When 19-year-old Sarah Willett discovered that her fiancé, a French polisher, was supplementing his income as a burglar, she indignantly called off the wedding. Im an honest girl, and thats the way Im staying! she exclaimed.
Her boyfriend, John Parr, also 19, of Bethnal Green, brooded on his fall from favour. One night in August 1900, he flourished a revolver in his local pub. Im going to kill that Sarah, he said darkly. Outside the pub he fired the revolver in the air, causing consternation.
Parr was true to his word. On August 27th he confronted Sarah outside Bethnal Green police station, pulled out the revolver and shot her dead before surrendering to the first policeman who arrived on the scene. Looking down at her body, Parr said, Its all her own fault, and she deserves it.
He was sentenced to death at the Old Bailey and hanged on Tuesday, OCTOBER 2nd, 1900, in Newgate Prison, despite his lawyers claiming he was insane, and despite a jury recommendation for mercy on account of his age.