The Jigsaw Murders

Absolutely gripping read by Jeremy Craddock about the Buck Ruxton case, the notorious Lancaster murders of the 1930s. Impeccably researched and written with the pace and narrative drive of a thriller, but attentive too to the dignity of the victims. Recommended.

Daragh Carville, screenwriter & creator of ITV’s The Bay


The true story of the shocking 1930s murder case, and the revolutionary investigation that changed forensics forever.

Lancaster, 1935. In a jealous rage, Dr Buck Ruxton kills his wife, Isabella, and their children’s nanny, Mary, before dismembering the bodies in the bathtub. When walkers discover the remains scattered in a ravine in the Scottish Borders, police are confronted with a gruesome jigsaw puzzle that they must piece together – not only to give the women their names back, but also to catch their killer.

Using new research, Jeremy Craddock tells the full story of this landmark case in British criminal history for the first time. The Jigsaw Murders brings to life Dr Ruxton, the investigators, the legal figures, and silent witnesses Isabella and Mary – recreating the dramatic scenes that shook the world.

The Jigsaw Murders: The True Story of the Ruxton Killings and the Birth of Modern Forensics is published by The History Press. Order here.

Articles by Jeremy Craddock about The Jigsaw Murders:

‘How a sensational Manchester trial gave birth to modern forensics’, a piece of longform published in The Manchester Mill

The crime that fascinated Agatha Christie – How Buck Ruxton committed a double murder: feature published in The Daily Express

A feature I wrote for the Lancaster Guardian: 13th May 2021
The same feature as it appeared in the Lancashire Evening Post: 12th May 2021
An article I wrote for my local paper, the Warrington Guardian