The Chinese Honeymoon murder at Cumma Catta Wood, Grange, Borrowdale, on 19th June, 1928.
On 18th June 1928, a newly married Chinese couple arrived at The Borrowdale Gates Hotel, at Grange, in that tranquil Cumbrian valley; the proprietor was Miss Beatrice Elizabeth Crossley. The man was 28-year-old Chung Yi Miao, and his wife was 29-year-old Wia Sheung Sui Miao, and it would later transpire that she was the daughter of a wealthy Chinese Mandarin and his favourite wife. The two had been married in New York on 12th May, the husband was also a Chinese national whose occupation was believed to be a student, although he apparently had a doctorate in law from Chicago University. She was a highly educated woman, taking great interest in the feminist movement in China. She was travelling on her honeymoon, with jewellery amounting to just under £4,000. She also had cheques to the value of £60 and in her possession was a letter of credit of the National City Bank of New York to the value of $10,000 (then £2,000), of which £500 had been withdrawn and £250 having been placed in the Glasgow branch of the Bank of Scotland, in both her and her husband’s name.
|The Borrowdale Gates Hotel.|
The married couple had arrived at Glasgow from Montreal on 11th June, had stayed there a few days before going on to Edinburgh, where they left for Grange, Borrowdale, arriving on 18th. It was noted by the staff and guests that they were on perfectly good terms and on the morning of 19th they had breakfast together in the dining room. A guest noticed that the lady was wearing a solitaire diamond ring and a platinum loop ring studded with diamonds.
|29-year-old Wia Sheung Sui Miao|
|28-year-old Chung Yi Miao|
Around 7:30pm on Tuesday 19th June 1928, a local farmer called Mr. Thomas Wilson (at the time it was reported as a Mr. Wright) was out walking from Grange, Borrowdale. He had taken a track to the east of the Borrowdale road and was just south of Cumma Catta Woods, near Grange. Some distance from the track he could see a woman lying on her back between two rocks and she had an open umbrella over her head and shoulders. The location was around 400 yards from Grange bridges (although later accounts state between half a mile or just under a mile), around 35 yards from the bank of the River Derwent, roughly 66 yards from the main Borrowdale road and about 60 to 70 feet above the river itself. She was screened from observation by a bank of trees. Mr. Wright did not approach her but on going back to Grange he mentioned it to others. Wia Sheung Sui Miao was reported to the proprietor of the hotel by her new husband as having not returned, having apparently gone to Keswick to shop. Staying at Manor House, Grange with a relative (George Thomas Mounsey) was a Mr. William Pendlebury who was a Southport police detective by profession, having joined the constabulary in 1914 (he would be promoted to sergeant in November 1930). Through his policing experience he was concerned enough by what he heard related to him by his host that he telephoned to Keswick police station before attending the area with Mr. Mounsey himself. There he found the body of the newly wed Chinese lady who was lain on her back with her skirt and underwear pulled up, and her knickers torn up each side to the central seam. Round her neck was cords which had clearly been used to strangle her. Her left glove was off her hand and her ring finger showed signs of a ring or rings having been worn but were missing. There was no jewellery on her expensively dressed body, except for a platinum wristwatch.
|The likely scene of the murder, the two rocks, near the popular Bowder Stone path|
|A closer shot of the stones|
|The above stones are just visible in the trees to the right of the rocky outcrop, as viewed from the Bowder Stone path.|
|Map of the area with the hotel red flagged near top, and likely murder scene located near the bottom.|
(The above location is as best as I can be sure, is to the west of the popular Bowder Stone path. As the crow flies, it is half a mile from Grange Bridges. It also matches the locations of height and distance from the river Derwent; nothing, moving towards a distance of 400 yards, can closely match the distances from the river and road, nor is there a discernible two stone resting place).
At 9pm Inspector Harry Graham attended and realised there were 4 ligatures around her neck. He made arrangements for Mr. Mayson of Keswick to take photographs that could then be shown to the courts, and also for Dr. Crawford to attend and examine the body, prior to it being moved. The doctor confirmed strangulation as the cause of death, and his expert opinion was that this had occurred between 2:30pm and no later than 5pm; no struggle seemed to have occurred. A later most mortem showed that no attempt had actually been made to sexually assault the woman, despite the layout of the body.
The Inspector made enquires in the neighbourhood and went to the Borrowdale Gates Hotel. There he saw the deceased woman’s husband, who was in bed in his pyjamas. He cautioned him and arrested him on suspicion of causing the death of his wife. In broken English, the man said, ‘What do you say, my wife dead? What you mean by that?’
