The Road Hill House Mystery of 1860
Murder Most Foul
On the night of 29 June 1860 three-year-old Francis Kent was kidnapped from his room, murdered and his body dumped in an outside lavatory. Eleven people were in the house, two of them sleeping in the same room as Francis, and the building itself was isolated and impenetrable. There were three possible suspects, and the case initially appeared straightforward, but the police found themselves up against the dead boy’s mysterious family, who appeared to be covering up a dark secret from their past. The ensuing investigation became legendary for its mismanagement, incompetence, infighting and corruption. Eventually, amidst frenzied public interest, Constance Kent, Francis’s half-sister, was convicted and sentenced to death, but because of uncertainty over her confession, this was commuted to penal servitude for life. Paul Chambers re-investigates this famous case, and demonstrates conclusively who the murderer really was.