Shortly after the Bradforth family moved into a flat at 12 Saratoga Road, Hackney, east London, in July 1913, they became aware of an obnoxious smell. They complained to the landlord, and a workman he called in to investigate found that a cellar wall appeared to have been taken down and replaced.
The workman made a hole in the wall, revealing a cavity containing a pile of sacking. He used a rake to pull out the sacks, and to his horror the decomposing bodies of three infants tumbled to the floor around his feet.
The corpses were soon identified as those of twins Frederick Ernest and Nellie Kathleen Robertson, aged two years and three months, and their 10-month-old sister Beatrice Maud. Autopsies determined that they had all died from asphyxiation on or about June 28th, and the police learned that Mrs. Robertson had earlier been taken ill and admitted to hospital.
She was still there when the bodies were discovered, and a search was launched for her 26-year-old husband Frederick Albert Robertson, who had disappeared. As he had a wooden leg he was not difficult to spot, and he was soon sighted and arrested in Finsburys City Road.
At his trial for his childrens murder it was suggested he had killed them in order to start a new life with another woman. He was convicted and sentenced to death, and when his appeal was heard he claimed the children had died from natural causes, and he had hidden them because he feared being accused of their murder.
The appeal was dismissed, and he was hanged at Pentonville Prison by John Ellis and William Willis on NOVEMBER 27th, 1913.