Everyone seemed certain that Irishman Victor Boyle, 53, was responsible for the murder of Jeanette Beard, 15. The case against Boyle seemed overwhelming when Jeanette’s body was found with her throat cut in an alley in Allardyce Street, Brixton, on Tuesday, August 9th, 1950.

His motive, witnesses claimed, was that he mistakenly believed that Jeanette had complained to police that he had sexually interfered with two little girls. One witness said that Boyle had told him he intended to “slap” Jeanette. He was certainly hanging around when Jeanette was killed, and the murder weapon, a razor, was said to have come from his lodging-house

On top of all that, Boyle’s landlady said he had confessed to her that he had killed Jeanette before he made an unsuccessful attempt to flee the country.

At Boyle’s trial at the Old Bailey in October it was proved that five razors belonging to different men were taken from Boyle’s lodging-house and any one of them could have been the murder weapon. Most crucially, the one found with blood on it wasn’t Boyle’s.

The defence claimed that Boyle’s so-called “confessions” were nothing more than what a frightened, poorly-educated man would have said when questioned about the crime, for which he knew he would be a suspect. The jury took 90 minutes to find the Irishman not guilty, and to leave Jeanette’s murder unsolved.