Annette Friedsons parents disapproved of her 36-year-old boy friend Maurice Freedman, and who could blame them? An ex-policeman, he claimed to be a commercial traveller but was in fact living by borrowing money and pawning his clothes to fund his gambling.
Annette was a 30-year-old typist, and when her family discovered Freedman was married, they told her and urged her to finish with him. She took their advice, and on JANUARY 23rd, 1932, she told him their relationship was over. But he didnt want to know. Nothing, he told her, would stop him seeing her.
This worried her brother and, fearing Freedman might molest her, he escorted her each day to and from the office block where she worked in the City of London.
It was a sensible precaution, but it was not enough. Three days after Annette broke with Freedman, he waited in the building and waylaid her when she arrived. She was found lying dead at the foot of the stairs, her throat slit, and Freedman admitted his guilt when he was arrested the same day outside his home in Oakfield Road, Clapton.
When he appeared before Mr. Justice Hawke at the Old Bailey, however, he denied making any confession. He had decided to kill himself with a cut-throat razor, he said, if Annette refused to change her mind. When she remained adamant, he produced the razor to cut his throat, but she tried to grab it and her own throat was cut accidentally in the ensuing struggle. Afterwards, he said, he threw the razor into a canal.
But the murder weapon was not a cut-throat razor, the prosecutor told the court. The bloodstained blade of a safety razor had been found in its holder on a London bus. The blood was of the same rare group as Annettes, and hairs found on the blade were identical with those of her fur collar. Other hairs from the collar had been found embedded in her wound.
Freedman claimed he knew nothing of this razor-blade, but he was identified as a passenger by the conductor of the bus in which it was found. And as the prosecution pointed out, such a small blade could hardly have been fought over in the struggle the accused described.
That was enough for the jury. They convicted Freedman, and in sentencing him to death the judge said he had no doubt that Annette was attacked deliberately.
There was no reprieve, and Maurice Freedman was hanged on May 4th, 1932.