The man who suffocated nine-year-old Alice Barnes in Wilton Park, Blackburn, on the night of November 8th, 1892, tampered with her clothes, laid her legs bare, but didn’t actually rape her. He might never have been caught if he hadn’t stuffed his most unusual handkerchief deep into her throat and left it there.

When Cross Duckworth, 32, was heard discussing the murder in several local pubs, police took an interest in him. They raided his home and found an identical handkerchief to the one in Alice’s throat.

Duckworth protested his innocence, but he couldn’t explain the handkerchief evidence at his two-day trial at Liverpool Assizes, and he was hanged at Walton Prison, Liverpool, on Tuesday, January 3rd, 1893.