Her battered body was found by a school party walking along the Southbourne cliffs near Bournemouth. She was lying face down in a sandy hollow, two handkerchiefs jammed into her mouth, brutally strangled by someone she must have known well enough not to be afraid of.
She was Emma Sherriff, and she had been seen lately out and about with a very old friend who she described as being like a brother to her. He was John McGuire, of Denbigh Street, Pimlico, who had recently been on holiday in Bournemouth with her. Was he the man she knew well enough not to be afraid of?
The police thought he was, and McGuire was arrested, accused of murdering Emma on Tuesday, February 18th, 1908. But the jury couldnt agree 10 being for an acquittal and only two for a conviction. A re-trial was ordered, but it caused such a public outcry that the prosecution dropped the case, and McGuire was released.