Berkshire Murders by John Van der Kiste

By John Van der Kiste

"Berkshire Murders" is an exam of a few of the country's such a lot infamous and stunning circumstances. They comprise Hannah Carey, overwhelmed to demise by means of her husband at Warfield in 1851; younger Hannah Gould, whose throat was once minimize through her father in a frenzied assault at Windsor in 1861; Nell Woodridge, murdered through her husband in 1896 and later immortalised in Oscar Wilde's "The Ballad of analyzing Gaol"; Annie Davis, killed through her lover in 1912; and, Minnie Freeman Lee, whose physique used to be came upon in a trunk in 1948. there's additionally an account of the crimes of Amelia Dyer, completed in 1896, Britain's so much infamous child farmer. John Van der Kitse's rigorously researched, well-illustrated and enchanting textual content will entice all these attracted to the darker facet of Berkshire's historical past.

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He had been provided with defence counsel, one of whom, Mr Carrington, cross-examined Constable Jones and tried to establish that his client had been threatened. King claimed he had been told that if he did not confess to the murder, a staple would be driven into the door of the White Hart and he would be chained to the dead body all night. It was the first time such a suggestion had been raised, and who had made this threat was never stated. A final issue raised by the defence was that no evidence had been provided to prove that the deceased was in fact Mrs Ann Pullen, but such a legal technicality was ruled out of order by Dr Cowcher.

As soon as his missionary duties were completed, he was sent as an in-patient to Brompton Hospital in Middlesex. He was discharged in October, apparently better, but instead of contacting his wife he took lodgings in York Terrace, Stepney. While he was there his conduct became increasingly peculiar and his neighbours demanded that he be removed. By 10 November he had returned home to Embrook. His wife and neighbours found him very depressed and in urgent need of medical care. They made arrangements for him to spend some time in a convalescent home in Bournemouth, and on 12 November he was accompanied to the railway station by Mr Sparkes, his successor as Mrs Saltmarsh’s home missionary.

Two men were already implicated, King and Marriot, as they had been seen setting off together late the previous night from the Blue Boar. King was apprehended that morning while he was working in the bean field. Mr Crane, a fellow labourer, asked King where his coat was. King said it was under a bean sheaf in the field where he had been working, and he volunteered to fetch it. Instead Crane went to collect it, and found it covered in blood, with a woman’s purse containing 12s and a bent 6d piece inside.

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