Denise Mina's Case Histories

Episodes

SeriesEpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
RepeatedComments
Burke and Hare2019122420201228 (RS)

On Christmas Eve 2019, you might be driving around desperately trying to find that perfect gift, but on Christmas Eve 1828 the only show in prohibition Edinburgh was the infamous trial of Burke and Hare. Not many people know this, but in fact it was only the trial of Burke and his common law wife Helen McDougal. Hare turned King’s evidence and was given immunity from prosecution. The family of one of his victims, Daft Jamie, tried in vain to take out a private prosecution against him, but a significant legal precedent was set when this was refused and Hare fled south of the border. Burke however, as the judge made sure, was subject to the same fate as their sixteen victims, landing on the dissection slab in the anatomy theatre. Denise comes face to face with Burke’s skeleton, talks through the legalities of body snatching with Marisa Haetzman, one half of the crime writing duo Ambrose Parry, and marvels at the culture legacy of these grim deeds with Ian Rankin, whose own novel The Falls has a bizarre twist on the case.

Denise takes a look at the most famous cases in Scottish legal history.

Denise takes a look at the most famous and infamous cases in Scottish legal history

Oscar Slater2018050820201229 (RS)

Denise takes a look at the most famous cases in Scottish legal history. Hilarious tales and dramatic trials where ordinary people fought the law and the law didn't win.

Today, Denise investigates one of the most dramatic miscarriages of justice in Scotland: the trial of Oscar Slater.

On a cold December night in 1908, rich spinster Marion Gilchrist is brutally murdered in her Glasgow home. There's public outcry and the hunt is on to find the culprit. Police hone in on Oscar Slater when they find a pawn ticket for a diamond brooch similar to the one stolen during the murder. They soon realise that it's not the same brooch, but continue to pursue their prime suspect regardless, following him across the Atlantic as he flees to New York.

Oscar Slater is a German Jew. He's got a reputation as a gambler, a fence and a pimp. And everyone's determined he's the guilty party.

Eager to prove his innocence, Oscar voluntarily returns from New York to stand trial. He's convicted and sentenced to death, with no means of appeal.

Described as Scotland's Dreyfus, with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle stepping in to lead a public campaign on Slater's behalf, the case led to the establishment of the Scottish Court of Appeal.

Oscar Slater was never pardoned and lived out his days in Ayr working as a baker.

Denise takes a look at the most famous and infamous cases in Scottish legal history.

Denise takes a look at the most famous and infamous cases in Scottish legal history

The Douglas Cause20191203
The Paisley Snail20180501
0101The Paisley Snail2018050120180528 (RS)
20181226 (RS)
20191229 (RS)
20210101 (RS)
Denise takes a look at the most famous cases in Scottish legal history. Hilarious tales and dramatic trials where ordinary people fought the law and the law didn't win.

First up is the Paisley Snail, an unlikely story that's become one of the most well-known cases to lawyers around the world.

When May Donoghue, a shop assistant from the Barras, took a trip to the Wellmeadow Cafe in Paisley during the Glasgow Fair of 1928, little did she know she was on her way to making legal history. May ordered an ice cream float with ginger beer and was horrified when a decomposed snail slithered out of the bottle when she poured the second half into her float.

May was diagnosed with gastro-enteritis and shock. She was off her work for weeks. Her struggle for justice went all the way to the House of Lords and formed the basis of the modern law of negligence which places a duty of care on each and every one of us not to act in a way that could foreseeably injure our neighbours.

Denise tries to find out what they don't tell you in law school: who May Donoghue was and what became of her.

Denise takes a look at the most famous and infamous cases in Scottish legal history.

This is the story of the Paisley Snail, an unlikely tale that's become one of the most well-known cases to lawyers around the world.

Denise takes a look at the most famous cases in Scottish legal history. Hilarious tales and dramatic trials where ordinary people fought the law and the law didn't win.

May was diagnosed with gastro-enteritis and shock. She was off her work for weeks. Her struggle for justice went all the way to the House of Lords and formed the basis of the modern law of negligence which places a duty of care on each and every one of us not to act in a way that could foreseeably injure our neighbours.

Denise tries to find out what they don't tell you in law school: who May Donoghue was and what became of her.

Denise tries to find out what they don't tell you in law school: who May Donoghue was and what became of her.

When May Donoghue, a shop assistant from the Barras, took a trip to the Wellmeadow Cafe in Paisley during the Glasgow Fair of 1928, little did she know she was on her way to making legal history. May ordered an ice cream float with ginger beer and was horrified when a decomposed snail slithered out of the bottle when she poured the second half into her float.

0102Oscar Slater2018050820180513 (RS)
20180528 (RS)
20201229 (RS)
Denise takes a look at the most famous cases in Scottish legal history. Hilarious tales and dramatic trials where ordinary people fought the law and the law didn't win.

Today, Denise investigates one of the most dramatic miscarriages of justice in Scotland: the trial of Oscar Slater.

On a cold December night in 1908, rich spinster Marion Gilchrist is brutally murdered in her Glasgow home. There's public outcry and the hunt is on to find the culprit. Police hone in on Oscar Slater when they find a pawn ticket for a diamond brooch similar to the one stolen during the murder. They soon realise that it's not the same brooch, but continue to pursue their prime suspect regardless, following him across the Atlantic as he flees to New York.

Oscar Slater is a German Jew. He's got a reputation as a gambler, a fence and a pimp. And everyone's determined he's the guilty party.

Eager to prove his innocence, Oscar voluntarily returns from New York to stand trial. He's convicted and sentenced to death, with no means of appeal.

Described as Scotland's Dreyfus, with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle stepping in to lead a public campaign on Slater's behalf, the case led to the establishment of the Scottish Court of Appeal.

Oscar Slater was never pardoned and lived out his days in Ayr working as a baker.

Denise takes a look at the most famous and infamous cases in Scottish legal history.

Denise takes a look at the most famous cases in Scottish legal history. Hilarious tales and dramatic trials where ordinary people fought the law and the law didn't win.

Today, Denise investigates one of the most dramatic miscarriages of justice in Scotland: the trial of Oscar Slater.

Oscar Slater is a German Jew. He's got a reputation as a gambler, a fence and a pimp. And everyone's determined he's the guilty party.

Eager to prove his innocence, Oscar voluntarily returns from New York to stand trial. He's convicted and sentenced to death, with no means of appeal.

Described as Scotland's Dreyfus, with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle stepping in to lead a public campaign on Slater's behalf, the case led to the establishment of the Scottish Court of Appeal.

Oscar Slater was never pardoned and lived out his days in Ayr working as a baker.

Described as Scotland's Dreyfus, with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle stepping in to lead a public campaign on Slater's behalf, the case led to the establishment of the Scottish Court of Appeal.

Oscar Slater was never pardoned and lived out his days in Ayr working as a baker.

On a cold December night in 1908, rich spinster Marion Gilchrist is brutally murdered in her Glasgow home. There's public outcry and the hunt is on to find the culprit. Police hone in on Oscar Slater when they find a pawn ticket for a diamond brooch similar to the one stolen during the murder. They soon realise that it's not the same brooch, but continue to pursue their prime suspect regardless, following him across the Atlantic as he flees to New York.

0201The Douglas Cause2019120320191208 (RS)
20210103 (RS)
The most famous case you’ve never heard of. In the 18th century the Douglas Cause was the biggest legal case in Scottish history. The court papers amounted to thousands of pages. The judges’ arguments ran into hours, days and weeks, the public gallery hanging on their every word. The great and the good from Adam Smith, David Hume and James Boswell took sides. There were riots in the streets of Edinburgh and a duel between barristers in Hyde Park. £100,000 was bet on the outcome. An inheritance dispute between the two most wealthy aristocratic families in Scotland, the case rested on whether Lady Jane Douglas had indeed given birth to twin boys in Paris in 1748 at the ripe old age of 50, providing a direct heir to her brother the Duke, or had she instead bought babies from a Parisian glass blower and rope dancer in a despicable plot to retain the estate and outwit the rival Hamiltons. We’ll never know for sure, and Denise discovers that even today with DNA testing, we still might be none the wiser.

Denise Mina takes a look at the most famous cases in Scottish legal history.

