Her easy virtue and his sexual freelancing was the common factor which brought together cattle dealer Joseph Hoare and his “housekeeper” Laura Sara, a divorced mother of six children. Those in the neighbourhood of Skinner’s Bottom near Redruth wondered, though, if she was taking advantage of Joseph’s love and protection, because besides sharing his bed Laura had a string of boy friends.

Joseph and Laura lived in an isolated, dilapidated cottage which on Sunday, January 25th, 1920, became a house of horror. A friend arrived to find both of them critically injured in their yard, and both of them only just alive. A policeman called to the scene gave first aid, but both victims died without regaining consciousness.

There was plenty of money about the cottage, but none of it was stolen. So who killed them and why? There were two theories. First, they got into a domestic fight and attacked each other and, second, that someone came by and attacked first one of them and then the other. The coroner’s jury opted for the second version – but only by eight votes to seven.