Burke and Hare murders
The Burke and Hare murders, or West Port murders, were a series of murders committed in Edinburgh, Scotland, over a period of about ten months in 1828. The killings were attributed to Irish immigrants William Burke and William Hare, who sold the corpses of their 16 victims to Doctor Robert Knox as dissection material for his well-attended anatomy lectures. Burke and Hare's alleged accomplices were Burke's mistress, Helen McDougal, and Hare's wife, Margaret Laird. From their acts came the now archaic British word ""burking"", originally meaning to smother a victim or to commit an anatomy murder but which later passed into general use as a word for any suppression or cover-up.