Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Tue May 15, 2018 9:53 pm

Stadium Steps Murder
A quarrel on the steps of the old Liverpool Stadium (a boxing venue) in 1961 led to the death of a 19-year-old girl and her lover narrowly escaping the gallows.

Valerie Sellers, a waitress from Flintshire and her boyfriend, 23-year-old John McMenemy who lived in Lorne Street in Fairfield, had been together nearly a year. Wedding plans had been postponed however and Sellers father confronted McMenemy on 30 July 1961 to ask his intentions. Despite replying in the affirmative, he later told Valerie he would never marry her.

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Two weeks later McMenemy returned to Flintshire to repay some money he owed to Mr Sellers and was told not to return again. During the night, Valerie sneaked out and would not be seen alive by her father again. In the early hours of 20th August, McMenemy telephoned the operator and advised that there was a body on the top of the stadium steps. Officers arriving at the scene found the body of Valerie, who had died from stab wounds, with a tie next to it.

The telephone call was traced to the Pier Head and McMenemy was there when police arrived. Noticing that McMenemy wasn't wearing a tie and had a bloodstain on his cuff, he was questioned and admitted the stabbing. When he was taken into custody a cigarette lighter, purse and bracelet of Valerie's were found on him. McMenemy made a full confession, stating that her refusal to give him some money had cost him her life. Initially intending to run, he realised it was hopeless and he went to the Pier Head.

At McMenemy's trial, no witnesses were produced for his defence, with his counsel arguing that as he was in love with Valerie he regarded his property as his own. Although the death penalty had been abolished for plain murder, killing in furtherance of theft remained a capital charge. McMenemy was sentenced to death but this was later commuted to life imprisonment on the recommendation of the Home Secretary. An earlier appeal to reduce the verdict to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility had failed.
Cheers Joe.
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby lynne99 » Wed May 16, 2018 9:21 am

I wonder what really happened!!! Thanks again Joe
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby Shelagh » Wed May 16, 2018 10:22 am

Valerie certainly picked a wrong’n there,,absolute heel!
Sounds like Valerie’s dad was onto this John McMenemy - doing his best to protect his daughter!
Tragic end to a young life!

Sad case, Joe!!
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby filsgreen » Wed May 16, 2018 3:36 pm

Mcmenemy could still be alive today. :shock:
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby Kiloh » Sun May 20, 2018 12:43 pm

Ruth Jones went on to marry my Nan's brother a few years later and they had three children. Ruth passed in 2009. I never met the woman or my Uncle for that matter, but Nan did tell us about what Ruth had done.
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Wed May 23, 2018 12:13 am

Thanks for your kind comments Lynne, Shelagh and Phil. :wink: :)

Kiloh, please excuse my ignorance, you’ll have to remind me who Ruth Jones was? :oops: :wink:
Cheers Joe.
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Wed May 23, 2018 12:14 am

New Mother's Violent Death in Bootle
A Bootle man who killed his lodger who had recently given birth was jailed for twenty-one months.

On 16th September 1887, Mary McDonald gave birth to a baby at 9 Molyneux Street, a small street that ran off Derby Road next to Millers Bridge. She and her husband John lodged at the house with Daniel Madge, a twenty-eight-year-old labourer and his wife.

Mr Justice Day
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The following night Madge disturbed Mary with his singing, leading to John telling him to leave them alone as she was in a weak condition. He did so for an hour but then had an argument with his own wife before going back to their room and challenging John to a fight. Before John could even take up the offer, he had been beaten about the head with a bowl by Madge.

When Mary placed her hand on Madge to calm him down, he pulled her out of the bed and then threw her out the door into the street. She lay there for several hours due to her husband being unconscious inside the house.

When Mary found by a neighbour she was taken to the Bootle Borough Hospital where she died six days later of peritonitis brought on by violence and exposure. Madge had already been charged and remanded in custody for cutting and wounding John and now faced an indictment of manslaughter.

