Battered and raped, Winifred Evans, a 27-year-old WAAF, was found to have been asphyxiated when her body was discovered in a ditch at her camp at Beccles on NOVEMBER 9th, 1944. She had been forced face-down in mud, and had suffocated.

Investigators learned that she had gone to a dance the previous night with Corporal Margaret Johns, who said they had returned just before midnight, parting shortly afterwards when Winifred set out for duty at the camp’s signal office.

Margaret had then gone to the WAAFs’ toilets, where she had been shocked to find a drunken airman. She asked what he was doing there, and he said he was lost and asked if he were in Number One Camp. She told him he wasn’t, took him outside, and pointed him in the direction Winifred had taken a few minutes earlier.

The police learned that an airman had entered Number One Camp shortly after 1 a.m. and had later been seen cleaning his uniform. He was Arthur Heys, a 37-year-old leading aircraftman, and he confirmed that he had encountered Corporal Johns early that morning. But he denied any involvement in Winifred Evans’s murder.

Wondering why it had taken him an hour to get from the WAAF camp to his own billet, the police took his uniform away for examination. This revealed the presence of brick-dust, and there was brick rubble in the ditch where Winifred’s body had been discovered. Moreover, hair on Heys’s tunic matched samples taken from Winifred. But when his wife was visited at her home in Colne, Lancashire, her hair was also found to match the samples found on her husband’s tunic.

Heys was nevertheless charged with Winifred Evans’s murder, and before his trial his commanding officer received an anonymous letter. It purported to be from Winifred’s killer, and it said that an innocent man was being held in jail. It also described Heys as having been drunk and lost at the time in question, facts known only by Heys, Corporal Johns and the police.

This convinced the investigators that the letter was indeed from Winifred’s killer: Arthur Heys himself.

Tried and convicted, he went to the gallows at Norwich Prison on March 13th, 1945.