Eccentric Amelia Knowles had a small second-hand goods shop in Arundel, Sussex, and her neighbours often heard her shouting and arguing with non-existent intruders. So when she faced a real threat in the early hours of SEPTEMBER 18th, 1944, her cries for help were ignored.
“Get out of here, you beast!” she screamed. “Murder! Help!”
Then at 11 o’clock that morning a neighbour noticed that Amelia’s milk had not been taken in, and she was found battered to death.
Another neighbour told the police of an airman seen acting suspiciously outside the shop on September 13th. From his description he was found to be Leading Aircraftman Andrew Brown, 26, and the police learned that he had suddenly started spending freely, showing his girlfriend a roll of banknotes on the afternoon of September 18th and telling her his family in Belfast had sent him the money.
They hadn’t, and when the police questioned him he admitted the killing. He claimed he had killed the shopkeeper accidentally when she flew at him, but medical evidence showed she had been knelt on as she lay on the floor.
It took the jury only 11 minutes to decide Brown was guilty of murder, and his execution at Wandsworth Prison followed on January 30th, 1945.