A Serial Killer Helps Abolish the Death Penalty

March 20, 1953. A middle-aged man named John Christie packs up a suitcase and leaves his apartment in Notting Hill, London. No one knows where he’s gone. But a few days later, people realize why he left… a new tenant makes an unsettling discovery: bodies, hidden in the walls of the kitchen. Today: the case of serial killer John Christie. Why, decades later, are parts of his story still a mystery? And how did that very mystery play into a big change in the UK – the abolition of the death penalty? 

Thank you to our guests: Professor Kate Winkler Dawson, author of the book Death in the Air and the forthcoming book All That is Wicked. Jonathan Oates, author of the book John Christie of Rillington Place: Biography of a Serial Killer. And Sir Julian Knowles, author of The Abolition of the Death Penalty in the United Kingdom; How it Happened and Why it Still Matters. 

See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

2356 232

Suggested Podcasts


Bootstrapped Web

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons


The Hollywood Reporter

Coffee Break Languages

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution