Tales of Arsenic and Murder with Sandra Hempel
At the Dissenters Chapel on Saturday 28th October 2017 from 3:00 pm

Until recent times women had so little status and power that their only way of escaping an unhappy marriage was murder. In 17th Century Italy Giulia Tofana ran a successful business selling 'aqua tofana', an arsenic-based concoction, to a largely female clientele.

Even in the 19th century it was frighteningly easy to bump off unwanted relatives. Arsenic was readily available over the counter for just a few pennies, horribly difficult to detect in food and drink and fatal in tiny doses, hence its name The Inheritor’s Powder. In 1833, when wealthy farmer George Bodle is taken violently ill and dies, suspicion falls on his family. But is there any way to prove it? The case would mark the birth of the modern science of forensic toxicology.

In her talk, Sandra Hempel brings to life a gripping story of domestic infighting, wayward police behavior, a slice of Victorian history, stories of poisonings, and an unforgettable foray into the origins of forensic science.

Tickets £12 including a Hendrick's gin cocktail. Please click here to buy.

Sandra Hempel is a journalist and author who specializes in health and social issues. She has worked for many leading newspapers and magazines, including The Times, the Sunday Times, the Guardian and the Mail on Sunday, as well as for the Department of Health and the NHS. She is the author of The Medical Detective. She lives in London with her two daughters.

Travel advice to the Dissenters' Chapel - During the day guests can walk through the cemetery to get to the chapel but at night the main cemetery gates on the Harrow Road will be closed and the only accessible entrance is on Ladbroke Grove. Previously the address for this entrance was 364 Ladbroke Grove but this number has now been updated to 391.

The two closest underground stations are Ladbroke Grove (Hammersmith & City or Circle Line) or Kensal Green (overground and Bakerloo Line). From Ladbroke Grove station there are several buses you can take to the Dissenters which include either the 28, 52 or 452. It's best to get off at the Sainbury's bus stop and then it's a short walk down Ladbroke Grove to the entrance to the Dissenters' Chapel.



The Dissenters' Chapel, Kensal Green Cemetery, London. Ticket includes tour of the catacombs.