He was taken by car to Keswick Police Station by Pc Scott and once there, he asked the officer, ‘Did you see my wife?’ When the officer confirmed he had, he curiously asked, ‘Did she have knickers on?’ The next day the Deputy Chief Constable, Superintendent Barron, saw him at the cell and Miao had said, ‘It’s terrible! My wife dead, assaulted, robbed!’ He was asked for his clothing and curiously said that bloodstains were on the coat and were there from their time in New York. When the coat was later inspected, there were no bloodstains at all. These strange comments would form part of the circumstances at later courts, in particular the Assizes trial.
Inspector Graham remained at the room and searched it, finding there a suitcase, a lady’s black grip bag, and one or two other articles. In the suitcase was a snakeskin jewel case, although there was no key. After securing the room, the next day those contents were taken to the police station for examination.
Enquiries later showed that although the woman had been apparently suffering from a cold the couple were seen at 12:30pm near Grange Bridge. She was last seen at about 2:40pm and that was roughly 120 feet from where her body was found. Her husband was seen later at about 4pm, walking in the direction of Grange Bridge; a little later he was again viewed walking leisurely near the Borrowdale Gates Hotel and was carrying something under his coat. Dorothy Beatrix Holliday was a housemaid at the Borrowdale Gates and had seen him return and heard him in the couple’s room. She had been in her own room and knew that neither had returned earlier. She went to him at 5pm to ask if he wanted anything for tea and whether the lady would want anything? He had replied that she had gone to Keswick to shop and would be back at 6pm. At that time, she had not returned, nor at 7pm. He had dinner and at 8pm and now formerly reported to the staff that his wife had not returned. She reported the matter to her employer, Miss Crossley. He kept on making enquiries of her and Miss Crossley, but at 10pm asked for a candle and went to his bed.
On the evening of Wednesday 20th an inquest was opened, however, it was adjourned until 21st October that year (it would eventually be adjourned indefinitely following the Assizes Court verdict). At 6pm that same day the prisoner was charged by Inspector Graham with the murder of his wife; he denied the allegation. He was remanded until the following Friday and asked if his brother in Portugal could be informed of his detention, also his grandparents in Hong Kong; he had no friends in the United Kingdom. The inquest was the first time the public and press had of seeing the accused in person and he was described as an unusually tall man for a person of Chinese origin, with jet black hair which was swept back in the modern style; his wife had been small in stature, at under 5ft in height.
That week, greater detail of the two began to emerge. A Chinese merchant living in London told enquiring press reporters that Wai Sheung Sui Miao was known to him. He said that he knew her well, from her visits to London and also from the far east, from some years ago; she had lived with her parents; her maiden name was Wai Sheung Sui. She had come to London in 1924 to open a curio shop at the Webley Exhibition but had been shortly recalled to China as her father had become seriously ill. He died later and she inherited shares in the family business, along with her brother, a fellow merchant based in Lisbon, Portugal, the only other sibling. He met her again in 1927 in Shanghai. She was a great Young Women’s Christian Association (Y.W.C.A.) worker in China and described her only failing as being too generous. He estimated her dowry as around £12,000, with other expensive gifts. She spoke English fluently and had pre-booked rooms in London whilst she had stayed at Edinburgh; he described her as a very capable woman. Her father was described as a Chinese Merchant Prince of great wealth.
The funeral took place at Crosthwaite Church on the afternoon of Friday 22nd. Great secrecy had been observed, with only around 40 other people present, mainly women, who also laid flowers on the coffin. Originally, she was to be buried in a pauper’s grave, but the funeral director, Walter Swinburne, had paid for the grave and oak coffin out of his own funds. Although not certain, no doubt there would be an expectation by him to recover the money from a grateful family. Also present at the funeral were Inspector Graham and several his officers. Her brother was expected to arrive in England later that week. Certain organs had been retained and sent to London for analysis, as questions were being asked as to the exact cause of death, although this would not add to the later evidence.
The accused appeared at Keswick court on remand on Friday 29th, represented by Mr. Oglethorpe, a Keswick solicitor. He had been brought to the court from the railway station, in a horse-bus, having been detained at Preston Prison. He was once again remanded for a further fortnight.
