The slaying of 82-year-old George Taylor was discovered on JANUARY 15th, 1953. His body was found at the foot of the stairs of his Aintree home where he ran his antiques and second-hand business, known as The Old Curiosity Shop. He had 32 head wounds, his skull was shattered, and the killer had left bloody footprints made by crepe-soled Teddy-boy shoes.
Four days later a 22-year-old Liverpool woman read a newspaper description of a young man the police wished to interview. He was known to have called at Mr. Taylor’s home four times in the past few days, saying he wanted to buy a gramophone pickup and that he was a clock repairer seeking work.
The woman realised that the description fitted her boyfriend. It was also reported that a bloodstained fawn raincoat had been left at the crime scene, and a few days previously the woman’s boy friend had told her he’d lost his fawn mack.
She informed her father, he phoned the police, and as a result John Lawrence Todd, a 20-year-old unemployed labourer, was arrested and charged with the murder.
He admitted that the mack found at the crime scene was his. There was blood on it, he said, because Mr. Taylor had tripped and fallen against him, suffering a nosebleed. He claimed the old man had told him to leave the raincoat with him and he would have it cleaned.
When he left the house, Todd insisted, Mr. Taylor was all right. So the murder must have taken place after his departure.
At his trial the jury didn’t believe him. Convicted and sentenced to death, he was hanged at Walton Prison.