Travelling salesman Samuel Wilson was well known in Nottinghams Sherwood Forest area. He was a small-provisions merchant, and drove his car through this mining and agricultural district, taking orders and collecting money owed to him.
On the night of Wednesday, SEPTEMBER 24th, 1930, Wilsons car wobbled for a few yards on the country lane between Clipstone and Warsop and came to a stop.
Three hours later a patrolling policeman opened the car door and discovered Wilsons body in the driving seat. He had been shot, and most of the money he had collected that day was missing.
Samuel Wilson was murdered less than two miles from his home, and at the end of his days journey. And his murderer had chosen the place with care, for this was poaching country, and the sound of the two shots that killed the salesman would not have excited any curiosity from the locals.
Did Wilson give someone a lift? Was the killer someone he knew?
The police considered whether the murderer was a skilful poacher, but there was one significant fact against that. The doctoring of sporting gun cartridges was a common practice in the area. A poacher went out at night and shot birds at close range. If he used a full charge of shot he would damage the bird so badly that it would be spoiled for sale.
Consequently he would take half the pellets from the cartridge and reload old cartridge cases with a smaller number of shots. These home-loaded cartridges were used by every poacher.
But two fully charged 12- bore cartridges killed Samuel Wilson. Fired by whom, though, it has never been established. The killer was never caught.