Sweeney Todd is a fictional character who first appeared as the villain of the penny dreadful serial The String of Pearls (1846–47). The original tale became a feature of 19th-century melodrama and London legend. A barber from Fleet Street, Todd murders his customers with a straight razor and gives their corpses to Mrs. Lovett, his partner in crime, who bakes their flesh into meat pies. The tale has been retold many times since in various media.
Claims that Sweeney Todd was a historical person are disputed strongly by scholars, although possible legendary prototypes exist.