Nineteen-year-old Dorothy Haldane guessed there was something a bit odd about Harold Whiteland when he suggested to her that her fianc? should be put to sleep for his own good.

Dorothy was the booking clerk at Reefton railway station in New Zealand, and Pakistan-born Whiteland, 56, was a railway labourer who helped out at the station. In August 1953, he became argumentative when Dorothy told him to use newspaper, and not cleaning fluid, to get soot off the station windows.

That same day Whitehead learned that the rent of his railway hut was being increased, and stormed off in a huff. An hour later he came back with a rifle, walked into the station and shot Dorothy dead.

While another employee looked on dumbfounded, Whiteland shouted, “Allah be praised!” Then he lay down on the railway track and asked a train driver to run him over.

At his trial in December 1953 at Greymouth court the issue was his mental state, but he was found guilty of murder and hanged on Monday, December 21st, 1953, at Auckland Prison. Worldwide Hangings from True Crime Library.

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