Last month, we discovered that gang culture is almost as native to Manchester as Corrie and football. Inspired by this, we have delved into history’s murky underworld and uncovered the criminal activities that have marred society throughout the centuries.

From crimes of passion to the history of the mob mentality, we have reviewed the misdeeds of decades past, revealing some surprising connections with the crimes we see today. Our fascination, though, is often with the criminals themselves and so you’ll find profiles of everyone from serial killers to ‘the ones that got away’ in this issue. Of course, not all crimes are committed by criminals; we’ve looked at government sanctioned surveillance and even forms of torture to cover ‘crime’ from every perspective.

Our theme has extended to History in Culture in this issue. We’ve interviewed the author of The Gangs of Manchester, reviewed A Very British Murder and covered The Real Sherlock Holmes so that should you wish to continue investigating, we have pointed you in the right direction.

As in every issue, we have gone Behind the Headlines to reveal the context for some of the most pressing issues of today. We ask whether the cold war has really ended and what the historical precedent is for Scotland being both in and out of union. Less polemically, we’ve reviewed the historical background to the tabloid newspaper trade and considered the process of IRA pacification.

Of course, our regular features are ever present in this issue. The History You Should Know this month is the story of independence in Ireland and our Year in Photos is 1974. As usual, you’ll be able to find updates from the History Society and history in Manchester more widely at the back of your issue.

We hope you enjoy perusing the sordid tales of transgression our writers have located in the breaks from seemingly endless essay deadlines. As ever, thanks must go to our various contributors and editorial teams. If you are interested in getting involved with the Historian, we have one issue remaining for this year so don’t hesitate to contact us. In the meantime, don’t have nightmares.


Alice and Charlotte