When Madge appeared before Mr Justice Day on 11th November his defence counsel argued that the peritonitis had been brought on by Mary having insufficient clothing to cover her following her confinement. This argument was rejected and Madge was found guilty of manslaughter then jailed for twenty-one months.
Cheers Joe.
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby lynne99 » Wed May 23, 2018 7:41 am

Joe, Ruth Jones story is on page 5. She cut her baby's throat. Pleaded guilty and then was reprieved.
Any way thanks for your gruesome tales. Interesting as usual.
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Tue May 29, 2018 6:21 pm

The Leveson Street Massacre


Leveson Street (now Grenville Street South)
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Sparling Street
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The brutal killing of a pregnant woman, her two children and maidservant in 1849 led to a Liverpool street having its name changed.

Ann Hinrichson and her sea captain husband John bought a large house in Leveson Street (now Grenville Street South) in 1848. It was later decided that they should let some spare rooms in their home to provide extra money for household expenses. On 27th March 1849 a young Irishman from Limerick, Maurice Gleeson, answered the advert placed by Mrs Hinrichson in her parlour window. After inspecting the rooms he paid a weeks rent in advance, explaining that he was a ships carpenter. Gleeson had been in Liverpool for about 15 months, having first taken lodgings in Sparling Street and marrying his landlady.

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Porter Street 2011

The next day a delivery boy named William Bradshaw called to the house with two jugs that Mrs Hinrichson had purchased earlier. There was no answer but he could hear moaning inside and went to fetch a policeman. When he returned with a constable, neighbours had already broken the door down and found Mrs Hinrichson, one of her two sons and a maid, Mary Parr, lying in a pool of blood. All three had been battered about the head with a poker and were barely alive when they were transported to the Southern Hospital, while the body of Mrs Hinrichson's other young son was found in the back cellar.

Police found a bloodstained towel in Gleeson's room and also that some jewellery had been taken from Mrs Hinrichson's room. Immediately after the murders, Gleeson had washed his clothes in Toxteth Park, before moving on to London Road to try and sell a gold watch to George Moore, a pawnbroker. From there he bought new boots and trousers and went to his other lodgings at 44 Porter Street where his landlady gave him a clean shirt. After this, he visited a barber in Great Howard Street for a shave and enquired about a wig, insisting that his hair was falling out. He also asked about securing a passage to America for £3 and the barber also noticed that Gleeson had blood on his wrists.

Gleeson defied the police dragnet to board a Mersey ferry and spend the night at his estranged wife's fathers home in Tranmere. The next morning he returned to Liverpool and attempted to sell a gold watch to a Great Howard Street grocer. Even though it was examined by a policeman Gleeson evaded arrest, but the grocer remained suspicious and he was soon bundled into the city's Bridewell by his son, who was supposedly taking Gleeson to other premises to get money to pay for the watch.

Mrs Hinrichson and her daughter had died soon after arriving at the hospital, but Mary Parr was clinging to life. On Friday 30th March Gleeson was taken to the hospital where she identified him. Mrs Hinrichson's mother, who had travelled to Liverpool from Hull, also confirmed that the gold watch in Gleeson's possession belonged to her daughter. Mary died on Thursday 5th April, making it a total of four people killed.

A drawing of John Gleeson from the Liverpool Mercury
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During the trial, Gleeson showed no hint of remorse and had a total indifference to the outcome. The evidence of the barber, grocer and his ex-landlady meant that the jury found him guilty without leaving their box. The judge told him there was no hope for mercy and sentenced him to death. He was hanged at Kirkdale gaol in front of a large crowd of 50,000, some of whom had paid a shilling to come on special trains from other parts of Lancashire. The hangman - 70-year-old George Howard who was standing in for the unwell William Calcraft, botched the execution by not calculating the drop right or placing the hood on properly. Gleeson's eyes were bulging out of their sockets and his face went purple causing many in the crowd to faint. The hangman put the cap back on but he writhed about for fifteen minutes at the end of the rope before he died.

Captain Hinrichson, who returned from the sea to find his family obliterated, later became dock master at Toxteth, Huskisson and Queens Docks. All four murder victims were buried in St James cemetery while the notoriety of the case led to the street being re-named Grenville Street South.
Cheers Joe.
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Tue May 29, 2018 6:41 pm

lynne99 wrote:Joe, Ruth Jones story is on page 5. She cut her baby's throat. Pleaded guilty and then was reprieved.
Any way thanks for your gruesome tales. Interesting as usual.


