When 14-year-old Mary Lynas failed to return home from church at Guisborough, Cleveland, on the evening of DECEMBER 27th, 1903, the police launched a search for her. Within hours her body was found near Guisborough workhouse, her throat slit from ear to ear, and her wrists and ankles bound with a clothes-line.

James Henry Clarkson, an 18-year-old tailor, was suspected. He was in bed when officers searched his home nearby. They found blood on his clothes and a razor, and he admitted the murder after he was arrested and taken to the local police station.

Mary was believed to have been killed because she refused to have sex with him, but in convicting him at York Assizes the jury recommended mercy because of his youth.

A medical examination was ordered, but doctors found no sign of insanity and Clarkson was not reprieved. He was hanged at Leeds on March 29th, 1904.