Transcribe your podcast

Listener discretion is advised, this episode features discussions of murder, mental health conditions, domestic abuse and forensic examination that may be upsetting. We advise extreme caution for listeners under 13.


The work of a doctor is precise, thorough and methodical, but anyone can make mistakes, and sometimes even the smallest errors have costly consequences. Doctor Buck Ruxton learned this lesson the hard way, but it wasn't a surgery gone wrong or a mistaken prescription he'd have to answer for. It was a full blown double homicide. With his medical knowledge, he disposed of the bodies in the most effective way he could conceive, and he almost made his victims disappear, but not quite.


Somehow, in his rush to rid himself of incriminating evidence, Buck left behind a newspaper and a blouse that told the story of his murders. This is Medical Murders, a Spotify original from podcast. For decades, thousands of medical students have taken the Hippocratic Oath. It boils down to do no harm. But a closer look reveals a phrase much more interesting. I must not play at God. However, some doctors break that oath, choosing to play God with their patients, deciding who lives and who dies each week on medical murders.


We'll investigate those who decided to kill. We'll explore the specifics of how they operate not just on their patients, but within their own minds, examining the psychology and neurology behind heartless medical killers. I'm Alastair Madden and I'm joined by Dr. David Kipper, M.D.. Hello, everyone. I'm Dr. Kipper and happy to be here today to assist Alastair with some medical insight into part two of our story of Dr Buck Ruxton and a groundbreaking moment for the field of forensic medicine.


You can find episodes of medical murders and all other Spotify originals from podcast for free on Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts to stream medical murders for free on Spotify. Just open the app and type medical murders in the search bar. This is our second episode on Dr Buck Ruxton, an Indian doctor who worked in the small north England town of Lancaster in the 1930s. Last time we talked about BUX efforts to establish an opulent life for himself and his family in Imperial England, we also explored how Bach's jealousy and abusive tendencies eventually led him to kill both his common law wife, Isabella, and their housemaid, Mary Rodgerson.


Today, we'll examine BUX attempts to cover up the gruesome double murder and the groundbreaking forensic investigation that led to his arrest. All this and more coming up. Stay with us. On Sunday, September 29, Susan Haynes Johnson walked along the country road and the small Scottish town of Murfitt, she was on holiday with her brother and hoped to time away from her home in Edinburgh with let her clear her head after some time. Susan reached Gardner home. Lynne, where a picturesque stone bridge spanned a shallow ravine.


She stood admiring the beautiful scene and its wildness until she noticed something out of place. Nausea washed over her down below on the stream bank. She saw what seemed to be part of a human body.


Panicked, Susan rushed back to her hotel to find her brother Alfred, and tell him what she'd seen on her walk together, the two returned to garden home. Lynn and Alfred clambered down into the ravine. Moments later, just 10 yards from the bridge on the stream bank, Alfred found protruding from wrappings of newspaper and an old sheet, a human arm. There was only one person who knew who that arm belonged to, and it was the man who had put it there.


But he didn't imagine the severed bits of his victims would be found so soon, two weeks earlier, he'd only just begun his efforts to cover up his crime roughly 100 miles south of Moffitt in the town of Lancaster on Sunday, September 15th.


At six thirty in the morning, Dr Buck Ruxton left his house in a rush the night before he'd slaughtered his wife and his family's house made Mary and he didn't have much time before his neighbors began asking questions.


As his first order of business, he headed to his cleaning lady, Agnes Oxley's home, if she so much has stepped into his residence, she would be able to gather what had happened. Though Agnes didn't come to the door, her husband did. Buck informed the man that Agnes would not be needed at work, as both Mrs. Ruxton and Mary had gone away for a holiday back then turned on his heel and left. He returned to his home at two Doulton square, where he do his own cleaning.


Blood soaked the entire upstairs landing along with the staircase and banisters. Some of the blood had come from what appeared to be an arterial spurt.


An arterial spurt will likely cause projectile blood loss, which seems to be what happened given the state of the crime scene. This would explain why there was so much blood on the carpets, stairways, arteries, much more so than veins are highly pressurized because they carry blood that's pumped directly from the heart. When the heart's left ventricle contracts, it carries oxygenated blood to nourish all of the body's organs and tissues for this oxygen rich blood to circulate throughout the entire body.


