Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

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Opposite, at number 186, Sweeney Todd, the demon barber of Fleet Street had his barber shop.

His career as a serial killer was dramatised by George Dibdin Pitt in 1842, as what was regarded as the first true crime drama.

The character of Sweeney Todd is based on the account of a brutal murder in the Daily Courant in 1785, when a young gentleman had his throat cut after being seen taking to a barber surgeon.

Todd’s victims were shown to revolving chair poised above a trapdoor and dispatched with a razor while they were being shaved. The body was then tipped into a cellar where it was cut up and put into the meat pies cooked and sold by Todd’s lover Margery Lovett his partner in crime, assists him in disposing of the bodies by baking their flesh into meat pies and selling them to the unsuspecting customers of her pie shop.

Sweeney Todd in action…

Todd’s barber shop is situated at 152 Fleet Street, London, next to St. Dunstan’s church, and is connected to Mrs. Lovett’s pie shop in nearby Bell Yard by means of an underground passage.

In view, Church of St Dunstan in the West, Fleet Street, City of London

In most versions of the story, he and Mrs. Lovett hire an unwitting orphan boy, Tobias Ragg, to serve the pies to customers.

To be continued…

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