William Brodie / Deacon Brodie
Brodie was the inspiration for Stevenson’s ‘The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’. By day he was a respectable businessman and by night a burglar. He used his ill-gotten gains to fund his secret life, including a gambling habit, two mistresses (each unaware of the other) and five children. He was hanged in 1788 but it was rumoured that he designed and wore a steel collar to prevent the hanging being fatal allowing him to be revived. The hangman was allegedly paid not to notice it. There were reported sightings of William Brodie in Paris after his death.