Thanks for that Lynne. :) :)

Shelagh, thanks for sending me that PM.Image :) :)
Thanks to the both of you for being very observant. :oops: :D :D
Cheers Joe.
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby Shelagh » Tue May 29, 2018 10:14 pm

No problem, Joe :wink:
The Leveson Street massacre, very shocking :shock:
Greed being the obvious motivation!!

Botched execution..sickening :(

Thanks for all the reports, Joe!!
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby lynne99 » Sun Jun 03, 2018 8:55 am

Thanks again Joe. We are ardent readers and like a test now and then,
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Fri Jun 08, 2018 11:34 pm

Thanks for your comments once again Shelagh and Lynne. :wink: :D
Cheers Joe.
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Fri Jun 08, 2018 11:36 pm

Tenant's Confession Not Borne Out

When a man was found dead at his Dovecot home in 1955 his lodger confessed to having poisoned him. However, after being held on remand charged with a murder, he was acquitted when the medical evidence pointed to death is by natural causes.

At 10.25pm on Monday 14th March 1955 a 999 call was made to the police by 33-year-old George Jardine, who told the operator 'Take me in, I have killed my landlord'. The call was traced to a phone box at the corner of Pilch Lane and Adcote Road and a police car was dispatched. Jardine approached the car and was taken to the CID office in Old Swan.

Jardine was interviewed by detectives and told them that the previous night he had crushed 25 tablets and added them to water and peppermint cordial then gave the solution to his landlord, who was found dead that morning. He went on to say 'I know you will find the stuff inside him when he is opened up. I thought if I saw him off the house would be mine but it has been worrying me ever since and I had to tell you tonight.'

Shortwood Road, Dovecot

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The landlord in question was 59-year-old widower Patrick Reid, who had been found dead in bed by Jardine's wife at his home in 29 Shortwood Road, Dovecot, that morning. Reid was a council tenant at the property, subletting to Jardine and, his wife and son. When Reid was found dead in bed that morning his doctor was called, but as he had not seen him since the previous November he refused to issue a death certificate and informed the Coroner.

Reid's body was taken to a mortuary where a postmortem was carried out and organs sent to a forensic laboratory in Preston for analysis. In light of Jardine's apparent confession, he was charged with administering poison with intent to murder and appeared before the Deputy Stipendiary Magistrate the following morning. Bail was refused and he was remanded in custody for two weeks, while the Coroner Mr Blackwood opened and adjourned the inquest.

Two weeks later Jardine was back at the magistrates' court, where his solicitor pleaded for bail as no money had gone into his household for two weeks to him not working as a civilian army clerk. This was refused, the Stipendiary Magistrate Mr McFarland commenting that the charge was too serious for this to be granted.

On 7th April all charges against Jardine were sensationally dropped. The postmortem report had stated that the cause of Reid's death was coronary arterial disease and conjunctive heart failure, while tests on organs had found no traces of any tablets. The Examining Magistrate, Alderman Gordon said the only evidence for an attempt to murder was Jardine's statement to police, which was not borne out by the evidence. He then concluded 'On the evidence of the prosecution no jury could find the accused guilty and I have to dismiss the charge.'

An inquest was then held at which Reid's daughter gave evidence. She said that Jardine had taken a job as a part-time barman at her husband's pub in Edge Hill before Christmas and she suggested to her father that he took Jardine and his family in as lodgers. She believed that Jardine had treated her father very well and was a very good worker at the pub. She did say though that he had left work earlier than usual on 13th March and on informing her of her father's death, Jardine suggested that he be cremated.

Mrs Jardine described how she had found the body at ten past eight in the morning, having been concerned that Reid, usually an early riser was not up. The doctor who pronounced him dead believed that he had been so for about two hours. Jardine himself was then called and was asked about the statement he made to police concerning the sleeping tablets. He replied that the statement was not correct and he could not explain why he did it. Under the instruction of the coroner, the jury then returned an open verdict, saying they were satisfied that it was not murder.
Cheers Joe.
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby lynne99 » Sun Jun 10, 2018 8:29 am

What an interesting story. I wonder what really happened!! Thanks Joe
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby Shelagh » Sun Jun 10, 2018 11:31 am

Very strange case indeed :?:
Patrick, already in a poor state of health, found dead by Mrs Jardine..
Jardine rings police to confess all..
Postmortem reveals death by natural causes..
Jardine withdraws original statement..
Result, no case to answer, Jardine off the hook!!
(Probably got the pub as well :roll: )

Thanks for report, Joe!!
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:05 pm

Once again thanks for your comments, Lynne and Shelagh they are much appreciated. :wink:
Cheers Joe.
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:08 pm

The killing of a War Reserve Constable
A war reserve police constable who was punched by a man he confronted over causing a bus to brake sharply died from his injuries.

