Twenty-four-year-old Arthur Devereux found it difficult to support his wife Beatrice and their young son, and the birth of twins was the last straw. The family were half-starved on Devereux’s wages as a London chemist’s assistant, and he was at his wits’ end.

Obtaining a large trunk and a bottle of chlorine and morphine, on JANUARY 28th, 1905, he told his wife the drug was cough medicine, persuading her to drink it and give it to the twins. Then he put the bodies in the trunk which he sent to a warehouse in Harrow, and moved to Coventry with his son.

His mother-in-law became suspicious when her daughter stopped writing to her. Learning that a trunk had been taken from the family’s flat to the Harrow warehouse, she traced it and had it opened, to reveal the bodies of her daughter and the twins.

Devereux was arrested in Coventry, and at his trial he claimed his wife had killed herself and the twins. He said he had panicked on finding them dead, concealing the bodies because he feared he would be accused of murder.

But in applying for a job before the deaths he had described himself as a widower. This convicted him, and he was hanged at Pentonville Prison.