“Come quick! I’ve done my family in!” shouted Ernest Thornton, as he burst through the doors of Scalby, North Yorkshire, police station in the early hours of MARCH 10th, 1950. Police hurried to his home in Yew Court Terrace and found blood and bodies in all the bedrooms. Mrs.Thornton was still in bed, and two little girls were in another back-room.

Incredibly, despite all three having suffered terrible wounds, Mrs. Thornton and one little girl survived. But a few hours later four-year-old Mary Thornton died in hospital from throat wounds inflicted by a 14-inch-long steel sharpener.

One doctor appearing for Thornton’s defence at York Assizes said that when he examined the prisoner his whole body was shaking so

much that it was like listening to drums beating. He had no doubt that Thornton was insane. The jury agreed, and Thornton was sent to Broadmoor.