What would you do if you came upon a murder scene? On Wednesday, February 8th, 1939, Albert Gray, a butcher, did just that. He was delivering meat to the victim, a customer, and when he found the door ajar he went in and put the order on the table. Then, ignoring the state of total disarray and the blood all over the carpet, he went on with his deliveries.
Fortunately, an hour later the coalman arrived, took one look and ran to the nearest police station.
The body of the victim, Fred Paul, 85, a small-time market gardener, was found 80 yards away from his home at Winkfield in Berkshire, partly submerged in a shallow pool, his head blasted beyond recognition by a bullet fired at close range while he was lying on the ground. He was beaten before being killed.
The motive seemed obvious old Fred was thought to have a long stocking, and always kept plenty of cash in his hip pocket, which had been pulled out. The ransacking of his one-room home indicated that the killer was hoping to find the cache.
Police arrested George Willis, of Ascot. He had worked for Fred Paul on and off, and at his trial at Reading Assizes in May, it was said that he made his own ammunition, whose ingredients tallied with ingredients found at the murder scene.
But Mr. Justice Charles told the jury: The chain of evidence is as strong as its weakest link. It is no good having strong links interposed with weak links. You must ask yourself if there are any weak links in this case. They decided there were, and found Willis not guilty.