As a student of local history John Godwin found himself walking in the churchyard of Rugeley parish church one day. Many of the tombstones had been removed over the years but one of the remaining ones was that of Christina Collins who had been ‘barbarously treated’ and had been found ‘dead in the canal in this Parish on June 17th 1839, aged 37 years’. This inscription piqued John’s interest into finding out more about the end of this ‘unhappy woman’, and was to result in a booklet, The Murder of Christina Collins, which he sent to Colin Dexter who in turn used it as a basis for his Crime Writer’s Association Gold Dagger winning novel The Wench is Dead.
Books by John Godwin
The Murder of Christina Collins (with Antony J. Richards)