William Burke an William Hare, picturt at Burke's trial
The Burke an Hare murthers (or the West Port murthers) war serial murthers committit in Edinburgh frae November 1827 tae 31st October 1828. The killins wur attributit tae Erse immigrants William Burke an William Hare, who sauld the corpse o thair 16 victims tae provide material for dissection. Thair purchaser wis Doctor Robert Knox, a private anatomy lecturer whose students wur drawn frae Edinburgh Medical College. Thair accomplices includit Burke's mistress, Helen McDougal, an Hare's wife, Margaret Laird. Frae thair infamous method o killin thair victims haes come the wird "burkin", meanin tae purposefully smother an compress the chest o a victim, an a derivit meanin, tae quietly suppress.