In various remand hearings and at the later Assizes court case, several local witnesses were able to give evidence of witnessing the couple on the main roadway side of Grange Bridges, and near the wicket gate south of them, but only he had been seen to return. The last remand hearing was on Tuesday 31st July and the accused man was committed to trial at Carlisle Assizes court in October; he still denied murdering his wife.
The Assizes was held on Monday 22nd October at Carlisle, presided over by Justice Humphreys, where a Not Guilty plea was entered. The prisoner had been detained at Strangeways Prison, Manchester, and had been brought from there for the trial. The circumstances outlined by the prosecution were those that had earlier been given to the police court hearings and it further outlined that the murder had not been witnessed by anyone, although the evidence to be given was that only the accused could be responsible for his own wife’s death. The circumstances related were similar in the build-up to those given at earlier courts in Keswick, but emphasis was now placed on the way the body was laid out, to give a clear yet false impression that the victim had been assaulted with the intention of lust. The prosecution barrister highlighted the taking of the rings from the left hand, which would prove important. The whole spectacle suggested one of outrage and robbery, but there was no evidence of rape. The strange comments he had made after arrest were now repeated for the court to consider what the intention was in saying such things, such as the non-existent bloodstains. Although no jewellery was found at the scene or visible at the hotel, the contents that were taken to the police station were inspected and the evidence of this was given to the court. The accused said that he did not have a key for the jewellery box, brought by Inspector Graham to the station, but a bunch of keys was found hidden in the fold of one of his dress shirts. On opening the box various pieces were found including a pearl necklace. The police asked a local photographer, Mr. Mayson, to develop two film spools found with their camera. When one of the spools was opened several days after the murder, a diamond ring and a wedding ring fell out, having been wrapped up inside. It was suggested to the court and jury that the accused had taken them from the deceased’s left hand and hidden them; how could they have been found in his possession, if he had not committed the crime? The suggestion was that this would be done to cause a further belief of robbery after a supposed rape.
The witness evidence was firstly of a formal nature, with the Principal of St. Stephen’s College in Hong Kong, giving some history of her time there and in that province. The bank clerk in Glasgow also appeared. Plans of the area were submitted by Mr. James Peascod of Keswick. Various people of Grange and hotel staff repeated their earlier evidence to the Assize court, which adjourned at 4:30pm, and restarted at 10:30am the next day.
Inspector Graham then gave evidence and said the accused had written three telegrams whilst in the cells. He read one to the court that was addressed to a Mr. Sui. in Hong Kong, it said,
‘Wai Sheung and myself stayed in Borrowdale Gates Hotel, and I had very bad cold. She asked me to go to bed and she alone went out to walk and go down town shopping and buy medication for me. The police found she had died by strangulation in a wood and not allowed to see her. I do not know where and how she died. She went out with pearl necklace and handbag. I ask police officers here whether these things are there or not, and they do not tell me.’
The inspector then explained to the court about the key, the jewel box, and the pearl necklace within, along with other jewellery and five gold dollar pieces. Other forensic evidence was then given by Professor M’Call, the Liverpool pathologist, then by a jeweller on the value of her possessions.
The defence then opened their case and said that the prosecution one was built on a theory only. He said Miao was of good birth, had a brilliant career ahead of him, before he married his wife. The defence claimed that the deceased had openly displayed her jewellery to others, both on the ship crossing and prior to the journey, and put forward a theory that some people existed solely from robbing rich people. He said his client had seen two likely Chinese or Japanese people intently watching them in Glasgow, then in Edinburgh, then in Keswick on the day of the murder. He claimed it was another necklace that was missing, not the one found by Inspector Graham in the case, and that it was an international gang that targeted her while on her own, away from her strong husband. (This would mean that there were two necklaces, not one, but only one had been insured during the journey.)
When the accused gave his evidence, he said that his father was wealthy and a member of a legislative council. He himself had attended New York to qualify in law. He and his wife met in America and married with parental consent. He stated that his wife openly spoke of her expensive jewellery and their honeymoon trip was widely reported in the newspapers. He claimed he saw these people of oriental origin, in Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Grange, but took them to be tourists. He stated it was his wife who put the two rings in the Kodak spool that day after breakfast. He said that the afternoon walk was interrupted by rain and they both walked back to the hotel, and she then intended on going to Keswick for underwear and medication; he said he kissed her on parting. All the strange points and jewellery locations were countered by explanations over misunderstood words, such as the word ‘knickers’ when he actually said ‘necklace’, and jewellery wearing, claiming it was a different necklace she took with her other than the one found.
