“I’ve done her in. I hit her on the head with a hammer and cut her throat five times,” the killer told his friends. He was Michael Collins, a 30-year-old unemployed labourer, and his victim was Elizabeth Anne Kempster, a 29-year-old widowed school cleaner with whom he was living at Peabody Buildings, in Glasshouse Street, Whitechapel.

He had moved in with her in December 1910, and by the following March she had cooled towards him, tiring of supporting a lover who showed no inclination to find work. Their frequent quarrels, followed by long periods of dumb silence from Lizzy, became the norm.

Then on March 25th Collins borrowed half-a-crown from another woman. “Here’s luck!” he said, and went to a market stall where he bought a razor. What happened next was described in the statement he made to the police.

“I went home,” he said, “and I asked Lizzy, ‘Are we to live together or part?’ She replied, ‘Part.’ I then said to her, ‘This is the last meal we shall have together.’ Then I hit her over the head with a hammer before cutting her throat. I then kissed her, saying, ‘Goodbye,’ and came to give myself up.”

Found guilty of murder and sentenced to death, Collins was hanged by John Ellis and Thomas Pierrepoint on MAY 24th, 1911.