Another man who had too much to say as he sat down to a meal was George Harmer, 26, a plasterer and petty thief. On August 14th, 1886, he was released from Norwich Prison and a few days later went to visit a friend, who offered him breakfast. Over his eggs and bacon Harmer confided that he intended to rob a wealthy local recluse, Henry Last, a carpenter aged 66, who lived nearby in School Lane.

The friend apparently offered no counsel, and later that same day Harmer went to Mr. Last’s house with a drawing that he asked to be made into a model.

No one knows exactly what happened next, except that the same evening Mr. Last was found battered to death in his bed. He had been killed with a hammer and his house had been ransacked.

Harmer was known to be the carpenter’s last visitor, and after the murder he was seen flashing money around, redeeming some of the clothes he had pawned the previous day. When he was arrested he made a full confession, but retracted it at Norwich Assizes when he was brought to trial.

When the jury were told that the murder weapon was found in a box belonging to Harmer, and heard the evidence of the friend to whom he had revealed his plan, the man who came to breakfast and had too much to say was found guilty, and hanged on Monday, December 13th, 1886, in Norwich Prison. Victorian murder stories from True Crime Library.

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