The Crime Writers' Association

Chris Payne


Chris Payne was a late-developer as far as Crime is concerned. He spent most of his working life as a biological research scientist, where his speciality was insect pest control. However, having discovered that he had ancestral connections with a senior detective at Scotland Yard (in the Victorian era) he decided to research and write about his ancestor’s activities. These also proved to involve a strong element of ‘pest control’ of a more radical kind, including the hunting down of murderers, several of whom were tried, convicted and hanged. His book ‘The Chieftain; Victorian True Crime through the Eyes of a Scotland Yard Detective’ was published in 2011 by The History Press.

Chris is currently writing the biography of a conscript who served in the British armed forces during the latter stages of the The Great War, where the principal ‘crimes’ involved were those of the politicians who failed to prevent the war occurring, and ultimately failed to deliver a just and workable peace settlement.

Chris is next intending to return to the pre-‘Jack the Ripper’ era of policing in London to explore further the intriguing Scotland Yard characters who were not invariably the  bumbling, and unsuccessful agents of the Crown that have been portrayed in many fictional accounts of Victorian crime.

Other Awards

OBE (1997; For services to Horticultural Science)

Books by Chris Payne

  • Chieftain Chris Payne The Chieftain: Victorian True Crime through the Eyes of a Scotland Yard Detective