Another important piece of evidence were three slips of paper with Chinese writing on them, which had been found in the room they had occupied at the Edinburgh hotel. He agreed it was his writing but disagreed with the interpretations. The translations were: (1) “Arrival Europe, again consider”: (2) “Be sure not to do this thing on this ship”; (3) “Be sure of doing it on this ship.” He said the true translations were: (1) “Arrival Europe, and then discuss”; (2) “Do not discuss this on this boat”; (3) “Be sure to discuss this matter on this ship.” Everything he now said was an explanation of how what he said had been misinterpreted; stating that he had told the superintendent that she had been ‘rudely murdered’, not ‘robbed murdered’. As for the location of the key, he claimed it had been mixed up by the police searching the luggage and must have dropped into his things.
The case was again resumed on the Wednesday. The discussion on other Chinese or Japanese people being seen in the area was confirmed by various local witnesses, however the nearest to the scene of the murder any were seen was at the corner of the Royal Oak Hotel in Keswick itself, no closer, which was about four miles away.
After the summing up by the defence the judge them made his observations on the position of the law and certain points of evidence. One crucial point he made was that the rings were secreted, not just placed in the Kodak spools. He asked the jury to consider the point of the defence, that the deceased had herself placed the rings in the spool. They had to consider why she would do that when she had a jewellery case, the contents of which were worth thousands of pounds? He pointed out that the body had been laid out as if outraged, but no such outrage had been done, indeed there was not a single bruise on her body. On the glove being removed, clearly this was done to take the rings, so the jury had to ask themselves how it was that they came into the possession of the accused? A further consideration for the jury was, how did a stranger get close enough to strangle her, but a person who knew her could succeed? How had he known she had been robbed before anyone told him? He had offered an explanation on this for the jury to consider. At the conclusion of the judge’s comments the jury retired, returning an hour later with a Guilty verdict.
When asked if he had anything he wished to say before sentence was passed, he repeatedly wished to say more to persuade the jury of his innocence. Finally, the judge reminded him that the jury had reached a verdict and he was being asked if he had anything to say before he passed the only sentence of law available to him. Eventually the judge donned the black cap and passed sentence of death, further commenting that he believed the jury had reached a correct verdict.
The Court of Appeal heard the case on Monday and Tuesday 19th and 20th November where Lord Chief Justice Hewart and Justices Avory and Acton were sitting. They considered the question of whether the evidence was sufficient for the jury to arrive at a proper verdict. Miao had spent 3hrs 30 minutes addressing the court in his own defence, speaking in broken English going over the whole of the evidence given at the Assizes trial. He finished by saying that he hoped to receive that world famous British justice.
Lord Hewart then went on to review the evidence and said that there had a concealment of the two rings in the photographic film carton (not merely placed there by his wife). He then continued,
“These two rings were part of the £3,400 worth of jewellery that this dead woman left behind her. That Miao’s cupidity got the better of his cunning was shown by his questions to one of the young witnesses regarding the bridge near the bathing pool near which the body of the dead woman was found. There have been suggestions that two Orientals were involved in the murder, as thy had been seen in the vicinity. But at no time was either of them found in the company of Miao’s wife. It is impossible to say that there was not ample evidence to find this appellant committed this crime. The Judges summing up was extremely careful and impartial. Miao is truly guilty of a diabolical and calculated crime. Having listened to the appellant, one is satisfied that whatever else his greatest difficulty was not his lack of knowledge of the English language. He has said that he was misunderstood, but his real difficulty was that he was understood too well. The appeal is dismissed.”
Again, at this court, Miao tried to turn to plead his case further with the Justices, but the wardens quickly closed around him and he was ushered out of the court.
The date of execution was set for early December, at Strangeways Prison, this being the last place he was detained prior to his Assizes trial, although the arrangements were to be made by the High Sheriff of Cumberland. An appeal was sent by his solicitor to the Home Office, asking for a reprieve from that terrible sentence of law being conducted; word was received on Tuesday 4th saying that the appeal was not granted. Even towards the end, others tried to show that the woman had been murdered by one of several secret Chinese societies who it was said he associated with during his time in America and who now had a vendetta towards him, since he had given up his membership. It was said these societies were more fearsome than the mafia themselves. That allegation was put forward by his weeping mother, who a correspondent of the press spoke to as she tried to make her way to England to assist in any reprieve, or be there to comfort her son at the end. Miao had himself spent some time in Paris in the past and had been known to be a womaniser. He would regularly have females back at his rooms and it was also rumoured he had been engaged to be married to an English woman of title. The correspondent spoke to her and she described him as a charmer, but just prior to the wedding she decided that their temperaments were incompatible. All such pleas of clemency had no effect, and the hanging was conducted on Thursday 6th by Thomas Pierrepoint. No family or compatriots were reported as being present and this was supposed to be due to him professing to Christianity, prior to the execution.
