“I blame it all on drink,” John Brooks, a 31-year-old factory worker, told the court at his trial for the murder of his girl friend, Mrs. Caroline Woodhead, a 23-year-old divorc?e. The couple had eloped together and roamed the country before settling in Nottingham. Finally, disaffected with Brooks, Caroline went to live with her mother, hoping that was the end of the affair.

It wasn’t quite. Brooks called on her again in December, 1877, and cut her throat. He buried her body at the bottom of the garden and fled. But he was caught almost at once, and despatched by hangman William Marwood on Wednesday, February 13th, 1878, in Nottingham Prison.