Sunday, 7 June 2015

Deaf Lovers Found Dead

A man who was out looking for a canary made a terrible discovery when he found the bodies of two lovers, one of whom had killed the other before committing suicide.

Early in the morning of 11th August 1914 a man was on a footpath near the back of Everton Cemetery trying to find a canary of his that escaped. Instead though he found the bodies of a man and woman, whose throats had been cut. A bloodied razor blade was nearby.

The police identified the bodies thanks to documents that were in a satchel lying next to them. They were William Holden, a 31 year old tailor from 36 Esmond Street in Anfield, and 24 year Ethel Frost who lived in 3 Mandeville Street in Walton. There appeared to have been a struggle given the marks on the body of Ethel.

Two days later an inquest took place before the Deputy Coroner, Mr A G Inglis. Ethel's sister explained that the couple, who were both deaf, had been courting for two years and intended to marry. However in the last few weeks Ethel had became close to another deaf man, Josiah Jones. This caused tensions and Holden had threatened to shoot Jones.

The inquest then heard that things came to a head on 11th August when Holden and Ethel visited a friend called Jessie Hillier. Jones was also present and a quarrel took place, leading to Holden telling Ethel their courtship was over and leaving. Ethel said  she was glad, but Holden did return and they made up, had tea and then went out together. That was the last anyone saw of them until the bodies were found the next morning.

Letters recovered which had been written by Holden were said by Mr Inglis to be 'long and rambling clearly showing that he had no control over either his pen or his brain.' The jury found that Holden had murdered Frost before committing suicide in a bout of temporary insanity.

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