Charles Wilson made his living as a traveller selling umbrellas – an occupation which kept him very busy in East Anglia. At about 1 p.m. on October 8th, 1908, he arrived at Holme Hale station after another good sales trip and climbed into his pony-driven cart for the final part of his journey home to Feltwell, 18 miles away. Wilson reckoned he would get home about 4 p.m.
While he was still on the road, at about 3 p.m., a 14-year-old boy who was playing in a field saw a villager who he recognised as James Nicholls walk into the cottage where the Wilsons lived.
The boy continued to watch, and after a few minutes saw Nicholls come back out, dragging a woman into the road. The woman cried for help, whereupon Nicholls dragged her back inside again. Later the boy saw Nicholls leave the cottage and walk off in one direction, noticing at the same time that Wilson was approaching in his cart from the other direction.
Wilson found his front door locked and had to force it. As the door flew open he found his wife Susan lying on the floor. She had been battered to death with an axe. A doctor later put her time of death at about 3.20 p.m.
Nicholls, 35, had meanwhile walked to nearby Maggees Farm, where he told two people that Charles Wilson had just murdered his wife. News of the murder had not yet been broadcast, but here was Nicholls, who already knew Mrs. Wilson was dead.
When the boys story was confirmed by another witness Nicholls was charged with Mrs. Wilsons murder, and on DECEMBER 2nd, 1908, he was executed at Norwich Prison.