🎧Inside Broadmoor by Jonathan Levi and Emma French | Narrated By Karl Jenkinson

Broadmoor. Few place names in the world have such chilling resonance. For over 150 years, it has contained the UK’s most violent, dangerous and psychopathic.

Since opening as an asylum for the criminally insane in 1863 it has housed the perpetrators of many of the most shocking crimes in history; including Jack the Ripper suspect James Kelly, serial killers Peter Sutcliffe, John Straffen and Kenneth Erskine, armed robber Charles Bronson, gangster Ronnie Kray, and cannibal Peter Bryan.

The truth about what goes on behind the Victorian walls of the high security hospital has largely remained a mystery, but now with unprecedented access TV journalist Jonathan Levi and cultural historian Emma French paint a vivid picture of life at Broadmoor, after nearly a decade observing and speaking to those on the inside.

Including interviews with the staff, its experts and the patients themselves, Inside Broadmoor is the most comprehensive study of the institution to-date. 

Published at the dawn of a new era for the hospital, this is the full story of Broadmoor’s past, present and future and a dark but enlightening journey into the minds of Britain’s most dangerous and how they are treated.

I’m not so sure where my knowledge of Broadmoor originated. Whether it was something I heard or something I learned but when I found this audiobook, I knew it was something I wanted to listen to. I am perhaps on the bandwagon of those that listen and watch true crime but my interest stems from being fascinated with the brain and how the brain works rather than glorifying a horrific crime.

In its 159 year history, Broadmoor has seen a lot of people swing through the doors but though it attained its status as a ‘criminal asylum’ in the 80s, most of its perceived notability is formed through stereotypes and rumours.

I found this audiobook very interesting to listen to. It was great listening material for the journey to and from the office. It has an interesting variety of stories, ranging from those that work within the walls to patients, and visitors.

A lot of research went into this audiobook and the narrator, Karl Jenkinson, does a good job at telling the history of the place as well as the advancements with mental health and just what life is like within Broadmoor.

It touches briefly on some famous murderers that ended up staying a while and also offers insight into other patients lives and how Broadmoor helped/or didn’t help with their mental state and overall life.

Much of the Victorian building is being transferred to a new build, but the legacy of Broadmoor will still remain.

It was interesting to hear about the notability of Broadmoor in the 80s and the structure and discipline that was carried out, versus the more relaxed stance that is acted upon today. Having learned about both practices, I’m not sure which one I would favour as the best practice to continue.

While it is difficult to talk about people who need the level of help that Broadmoor can offer, it is gratifying to know that there is a place for them and not just a place but a place that is willing to help and a place that has pushed forward the help they can receive within the NHS and other health services.

This audiobook was very informative and easy to listen too, I give it: ✨✨✨✨✨

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