The left ventricle must contract very hard, which creates a high amount of pressure. It's then the job of the veins to carry this oxygenated blood back to the lungs where it's supplied with fresh oxygen before returning to the heart. And this is made possible by the contraction of muscles surrounding the veins.


Here's how this works. The blood in the leg veins is pushed upwards towards the lungs by surrounding and contracting muscles of the calves and thighs. Arteries also have thicker and less giving walls than veins, so the pressure needed to pump blood through an artery is naturally higher, if not tended to a separate artery could cause a lethal blood loss and would likely create a significant mess.


It remains unclear why, as a doctor, Buck wouldn't have taken more care not to sever any arteries. But he did. And now he had to act quickly before his three children woke to find the scene of their mother's murder. Buck piled the blood soaked towels, carpets and shirt in the back of the house, soaked them with petrol and attempted to burn the evidence. Unfortunately for Burke, it was raining and too wet for anything to effectively incinerate. The cloth just singed and smoldered.


It was at that point that Buck decided he'd need a new plan, but his thoughts were interrupted by a knock at his door.


Not wanting to arouse suspicions, but walk to the entryway of his house to find the regular paper deliverer, Winifred Roberts standing outside. Winnifred was surprised to see Buc since she typically interacted with the cleaning lady, Agnes Oxly, but Buck recounted the same story he'd supplied Agnes. His wife and Mary had left town on a holiday, so he was greeting any house guests. Pleased Winnifred handed back a stack of newspapers and went on her way. An hour later, delivery girl Margaret Heinsohn also rang at two Doulton square bearing milk.


She, too, had expected his housekeeper, Mrs. Oxly, and was surprised when the doctor himself answered. He told a similar tale to the one he'd shared with Agnes and Winifred. But this time he didn't just say that his wife and Mary had gone to Scotland. He informed her that his children were gone, too.


It was a lazy error in story, but at the time Margaret believed him, left the milk on the table in the hall and headed back towards the streets. But that wasn't the last of Buck's morning visitors. At 11 a.m., Isabella Whiteside arrived for her son Ronald's operation, which had been scheduled for that morning. It wasn't uncommon for Buc to greet his patients at home because he had a surgical room attached to the house where he conducted procedures. Naturally, it wasn't a good day for Bob to be working, and he quickly explained to Mrs.


Whiteside that he was unable to treat her son. He fibbed that he had decorators coming the next morning and there were carpets that needed to be torn up. This part of Buck's story is somewhat true as he was yanking up carpets to dispose of them. Disappointed Mrs. Whiteside rescheduled her son's surgery and left by this point, Buck was tired of answering visitors and probably decided it would be best that the children didn't hear him lying about their mother's whereabouts.


So he piled his three children into his car just before eleven thirty a.m. He drove them to the Anderson residence where his friends, Herbert and Ethel, lived. He asked if they would watch his children. Herbert and Ethel happily agreed, but not before Ethel inquired about Buck's bandaged hand, but assured her he sliced his hand while opening a tin of peaches, but returned to his car and drove back home. Finally, Buck Ruxton was alone in the house with the bodies, at this point, it is believed he drained the corpses of their remaining blood in the upstairs bathroom due to the discoloration later observed in the bath.


He may have done this to make dismemberment a cleaner process. Draining blood from a corpse is no simple task, even by today's standards, so it can be done relatively quickly. Specific medical knowledge can help expedite the process. Typically, the most optimal way to drain a dead body is by severing major veins. When someone dies and their heart muscle stops, arteries are no longer circulating the oxygenated blood. Because of this, the body's blood supply tends to pool in the venous system comprised of our vast network of veins.


As such, mortician's, for example, drained bodies of blood via the jugular, which is a large and easily accessible vein located in the neck. This process takes about 30 minutes to completely drain a human body of blood. However, this surely wasn't a hurried technique employed by Buck. This process of exsanguination or draining a body of blood may have been faster or slower, depending on which and how many veins he chose to sever. It's likely that bulk severed many veins, including the jugular.


Given his race against time. He also had no responsibility when it came to respecting the integrity of the corpse, something morticians take into account, which absolutely slows the process down.


We'll never know for sure how long it took to drain the corpses that afternoon, but we do know that he didn't dispose of them after that. Buck was no fool. He knew that if he dumped the corpses, even a town away there drained bodies would be enough for them to be identified in order to get away with his murders. Buck decided he'd need to dismember them. After all, scattered body parts are much harder to find and identify than intact corpses, yet the choice still required a capacity for the task, something not everyone could stomach.


