Contained within the pages of Gloucestershire Murders are the stories behind some of the most notorious murders in the county’s history. The cases covered include the most fascinating but least known crimes, as well as famous murders that gripped not just Gloucestershire but the whole nation.
The featured cases are:
The Campden Wonder
In 1660 William Harrison walked out of the village of Chipping Campden and did not return. It was assumed that he had been murdered, and his servant John Perry accused his mother and brother of the crime with himself as accessory. In 1661 all three were found guilty and hanged. In 1662 William Harrison came home.
Legacy of Death
Sea captain Samuel Goodere tried every means to get hold of his older brother’s inheritance and in 1741 resorted to murder, abducting him in broad daylight on the streets of Bristol and taking him on board his ship to be strangled. He was arrogant enough to think he could get away with it, but he was mistaken.
A Shot in the Dark
In 1819 eleven men stood in the dock at Gloucester Assizes accused of murder. They were poachers, and during a violent affray in the woods at night a gamekeeper had been killed. But who fired the fatal shot?
Edmund Edmonds must have been the most hated man in Newent. A solicitor who enjoyed the conflict of litigation he had made many enemies, so there was some delight when in 1872 his niece revealed that his wife’s apparently natural death in 1867 had been murder. Edmonds was denounced by the newspapers and from the pulpit, but the trial told a different tale.
In 1874 three people were hanged at Gloucester Gaol for two murders which had happened on the same day in the previous year, one a crime of passion, the other a coldly calculated plan to poison a baby.
Virtue and Sin
There was no doubt that Frederick Wyndham was unstable. He frequently quarrelled with his 73 year old widower father, James, for taking a young mistress, Virtue Mills. The last straw which led to murder in 1893 was James’s attempt to kill his own daughter. Frederick’s only regret was that he hadn’t also killed Virtue Mills.
The Mad Cyclist
John Scott and William Williams were friends who often went on cycle rides together. One day in 1902 they went out as usual but only Williams returned. By the time Scott’s body was discovered, Williams too was dead.
The Poisoning of Harry Pace
When, in January 1928, Harry Pace died after months of agony, his family was quick to accuse his wife, Beatrice of poisoning him. She then revealed that Harry had been a violent man and an abuser of young girls. By the time she came to trial public opinion was on her side.
Published 21st July 2005 by Sutton Publishing Ltd.