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Dr. Alfred William WARDER






The Brighton Murder
Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Poisoner - Parricide
Number of victims: 1 - 3
Date of murders: 1863 - 1866
Date of birth: 1823
Victims profile: His wife Helen Vivian Warder, 36 (Dr. Warder had two wives previous to marrying Helen Warder and each had died in unnatural circumstances)
Method of murder: Poisoning (aconite)
Location: Brighton, East Sussex, England, United Kingdom
Status: Committed suicide by drinking prussic acid to avoid arrest on July 12, 1866

Doctor Alfred Warder, aged 43.

Mrs. Warder was murdered by her husband, a doctor who administered to her - over a period of a month - quantities of the poison aconite, also known as wolf's bane. Her brother was a local surgeon, and as his sister's condition deteriorated, he suspected that her husband was not dispensing to her the correct medicines to remedy the mysterious illness.

When Mrs. Warder died another doctor considered the circumstances to be so irregular that he refused to sign the death certificate. A coroner's inquest was therefore constituted, to be held at the Rockingham pub in Sillwood Street.

Her widower husband went off to London but returned discreetly and booked himself into the Bedford Hotel, where he committed suicide by drinking prussic acid. Staff found his naked body in bed the following morning. It transpired that he had married twice before. Each of his wives had died in unnatural circumstances.



DATE(S): 19th century

MO: "Bluebeard" poisoner of wives.

DISPOSITION: Suicide by poison to avoid arrest.



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