On July 15, 1953, John Christie, one of England's most notorious killers, is executed. Four months earlier, on March 25th, police discovered the bodies of four women in a West London apartment. Christie, who used to live at the house, was apprehended a week later and confessed to the murders. One of the dead women had been identified as Christie's wife, Ethel.
The three other victims were young women, all of whom had been sexually assaulted. Detectives soon found additional bodies buried in the yard behind the house. Strangely enough, two of the women had not been murdered by Christie, but had died as the result of botched, illegal abortions conducted by another man. Christie had been plagued his whole life with impotence, which caused the rage that eventually, sparked his murder spree. While in custody, Christie confessed to seven murders: the three women found in the kitchen alcove, his wife, and the two women buried in the back garden. He also admitted being responsible for the murder of Beryl Evans, which Timothy Evans had originally been charged with during the police investigation in 1949, although he denied killing Geraldine Evans. Christie was tried only for the murder of his wife Ethel. His trial began on June 22, 1953. He pleaded insanity and claimed to have a poor memory of the events. The jury rejected the plea, and after deliberating for 85 minutes found Christie guilty. Christie did not appeal his conviction, and on July 15, 1953 was hanged at Pentonville Prison.
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: