In 1900 Ellis Backler, a hair-weaver aged 49, used habitually to beat his unfortunate wife Louisa at their cottage in Haverhill, Suffolk. When the much-battered Louisa produced twins, bringing their total children to eight, Backler spat at them and announced that they were not his.

On SEPTEMBER 12th, 1900, the Backler household rose at six for work. Backler was seen walking towards Newmarket two hours later. A little while after that his eldest daughter Mary popped into the house, as she usually did, and found the bodies of her mother and the twins. All three had their throats cut.

On November 7th Backler was sentenced to death at Ipswich Assizes for the triple-murder, but on the eve of his execution the Home Secretary intervened and ordered that he be sent to Broadmoor.