A fire is still big news on the tiny island of St. Lucia, population 150,000, so there was much local excitement in June 1971, when a large house on the island was gutted by fire. When the flames were extinguished the bodies of the owners, James and Marjorie Etherington, who ran a banana plantation from the house, were found in the ashes.
An insurance agent found evidence of a break-in and petrol outside a window, which pointed to arson. The local police asked Scotland Yard for their help and three local men, Stephenson Florius, 29, Jean-Baptise Faucher, 26 , and Anthony Charles, 17, were quickly arrested.
At their trial in September 1971, the men admitted breaking into the house and tying up the couple, but denied using violence or causing a fire. Nevertheless, all three were convicted of murder and sentenced to death. Florius and Faucher were hanged on Wednesday, May 10th, 1972, at Castries Prison, and Charles was reprieved because of his age and low intellect.