Sitting in the Smiths Arms in Ashford, Kent, William Green watched two American servicemen make their drunken departure. It was the evening of AUGUST 22nd, 1944, and like many local residents Mr. Green had mixed feelings about the Allies. He was not to know he would see these two again…on an identity parade the next day.
They were Corporal Ernest Clark and Private Augustine Guerra, and Mr. Green was to identify them as the pair he had seen leave the pub the previous night. Shortly after the identity parade they were charged with the murder of his 15-year-old daughter.
Betty Green had been to the fair at Ashfords Victoria Park. She didnt come home that night. She was never to come home again. The next morning she was found raped and strangled near an Ashford footpath.
Clark and Guerra had left the Smiths Arms shortly before Betty would have taken the nearby footpath on her way home. They would have taken the same path on their way back to their camp. Semen stains on their trousers were compared with samples taken from the dead girl. They matched.
Guerra had scratches on his scalp, and hair found on Bettys skirt was identical with his. A clump of Clarks hair had been pulled out during the struggle, and traces of it were found under Bettys fingernails.
At their separate courts-martial they were found guilty of her rape and murder and sentenced to death. A further ordeal followed before their execution at the American military prison at Shepton Mallet. They had to stand on the platform beneath their nooses for five minutes while the charges against them were read out. Then Albert Pierrepoint hanged them.