"First of all, let me say that the new Sweeney Todd musical with Johnny Depp is absolutely brilliant and is one of if not the best movie I have ever seen. It really sets the right mood for the overall plot of the film and I must say Tim Burton is a directorial genious. Also, Johnny Depp was the absolute perfect choice to play Sweeney. He just has that crazed barber look. Anyways, onto my point. I've done some serious digging over the last few weeks and in fact Sweeney Todd DID exist. He was born on October 26, 1748 in Stepney, London. He became a cutlers apprentice when he was about 12 or 13 years old but his employer was convicted of larsony and young Mr. Todd was throw in jail. (which was quite odd for the time considering children were hung for even pickpocketing a handkerchief) Afterwards, he became a travelling 'gypsy' barber if you will and this is where he made his first kill. When he was 37, he paid 125 euros for a shop on Fleet Street (which still exists in London) and started his own barber shop. He even had a chair similar to the one depicted in the movie except he never did any of his killings upstairs. What would happen was his clients would lean back in the chair and fall 2 stories into the basement and be killed on impact and if they were not, Sweeney would rush down stairs and slit their throats. Also, to allieviate suspicion, on the underside of his trap door, there was another barber chair, so two chairs would just rotate around so there would always be one in the shop. He would loot the dead bodies and throw them inside the old tombs in the secret passages below his shop. But, his underground graveyards soon began to become overpopulated and within this time he met the REAL mrs. lovett. (there is a widespread debate whether her first name was Margery or Sarah but its been concluded that it was most likely Margery) Sweeney began to butcher his clients after death. He would skin them, strip the flesh from their bones and take their organs, grind them up and then give them to Mrs Lovett through a revolving wall in the back of her shop so she could bake them into meat pies and sell them to her customers. After over 160 murders, the pair was caught. Mrs. Lovett was thrown in prison but before she was hanged, she poisoned herself. Sweeney was tried, convicted and hanged for his crimes infront of a audience consisting of thousands upon thousands of people. So Sweeney Todd DID actually exist along with Mrs. Lovett and the infamous meat pies."