She was six feet tall and well able to take care of herself, she used to say to friends. Shopkeeper Frances Alice Quayle said it again on the night of Saturday, April 25th, 1914, as she bade good evening to a neighbour in the garden of her home in Bucks Road, Douglas, Isle of Man.

“There are a lot of tramps around at night at this hour,” the neighbour cautioned her. “Matter of fact, I saw one hanging around here only minutes ago.” Frances, 56, and a widow for 30 years, just laughed and went down the garden to feed her rabbits.

Next morning another neighbour found her body lying in front of the rabbit hutch. Her skull was fractured back and front, and the rabbit food was scattered on the ground around her.

The murder weapon was found after several days’ searching. It was a large eye-bolt used for tightening wire supports on telephone poles. It was badly bloodstained and carried traces of Mrs. Quayle’s hair, but the man who wielded it so savagely vanished without trace.