For a pair of burglars, they had impeccable connections. Frederick Phillips grandfather was chief of police in a neighbouring town and Earl Lunds cousin was a policeman in Charlottetown, the town in Prince Edward Island where, on the night of January 30th, 1941, the pair were caught red-handed rifling the contents of a shop.
A fight broke out with the police when the two burglars resisted arrest. When they were finally subdued police discovered the body of the shop owner, 78-year-old Peter Trainor, in a back room, stabbed 22 times and his head almost severed.
At their four-day trial in June the defence said that a psychopath must have killed the shopkeeper, and the two burglars, who were drunk, walked into the open shop intent only on robbing it. The jury rejected that claim and both men were hanged on Wednesday, August 20th, 1941.
Although Phillips died quickly, Lunds demise was agonising. His neck was very thick and the rope was not fitted properly. The hangman had to force down his shoulders to kill him.