The one account that detailed the ‘Chinese Tong’ theory was in the Liverpool Echo of 8th December, so just after Miao was executed. As with all news accounts, there are ‘variations’ with other accounts, such as the father of the bride’s status, a brother of his in Cardiff, etc., but the account is worth considering.
Liverpool Echo 8th December 1928
MURDER BY ‘TONG’.
Grim Secret of Chinese Honeymoon Drama
AN AMAZING THEORY
WAS MIAO ORDERED TO KILL HIS BRIDE?
An amazing theory has been put forward to explain why Chung Yi-miao, the young Chinese law student who was executed at Strangeways Gaol, Manchester, on Thursday, murdered his young bride on their honeymoon at Keswick.
Miao was found guilty of the murder, but no plausible motive for the crime has ever been suggested.
The suggestion is now made, states the London "Daily Express" that the grim tragedy was nothing more nor less than an incident in the deadly "Tong' warfare which exists between rival gangs of Chinese. If the theory is correct, Miao strangled his bride in obedience to the orders of his Tong.
Two mysterious Chinamen were repeatedly mentioned in the course of the trial, and attempts were made to throw on them the blame for the crime. It is suggested in the following statement that they were the emissaries of the Tong, charged with the duty of seeing that Miao carried out the death sentence which had been passed on his bride.
The following is the statement which has been supplied to the "Daily Express" :-
'Mrs. Chung Miao was the only surviving child of a Mr. Sheung Wai, a wealthy Chinese merchant, of Hong Kong. She was educated in England. During the British Empire Exhibition, she managed her father's exhibits for him in the Chinese section.
LIFE IN LONDON.
Miss Sheung Wai was an exceedingly pretty girl. and was popular with both Chinese, and Europeans in London. She was known as a frequent visitor to several night clubs, where she was to be seen constantly dancing with her countrymen.
At the conclusion of the British Empire Exhibition Mr. Sheung Wai and his daughter returned to China. Shortly afterwards her father died, leaving her the whole of his vast fortune.
For a time Miss Sheung Wai lived quietly in Hong Kong. Her English education. however, made her long for the companionship of cultured people. It was not surprising. therefore, that when she met Chung Yi-Miao in China last summer she should be attracted by him.
Miao was on a holiday from America, where he as studying law at Chicago University. His western education attracted Miss Sheung Wai, and he soon was seen about as her constant companion.
Miao was the son of a wealthy Chinese Government official. He had an ample private allowance from his father, and was acceptable in every way.
His holiday being at an end. Miao returned to Chicago, and Miss Sheung Wai arranged to meet him there in winter.
Chung Yi-miao was member of a power - Chinese Tong, or secret society. whose activities are world-wide. In the United States, after he returned, he learned to his horror that Miss Sheung's father was an enemy of his Tong and it was stated that his death was not unconnected with the blood feud which had been going on for generations between the Sheung Wai family and the Tong.
The Chicago members of the Town then discovered his affection for Miss Sheung Wia. He was summoned before them and told that he had been especially selected to carry out the fearful vengeance of the secret society.
Miao pleaded for mercy, but he was bound to obey the orders of his superiors in the Tong. They threatened him with dire penalties if he did not obey their commands, and at last they wore down his resistance and he gave his reluctant consent to the murder of Miss Sheung. In November last Miss Sheung Wia arrived in Chicago to stay with some Chinese friends.
STRUGGLE TO ESCAPE.
Miao was frequently seen with her in the dance halls and Chinese restaurants of the City. He had a small two-seater motorcar in which they used to go motoring together. On several occasions he was tempted to carry out the orders of his Tong. He had plenty of opportunities for murdering the unsuspecting girl, but always at the last moment held back.
As time wore on the frightfulness of the deed began to prey on his mind. He eventually decided to save the girl's life and cheat the Tong of its vengeance.
In May he secretly married the girl in Chicago, and left on the night train for New York. He had booked a passage for his bride and himself in a liner sailing from New York to Glasgow.
It was his intention on arrival in England to join his brother, who is in business in Cardiff.
Unfortunately for him, two Chinamen had been ordered to keep a watch on his movements. They followed him to England.