It's highly possible that his medical expertise came into play when he was severing his victims bodies using a knife or surgical scalpel. Buck cut through the joints to create neat, parcel sized portions of various body parts.


This kind of dismemberment, that Buck Ruxton practice was not as simple as taking a to a body. He had to have known exactly where to cut in order to make these skillfull incisions to cut through joints. With any efficiency, someone would need a good deal of anatomical knowledge.


The joints in the body connect bone to bone, allowing us to move or articulate our appendages and ultimately keep the skeletal system intact. The cartilage connecting the joints is soft and relatively easy to cut through with the right instruments. A sharp knife or surgical scalpel would be ideal tools for this. This process is not necessarily difficult, but it would be hard for the average person to do this with precision. This is because locating the body's joints requires an intuitive understanding of how the human skeleton is constructed.


Someone without a background in surgery would have certainly done a much sloppier job given the efficiency of Buck's corpse dismembering and mutilation, it's clear that he had a considerable familiarity with anatomy.


All told, it was later estimated that the disarticulation of the first body would have taken a skilled practitioner five hours to complete and the second body three hours to complete. Once he severed the bodies, he stuffed the parts into bags using straw as packing material. As far as Buck was concerned, the brunt of the work was over. But after he'd managed to deal with the victims, his house was still in horrible disarray. Bloodstains covered the second floor and stairs despite Buck's attempts to rip up some of the carpeting.


Even worse, Buck's hand had somehow been cut, rendering him unable to clean his mess alone. So he decided to enlist the help of two unsuspecting friends. Coming up, Buck's life thickens in his efforts to hide his crimes. Listeners, this month marks 60 years since John F. Kennedy became the 13th president of the United States, ushering his already prominent family into the highest enclaves of political power. But behind the storied successes lies, secrets and scandals so severe, if it were any other lineage, they would have been left in ruin this January to commemorate this iconic milestone.


Dig in to the dramas of a real life American dynasty in the Spotify original from podcast The Kennedys Crime History Mystery. This exclusive series from Spotify features your favorite podcast hosts, including me, examining one of the world's most formidable families from all angles, whether it's assassinations and conspiracies, corruption and cover ups, international affairs and extramarital ones to discover all of the Kennedy family's most controversial moments. All in one place, you can binge all 12 episodes of this limited series starting on Tuesday, January 19th.


Follow the Kennedys free and exclusively on Spotify. Now back to the story. Dr Buck Ruxton brutally murdered his wife, Isabella, and his housemate Mary Rodgerson in the early hours of September 15th, 1935, and by four o'clock that afternoon, Buck had executed the majority of his cover up. He torn the bloodied carpets off the landing and the stairs. He drained the two bodies of blood in the crawl footed bathtub on the top floor of the house. He'd even dismembered the body parts for inconspicuous transport.


But there was one thing Buck hadn't accounted for when he'd killed his victims at some points between the murders and cleanup, his hand was wounded, rendering him nearly incapable of finishing the cleanup job he'd started.


So he sought the help of his long time working class patient Mary Hamshire and her husband. Both Hampshires trusted him when he told them that his wife and housemate had gone on a trip and were therefore unable to help him prepare for decorator's. They also believed. But when he told them that his hand was bandaged because he'd cut it, opening a tin of peaches. A wound from this type of activity, however, wouldn't likely warrant a hefty bandage. More than that, it wouldn't have inhibited his physical capacity, so much so that he needed to seek assistance from Mary Hamshire and her husband.


It's far more likely that Buck cut his hands some other way, potentially while he was in the process of violently assaulting Isabella and Mary Rodgerson. There are a lot of things that Buck could have done to his hand to render him incapable of cleaning his house alone. It's possible that he cut or severed one of his Pollock's tendons, of which there are, for these tendons, extend from the forearm into the hand and allow humans to oppose their thumbs, which means they enable us to touch our thumbs to the tips of our other fingers.


Injury to any one of these four politicus tendons would have severely compromised Buck's ability to use his hand. He may have also damaged his radio artery, which supplies blood to the thumb side of the hand, or the owner artery, which delivers blood to the pinkie or little side. This would result in immense pain, making it nearly impossible for him to grab or hold anything but could have even damaged one of the three nerves that run through the muscles of the hand.


