Good Morning, No 549, The Daily Paper of the Submarine Branch

There's anew home waiting ft Sto. (1st class) JOHN !SMITH Good® Morning The Daily Paper of the Submarine Branch With the co-operation of the Office of Admiral (Submarines) Baby "Churchill'' Smith they called her and shes answering back her mother! They tried Three times —he wouldn't hang Many strange incidents accompanied the unique case of butler John Lee, convicted of murder, and thrice taken to the gallows without meeting death, here described by STUART MARTIN, who invites you to explain it all—if you canT T is perhaps the most extra- -ordinary casein the annals of hanging. Here was a man who. hav­ing been convicted of murder, beat the jury, the judges sen­tence. the wardens in Exeter Gaol, the hangman (who was Berry), the Home Office, and the wihole gamut of English law about capital] punishment. To beat Berry alone was something of an accomplish­ment, for he was one of the most expert public execu­tioners. Dont ask me if I can ex­plain the strange incidents that accompanied the attempts to hang John Leo. I am going to ask you if you can explain them. I won't waste much spiace over the crime. It was called tihe Bab Mystery. John Lee was buffiler and footman to Miss Keyse, who lived ait Bab- nbe. baco next Torquay, in a lange thatched house called The Glen. Miss Emma Keyse had been a lady-in-waiting to Queen Victoria, and was nearly seventy years of age when the trajgedy occurred. Her house­hold consisted of two sisters named Neck, who had been in her employ foir about thirty years, a cook named Elizabeth Harris, and Lee, who was half-brother to Harris. Lee had been in the job for ten months, but was under notice of discharge. On the night of November 14th, 1884, Miss Keyse sat up Late writing up her diary. She often did this. Eliza Neck was the last to see her alive, hav­ing sat up with her till about 1 ajn., and left her still writing. Somewhere about four oclock in tihe morning the cook. Eliza Harris, awoke with a choking feeling. She found her roomful! of smoke. She aroused the others, including Lee, went downstairs, and they found the dining-room on fire in two places. On the floor in front of a sofa in that apart­ment lay the body of Miss Keyse, her clothing burning. Lee helped to putout the fires, and this was practically completed when the police arrived- Investigations re­vealed a strange state of affairs. A chair in the dining­ room was saturated with blood, and there was a pool of blood in a passage near the pantry where Lee slept. Miss Keyse had evidently been attacked in the hall and then dragged into the dining­ room. Her skull was smashed by two terrible blows on the head, and her throat was cut from ear to ear. The police kept going. They found that paper and stuff had been piled against the body, saturated with paraffin, and lit. The only paraffin can was one found empty in a cupboard above Lees bed. In the pantry, in a drawer, they found a knife, with blood on it. In the dining-room was a hatchet with blood on it. There was evidence that an attempt had been made to burn the staircase. A window in the dining-room had been smashed, from the inside. Lee said he had smashed the window to outlet the smoke aflter the aJainm was raised. He had a wound in his right ainm. He said that was caused by breaking the window. ON ESSENTIAL SERVICE /Tel. John Examination of his clothing showed than there had been blood on his trousers, which he had tried to wash off. His socks were found sioaked in paraffin. Bloodstained marks of a finger and thumb were found oh the oilcan. The police said these were Lee's prints. So he was charged with murder. He protested his innocence at the trial at Exeter As­ sizes, which began on Feb­ruary 2nd, 1885. At the trial, his half-sister, the cook, gave strange evidence. She said that he had toJd her that he would “have his revenge" for his discharge before leaving Torquay, and that he would “watch the place burn,” meaning the house. Lee had a reply to all this evidence, but it took the jury only twenty minutes to bring in the verdict of Guilty. All through the trial Lee had conducted himself without emo­tion of any kind. The judge (Mr. Justice Manisty) com­mented on tihisi in passing sen­tence.