I touched one of the nooses.
It was just four thin strands of rope running through a metal eyelet to form the noose. Other ropes were much thicker, twice the size, strands of heavy rope woven together and running through a big brass thimble to form the noose.
‘The thin ones date from the eighteenth century,’ Sergeant Caine said. ‘The thicker ones are more modern. They go all the way to 1969, when the death penalty was abolished in this country.’
‘You’ve got a lot of ropes in here, John. I never noticed before.’
‘We’ve hanged a lot of people in this country. You could fill a stadium with the people they hanged at Tyburn alone. Some of these nooses date back to 1810 when there were 222 offences that were punishable by hanging, including robbing a rabbit warren and shoplifting.’
‘By why would anyone use hanging to murder someone?’ I said, touching one of the nooses as if it would reveal the answer. ‘Why not just shoot them or stab them?’
‘Because they want revenge,’ said Sergeant John Caine.