If he harmed the median nerve, which runs through the middle of the palm, he would have most likely been unable to rotate his wrist and would be unable to oppose his thumbs. Whatever injury he may have sustained. The pain book experience seems far more consistent with a blunt force piercing or cutting a tendon artery or a nerve.


Buck's story about the jaw injury was evidently a lie, but Mary Hamshire and her husband didn't seem to show any skepticism. They readily agreed to help clean his house with the promise of a few shillings.


Entering the Rustan's home, Mary and her husband were surprised by the filthy conditions, the half removed carpeting, mess of loose straw and blood covid floors made her suspect that Buck's wife was hardly a homemaker. Mary felt sorry for Buck, and somehow she never considered that Buck might be at fault for the mess and for sinister reasons.


As far as Mary was concerned, Buck was a trustworthy man. So she helped him clean and left with her husband by the evening, but had even let her take several of his belongings like one of his suits, which was covered in blood, though this wasn't the ideal condition for a piece of clothing, Mary wasn't of the wealthy class. She was simply appreciative of Bach for his kind donation. But charity was the last thing on Buck's mind. He had a long drive ahead of him.


While the precise timeline of actions that followed remains unclear, an extensive investigation produced the following approximation of what unfolded next. Two days following the murder on Tuesday, September 17th, Burke drove the dismembered body parts of his wife and housemaid north to garden home Lynn that way, on the off chance that the remains were found, no one would suspect the victims were from his town, Lancaster.


Once he arrived at the ravine, he exited his car with the bags and is believed to have emptied them over the side of the bridge on his return journey home.


He allegedly heads a cyclist with his car. But it seems Buck made two trips to dump the bodies because on Thursday, September 19th, his housekeeper, Agnes Oxly, observed bank loading things from his room to his car.


After he'd left, Agnes visited the second floor and noticed a peculiar and unpleasant smell in Buck's room, unable to place it.


Agnes told no one.


In the following weeks, the doctor made new efforts to cover his tracks, playing the role of aggrieved husband. On September 24th, he went to the police station and demanded that they find his wife, who had left him for Robert Edmondson. On September 26, he wrote a letter to his sister in law, Jeannie Nelson, stating that Isabella had left him. Then the tone switched. He said Isabella had been gambling that he was getting no end of bills, that she'd robbed him of 30 pounds.


But Buck couldn't stick with that story either. He claims instead that Isabella was helping Mary Rodgerson because the housemaid had apparently found herself in a certain condition. His different theories didn't have Jeannie convinced, especially because Buck acted as though he had no clue where Isabella had gone. In the next letter he wrote to her, he'd even demanded that Jeannie tell him where her sister was. Unfortunately, Jeannie was unable to do this, and she suspected that Buck's erratic tales were hiding something.


Fear set in as GenY confronted the suspicion that her sister had died at her husband's hands. So rather than feed into banks lies, she simply sent him a letter informing him he was not welcome at her home. Just three days after Buck wrote Jeannie, Susan and Alfred Johnson found human body parts on the stream banks of Godinho marlin, it was a gruesome discovery that shocked the town's residents and law enforcement alike. In the days following the discovery of the victims, the Murfitt Police Department scoured the area.


They recovered two heads, three femurs, two forearms with attached hands, two upper arms, a woman's chest, two legs, a third forearm and hand a pelvis and nearly 30 portions of human flesh, each in bundles wrapped with materials like newspaper, a sheet, a pillowcase, a blouse, straw, cotton batting and even a pair of child's rompers tied in place with cotton twine.


But that wasn't all.


A month later, on October 20th, 1935, a road worker found a newspaper bundle containing a left foot on the Edinburgh Carlye Road, nine miles south of Murfitt. On November 4th, a woman found a fourth forearm in hand lying in the grass by the roadside half a mile south of Gordon Hoenlein. In total, over the course of five weeks, 70 pieces of human body parts and tissue were recovered. The gruesome findings were transported to the University of Edinburgh for preservation and reconstruction as investigators attempted to determine who the poor victims were.


