In 1902 John Bedford was a frequent visitor to the local fish and chip shop run by Joe Price in Sutton-cum-Duckmanton, Chesterfield. But it wasn’t the cod and half-pennyworth he was after, it was the chippy’s wife Nancy. Bedford, a 41-year-old labourer, had fallen in love with her and she with him.

Bedford pleaded with Nancy, 48, to leave her husband, but she hesitated, even though she declared for Bedford’s solace, “I’m married to Joe in name only.”

On the evening of JUNE 25th, 1902, when Joe Price was preparing for the day’s fry-up in his shop, John Bedford went to the Prices’ home for another rendezvous with his lover. He found her mending socks, and without any ceremony he
picked up a poker
and knocked her
senseless with a single stroke. The blows he then rained down on her head killed her.

Then it was off to the White Hart for a drink. In the public bar he told a friend, “I’ve done it. I’ve killed her.” And for proof of the deed
he indicated the bloodstains on his trousers and boots.

Police found Nancy lying dead on the sofa. Clutched in the fingers of her right hand was the darning needle she was using when Bedford hit her.

Viewing her corpse, Bedford took hold of her hand and said, “God bless thee. I love thee, but thou hast not been true.”

Five weeks later John Bedford, a killer who drew attention to his crime, was hanged at Derby.