Robert Reed, 19, was tried three times before he was acquitted of the murder of Miss Annie O’Donnell, 73, in her religious bookshop in Clerkenwell, London.

Annie was found battered to death in the shop on Friday, October 12th, 1962, and nearly £600 sewn into her underskirt was missing. The shop was ransacked and documents and about £5 in cash was stolen, which the killer dropped in the road as he fled.

Reed was first tried on February 12th, 1963. The prosecution’s case was that his fingerprint was found in the shop and that he was picked out in an identity parade as having been seen nearby. But Reed claimed that at the time of the murder he was with his family at his home, only minutes away from the shop.

The jury were unable to agree, so he was sent for a second trial on March 6th. Like the first trial, this one also lasted more than a week, but again the jury were unable to agree. Reed was arraigned a third time two days later, but this time the Crown offered no evidence and the jury formally acquitted him.