On the morning of 31st January 1942, Joseph Pickering boarded a bus on Linacre Road to take him to Seaforth railway station where he was to report for duty. Just after he boarded the bus pulled up sharply and passengers were stunned to see a man stood in the middle of the road with his hands in his pockets, staring straight ahead.

Pickering got off to see what the man was doing and when he said it was a foolish thing to do was punched in the face. Another passing constable named Johnson saw what was happening and apprehended the man, who turned out to be a twenty-seven-year-old soldier named Edwin Coleby, who was on leave.
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Linacre Road 1948

The two constables were escorting Coleby to Seaforth police station when Pickering suddenly collapsed. Coleby was initially shocked by this and took off his coat to lay under the injured man's head. However, when Johnson began to carry out artificial resuscitation, Coleby realised the seriousness of the situation and took his coat back and ran off.

Pickering was dead on arrival at the hospital but it was forty-eight hours before Coleby was located at his home in Siddon Street. Initially, he denied all knowledge and then admitted throwing a punch, but claimed the fall was a result of Pickering being hit by a bottle.

After being remanded by the magistrates, medical inquiries established that fifty-four-year-old Pickering had a heart condition that accelerated his death. It led to Coleby being committed for trial only on the charge of manslaughter and he appeared at Manchester Assizes on 27th February. It was not the first time he had been in trouble with the law, having a previous conviction for assaulting the police and been court-martialed for hitting an army sergeant.

After being found guilty Coleby mitigated that he had thought Pickering was a ticket inspector, not a constable. He was sentenced to eighteen months imprisonment, Mr Justice Stable saying that his violence had denied somebody leading a 'useful life.
Cheers Joe.
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby filsgreen » Mon Jun 18, 2018 11:53 pm

Sad story, Joe. 18 months isn't long, even if it was manslaughter.
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby Shelagh » Tue Jun 19, 2018 8:11 am

Coleby seems to have been very handy with his fists, doesn’t appear to be murder, but as Phil say's - sentence not long enough!
Coleby stated...he thought Pickering was a ticket inspector, not a constable :?:
(Like that makes a difference :?: )

Good old picture of Linacre Road..Ta Joe :wink:
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Sun Jun 24, 2018 11:29 pm

Thank you once again, for your comments Phil and Shelagh :wink:
Cheers Joe.
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Sun Jun 24, 2018 11:30 pm

The Christmas Eve Tram Tragedy

Ten children were left without a father after a senseless attack that took place on a tram on Christmas Eve.

Forty-year-old Edward Molloy was returning to his home at Glynn Street in Orrell on 24th December 1929 on the Bootle to Litherland tram. When he went to get off he felt a hand go into a pocket where he had a bottle of rum. When he gripped the hand in question he was grabbed around the throat and pushed onto the road. A man intervened but was knocked unconscious by the assailant, 30-year-old labourer William Inman of Islington.

Between Mill Lane and Christian Street decorated for the coronation of Edward VII in June 1902
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Two other men who were passing by went to help but were assaulted by Inman, leading to all four who had been hit lying spark out on the ground. Inman made the mistake of going to the hospital for treatment where he acted irrationally leading to doctors calling the police.

Molloy went home with a wound on the head and spent Christmas there, giving evidence in the police court in the new year when Inman appeared there on charges of assault with intent to rob. However, Molloy then developed blood poisoning and died in Walton hospital on 23rd January.

On 12th February at the Liverpool Assizes, Inman pleaded not guilty to manslaughter and wounding with intent. He was then shocked to learn that the Grand Jury had allowed a murder charge to go ahead as well. In addressing the jury, the prosecution counsel said that if they were satisfied Inman had intended to cause violence and Molloy died as a result, then he should be guilty of murder. Justice Roche did intervene though and pointed out that they should take account of what weapon was used.

