Friday, 29 March 2013

Man Hanged After Suicide Pact

In 1927 William Robertson and his lover entered into a suicide pact but when his own attempt failed he ended up facing the hangman anyway.

37 year old salesman Robertson lived in Channell Road in Kensington and was dating Evelyn Jennings, the owner of a hairdressing salon in Prescot Road. On 15th August 1927 the couple went to Speke, then just a small country village, where Robertson cut Evelyn's throat, killing her instantly.

When he tried to do the same to himself, he failed to do so and was found by a police constable crawling down a footpath where he wrote a note saying 'I love her dearly, save her not me.' There was absolutely no chance of saving Evelyn, as such was the force of the cut her head was almost severed from the body, which was lying in bushes.Robertson was taken to Garston hospital where he pleaded with doctors to let him die, saying that Evelyn was fed up and couldn't go on, and that they had planned to die together.

Garston Hospital, photo by Sue Adair 
At the inquest two days later a doctor said that there was absolutely no doubt that Evelyn's wounds had been inflicted by somebody else. Evelyns brother, who lived in Chester, told the coroner that he had received a letter from her stating that she loved Robertson but he was having no luck and they couldn't go on any more. Ominously it said 'He is going and I don't feel I can possibly hang on without him. You will find us in a wood off Boundary Lane on the main road to Liverpool.'

Robertson was first able to appear at Widnes Police Court on 12th September, when he was committed to the Assizes for trial. On 28th October at the Liverpool Assizes his defence pleaded insanity but this was rejected and Robertson was found guilty of murder and sentenced to death. He was hanged by Thomas Pierrepoint on the morning of 6th December, walking firmly and unassisted to the scaffold.

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