Some cool True Crime images:
Image by postbear
sorting through cds for the yard sale left only a short amount of time to weed out the books i no longer wanted. that was fine as two years ago i did a big purge, selling and donating about 2/3 of the stacks. this is part of the pile i read while pretty much confined to bed after the last surgery – only one piece of pure crap in this shot, i hid the rest of the real crimes against literature from the camera.
i don’t mind reading junk once in a while, and some guilty pleasures are quite a lot of fun, but there’s no need to show it off (and i ditched much of it before i thought to photograph it). and really, the awful book here is bad enough to stand in for the rest.
True Detective Magazine..February 1962..25 Cents …
Image by marsmet463
Murder of Lucy Derrick Thornbury 1879
Image by brizzle born and bred
EXTRAORDINARY CONFESSIONS BY A MURDERER.
The inquest on the murdered woman, Lucy Derrick, resulted in a verdict of " Wilful murder " against the man in custody, Edward Smart, who has made statements to the police showing a disregard of human life probably unparalleled in the annals of crime.
His only reason for the murder he says was that he was tired of his life.
He left his uncle’s determined to murder somebody, no matter whom. He made three attempts to carry out his purpose, and succeded in the last.
Before leaving Bristol he called at the house of a poor woman in Gloucester-street and asked for a drink of water.
While she was gone to fetch it he took out the hammer, intending to fell her, and afterwards cut her throat ; but before she returned several little children had gathered round the door, and he was then disconcerted.
He then walked to Thornbury, where he saw two of the children of Mr. Stafford Howard, M.P., standing outside the gate of their residence, Thornbury Castle. He made up his mind to murder them in the same way; but, as he was nearing them, some people came in sight, and he walked on.
Soon afterwards he met Lucy Derrick, or, rather, he slackened his pace in order that she might overtake him.
The surgeon found five contused wounds on her head, and the muscles of her neck and windpipe were completely severed. Mr. Cox, commercial traveller, who first came upon the scene, asked the prisoner what he had done, and he replied, " Murdered a woman." Mr. Cox asked him why, and he said "he did not know." When police constable Critohley drove up to apprehend him, and was getting down, the prisoner said he need not trouble, he would get up ; and he did, at once beginning a coaversation about the deceased, asking the officer if he knew her, and then descanting on the qualities of the horse.
The prisoner’s mother, whose name is neither Saundera nor Smart, occupies a decent position at Brighton, where she keep 3 a lodging-house, and her husband, who is not the prisoner’s father, is house steward in a good family.
The prisoner does not seem to feel his position in the least.
The murder for which Edward Smart suffered the utmost penalty of the law on Monday in Gloucester Gaol did not excite very wide interest, but is certainly one of the most remarkable to be found in the annals of crime.
The case presents these singular features — a man committed murder with the deliberate purpose of being hanged, never after deviated from his eccentric desire and actually underwent the fatal sentence; the plea of insanity raised on his behalf being disregarded.
Such were the facts that their announcement was recieved with a general conclusion that the man was mad.
The culprit was tried at Worcester before Mr. Justice Hawkins. The Jury, after hearing all the evidence, deliberated in private for an hour and three quarters and returned into Court with a verdict of guilty, appended to which was a recommendation for mercy. The Judge, in passing sentence of death, begged the prisoner not to look for mercy but to prepare for his end, and still the prisoner testified no emotion whatsoever.
From the day of his arrival in Gloucester Gaol where the sentence was to be carried out, the man maintained to the last the same frame of mind as had moved him to commit the crime. Mr. Clifton, his Solicitor, had been making zealous efforts since the trial to get the sentence commuted and had forwarded an address to the Home Secretary; but to no avail. On the Saturday, Mr. Clifton received a communication that the Right Hon. Gentleman saw no reason to prevent the law taking its course. On the Sunday, the Chaplain administered Holy Communion to the culprit; in the evening Smart spent some time reading the Bible and ate a good supper before retiring to bed.
Just after seven in the morning, the Under Sheriff entered the cell and claimed the body in the usual legal form. Then to the scaffold and Marwood, the executioner — a rather short, middle-aged man attired in pepper and salt trousers and waistcoat, black jacket and bowler; a noticeable adornment of his attire being a massive Albert chain.
His whiskers and moustache are neatly trimmed, and his hard, shrewd, but not unkindly eyes, quiet, resolute and penetrating. When he has knotted the rope to his satisfaction and taken sundry measurements to ensure for his victim a free drop, he stands patiently surveying the scene. As the hour of eight approaches, Marwood brings forth the leather straps with which he purposes to pinion the culprit and just before eight strikes he enters the condemned cell.
Marwood is as adept in pinioning as he is in every other department of his work and without a word he proceeds to secure a strap round the arms and body of-the man so as to leave only the wrists free; he gives the necessary signal and the Under Sheriff leads the way to the gallows bearing his white wand of office.
The Chaplain continues reading the burial service, but no sooner is the culprit on the platform than Marwood rapidly pushes forward his work. Another moment and the noose is slipped around his neck, then he draws from his pocket a white cap which he adroitly places over the culprit’s face and without the slightest hesitation, and while the Chaplain is reading a prayer, nimbly slips to the back of the gallows where he strikes the handle of a lever and in an instant the platform falls in with a crash and the pinioned form falls, the rope alone remaining visible.
But the long drop has failed to attain its object. Those who have the nerve to look down into the pit see that for four minutes the suspended body swerves and jerks convulsively and the medical gentlemen state that respiration continues during that period. Marwood, evidently chagrined, stands silently gazing at his victim. At last the stillness of death ensues and the body is left to hang for the hour the law demands to ensure the extinction of life.
When the cap is removed from the face it is viewed by the medical gentlemen and Marwood. The lividity of the face suggests doubt whether death is due to strangulation or dislocation of the neck, he was seen to still breathe for several minutes on the end of the rope. Marwood emphatically declares the latter effect accomplished but the drop should have been a foot deeper.
When the black flag is hoisted over the prison porch the news is rapidly transmitted through the city and the knowledge that a fellow creature has been put to death is received with awe.
Excerpts from The Gloucester Journal 1879