Although James Rice’s house in Coventry had only three bedrooms, it accommodated not only its owner and his three children, but also 52-year-old Howard Ball, his wife and nine children, and another married couple as well!

In this overcrowded situation it was hardly surprising that Rice got to know Mrs. Ball more than well. Her husband suspected the two had become lovers, and on SEPTEMBER 29th, 1924, he shot and killed Rice after following him and Mrs. Ball into a field.

On November 11th, 1924, Ball was convicted of murder, but a manslaughter verdict was substituted on appeal and his death sentence was commuted to seven years’ penal servitude.