“ 1 am not surprised,'' he said, addressing Lee, “that a man who could commit so barbarous a crime should maintain the cadan appearance which you have maintained." Lee, from the dock, replied, “Please, my lord, the reason IJERE is home news for you, Stoker (First Class) John A. Smith, which your wife gave to “Good Morning when we called at 30 Sarsfeld Road. Balham. Michael, as you know, is in hospital, but is getting on fine now, and he will be safely home again long before vou read this. Did you know that your wife had managed to get a flat and is getting it all ready for your return ?She has also acquired a wireless and quite a bit of utility furni­ture, and she very much hopes you will like it all. What a fine baby daughter you have, John !Weighed {Mbs. lOozs. at birth, and is now 151bs. They called her Churchill at the nursing home, though this doesnt mean she expects a gift of cigars from Daday !Your wife threw a small party recently—just six—Betty. Joyce (Lyndas nursemaid). Jim, Frankie, George and Ron­nie they all had a grand time while it lasted, finishing up at 1 1 p.m. Mrs. Smith has had baby's photo taken, and is awaiting results. She has also got your watch repaired, but is very doubtful about sending it onto you. Tlnis is all the news for now, except that your wife says, “My thoughts are always wifih you love to you from the babies and myself.” I am so calm is because I trusted to my God, and my God knows that I am inno­cent, my lord." He walked from the dock as if he haa no cares in the world. Now listen to this. Lee was to have been executed in Exeter Gaol on Monday, Feb­ruary 23rd, 1885. On the night before the execution he told Warder Ben­nett. in tftu e condemned cefll, that he had dreamed' that three attempts would be made to hang him. but he would sur­vive. Bennett reported this to tihe Governor, who didn't pay much attention to prisoners' dreams. Had they not got Berry, the celebrated hangman, in the prison for the job ?Berry had never been known to fail. And Berry tested his apparatus and didn't believe it could possibly fail. At the stroke of eight oclock that morning, the condemned man. surrounded by "warders, officials and .iw g- man, stepped onto the trap dbor. This door, I ought to explain, is in two flaps, which fall away when the bolt is dnawn, and the victim is dropped into the pit below. Berry drew the bolt as soon as the cap was put over Lees face. And the trap did not fall. They shoved Lee off the trap, and warders stamped on the flaps. The flaps did not drop. They marched Lee away, still with the cap over his face, and as soon ashe was gone they tested the trap again. It acted quite all right. They brought Lee back six minutes later and stood him up. and again Benry drew the bolt., j 'Continued on Page 3) Wellings f OUTSIDE the trim little bun-^galow at 22 Cambourne Avenue, Whitchurch, Glam, Mrs. John Wellings, wife cf L./Tel. John Wellings, was ad­miring her fathers new car.“ Isnt ashe beauty ?she said.“ I m sure John will be pleased to hear we have it.” “You see. Daddy has along way togo to work, and the car is essential to him.” So now you know, L./Tel. W eliings. As you can see by the picture, its a smart out­fit, complete with an ultra­ smart chaufTeuse. After the demonstration of the model we adjourned to the bungalow.“ I don't know quite what I can tell you, Mrs. Wellings said. “You see, I write to my husband every night. That's a good record, isnt it ?”Then she added :“Tell him John Sweetland is instill this country. Wally, his brother, is in Belgium. Oh I and John Chilcott is out East.” Then Mrs. Wellings spoke of Christmas.“ I shall probably spend it with Loma, a girl­friend of mine. On Boxing Day No. 36 Hails A.B. Francis Dennis \\TE explained to your Mother, A.B. Francis Wil­liam Dennis, when we called at 36 Pownall Place, Fulham, that we wanted a message for vou and all the home news. This is what she told us :“All at home are fit and smiling. They have put the windows in again at last, aftar the bomb in February, and although we have only two rooms we can use, we are still happy and staying put at No. 36." Roy is doing a spot of work for Mother, washing the scul­lery floor and doing other domestic duties. He is doing fine in his new job at the R.A.M.C. Record Office, and is saving up for some boxing I m going to the pantomime, these days to buy anything You can say I'm looking for- worthWhile, toward receiving the parcel “Give John my love, and tell John is sending. Mum and Dad him Im longing for the time are giving me a cheque instead when we shall be together of a present its so difficult again.” W e ALWAYS write to you, if you write first to “Good Morning,” c/o Press Division, Admiralty, London, S.W.1 gloves to give you areal bash­ing just to show his brotherly love! Dad is liking his new job, and you will be glad to hear Ihe is a lot better in health for the change. Dad says: “When are you going to get that extra stripe ?But prob­ably you are coxswain by now." They often ask after you at 4 1 The Crown,” and will be {oily glad to see your face iack there again soon, even if it does look a bit sad after brother Roy s efforts. Much love to you from Mum. Dad and Roy.
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