The Daily Telegraph





A man in the prime of life, who apparently possessed everything that makes life worth living, killed his beautiful wife and his only son at South Croydon on Sunday, and then shot himself dead. The victims of this triple tragedy were: HARRY KAYE, aged 50; MRS KAYE, aged 43; KENNETH KAYE, aged 3. Mr. Kaye was a metal merchant, carrying on business at 12, Fenchurch-avenue, E.C.

Its setting was the last place in the world that one would have chosen as the scene of so terrible a crime. The ill-fated family lived at Rayleigh, Harewood-road, one of the prettiest houses in South Croydon, which bears in its appointmen­ts the evidence of considerab­le wealth, and is surrounded by gardens which had made their owner famous throughout the district. It was upon a verandah overlookin­g these horticultu­ral beauties, that Mr. Kaye and his baby son were found with bullet wounds in their heads. The boy, although still alive, was fatally injured. His mother’s body was found in the house, by the diningroom door.

The tragedy was enacted with appalling suddenness. This is evident from the following statement made yesterday to a Press representa­tive by the nurse, Miss Alice Maud Cooper: “Mr. and Mrs. Kaye,” she said, “came to live here about seven years ago. Mr. Kaye spent a lot of money in improving the house and grounds. For some time past he had been depressed owing to business worries. Yesterday (Sunday) morning we all had breakfast together, and they talked and laughed with me. After breakfast Mr. Kaye went into the billiardro­om and Mrs. Kaye went with him, while I took Kenneth for a walk round the grounds. When I brought him back Mrs. Kaye said to her husband, ‘Why don’t you go for a little walk?’ He did so, and I did not see him for a time. Kenneth stayed with his mother in the billiard room and I went upstairs. At about 12.30 I heard two pistol shots, and then just afterwards two more. I rushed downstairs, and just by the dining-room door saw Mrs. Kaye lying bleeding from a wound in the head. She had been shot in the head and was dead. I rushed from the drawing room and billiard room on to the verandah, and there I saw the master lying dead with a bullet wound in his head, while by his side was the little boy. He had also been shot in the head, but was breathing. With the help of George Mercer, the chauffeur, and the parlourmai­d, I carried him upstairs and sent for the doctor. He came, but told me there was no hope for him.”

The nurse at this point burst into tears. Eventually she said: “I held the dear child’s hands as he passed peacefully away. He was only just three years old and beginning to take an interest in life. He was devoted to me, and if he had a tumble he would always say he wanted nurse. I had been with him since he was five months old, and did all I could to make him a strong child. I think his father made more of his business troubles than he need have done. I have on more than one occasion told him to pull himself together and not to worry so much.”

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