What is BURKING-BURKISM?

Murder committed with the object of selling the cadaver for purposes of dissection, particularly and originally, by suffocating or strangling the victim. So named from William Burke, a notorious practitioner of this crime, who was hanged at Edinburgh in 1829. It is said that the first instance of his name being thus used as a synonym for the form of death he had inflicted on others occurred when he himself was led to the gibbet, the crowd around the scaffold shouting “Burke him!”

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