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On March 27, 1911, the British Court of Appeals upholds the death penalty conviction of Stinie Morrison. Leon Beron was born in Poland but his family left to settle in London. In 1894 he bought nine ramshackle houses in Stepnsey in the East End. He rented them out for ten shillings a week and lived off the rental income. He was a man of habit each day he would have a meal at a local restaurant. He dressed smartly, a large gold watch and chain dangled from his waist coat.
In December 1910 he met Stinie Morrison, who had come to England in 1898. Morrison was a convicted thief with five prison terms already behind him and a penchant for using false names. He had been released on September 17, 1910.
On the morning of New Year’s Day 1911 constable Joseph Mumford discovered the body of Mr. Beron, beneath some bushes on Clapham Commons. There was a horseshoe shaped wound on his head, he had been stabbed three times, and his wallet was emptied. An “S” was carved into each cheek. On January 8, 1910 Morrison was arrested as he ate breakfast at Cohen’s Restaurant on Fieldgate Street. The police had discovered that on the day of the murder Morrison had left a pistol and more than 40 rounds of ammunition in the luggage office of St. Mary’s Railway Station, Whitechapel. He had left home to move in with Florrie Dellow, a 22-year old prostitute from Lambeth. He had informed his landlady that he was moving to Paris. Morrison claimed that he had not murdered Mr. Beron and had spent the night at Shoreditch Empire watching Harry Champion and Harry Lauder. However, three cab drivers recognized his photograph in the newspapers and placed Morrison at the scene of the crime. His trial began on March 6, 1911 and the result, after nine days was a guilty verdict. The jury had deliberated for only 35 minutes. He was sentenced to death. The Court of Appeals eventually upheld the conviction but Homeland Secretary Winston Churchill commuted the sentence life in prison. Morrison had a death wish and went on a hunger strike and died on January 24, 1921 in Parkhurst Prison after being weakened by a lack of food.
Michael Thomas Barry is the author of Murder & Mayhem 52 Crimes that Shocked Early California 1849-1949. The book can be purchased from Amazon through the following link: