Definitions from Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition and Ballentine's Law Dictionary as are available for each term in each dictionary.
  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    Murder com mitted with the object of selling the cadaver for purposes of dissection, particularly and originally, by suffocating or strangling the victim. So named from William Burke, a notorious practitioner of this crime, who was hanged at Edinburgh in 1829. It is said that the first instance of his name being thus used as a synonym for the form of death he had inflicted on others occurred when he himself was led to the gibbet, the crowd around the scaffold shouting "Burke him!"