Back in England after army service in the Middle East, Henry Perry, 37, found lodgings in the home of his stepfathers sister, 43-year-old Mrs. Alice Cornish, and her family in Forest Gate, London. But he was not easy to live with. There were rows, and he was soon asked to leave.
A few days later, however, on APRIL 28th, 1919, Mrs. Cornish saw him passing the house and invited him in. This was a mistake. Another row developed, and Perry settled the argument by beating her to death with an axe.
Then as the rest of the family returned home, he murdered them one by one: the two children, Alice, 14, and five-year-old Marie; and their father Walter Cornish, 47. This done, Perry left the house, taking money and other items with him.
Traced and arrested, he pleaded insanity at his Old Bailey trial, claiming that his mental trouble stemmed from being tortured as a prisoner of war of the Turks. But the court heard medical evidence that he was sane.
He had 17 previous criminal convictions, and his death sentence was followed by his execution at Pentonville Prison on July 10th, 1919.