Mrs. Mary Miller, 46, was having a bit of a problem with her lodger. He didn’t like working in the winter, so reluctantly she allowed him to stay in her home at St. Mary’s Road, Moston, Manchester, for free. But as spring drew near in 1888 it seemed he didn’t want to go to work even then.

She told him finally: “You’ll have to go to work, or get out. And furthermore, I don’t want to sleep with you any more!”

On March 1st the lodger, John Gell, 32, left the house, ostensibly to go to work. But at midday he came back, with an axe. He drove the weapon into the head of Mary Miller, and then attacked her daughter with it. The daughter’s screams brought a passing policeman running, in time to see Gell exit from the house. He gave chase and arrested him.

“I was going to kill them both, and then kill myself,” Gell told the policeman. He succeeded in killing Mary Miller, but her daughter survived. He was hanged on Tuesday, May 15th, 1888, at Strangeways.