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The Tonbridge Outrage, A Gruesome Murder That Shocked Edwardian Society

John Brookland
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On New Year’s Eve 1901, the quaint town of Southborough near Tonbridge in Kent is shaken to its core by a heinous crime that defies the imagination: the abduction, outrage and murder of a seven-year-old girl, whose lifeless body is discovered in the village pond. The crime horrified all classes of Edwardian society and captured the nation’s newspapers drawing hordes of unwelcome morbid sightseers.
Celebrated Detective Edwin Fowle, of the Kent County Constabulary, is tasked with apprehending the murderer. He must contend with the weight of national scrutiny and a threatening letter writer heightening the tension and casting a shadow over the sensational trial. Sifting through a web of conflicting witness accounts he confronts a prime suspect whose plea of not guilty echoes through the corridors of justice.
“The Tonbridge Outrage” is a harrowing story of mystery and societal upheaval and captures the essence of an Edwardian community on the brink, and the relentless pursuit of a detective determined to restore peace to a shattered and besieged town descending into chaos. This is the real narrative of the murder of Frances Eliza O’Rourke from the perspective of all those involved.

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