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It is a hospital like no other. A home to patients so unpredictable they are rated too dangerous to be held even in top security prisons. Carstairs, the State Hospital in Lanarkshire, Scotland. A name conjuring nightmare images of terror and mystery. It guards men with mental illnesses sent by courts in Scotland and Northern Ireland for crimes ranked among the most horrific, frightening and vile imaginable. What happens to its inmates has been a closed book. Because like its high walls and fences, intense secrecy surrounds what happens there.

Now Carstairs: Hospital for Horrors reveals how brave and dedicated nurses, doctors and psychiatrists daily risk their lives striving to help even the most dangerously disturbed patients back on the path towards sanity. This story will shock as it delves into the nightmare minds of men who, for no clear reason, kill, rape and attack leaving victims either dead or severely traumatised. David Leslie examines the crimes that have led them to Carstairs; investigates cases where those set free have struck again, reveals the ordeal of some trapped there with fading hopes of freedom and tells, through the words of one of the participants, the story of the bloody escape that shocked a nation and left three dead.

And he traces the history not just of Carstairs but of the often savage and inhumane treatment of lunatics in the past that saw many cast into hellish prisons to suffer starvation, whippings, cruelty and deprivation. It is an important and often shocking history.

Product Details

Published: 5th October 2015
Format: Paperback 234x156mm
Extent: 288 pages
ISBN: 9781845029982


David Leslie was a senior journalist with the News of the World for over forty years, latterly as Scottish Crime Editor. He is the author of several books including Crimelord and The Happy Dust Gang. He has appeared in TV documentaries giving unique insights into notorious crimes and criminals and is a regular contributor to radio stations and newspapers.


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