Molloy's evidence to the police court was read out and when one witness tagged 'My Lord' to every answer he gave laughter broke out in the public gallery. The judge was not impressed and ordered it to be cleared saying 'I will not have laughter during a murder trial, clear the gallery at once I will not have this court used as a place of amusement.'

The medical evidence showed that the wound was not dangerous, but the source of the infection was Inman's fist and that it had been cleaned and treated properly. As a result of this, Justice Roche indicated that he would be directing the jury to dismiss murder and only consider whether Inman was guilty of manslaughter.

Inman's only defence was that he was drunk and could remember nothing, therefore, was incapable of putting thought to any action. This was no excuse though and a guilty verdict was returned. Telling Inman that he was a violent man, Justice Roche sentenced him to seven years penal servitude.
Cheers Joe.
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Tue Jun 26, 2018 10:56 pm

An Adopted Baby Killed
A respectable middle-class woman in Mossley Hill who had lost a baby of her own adopted another one, only to kill during a spell of insanity.

Early in 1903 Elizabeth Sturgeon, the 36-year-old wife of a drapers buyer who lived at 7 Dudley Road, gave birth to a stillborn baby. Devastated by this loss, she sought to adopt one and in June of that year answered an advert in the Liverpool Echo from someone in Litherland looking to take a baby off their hands.

Dudley Road.
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Sturgeon showed great affection for the four-month-old baby girl who she christened Mabel. In early July she visited her parents in Lincolnshire where she acquired the services of a girl called Alice Porter who returned to Liverpool with her to help as a housekeeper and nanny.

On Tuesday 28th July Sturgeon acted very strangely, taking the unusual step of sending Alice to buy gin for her. She had a lie-down and told her husband that she was in a vile temper, then wrote a letter to her parents saying that she was going to have a 'last walk' due to the cruelty of her husband who had tried to strangle her so he could live with a flower girl.

Sturgeon took Alice and Mabel out with her at 4 pm on a long walk that ended up with them sat under a hedge in a field near Mossley Hill church The baby was crying in a strange fashion and Alice expressed concern to Sturgeon that she may suffocate the child when she put a handkerchief in her mouth to try and stop this. Alice then fell asleep after Mabel had gone quiet, having been given a small drop of rum by Sturgeon.

In the morning, Sturgeon offered Alice a shilling as an inducement to walk across the parapet of a railway bridge. She did so but when halfway across she fell thirty feet but was lucky to suffer only a sprained ankle. Sturgeon told Alice to remain where she was and she would return the baby home then get help, but she was gone some time. When she did return, she told Alice that a woman was looking after Mabel and when she could find no trace her, reported the baby to the police as missing.

Nobody local had seen anything untoward and after speaking with her husband Bill Sturgeon over the letters his wife had written police arrested her on suspicion of murder on Wednesday evening. A search of the area where they had last been seen was launched and Mabel's body was found the following morning a few inches underground in a lime pit off Solomon's Lane (where Geoffrey Hughes playing fields now are), her neck covered in stab wounds.

Soon after the body was found, Sturgeon was remanded for a week at the police court. The inquest on 7th August heard evidence that she had been suffering hallucinations and was mentally deranged at the time of the tragedy. The coroner's court is unable to make a ruling on her state of mind, a verdict of wilful murder was returned and she was committed for trial at the assizes,

Justice Ridley.
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Sturgeon was well dressed when she appeared at the assizes on 4th December, where the prosecution did not contest the medical evidence that she was insane. Justice Ridley then ordered that she be detained at His Majesty's Pleasure. Remarkably, instructed by her husband, Sturgeon's solicitor made an immediate application for her discharge, stating that the murder took place in about of temporary insanity that was now cured. However, this was refused by the Home Secretary and she was removed to Broadmoor. She was released a few years later however and in the 1911 census is shown as living with Bill in Britannia Road, Wallasey.
Cheers Joe.
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby Shelagh » Wed Jun 27, 2018 8:21 pm

More interesting articles, Joe..another tram tragedy, seems to be commonplace in the early 1900s, dangerous means of transport for some :shock:

Next case, very disturbing, poor Mabel didn’t stand a chance with “Respectable middle-class woman from Mosley Hill” strange how these infant murders always seem to occur during a temporary spell of insanity...helps to lessen the prison sentence, I suppose!!


