Murders, particularly those carried out by serial killers, grab the public’s attention like no other crime. This is true in the immediate aftermath and it’s true decades later. Think of Jack the Ripper, Fred and Rosemary West, Ted Bundy, and John Wayne Gacy. And then there is William Burke and William Hare.
These two were murderers in nineteenth-century Scotland who sold their victims’ bodies to Edinburgh Medical College for dissection. Their story, which has since become legend, has been told several times on screen, but there’s now to be a new movie based on their evil deeds.
According to Dread Central, John Landis (Blues Brothers, American Werewolf In London) is working on a film based around Burke and Hare’s killings, otherwise known as the West Port murders. The story will tell how the two Irish immigrants killed 17 victims and sold their bodies for two years (1827 and 1828) before being arrested. Burke ended up being hung while Hare got immunity from prosecution for giving evidence against his partner in crime.
Simon Pegg has already been recruited to star in the film, which is being scripted by Piers Ashworth and Nick Moorcroft. It’s described as a black comedy, which makes sense when we’re talking about the killings of 17 innocent people. If there is any comedy to be had then it would have to be very dark indeed.