Denise takes a look at the most famous and infamous cases in Scottish legal history

The most famous case you’ve never heard of. In the 18th century the Douglas Cause was the biggest legal case in Scottish history. The court papers amounted to thousands of pages. The judges’ arguments ran into hours, days and weeks, the public gallery hanging on their every word. The great and the good from Adam Smith, David Hume and James Boswell took sides. There were riots in the streets of Edinburgh and a duel between barristers in Hyde Park. £100,000 was bet on the outcome. An inheritance dispute between the two most wealthy aristocratic families in Scotland, the case rested on whether Lady Jane Douglas had indeed given birth to twin boys in Paris in 1748 at the ripe old age of 50, providing a direct heir to her brother the Duke, or had she instead bought babies from a Parisian glass blower and rope dancer in a despicable plot to retain the estate and outwit the rival Hamiltons. We’ll never know for sure, and Denise discovers that even today with DNA testing, we still might be none the wiser.

0202The Moorov Doctrine2019121020191215 (RS)
20210104 (RS)
Meet the most notorious sex pest of 1920s Glasgow. Samuel Moorov ran a drapery on Argyle Street with a remarkably high turnover of female machinists. Turns out he couldn’t keep his hands off them. Some of these women were feisty in their rebuttal of his advances, one even knocking him down the stairs, and in true #MeToo fashion, a mutual support group banded together to avoid being alone with him. But that was the trouble. Moorov always caught his staff on their own without witnesses. And in Scottish law you can’t just go on he said she said - you need corroboration in order to make a case. This means you need two pieces of evidence – witnesses or physical evidence – as proof. Why Moorov is so important is that for the first time it was decided that the series of similar accounts by women over a short period of time meant that they could corroborate each other, as together their evidence established a pattern of conduct. The so-called Moorov Doctrine is cited every day in Scottish courts for sexual assault and historical abuse cases, but it is still controversial and there have been moves to abolish it. Denise investigates whether in terms of sexual harassment in the workplace, much has changed.

Denise takes a look at the most famous cases in Scottish legal history.

Denise takes a look at the most famous and infamous cases in Scottish legal history

Meet the most notorious sex pest of 1920s Glasgow. Samuel Moorov ran a drapery on Argyle Street with a remarkably high turnover of female machinists. Turns out he couldn’t keep his hands off them. Some of these women were feisty in their rebuttal of his advances, one even knocking him down the stairs, and in true #MeToo fashion, a mutual support group banded together to avoid being alone with him. But that was the trouble. Moorov always caught his staff on their own without witnesses. And in Scottish law you can’t just go on he said she said - you need corroboration in order to make a case. This means you need two pieces of evidence – witnesses or physical evidence – as proof. Why Moorov is so important is that for the first time it was decided that the series of similar accounts by women over a short period of time meant that they could corroborate each other, as together their evidence established a pattern of conduct. The so-called Moorov Doctrine is cited every day in Scottish courts for sexual assault and historical abuse cases, but it is still controversial and there have been moves to abolish it. Denise investigates whether in terms of sexual harassment in the workplace, much has changed.

0203Madeleine Smith2019121720191222 (RS)
20210105 (RS)
Did she or didn't she? We're still asking the question over the murder trial of Madeleine Smith 150 years on. Denise explores the latest theories.

Madeleine Smith caused a terrible scandal in Victorian Glasgow when she was accused of murder. The public could not make sense of a respectable middle class lady being both so wildly passionate in her sexual exploits with lover Emile L'Angelier, as her own letters revealed, and yet also capable of such cold blooded, calculated killing by gradual arsenic poisoning. She just didn’'t fit with society’s ideals of womanhood. Not proven was the verdict and a sense of 'she did it but you just couldn't prove it' doesn't seem to have impeded her future life in bohemian London and glamorous New York.

Denise Mina takes a look at the most famous cases in Scottish legal history.

Denise takes a look at the most famous and infamous cases in Scottish legal history

Did she or didn't she? We're still asking the question over the murder trial of Madeleine Smith 150 years on. Denise explores the latest theories.