But it proved challenging. Many body parts had been completely drained of blood. Both heads had been mutilated to prevent recognition. Ears, eyes, nose, lips, facial skin had been cut out and the teeth removed. Missing body parts included those that could have bone marks of violence and perhaps helped investigators identify cause of death. Multiple departments at the university needed to work in close collaboration to solve the crime, the anatomical team, run by Professor James Brash, included a radiographer and two dental experts who worked to identify the teeth.


Forensic dentistry had been in use for centuries. By the time this 1935 investigation took place, there are a number of ways in which teeth can be used to identify a victim's gender, age and identity. One is the comparison of the victim's teeth to antemortem or Priddis dental records. These records may include X-rays, photographs and other dental charting made during someone's life. Forensic dentists are able to identify victims based on things like dental fillings, oral injuries and other distinct physical markers.


They're even able to make identifications based on dental records taken long before someone died. Based on the movement patterns of their teeth and age and projections. Forensic dentists are also able to analyze and compare bite mark impressions to implicate victims or assailants in certain circumstances.


Naturally, the science has evolved over the years, and today experts employ computer software programs and dentistry databases to aid in their efforts. Dental forensics have proven to be incredibly useful over time, something crime investigators often rely on.


However, there weren't many teeth left, it appeared that the killer had pulled most of them out to prevent forensic dentists from examining them. This led the anatomical team onto the theory that whoever had mutilated and dismembered the bodies had considerable medical and anatomical knowledge. It wasn't the information they'd hoped to find, but it was a lead. Meanwhile, the Moffitt police had launched their own investigation.


Like the forensics team, they collaborated with three other Scottish forces, the Dumfries Constabulary, Glasgow Police Force and the City of Edinburgh police force, each of which contributed its own specialised investigators.


Their first clue was the location where the majority of the remains were found. Dumfries police postulated that the parcels had likely been thrown over the bridge, probably at night by someone familiar with the town, but not with the behaviour of the stream, at least not if they'd hoped that the stream would carry the parcels away. The stream had recently flooded, and locals agreed that on the 17th and 18th of September, the stream had run high and fast, explaining why several body parts were found so far south.


This piece of information gave the team an important timeline. The bodies were most likely disposed of on the 16th, 17th or 18th of September. Meanwhile, of the various newspapers wrapping the body parts, none were dated later than September 15th, which further confirmed the timeline. But there was another clue in the periodicals the murderer had used.


One piece of newsprint came from the Sun graphic with the serial number one thousand sixty seven. It was one of just 3700 copies of a special edition about the Morcom Carnival held on Saturday, September 14th, which had been issued exclusively to a handful of suppliers in Morcom, Lancaster and surrounding areas. The killer, they realized, may not be in Scotland at all, but over 100 miles south where news agents had distributed the TaylorMade paper. The next task for investigators was combing missing persons reports, and they quickly decided to focus on double disappearances.


On October 9th, 10 days after the bodies were discovered, Chief Constable of Dumfries saw an article in the Glasgow Daily Record about the disappearance of a young Lancaster woman named Mary Jane Rodgerson, nanny for the children of Dr. and Mrs. Ruxton in Lancaster.


The chief constable called the Lancaster police and they confirmed Mary Rogerson's disappearance. Following this lead, Scottish police visited the Rodgerson family and presented them with the clothing that had been found with the remains. Mary stepmother immediately recognized the blouse which she had given her stepdaughter after completing a distinctive repair under one arm, a woman named Edith Home with whom Isabella Ruxton and the children had stayed that summer, recognized the child's rompers, which she had bought for one of her own children, but later gave to Mary Rodgerson.


She had fixed the elastic waistband herself and tied it off with a distinctive knot. And between October 10th and 12th, the police got their hands on the bloodstained carpets and stair pads and the blood stained blue suit that Buck had pawned on Mary Hamshire. This new information turned the spotlight on only one person, Dr Buck Ruxton. At this point, Edinburgh detectives knew the rest of the investigation wouldn't be done in Moffett's, where the bodies were found, but in Lancaster, where the prime suspect lived.


So they handed over the case to the Lancaster Borough Police. Coming up, damning evidence brings back Ruxton to justice. Now back to the story. Two weeks after the double murder of Isabella Ruxton and the Rustan's housemate Mary Rodgerson, body parts were found outside the Scottish town of Murfitt less than a month later, in early October 1935, investigators had their prime suspect but Ruxton. But in order to build the case, they had to confirm the identity of the bodies back at the University of Edinburgh, the team of forensic scientists had determined the gender approximate height and approximate age of the two bodies.


