Retired farmer James Flood, 75, was so anxious about his £1,000 savings that he kept the cash in a specially secured wallet sewn into the lining of his clothes. Evidently Edward Tarrant, 58, an Australian living nearby, got to hear of this, because he hit Flood so hard with his axe that he almost decapitated him before making off with the wallet and the cash.

Tarrant, a woodcutter living in Picton, and known to have money problems, was questioned, but he seemed unconcerned and didn’t leave town. When he started spending big sums of money, though, he was arrested. His story that he found the old man’s wallet didn’t stand up at his trial, and he was hanged at Wellington Prison on Monday, March 6th, 1933.