Our first Forensics Club outing to the True Crime Museum in Hastings
Sitting on the bus as we drive towards Hastings, I can’t help but feel excited. Even though we are indeed going to look at some of the most famously disturbed humans, it is morbidly fascinating. Though, I can’t quite place why. Murder shouldn’t, in general, be something interesting, but it is. The brain is so fantastically complex that seeing it malfunction in so many different ways is something to be in awe of. We walk into the museum - a tight squeeze, given there are thirty one of us and only a smallish doorway, but we manage. The place is instantly intriguing, from the satanist cut-out to the makeshift lab outside the toilet. The first thing - an electric chair. Yes, literally. I am the first one to sit and despite the fact that I’m aware it isn’t going to light me up at 1,300 volts, I feel a small rush of panic as I lower myself onto the chair. As predicted, nothing unusual occurs, but it is still an incredibly invigorating event. Then, the mantelpiece dotted with crimson, where we discover that luminol will show up blood no matter how hard the murderers scrubbed away with Mr Clean magic erasers (or whatever brand of cleaning supplies you’d prefer to imagine.)
Lizzie Borden draws my attention in next, because I have re-watched the episode of Buzzfeed Unsolved documenting it many times (a great show for the death-obsessed.) The display shows the facts clearly and I love that they’ve included the iconic rhyme, which me and my fellow crime lover beside me chant enthusiastically like lunatics.The acid-bath killer is an honorable mention from this room, as the True Crime museum actually contains some of the oil drums used to dissolve the body parts in acid (hence the name acid-bath killer.)We move into the next room, which drags you in from the first image, a man with nails in his skull. Letters from an author to a serial killer, a signed drawing of a bludgeoned skull and a crucifix made from toilet roll are just some of the many gripping items we see.A small cave with a projected displays a series which shows a murderer’s world, in their own words. We see interviews from various killers from Rodney Alcala, who went onto dating shows and killed the women who he matched with, to Leonard Lake, who, with his accomplice, committing horrifying crimes in a remote cabin.
The ‘death room’ is a chilling area, as it contains all sorts of unsettling items, such as the bath that victims were laid in, to a genuine lethal injection bed, which is accompanied with descriptions of each lethal injection and what it does to the body, as well as a noose which was used to hang people.We were then escorted on a guided tour and told about the crimes that happened in Hastings from various time periods, crimes ranging from gang members escalating a fight to a robbery that has still not been solved. Finishing off in Costa was a slightly more calming activity but it definitely gave us time to really think about the events.Overall, it was possibly the best school trip I’ve ever been on. Extremely interesting, it provided insight to some of the most thought provoking questions for those of us who want answers about psychopaths and the mind of murderers. Thank you, Mr Isaacs!
On Thursday the 22nd of February 29 girls from years 7-9 traveled from Guildford to Hastings on a visit to the True Crime Museum. It was set in the caves of Hastings with a very spooky theme. Although it was a small museum it was filled with fascinating artifacts and exhibits. When you first walk in, there is an electric chair, where we took some very funny pictures! In the first section, there was a display on dog fighting which we all found horrifying, a selection of makeshift weapons crafted by prisoners from any materials they could find and some shocking stories of murders. One story we found particularly interesting was about a girl who hated her parents so much she killed them, apparently she was found laughing over her step mother’s corpse! Also, there was a real life acid bath in which John Haigh used sulphuric acid to dissolve his victims’ corpses. In the second section, there was a Death Chamber where there were multiple death implements displayed, including a real injection table and the noose used for hanging at Lincoln Prison. As well as this, it was fascinating to read the love letters from a serial killer to his lover.
We extremely enjoyed reading about many different serial killers including Joe Bananas who invented the double-decker burial which is when two victims share a coffin, the model was really amazing! After our visit to the museum we had an interesting tour of the Crime in Hastings. Our favourite part was hearing about the largest cash robbery (until 2006) in England. A man who worked in the bank was blackmailed that unless he let the gang into the Post Office to take the Safe Deposit boxes they would hurt his family. They ended up taking £7.8 million and only £90,000 has been recovered. Overall it was an incredible trip that we all enjoyed and it came to a perfect close as the sun began to set over the sea front. Emmie
Emmie and Eva