Thanks Joe!
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby filsgreen » Thu Jun 28, 2018 5:51 am

That's what money and "respectability" gets you, Shelagh. Some kids were just born unlucky, amazing the way you put your children in the local paper. :shock: Thanks for posting, Joe. :D
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Wed Jul 04, 2018 11:50 pm

Once again thanks for your comments Shelagh, and Phil they are much appreciated. :wink:
Cheers Joe.
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Wed Jul 04, 2018 11:57 pm

Tithebarn Street Outrage
Two young men who murdered their victim by kicking him down the street like a football were hanged in 1874, while an accomplice faced life imprisonment.

26-year-old dock worker Robert Morgan had made an August Bank Holiday trip to New Ferry with his wife and brother. On returning to Liverpool they had a quick drink in Chapel Street before continuing their journey to their home in Leeds Street. All three were perfectly sober

Robert Morgan's half-brother Samuel.
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Passing a pub in Tithebarn Street, Morgan was asked for 6d for ale by 20-year-old John McCrave, one of the notorious Cornermen, who terrorised Liverpool. Morgan made the mistake of suggesting that McCrave should work for this and McCrave replied that his work was taking money from people like him. McCrave then knocked Morgan to the ground and after being joined by 19-year-old Patrick Campbell and 17-year-old Michael Mullen, the victim was kicked for 40 feet before police could intervene. It was too late to save him and Morgan was pronounced dead at the Northern Hospital. Most alarming was that before police arrived, a crowd had gathered and was cheering as the incident took place.

McCrave was arrested that evening after being bravely pursued by Morgan's brother, who had also managed to knock Mullen down during the beating. The others were also in custody within days, Mullen having tried to escape to sea. Three doctors examined Morgan's body but although he was found to have a heart defect it was not one that would cause death and they concluded that he had died from shock as a result of the beating.

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At the trial, the Defence claimed that a verdict of manslaughter was more appropriate as there had been no premeditation. However, all three, who showed a complete indifference to what was going on was found guilty of murder and sentenced to death, the jury having also been moved by a weeping Mrs Morgan giving evidence. Campbell was recommended for mercy on account of his having held steady employment for two years and having apparently not been a gang member, but rather an accessory as he was in a relationship with McCrave's sister.

As he left the courtroom McCrave shouted to the public gallery that people should 'keep from drink.' Outside the court as the prison van drove them to Kirkdale the mother of one shouted that it was wrong that three should be hanged for the death of one. Families of the guilty men petitioned the Home Secretary for reprieves but few people amongst the general public supported them and a side petition calling for the gang members to be flogged to death received lukewarm support. It was not until two days before the execution that Campbell had his sentence commuted to life imprisonment, to the relief of his widowed mother who was a respectable shopkeeper.

After being attended to by Father Bonte, McCrave and Mullen were hanged at Kirkdale on 4th January 1875. McCrave, who had already been to gaol on 18 separate occasions and was described by the Liverpool Mercury as 'one of the worst type of the dangerous classes' showed great terror at the hangman's noose but Mullen remained calm and indifferent throughout.
Cheers Joe.
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:59 pm

Mother Drowns Newborn Twins
After falling pregnant to her lodger in 1878, a woman drowned the newborn twins but managed to avoid the death penalty on appeal in a case that had a profound effect on the judge.


Ellen Lanigan was a mother of four but in 1873 her husband was committed to the asylum at Rainhill, leaving her to run a small sweet shop in Richmond Row. She took in a lodger, Mr McLoughlin, for extra money but he took advantage of Ellen's loneliness and she became pregnant. However, when Ellen was forced to give up her business McLoughlin disappeared and in desperation, she sent her two children to live with relatives in Manchester then went to the Liverpool Workhouse.

On 30th April Ellen gave birth to twin girls and two weeks later moved out of the workhouse to lodge with a Mrs Fletcher in Morley Street. On 17th May Ellen went out of the house with the twins and returned the following afternoon, saying that she had paid to have them put in the care of a nurse. She then said she was going to Manchester to see her other two children.

On 19th May the bodies of the two babies were found in separate ash pits off Stanley Road and their identities were established by the workhouse clothing and the recollection of the doctor who vaccinated them. Ellen was eventually arrested on 31st May in Denton and she made an immediate full confession, saying that poverty had driven her to do what she did and that she had sat up in the field crying all night after drowning them. The reason, she said, that they were found in two different places was because she had taken one child out thinking she was still alive, so then left her body elsewhere.

