Nobody could say that 13 Blackheath Road, Finsbury Park, was underused. The first floor of this north London house was occupied by 45-year-old Elizabeth Standley, her husband and their two lodgers, while downstairs another couple, Mr. and Mrs. Kerswell, lived with their family.
Around 9.30 a.m. on MARCH 4th, 1933, Mrs. Kerswell heard the doorbell upstairs ring, and Mrs. Standley say, Oh, hello. Are you coming in for a few minutes, Jack?
At midday one of Mrs. Standleys lodgers came home for his lunch. Nobody seemed to be around, which was so unusual that it made him uneasy. Where was his landlady? He knew she should be there, so he looked for her and was shocked to find her dead body jammed under her bed, a length of flex wound tightly round her neck.
Mrs. Kerswell was questioned, and told detectives of the caller shed heard Mrs. Standley welcome that morning. Jack, she said, must be Mrs. Standleys nephew Jack Puttnam.
When the police detained him he at first tried to set up an alibi, but after sustained questioning he admitted the killing. Hed argued with his aunt over money he owed, he said, and she accused him of having an affair with his brothers wife. As the row became increasingly heated she pushed and hit him, and he retaliated, first punching her, then stabbing her with a meat skewer, and finally strangling her with the wire flex.
A considerable sum of money had vanished from his aunts home that morning, and detectives believed he had stolen it and stashed it away to be collected later.
At Puttnams Old Bailey trial in May his defence claimed his confession had been obtained improperly and was inadmissible. The objection was overruled, and there was also circumstantial evidence against him. He had been picked out on an identity parade by a bus conductor whose bus he had boarded outside his aunts home the morning she was murdered; property from her house had been found near his own home, and his explanation for blood found on his clothing was implausible.
The jury convicted him, Mr. Justice Hawke sentenced him to death, and he was hanged at Pentonville Prison on June 8th, 1933.