New Zealanders called Britain’s 1950s Teddy Boys “Bodgies,” and they didn’t like them very much. Two Bodgies who got through the immigration net were Albert Black, 18, and Alan Jacques, who was 19 on his arrival in Auckland.

In the summer of 1955 Jacques, a drifter from London, became a lodger at the boarding-house where Black worked as a cleaner. Black was a regular party-thrower, and when, in July, Jacques turned up at one of his parties they fought over the affections of a 16-year-old girl. Jacques gave Black a black eye before he left.

Next day the two young men met again at a caf?, Ye Olde Barn, in Wellesley Street, Auckland, and it seemed to their friends that they had forgotten the previous night’s brawl. Jacques went to the jukebox to select a disc, and while he was bending over the machine Black came up behind him and plunged a knife into his neck.

As the victim collapsed on the floor Black shouted over his shoulder, “Go ahead and call the cops – I don’t care!” He went to the police station, however, of his own volition to report that he had stabbed a man. The desk sergeant asked: “Where’s your knife?” and Black replied, “It’s in his neck.”

The pathologist who conducted the post-mortem reported that the five-inch blade had penetrated Jacques’s neck up to its hilt, cutting the spinal cord and killing him almost instantly.

Black could expect little mercy. Even before he came to trial at Auckland Supreme Court in October, 1955, the highly prejudiced Mr. Justice Finlay told a grand jury: “The offender is not one of us except by adoption, and comes from a type which we could well have spared our country. He comes from a peculiar association of individuals whose outlook on life differs from the normal. It is unfortunate we got him from his homeland.”

Black enlightened the court about his “peculiar association.” He told them that on four or five nights a week he had sex with a different girl. He and his fellow Bodgies believed that variety was the spice of life, and so did the “Widgies” – Teddy girls – they picked up.

He was found guilty and went to the scaffold on Monday, December 5th, 1955, delivering a cheery last message as the hangman covered his head. “I wish everybody a bright and merry Christmas and New Year,” he said. “Many years of life and happiness to everyone.” Worldwide Hangings from True Crime Library.

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