Alice Emily Brewster, the 54-year-old head stewardess on the P&O liner China, was a martinet noted for being curt with her staff, who included Francisco Carlos Godinho, 40, who came from Goa and was a bath attendant.
After she reprimanded him for a misdemeanour, she was found battered to death in her cabin on JUNE 11th, 1911, and he was the prime suspect. The liner was bound for London from Sydney, and Godinho was believed to have intended to throw Miss Brewster’s body overboard and jump ship at the next port, but storms had frustrated his plan by delaying the China’s landfall.
The head stewardess’s death was an accident, Godinho claimed at his trial, saying she had fallen and struck her head during a fight. Convicted of her murder, he was executed at Pentonville Prison on October 17th, 1911.