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The Suspicions of Mr Whicher

In June of 1860 three-year-old Saville Kent was found at the bottom of an outdoor privy with his throat slit. The crime horrified all England and led to a national obsession with detection, ironically destroying, in the process, the career of perhaps the greatest detective in Victorian England.

At the time, a detective was a relatively new invention; there were only eight in all of England and rarely were they called out of London, but this crime was so shocking that Scotland Yard sent its best man to investigate, Inspector Jonathan Whicher.  Whicher quickly believed the unbelievable-that someone within the family was responsible for the murder of young boy. Without sufficient evidence or a confession, his case was circumstantial, the accused found not guilty and he returned to London a broken man. Though he would be vindicated five years later, the real legacy of Jonathan Whicher lives on in fiction: the tough, quirky, knowing, and all-seeing detective that we know and love today - from the cryptic Sgt. Cuff in Wilkie Collins

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