Bits of a woman’s body washed up from the River Arran at Dolgellau, west Wales, intrigued police. First an arm, then a lower torso, followed by a foot, and then a head with both eyes cut out and its hair shaved off – the list went on until they were able to put together all the pieces to make a whole body.

It turned out to be that of Sarah Hughes, 36, and that led detectives to her lover, Cadwaller Jones, 25, who had fallen out with his wife and had made Sarah, already the single mother of two children, pregnant.

“I hit her with a big stone when we were out together in Dolgun Wood,” he told police. “I was angry that she was pregnant, and then she began to pester me for money.” He was hanged on Friday, November 23rd, 1877, at Dolgellau Prison, after having confessed in the death cell that he had intended to kill Sarah two days before the murder.