In vain he pleaded with them to allow him to enjoy life in a new country with his bride.
THE FINAL TRAGEDY.
The mysterious slips of paper produced at the trial are stated to have been portions of letters which the wretched man wrote to them pleading for a postponement of the murder. They were found by the police after he was arrested.
Miao was frightened now that his own life, as well as that of his wife, might be forfeited. At Glasgow, when the boat docked, he succeeded in giving his pursuers the slip.
He made for Keswick in the Lake district. It seemed to him that amid the lakes and mountains of Cumberland he would be safe for a time.
The two Chinamen, however picked up his trail. He was traced to Carlisle and from thence to Keswick.
Twenty-four hours later Mrs. Chung Yi-miao was found strangled in a wood.
Several persons saw the two Chinamen in the district, but the undoubted evidence pointed to Miao as the perpetrator of the crime.
What passed between him and his sinister companions the world will never know. Somehow or other he was nerved to commit the terrible deed, which he expiated on the scaffold Thursday morning.'
However, such an account still begs the question, ‘Why did he take and conceal the rings’? If financial gain had not been the motive, why, having set the scene to appear as a robbery, had he not thrown the rings in the undergrowth or the Derwent, anywhere between the murder scene and the Borrowdale Gates; had he done so, they would never have been found by the police. A further consideration would be, Why had such a powerful Tong not been able to exact a vengeance on a young innocent girl, since the time of her father’s death, some years previous? Even had there been a grain of truth to the Tong account, it still meant that he murdered his new bride. The only affect, if such an account had been accepted, may have been on the sentence appeal, but clearly the Lordships dismissed this.
On the night of Thursday 20th December, under a Home Office Order, the body of Wia Sheung Sui Miao was exhumed by four workers under the direction of the undertaker Mr. Swinburne, and Inspector Graham. The plain Oak coffin was transferred to the mortuary, sealed in a lead cask, and placed in a further oak coffin. On Friday 28th the coffin was placed on board the blue funnel liner Calchas at Birkenhead Victoria Dock in preparation for the sea voyage to her homeland. The Chinese belief was that the body should be preserved and would one day be resurrected and joined once again with the soul. It was said that a Gold Ornate coffin was to be used for the final internment, at a cost of £5,000 for the coffin alone. Prior to the burial at Canton the deceased was to be firstly taken to Shanghai and Funchow, where there were branches of the Mandarin’s family. At Canton the ceremony was expected to last several days, more than one hundred professional mourning women would add to the-mile-long procession, along with a dozen bands of musicians. The Canton Beggars Guild was expected to call ‘delegates’ from all parts of the province to take part in the ceremony. Geomancer ‘magicians’ were to decide on the most propitious date for the internment.
At Keswick Court on Friday 11th January 1929, Deputy Chief Constable Barron applied for an order for dealing with the goods of both the deceased and the executed man. He had written to the latter at Strangeways and he replied that he wished all his goods to be sold and the proceeds given to his brother, and he wanted nothing of the property of his wife. He had signed a document on 6th November confirming this, which seemed pointless, as by English law a person could not benefit from such a crime. The court made such orders for the disposal of both properties. The property of the deceased wife was ordered to be dealt with by handing over to her brother.
That Miao murdered his wife on their honeymoon was not doubted by all that considered the evidence; what no one could ever truly answer was, why?
The Property of Chung Yi Miao was disposed of by public auction, conducted by Penrith Farmers and Kidd’s Auction, Co., Ltd., in conjunction with Joseph Mayson on 27th February 1929, at The Drill Hall, Keswick. This was done under Section 1 of the Police Properties Act 1897. This was a white gold wristlet watch, a gent’s gold watch and guard, gold wedding ring, a pair of jade and gold cufflinks in a case, a gold locket, a black leather brief bag, a brown expanding suitcase, leather attaché cases, a small clock, a black trunk, a reading table, a tennis racquet in a press, a camera in a case, a quantity of coins (copper and silver), a quantity of books, blue and grey suits of clothes, blue and grey overcoats, black and brown shoes, a pair of gloves, an officer’s khaki uniform, a pair of brown knee boots, a dress suit, a waterproof coat, and other personal clothing.
Somewhere, in and around the vicinity of Keswick, there could be someone who is now the unknowing owner of a murderer’s personal belongings.
In later March 1934, 81 year old Tom Wilson died at Grange and the story of his grim discovery in Cumma Catta wood was once again recalled in the local press.