Because her 23-year-old son Roderick was a drug addict, Mrs. Joy Mayes decided he must die. She killed him at their Weston-super-Mare home on APRIL 8th, 1972. First she dissolved sleeping pills in his bedtime cocoa. When he had lost consciousness she battered his head with an iron boot-scraper. Then she cut his throat.

A week later she told her father and her other son Sean what she had done. She had hidden the body under a bed, and the family decided to keep quiet about the killing, telling friends and relatives that Roderick had left home and become a hippy.

Mrs. Mayes’s father died in 1975, and her own death followed 17 years later, leaving Sean as the sole repository of the family’s terrible secret. In February 1995, dying of AIDS, he went to the police and told the whole story. He was not prosecuted, and a verdict of “unlawful killing” was recorded by the coroner at an inquest on Roderick Mayes.