“I didn’t kill the old man!” protested 45-year-old George Chalmers when Perthshire Police arrested him. “I had nothing to do with it!”

Chalmers was referring to the savage killing of John Miller, a lonely old man who was toll-keeper at Blackhill Toll Barr, near Braco, whose blood-soaked body was found on December 22nd, 1869, in the ransacked tollhouse. He had horrific head wounds and a bloodstained crowbar lay beside him.

George Chalmers was suspected because he was a well-known tramp in the area and had just been released from Alloa Prison after serving 10 days for theft, and because some of his old clothes were found in the tollhouse next to the body of the victim. His strenuous denials of the toll-keeper’s murder fell apart when he was taken to the police station – he was found to be wearing some of the dead man’s clothing, which he had exchanged for his own.

Chalmers was convicted at Perth Circuit Court in September, 1870, and hanged on Tuesday, October 4th, 1870, in Perth Prison.