Ellen was charged with murder and at her trial on 29th July, throughout which she wept bitterly, the only defence offered was that she had carried out the crime due to her unfortunate circumstances. In a case described by the prosecuting counsel as 'one of the saddest and most melancholy' that he had ever come across, she was found guilty with a strong recommendation for mercy.

Lord Chief Justice Cockburn
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Lord Justice Cockburn said he had no option but to pass the death sentence but that he would forward the recommendation and add his own, and that he hoped it would take effect. He then left the courtroom in an indisposed manner, leaving another judge to finish off the remaining cases that day. On 16th August, Ellen received the news in the condemned cell that the death sentence had been commuted to life imprisonment.
Cheers Joe.
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby filsgreen » Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:41 am

She was lucky, Joe, the woman must have been convincing to get the sentance commuted.
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby lynne99 » Sun Jul 15, 2018 9:20 am

Hi, Joe and all. I have been busy marking for 3 1/2 weeks so not had any time to read posts. I am up to date now and as usual the 3 I missed were well worth reading. Thanks as always Joe. Lynne
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby Shelagh » Mon Jul 16, 2018 8:38 am

What a very sad case; two babies murdered - their two siblings seperatated from their parents!!
Workhouse and domestic circumstances may have played a part in the disturbed condition of Ellen Lanigan’s mind!

Tragic case, Joe!!

(Lynn, feel very sorry for you, daughter also had three weeks of marking - monotonous, time consuming and never ending :roll:

Time now to relax and enjoy the rest of summer :D )
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Thu Jul 19, 2018 10:14 pm

Once again thanks for your comments Shelagh, Lynne, and Phil they are much appreciated. :wink: :)
Cheers Joe.
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby fatboyjoe90 » Thu Jul 19, 2018 10:16 pm

Medical Doubts Spare Strangling Wife
A woman whose husband died when she tied a handkerchief around his neck avoided being found guilty of murder when a doctor couldn't be certain that her actions directly caused the death.


In 1896 Sarah and James Brady lived in Thurlow Street, which was situated off Richmond Row. The couple were in their forties and although not particularly happily married, had not been known to have any drunken or violent rows.

Richmond Row.
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That changed on the morning of 17th June that year when Sarah was heard to be shouting violent threats to her husband, then in the evening, she called out to a neighbour Ellen Duffy for help. When Duffy went to the Brady's house, she saw James lying on his back. He had a handkerchief around his neck which Sarah's hand was stuck in and she asked for help in getting it out.


The handkerchief was so twisted that Duffy couldn't release Sarah's hand and after her husband couldn't either it had to be cut. When this was done James was found to be dead, leading to her arrest and committal to the next assizes for trial.


On 5th August Sarah appeared before Mr Justice Cave. Mr and Mrs Duffy told how the handkerchief was so tight that James's flesh was hanging over it. Another neighbour said she had heard Sarah say she would hang for her husband earlier in the day, and the police officers who attended described the scene of smashed glasses and pans lying on the floor.


Dr Leech who had got there half an hour after the discovery and carried out the post-mortem then gave his evidence. He said that James had passed out as a result of having the handkerchief tied around his neck and had blue marks where that had happened. However, in cross-examination, he admitted that there was a heart problem which may have exacerbated due to the tying of the handkerchief.


Justice Cave then asked him directly what caused death and he replied that it could have been the handkerchief. This led to an angry response from the judge who said 'I don't want "could" or "might", what was the cause of death?' The doctor replied that although death occurred when the handkerchief was tied around he neck, he couldn't be certain that was the actual cause. With serious doubts now having been placed in the jury's minds about the tying of the handkerchief directly causing the death, a manslaughter verdict was returned. She was then sentenced to ten years penal servitude.
Cheers Joe.
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby lynne99 » Fri Jul 20, 2018 4:03 pm

Another conundrum??? Did she try to strangle him, or not. If she did why was her hand under the handkerchief??? So many questions . Thanks Joe.
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Re: Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Postby filsgreen » Fri Jul 20, 2018 7:22 pm

Thanks for posting, Joe. In her panic, she could have been trying to tug it off, Lynne. As you say, It's a tough call.
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