At first glance the murder of Marie Bossano, a British subject of Spanish extraction, was shrouded in mystery. She had been attacked in the bedroom of her Gibraltar flat, and had then been carried, or had walked, into the sitting-room, where she collapsed. There was no evidence of robbery money and jewellery had been left undisturbed and no sexual attack.
Marie had been dead for some 30 hours, putting the time of death at no later than 4 p.m. on that Saturday, November 29th, 1930.
Just over two hours before that time a policeman had seen Ernesto Opisso, another British subject of Spanish extraction, leaving Maries flat. He was employed as a general handyman.
Opisso denied having been to the flat that day, but that didnt tally with the evidence. The theory was that there had been a dispute over work done and Opisso struck his employer in a temper. He was hanged on Friday, July 3rd, 1931, for her murder the first execution in Gibraltar for 35 years. Demonstrators demanded that the Roman Catholic bishop should intervene to stop the execution, and when he refused they attacked the police and stoned windows.
Troops were called out to suppress the demonstrators, which they managed to do although, curiously, armed only with hockey sticks.