Sunday, 19 April 2020

Triple Tragedy in Litherland

A husband whose mental health suffered as a result of a house move committed murdered his wife and son before committing suicide. 

On the evening of 6th April 1960 a neighbour of the Gibbon family who lived at 23 Hawkshead Drive, Litherland, became concerned when she smelt gas from the property next door and realised she had not seen or heard any of the occupants that day. When it was seen that milk bottles were still on the doorstep, police were called. 

On forcing entry to the property, the found a terrible scene.  In the bedrooms, still in their nightclothes, were the bloodied bodies of Amy Gibbon and her sixteen year old son William. Both had been battered about the head. In a cupboard under the stairs, was the hunched body of 46 year old Charles Gibbon, next to a severed gas pipe.

An inquest heard from neighbours and family members. They had been a loving family who moved to Litherland from Speke just two months earlier to be nearer Charles's brother. However Amy had expressed concern to neighbours that he may have a nervous breakdown.  He had been finding many faults with the house and regretted buying it, spending many an hour of an evening out walking rather than be there. He was also worried about mortgage payments, despite having a good position as an assistant cashier with a biochemists.  

The inquest returned a verdict that Charles had murdered Amy and William, before committing suicide whilst the balance of mind was disturbed. 

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