The data suggested that they might be the bodies of Isabella Ruxton and Mary Rodgerson, but the natural decay of the remains made it hard to confirm when the deceased human body is left in the wild.


Many factors contribute to its decomposition, like temperature and the moisture in the environment. Decomposition can also be accelerated by the presence of wildlife such as bugs, insects and other carnivorous creatures. The first stage of decomposition starts within about four minutes after death, and it's known as Atlas's. This is where the body starts releasing enzymes. It break down tissues and bacteria within the gut, start to digest the intestines after about a day or two outside. In moderate climates, this tissue decomposition causes the release of chemicals that begin to attract egg laying flies.


Following this, the body goes into its second stage of breaking down a process known as bloat, which usually lasts for about three to five days depending on the climate. During this phase of decomposition, microorganisms continue to digest tissues and start secreting gases within the body, causing the torso, limbs and eventually the head and face to swell and puff up. Eventually, the flesh starts to liquefy in a process known as active decay. This process usually happens a few weeks after death and once completed, teeth, hair, nails and bone are the predominant remnants in this case.


Given the timeline, it's likely that the corpses would have been in the later stages of bloat or possibly early active decay.


Given that they were found on the banks of a ravine in the cool Scottish September, whether their decomposition would have been slightly stunted in comparison to a hotter climate.


However, this outdoor setting would have made the bodies very difficult to identify as the ravages of nature surely had taken a toll despite the difficulty of the task for the prosecution's case to be one, the evidence had to be airtight.


So Professor James Brash, who is leading the forensics team on the case, hit on a new idea.


He arranged to have two photographs of both the missing women delivered to Edinburgh. Then he had the clean skulls photographed in positions matching the positions of the women's heads in the photographs. The principal features of the photographs were traced on transparent paper, then superimposed on the images of the skulls. The match was nearly perfect. Given that the forensics teams didn't have DNA capabilities at the time, their skull matching tactic was actually quite smart, skulls do show genetic variation and these bone differences relate to a person's living physical appearance.


Some points of nuance when looking at skulls in relation to the facial features include the length and width of the overall skull, the size of the brow ridge, the shapes and distance between the orbital cavities or eye sockets, and the structuring and protrusion of the nasal bones which ultimately relate to the appearance of someone's nasal bridge cheekbones. Also show variation as well as a form and protrusion of the lower mandible or jawbone, which relates to the structure of the chin.


In addition, there are skull differences in profiles or side views. There's also obviously great diversity and what an individual's teeth look like. While there are general consistencies among all human skulls, these slight but noticeable points of variation likely made this forensics method somewhat reliable.


Once Mary Rodgerson Skull had been matched to the photos, it was nearly inconceivable that anyone but Buck Ruxton was responsible for her death. One of the final tasks of the forensics team determining the approximate dates of death of the bodies was another step forward for the scientific field, and the approach was certainly bold. Dr. Alexander Means, an entomologist from the University of Edinburgh, investigated the maggots that infested the corpses. He determined that the larvae with those of California for Seener, a common species of blowfly.


Therefore, it was very unlikely that the eggs had been laid more than one or two days after the bodies had been thrown over the bridge at Garden Hamlyn. Upon examining the development stage of the larvae, Dr. Alexander Meens found that it was likely that the bodies had been left in the ravine 12 to 14 days earlier. This timeline corroborated the others. The bodies had been thrown into the ravine from the bridge between the 16th and 19th of September.


Back in Lancaster, ongoing police searches of two Doulton Square revealed more blood that confirmed their suspicions. It was on the banisters, in the curtains, on the stairs, on the walls. Buck's reaction to the investigation is hard to pin down. Beyond the fact that he protested that it was damaging his reputation and his medical practice. But at a certain point, what he thought or felt didn't matter. It was hard to deny the fact when police then found human flesh in the properties drains.


As the police closed in, Buc made another desperate attempt to gain the trust of his wife's sisters. He wrote again to GenY, telling her that he would travel to Edinburgh to see Isabella's other sister, Lizzy. He wanted her to join them in Edinburgh and suggested that Isabella had been in touch with someone in Canada. He postulated that this is where his wife had gone. He also complained of further bills. She'd run up at the dressmaker and once again demanded GenY to tell him where his wife had gone.


