He was only 17, and sexually obsessed with his landlady, a young married woman of 24. One night he crept into her bedroom intending to rape her. But it didn’t work out like that. Instead of the “attempt at violation,” as the prosecution put it at his trial, he cut her throat with a razor.

He was Joseph Morley, and she was Martha Bodger, of Beal’s Cottage, on the Romford Road in Dagenham. Morley told the court that he had been reading about murders, and this had inflamed him. Despite his age, he was hanged on Monday, November 21st, 1887, at Chelmsford Prison.