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Case against Dr Buck Ruxton, Lancaster, Moffat and Manchester (1935)

Case File [Ref. GUAFM/2A/25] contains notebooks, correspondence, anatomical reports, witness reports, extracts from Ruxton's diary, photographs, and lantern slides.

Dr Buck Ruxton was charged with the murder of his wife and housemaid in Lancaster, England. Ruxton dismembered their bodies and disposed their body parts in and around the town of Moffat, Dumriesshire. Ruxton was arrested tried in the Manchester High Court. He was found guilty and hanged at Manchester on 12th May 1936.

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1. The police search for evidence in Moffat
[Ref: GUA FM/2A/25/109]

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2. Detectives arrive in Moffat
[Ref: GUA FM/2A/25/114]

l-r Supt. Adam Maclaren, Glasgow; Chief Constable W. Black, Dumfriesshire; Assistant Chief Constable Warnock, Glasgow; Chief Constable A.N. Keith, Lanarkshire; Det.-Lieut. Hammond, finger print expert, Glasgow, and Det.-Lieut. Ewing, Glasgow.

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3. DL Hammond at work with his Camera
[Ref: GUA FM/2A/25/274]

In December 1931, Percy Sillitoe was appointed Chief Constable of Glasgow. Under Sillitoe's direction, Sergeant Bertie Hammond was placed in charge of the finger-print section of Glasgow CID. The finger-print laboratory also undertook work in photography and ballistics. Hammond drew on his expertise in fingerprints and photography in the Ruxton Case. He took photographs in the ravine (Gardenholme Linn) in Moffat where remains had been found. Later Hammond photographed the ridges on the underlying skin of the thumb (Body No. 2). This image of the incomplete thumbprint was detailed enough however had sixteen points of similarity of prints found in Dr Buck Ruxton's house. Numerous other photographs were taken of the body parts by Detective Constable Thomas S. Stobie and other members of the Edinburgh Police Force in the University of Edinburgh's Forensic Medicine Laboratory.


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4. Photograph entitled 'Flag to show area at which portion (obsc) from Linn. River Annan
shown. Note portion re possible flooding'
[Ref: GUA FM/2A/25/73]


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5. John Glaister Junior's notebook entitled 'Moffat Case'.
[Ref: GUA FM/2A/25/1]

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6. The human remains were taken to the University of Edinburgh and a underwent a post mortem examination. This book contains Glaister notes taken during the examination, and lists samples of hairs, fibres etc. which were taken for laboratory examination. [Ref: GUA FM/2A/25/1]

More information about hairs and fibres

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7. Examination of productions for use in the trial
[Ref: GUA FM/2A/25/45]

Evidence/productions are collected for the trial of the accused, Dr Buck Ruxton. This photograph shows numerous labelled productions which underwent stringent laboratory tests at the University of Glasgow, and were then submitted in court as formal pieces of evidence; they include a bath and a photographic portrait of Ruxton's wife.

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8. Scrapbook of cuttings related to the case
[Ref: GUA FM/2A/25/297]

Dr Buck Ruxton was tried and found guilty of murder and sentenced to hang. This is one of the numerous press cuttings relating to the Ruxton case collected by John Glaister.

Associated material:

Royal College of Physicians, Edinburgh
Sydney A. Smith Collection, Subject Files - Cases (A-Z) Ruxton, Buck (1935-1936), Ref. 12/111-25/185.

Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections and Archives
Collection of Photographs relating to Rex v. Ruxton, 1935, Ref. GB)237 E91.13.


Blundell, R.H. & Haswell Wilson, G. (eds.) (1937) Trial of Buck Ruxton (London: W. Hodge).
Blundell, R.H. & Haswell Wilson, G. (eds.) (1950) Trial of Buck Ruxton (London: W. Hodge).
Glaister, J. Jnr. & Brash, J.C. (1937) Medico-Legal Aspects of the Ruxton Case (Edinburgh: Livingstone).
Hardwick, M. (1961) Doctors on Trial (London: H. Jenkins).
Hodge, J.H. (ed.) (1994) Famous Trials 3 (Harmondsworth: Penguin).
Muriel, St Clair, J.(1962) Doctors of Murder (London: J. Long).
Potter, T.F. (1984) The Deadly Dr Ruxton: How They Caught A Lancashire Double Killer (Preston: Carnegie)
Wilton, G.W. (1957) Fingerprints: Scotland Yard: Ruxton Trial Revelations (North Berwick: N.S.?) .

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