London policeman Sydney Gray, 32, was forced to retire early after he was hit by a fire engine when trying to save an old lady from being run over. He spent the next few years in a mental home, and his family were looking forward to a brighter future when he was given a day’s leave from the home on January 24th, 1929. In fact, that day was to end horrifically.

In the evening Gray took his two children, Owen, six, and Moreen, four; his nephew, Peter McDaniels, three, and niece, Peggy McDaniels, two, to a shed on a disused farm in Collier Row, Romford, and cut the throats of all four of them. Then he laid out the bodies side-by-side, as if for burial.

A few minutes later he went to Romford railway station where he handed a note to a small boy and told him to take it to the police. The note told of the murders.

Gray appeared at the Old Bailey on MARCH 1st, where it was accepted that he was so insane that he could not understand the charge. He was declared unfit to plead and sent to Broadmoor.