Practically every day of the year is a landmark of some sort in the annals of crime. Here’s where you can find out what happened this week in years gone by...
Stories from the week beginning August 6th.
The Fairground Murderer
Black men in Scotland were as rare as hen’s teeth at the beginning of the 20th century, so when Pasha Liffey, a 20-year-old Basuto, arrived in Larkhall he was at once conspicuous. He was also a character. He came to Britain in the company of a returning army unit which he had assisted during the Boer War by acting as a runner behind the lines.
He settled in Scotland to take part in the “Savage South Africa Show,” a travelling fairground attraction which displayed how the Zulus waged war. From this he graduated to fighting in the fair’s boxing booth, challenging all comers. The crowd loved battling Pasha – for them he could do no wrong.
All that changed on the evening of AUGUST 10th, 1905, when he was sacked from the fair for stealing money and being drunk. Next day he attacked 64-year-old Mrs. Mary Welsh, wife of a Larkhall miner, raped her and stabbed her to death.
When he was arrested and charged the crowd who had loved him wanted to lynch him. Hangman Henry Pierrepoint did the job for them, on his first professional visit to Glasgow, on November 14th, 1905.