It was, intoned a local Caerphilly newspaper, “a murder which appears to have been caused by unemployment.” That wouldn’t have surprised many in 1931, when millions were on the dole.

It started on March 24th, when William Corbett’s wife Ethel, 39, went to the police station to report that her husband was “behaving strangely.” But because he had done no more than ask for a razor, there was nothing the police could do.

Next day Corbett punched his wife during an argument at their home in Caer Bragdy, off Lawrence Street, Caerphilly. His step-daughter, Florence, went to her mother’s aid, whereupon Corbett turned on her. Ethel then leapt on her husband, who slashed his wife’s throat with a razor.

Corbett next turned round to slash Florence while Ethel, despite her terrible wound, did her best to intervene. Although Ethel was then dying, the two women managed to grapple him to the floor.

Corbett tried to cut his own throat, failed, and recovered in hospital. Immediately he was put on trial for his wife’s murder. He was found guilty, condemned to death, and executed at Cardiff on AUGUST 12th.