Madeleine Smith caused a terrible scandal in Victorian Glasgow when she was accused of murder. The public could not make sense of a respectable middle class lady being both so wildly passionate in her sexual exploits with lover Emile L'Angelier, as her own letters revealed, and yet also capable of such cold blooded, calculated killing by gradual arsenic poisoning. She just didn’'t fit with society’s ideals of womanhood. Not proven was the verdict and a sense of 'she did it but you just couldn't prove it' doesn't seem to have impeded her future life in bohemian London and glamorous New York.

0204Burke And Hare2019122420201228 (RS)On Christmas Eve 2019, you might be driving around desperately trying to find that perfect gift, but on Christmas Eve 1828 the only show in prohibition Edinburgh was the infamous trial of Burke and Hare. Not many people know this, but in fact it was only the trial of Burke and his common law wife Helen McDougal. Hare turned King’s evidence and was given immunity from prosecution. The family of one of his victims, Daft Jamie, tried in vain to take out a private prosecution against him, but a significant legal precedent was set when this was refused and Hare fled south of the border. Burke however, as the judge made sure, was subject to the same fate as their sixteen victims, landing on the dissection slab in the anatomy theatre. Denise comes face to face with Burke’s skeleton, talks through the legalities of body snatching with Marisa Haetzman, one half of the crime writing duo Ambrose Parry, and marvels at the culture legacy of these grim deeds with Ian Rankin, whose own novel The Falls has a bizarre twist on the case.

Denise takes a look at the most famous cases in Scottish legal history.

Denise takes a look at the most famous and infamous cases in Scottish legal history

On Christmas Eve 2019, you might be driving around desperately trying to find that perfect gift, but on Christmas Eve 1828 the only show in prohibition Edinburgh was the infamous trial of Burke and Hare. Not many people know this, but in fact it was only the trial of Burke and his common law wife Helen McDougal. Hare turned King’s evidence and was given immunity from prosecution. The family of one of his victims, Daft Jamie, tried in vain to take out a private prosecution against him, but a significant legal precedent was set when this was refused and Hare fled south of the border. Burke however, as the judge made sure, was subject to the same fate as their sixteen victims, landing on the dissection slab in the anatomy theatre. Denise comes face to face with Burke’s skeleton, talks through the legalities of body snatching with Marisa Haetzman, one half of the crime writing duo Ambrose Parry, and marvels at the culture legacy of these grim deeds with Ian Rankin, whose own novel The Falls has a bizarre twist on the case.

On Christmas Eve 2019, you might be driving around desperately trying to find that perfect gift, but on Christmas Eve 1828 the only show in prohibition Edinburgh was the infamous trial of Burke and Hare. Not many people know this, but in fact it was only the trial of Burke and his common law wife Helen McDougal. Hare turned King’s evidence and was given immunity from prosecution. The family of one of his victims, Daft Jamie, tried in vain to take out a private prosecution against him, but a significant legal precedent was set when this was refused and Hare fled south of the border. Burke however, as the judge made sure, was subject to the same fate as their sixteen victims, landing on the dissection slab in the anatomy theatre. Denise comes face to face with Burke’s skeleton, talks through the legalities of body snatching with Marisa Haetzman, one half of the crime writing duo Ambrose Parry, and marvels at the culture legacy of these grim deeds with Ian Rankin, whose own novel The Falls has a bizarre twist on the case.

On Christmas Eve 2019, you might be driving around desperately trying to find that perfect gift, but on Christmas Eve 1828 the only show in prohibition Edinburgh was the infamous trial of Burke and Hare. Not many people know this, but in fact it was only the trial of Burke and his common law wife Helen McDougal. Hare turned King’s evidence and was given immunity from prosecution. The family of one of his victims, Daft Jamie, tried in vain to take out a private prosecution against him, but a significant legal precedent was set when this was refused and Hare fled south of the border. Burke however, as the judge made sure, was subject to the same fate as their sixteen victims, landing on the dissection slab in the anatomy theatre. Denise comes face to face with Burke’s skeleton, talks through the legalities of body snatching with Marisa Haetzman, one half of the crime writing duo Ambrose Parry, and marvels at the culture legacy of these grim deeds with Ian Rankin, whose own novel The Falls has a bizarre twist on the case.

Denise takes a look at the most famous cases in Scottish legal history.

Denise takes a look at the most famous and infamous cases in Scottish legal history