Teenage clerk Michael Brown went to collect his company’s wages from the Royal Bank of Scotland at Buckhaven on Friday, FEBRUARY 19th, 1909, and less than an hour later he was found dead in a public lavatory on School Wynd, East Wemyss, Fifeshire. A handkerchief was knotted around his neck and his cap was stuffed into his mouth.

There was no sign of the £85 he had collected for his employers, linen manufacturers G. and J. Johnson. But the bag in which he carried the cash was quickly found, lying on the seashore close to Macduff’s Castle, about a mile from the scene of the crime.

There were plenty of witnesses who had seen Michael in the company of another man. The descriptions they gave put police on the trail of Alexander Edmonstone, a 23-year-old unemployed miner.

Edmonstone had left town in a hurry after making some expensive purchases. He took a room in a lodging-house in Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester, but when a fellow-roomer saw the ex-miner’s likeness on a “Wanted” poster the police were informed.

Edmonstone was wearing Michael Brown’s wristwatch when he was arrested, and had a wallet full of notes. He was taken back to Scotland to be tried, and at Perth High Court on July 7th, 1909, pleaded that he was insane. The jury didn’t think so, and he was hanged at Perth Prison a week later.