William Brodie was a well respected Edinburgh businessman. He was deacon of a trades guild. He was a carpenter and a politician. As a cabinet maker, one of William's tasks was to install door locks. He used this to his sinister advantage. William had a bit of a gambling problem. To support this habit, he turned to criminal activity by night. He was a burglar who used his locksmithing skills to enter the homes of the gentry with whom he rubbed shoulders by day. Brodie was the basis for RL Stevenson's "Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde"
William was eventually caught and tried. He was hanged at the gallows outside the Edinburgh Tollgate Prison.