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Foul Deeds summary

Foul Deeds book

Foul Deeds and Suspicious Deaths in Barking, Dagenham and Chadwell Heath
by Linda Rhodes & Kathryn Abnett

This book takes the reader on a sinister journey through centuries of local crime and conspiracy, meeting villains of all sorts along the way, even a Nazi collaborator sentenced to death for High Treason. Fatal accidents and suicides are also described, as well as the Great Storm of 1863 and the sinking of the pleasure steamer the Princess Alice in the Thames off Creekmouth in 1878.

The book is published by Wharncliffe, the local history arm of Pen & Sword Books, rrp 12.99. Click here to purchase it on Amazon.

Click here to purchase the book direct from the publisher.

To book a talk on a selection of incidents from the book, please click here.


Billy Bragg, the Bard of Barking: "This book is full of gothick horror: grave-diggers are buried alive; fleets of ships set out never to be seen again; poisoners appear out of misty marshlands. The authors have done a magnificent job in bringing to life the stories that shocked and intrigued earlier residents of our borough".

British Association for Local History:
"It is rare to find a book that so well delivers what its cover and title promise, but in
Foul Deeds and Suspicious Deaths in Barking, Dagenham & Chadwell Heath there is such a one. The authors have produced an entertaining, well-researched and factual account of some of the darker and more sinister events that have occurred in their area...The authors treat these stories with sensitivity and, where appropriate, gentle humour. Some of the episodes are very moving and in these the authors show respect for the victims, but in stories of evil deeds and evil people they offer little sympathy though managing to maintain their objectivity. Even when it would have been easy to sensationalise some of the incidents, that trap is avoided. This is an absorbing volume of chilling and dark tales which cannot fail to provoke a reaction in the reader. We run a gamut of emotions from outrage and horror from the deeds committed by murderers, robbers and highwaymen, to deep sorrow at the tragic loss of life suffered by exploited fishermen, pleasure cruiser revellers and suicides. This book is a must for anyone interested in the history of crime...It should also appeal to those interested in the darker aspects of our past. Although the book is primarily limited to one area it will attract a wider audience. It is well written, and the information is offered in an easily accessible format, and reasonable price".
(extracts from a review by Dawn Tivey. For the full review, please click

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Links to details of our other books:

The Dagenham Murder: the brutal killing of PC George Clark, 1846
The Romford Outrage: the murder of Inspector Thomas Simmons, 1885

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