He was either delusional or unclear about how to keep his story straight. But Buck followed through on his intention to visit Isabella's sister, Lizzie, in October 1935, while investigators were sealing their case against him, Buck met with Lizzie and surprisingly, Jeimy showed up to the encounter was markedly unpleasant for both sisters in his highly excited state book spoke hysterically about a whole slew of truths and falsehoods.


He talked without stopping for several hours. Beginning at about four thirty pm, Buck mentioned Mary Rogerson's pregnancy, which he invented Isabella's debts and extravagance. Mary Rogerson's boyfriend, Isabella's conviction that she could be a millionaire. Overnight, the various contacts with whom Isabella might be hiding, how she'd taken everything except a leather coat. He also revealed that he follow Isabella when she took a day trip to Scotland with Robert Edmondson and that he thought they were having an affair.


Finally, he left, entreating the sisters on the way out. If anybody comes asking questions, do not answer them. But he couldn't stop the investigation.


On nine thirty PM Saturday, October 12th of 1935, Dr Buck Ruxton responded to a summons to the Lancaster police station. There he was interviewed by the chief constable and several other officers, including some from Scotland. Buck denied that he'd been in Scotland the week of September 15th and couldn't account for the fact that his car had hit a bicyclist in Kendall. He couldn't explain the considerable number of bloodstains on the stairways and landings of two Doulton square. Nor could he explain the human flash discovered in the drains of the house.


The interview lasted through the night. He didn't return home until about five a.m. on Sunday, October 13th. This worked to the advantage of detectives who prepared to sweep Buck's house for fingerprints while Buck was being questioned. Lancaster Detective Lieutenant Hammond found fingerprints all over the house, particularly in the room where Mary Rodgerson had stayed. This confirms that the younger corpse had been in the house, something they hadn't been able to prove before. This evidence was groundbreaking for the case because it was a concrete nod to Mary Rogerson's identity.


It's a well-known fact that all humans have a unique set of fingerprints, and the reason behind this is actually pretty interesting. When we're fetuses developing in the womb, our fingers rub and press against the rich lining of the womb, which is itself physically distinctive. These distinct ridges pressed into the soft fetal skin on our fingers, creating friction and ultimately form the unique indented lines that we know as fingerprints. They're so unique, in fact, that even identical twins have their own identifiable markings.


Fingerprints are also constant over a lifetime, barring skin injury that results in permanent scarring in England. In nineteen thirty five, fingerprint identification was already a well-established form of forensic investigation.


Following the identification of Mary Rogerson's fingerprints and the extensive interview with investigators. The game was up at 720 AM on Sunday, October 13th, Dr Buck Ruxton was arrested and charged with the murder of Mary Rodgerson.


As the investigation continued, Buck Ruxton was remanded once a week because Isabella Rustan's body parts contains no usable fingerprints.


It took a little longer for investigators to determine that the second body was most likely that of Bux Common Law wife.


Still, on November 5th, Buc was charged with her murder, too, during the days of his committal hearing at the Lancaster Magistrates Court between November 26th and December 13th, 1935, townspeople thronged outside the town hall. Nearly 10000 Lancaster residents would eventually sign the petition on Buck Ruxton behalf. Others condemned the man who were eager to hear what would happen to Buck, now deemed the savage Surján by mid-December. The trial date was set on Monday, March 2nd, 1936.


Buc Ruxton trial opened at the Manchester Assizes over the course of 11 days. The prosecutors mounted an impressive case. There were over 200 exhibits, from letters to articles of clothing to the Sun graphic. They also had 18 sets of photographs of the bodies, each set comprising 130 pictures. In addition, the investigation brought forth a slew of people willing to testify. There was a seemingly bottomless stream of housekeepers and cleaning ladies, cooks and maids and professors, pathologists, dental experts, police detectives and garbage men who shared their insights.


All damning Buck. But Buck's lawyers didn't go down without a fight. They tried to disprove the identification of the bodies as those of Isabella Ruxton and Mary Rodgerson, they contended that the blood found on the suit's carpets, banisters, stairs, landings and curtains were all innocent, that they were the result of the doctor's surgical practice and had accumulated over years. This suggestion didn't hold up very well, given the flesh found in the property drains wasn't the sort of forensic build up that comes from years spent living or working somewhere.


