source: Wales Online
published: 13 April 2020
In 1950 a young Welshman was hanged for a heinous crime – the murder of his wife and daughter in the London flat where the family lived.
The main prosecution witness in the trial had been another tenant in the property, a seemingly mild-mannered post office clerk and former police special constable who told the court about the bitter rows he had heard between the accused and his partner.
After a trial lasting just three days Timothy Evans was convicted and subsequently executed.
The man whose testimony had played such a large part in securing the conviction was John Christie – a man who would later be unmasked as a serial killer and necrophiliac. And among his victims had been Evans’ wife, Beryl, and the couple’s 14-month-old daughter Geraldine.
The wrongful conviction and hanging of Evans would go on to play a major part in the campaign to end executions in Britain. Capital punishment was eventually suspended in 1964 and formally abolished in England and Wales in 1969. But it wasn’t until 2004 that Evans was finally declared to be innocent of murder.