LOOK­ING BACK AT CRIMES FROM THE PAST

Coventry Telegraph - - NEWS -

The Coven­try Tele­graph is look­ing back over some of the re­gion’s most fa­mous and grue­some crimes from our bloody past.

Among them are mur­ders and poi­son­ings, along with their re­sult­ing ex­e­cu­tions, with some dat­ing back more than 200 years.

Crime re­porter BEN EC­CLE­STON in­ves­ti­gates.

A 19-YEAR-OLD woman was sen­tenced to death for the mur­der of her own mother who had re­fused her per­mis­sion to marry.

Mary Jones was so in­censed at her mother’s de­ci­sion that she took a knife and nearly de­cap­i­tated her while she slept.

In her at­tempts to get away with her hor­rific crime, Jones then laid the false trial of the rob­bers break­ing in to the fam­ily home and car­ry­ing out the deed.

The ex­act year of the mur­der is un­known, but is likely to have been in the late 1700s or early 1800s.

This is how the crime was re­ported back then: “Jones kept com­pany with a young man by trade a glover - they were fond of each other. The day was ap­pointed for mar­riage and the wed­ding ring bought.”

Mary Jones asked her mother for per­mis­sion but “in­stead of find­ing her agree­able she was quite the re­verse and de­clared if she did marry him she shouldn’t have a share of her money”.

The re­port con­tin­ues: “This so dis­tressed her in mind that she de­ter­mined the de­struc­tion of her mother which she ef­fected in the fol­low­ing man­ner; the mother be­ing ac­cus­tomed to take a glass of rum and wa­ter to bed, on the night of the hor­rid deed she took care to mix her liquor stronger than usual to make her sleep sounder and when she had re­tired to bed and sleepy, she en­tered the room and with a sharp knife nearly sep­a­rated her head from her body. She then went to her own bed and left the home door open. The next morn­ing she alarmed the neigh­bours say­ing the house was robbed and her mother mur­dered.”

Im­me­di­ate searches for the killer was made and “the fol­low­ing day this un­nat­u­ral daugh­ter was found to vary in her ac­counts about her mother go­ing to bed, and one of the neigh­bours hav­ing to go in to the daugh­ter’s bed­room found a hand­ker­chief very blood. This with her vary­ing ac­counts caused a sus­pi­cion, and she be­ing taken into cus­tody, she con­fessed the above facts.”

Jones was hanged and, fol­low­ing her ex­e­cu­tion, a letter was found in her cell to her never-to-be hus­band, named Wil­liam.

It read: “The sad hour is at hand when I must suf­fer for a crime which I com­mit­ted in love­ing (sic) you. I hope God will for­give me. Had my mother give her con­sent to our union we should have been happy - by her re­fusal she met her death at my hands and brought me to an un­timely end. God bless you and make you happy. Your dy­ing and af­fec­tion­ate lover.”

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