Rachel Hoskins (formerly Richard Hoskins) (born 1964) is an author and criminologist, with expertise in African ritual crime.
Rachel Hoskins was born in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, in February 1964, and educated at Uppingham School, at Bedford School, and at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, before a Special Short Service Commission in 3rd Battalion the Royal Anglian Regiment. At the age of twenty-one she travelled to Africa intending a gap year, but stayed from 1986 until 1992.
Upon returning to Britain, Hoskins enrolled at Oxford University to read Theology and took a double First, before completing a PhD at King's College London. Hoskins went on to be a Senior Lecturer at Bath Spa University, and a Senior Research Fellow at King's College London. She has taught Religious Studies at Shebbear College in Devon. She has also held a deputy headship.
Whilst working at Bath Spa University, Rachel Hoskins was called upon by the Metropolitan Police Service to work as an expert witness in the Torso in the Thames case. She has since been called as an expert witness in over a hundred criminal cases, including numerous high-profile murders, such as those of Victoria Climbié, Jodi Jones and the Eric Bikubi and Magalie Bamu case. Hoskins has been called upon to provide commentary on these cases and the related field by numerous press organisations. She is an expert on African religions. She is the only registered multi-cultural expert on the UK national police SOCA database.
Rachel Hoskins has made television and radio appearances concerning numerous cases, most notably a documentary for the BBC entitled "Witch Child", a documentary concerned with the Torso in the Thames case and a BBC Radio 4 programme. She is a Patron of the Build Africa charity.
Hoskins has been married twice. She currently lives in London where she writes crime fiction. She is a keen runner and completed the 2014 London Marathon in 2 hours 45 minutes, placing her 7th for all over 50. In 2014 Hoskins began a transition to female, and is now known as Rachel Hoskins.
In November 2016 Rachel went public about her gender transition from male to female. She began taking hormones in 2014 after a lifetime of gender dysphoria. She was approved onto the NHS Gender Identity Clinic system and had surgeries in Thailand in July and December 2016.
Hoskins' first book, The Boy in the River, was published by Pan Macmillan under her former name and became a Sunday Times bestseller, receiving critical praise in several press publications.
The Boy in the River was named Gold Winner in the Crime Writers' Association Dagger Awards 2013. The panel of judges "highly commended" the "gripping story".