Was Timothy John Evans guilty, or was he a victim of a miscarriage of justice? He was a 24-year-old illiterate van-driver, and on NOVEMBER 30th, 1949, he walked into Merthyr Tydfil police station and said he had put his wifes body down a drain outside his home, 10 Rillington Place, in Londons Notting Hill Gate.
He had found her dead, he said, after another tenant in the house, John Christie, tried to perform an abortion on her. The strangled bodies of his wife and baby daughter were later found in the washhouse at his home, and he made a statement accusing Christie of causing his wifes death. Then he admitted killing his wife and daughter himself, but when his trial began at the Old Bailey he retracted his confession and again blamed Christie, who denied any involvement.
On January 13th, 1950, Evans was found guilty of his daughters murder, and on March 9th he was hanged by Albert Pierrepoint and Syd Dernley. Three years later Christie was back at the Old Bailey, this time in the dock, accused of his wifes murder after her body and the remains of five other women were found at 10 Rillington Place. He admitted these murders, and also that of Mrs. Evans, apparently believing that the more killings he confessed to, the better would be his chances of being found insane. But he denied killing Evanss child.
So had Evans been unjustly convicted? In 1965 his case was reheard by Mr. Justice Brabin, who concluded that Evans did not kill his daughter, but that it was more probable than not that he killed his wife.
Because he had been tried, convicted and executed solely for his daughters murder, Evans was awarded a posthumous pardon.