b20443237/page/n1/mode/2up
St. Edmundsbury – http://www.stedmundsburychronicle.co.uk/rbpeople.htm
The Word on the Street – https://digital.nls.uk/broadsides/view/?id=15013
CBS News – https://www.cbsnews.com/news/48-hours-a-vision-of-murder/
Owlcation – https://owlcation.com/humanities/Murder-in-the-Red-Barn
Piece for Disaffected Piano One by Kevin MacLeod
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