But Buck persisted and took the stand as the defense's only witness. The examination of Buck Ruxton took up the better part of two days and was often interrupted by hysterical outbursts and paroxysms of tears. His attorney, Norman Burkett, opened by asking Ruxton, What do you yourself say about your relationship with Mrs. Ruxton in general during the years from 1930 to 1935?


To this, Ruxton replied, We could not live with each other and we could not live without each other. It was a harrowing statement, and Buck didn't seem to mind that its vagueness made him seem guilty. Still, as questions continued, Buck stuck with the claim that Mary and Isabella had left together at nine a.m. on Sunday, September 15. He blamed his housekeeper's testimony that his house smelled strangely the Monday after the murders on his ripped up wallpaper. He denied that he told his patient, Mary Hamshire, to remove his nametag from the blood stained suit he'd given her.


The weak denials were of no avail against the overwhelming evidence presented by the Crown on Friday, March 13th, 1936, Buc Ruxton was found guilty of the murder of his common law wife and Mary Rodgerson and sentenced to death. He was hanged Strangeways Prison on a Tuesday morning in May, according to some accounts, Rustan's, three children were brought up in an orphanage in Cheshire following the trial. The bath, where Ruxton is believed to have drained the bodies of blood, was removed to the Lancashire Constabulary headquarters, where it was used as a water trough for the horses of the Mounted Officers Garden home.


Lyn's dream is now known to locals as Rustan's. Dump to Dalton Square reportedly remained vacant for decades after the murders until the 1980s, when it was acquired by Lancaster City Council for Officers. They renovated it and moved in. It may never be lived in again. Still, echoes of the story ring through the walls of the property due to the extensive efforts made to reassemble and identify the dismembered victims to solve the mystery like a jigsaw puzzle.


This case later became known as the jigsaw murders. But perhaps the greatest outcomes of BUX crimes are in the realm of forensic and medical science.


The case of the jigsaw murders was groundbreaking for forensic science in more ways than one, the use of forensic entomology, for example, where blowfly larvae were used to establish a timeline for when the bodies were left in the ravine was a novel technique at the time. This practice had never before been used to help solve crime. Also, the comparison of skull images to photographs of the victims heads was a method that hadn't yet been employed in a successful murder conviction.


Additionally, there had never been a case that required this amount of piece by piece body reconstruction, an incredibly difficult but invaluable effort. Ultimately, the jigsaw murders represented big advancements in corpse and crime scene identification. These killings led to a much greater reliance on forensic science and really helped cement its validity in criminal investigations.


While Buck likely had no intention of influencing the medical community in the way that he did, the contribution of his case to forensics is noteworthy, and echoes of his wrongdoings linger in pop culture, too. To this day, people from Scotland and England remember his murder and trial with several lines of verse red stains on the carpet, red stains on the knife. Oh, Dr Buck Ruxton, you murdered your wife then? Mary, she saw you. You thought she would tell.


So Dr Buck Ruxton, you killed her as well. Thanks for listening to medical murders and thanks again to Dr. Kipa for joining me today. Thank you very much.


For more information on that, Ruxton, among the many sources we used, we found trial transcripts from the trial of Buck Ruxton, edited by R.H. Blondell and Hatswell Wilson, M.D., and the trial of Dr. Ruxton by David Holding extremely helpful to our research.


You can find all episodes of medical murders and all other Spotify originals from podcast for free on Spotify, not only to Spotify, already have all of your favorite music, but now Spotify is making it easy for you to enjoy all of your favorite Spotify originals from podcasts like medical murders for free from your phone, desktop or smart speaker to stream medical murders on Spotify. Just open the app and take medical murders in the search bar. We'll see you next time.


Medical matters is the Spotfire original from past. It is executive produced by Max Cutler, Sound Design by Trent Williamson with production assistance by Ron Shapiro, Carly Madden, Kristen Acevedo, Jonathan Cohen, Alexandra Trick, the daughter, and Bruce Kaktovik. This episode of Medical Murders was written by Moore Doyle with writing assistants by Maggie Admi, fact checking by Bennett Logan and research by Chelsea Wood. Medical Murders stars Dr. David Kipa and Alastair Murden.


Fact, fiction, fame, discover the real story behind one of history's most formidable families in the Spotify original form podcast, The Kennedys.


Remember, you can binge all 12 episodes starting on Tuesday, January 19th. Listen free and exclusively on Spotify.