“I’ve been threatened with murder for having an affair with another woman,” Stephen Gilbert, a 43-year-old Cardiff shopkeeper, confided to a friend. While the two men discussed this delicate situation over the shop counter a “red-haired woman” came into the shop. According to Mr. Gilbert’s friend, “at her arrival Stephen went as pale as a ghost.”

There were other matters in his life to cause him disquiet. The shop was failing, and he was betting £10 a day – a considerable sum in 1936. There was bitter family feuding, too, over his late mother’s will.

Stephen Gilbert’s body was found in his Crofts Street shop on Sunday, June 7th. He had been beaten to death. There was no sign of a struggle, but he had suffered terrible injuries to his face and head, delivered by repeated blows from what the police believed was a knuckle-duster.