Video: On this day in 1953: Rillington Place murders

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Sixty four years ago the Yorkshire Post reported the discovery of a horrific crime scene in London.

The murders at 10 Rillington Place became one of the most notorious cases in British criminal history and led to the execution of Yorkshire born murderer John Reginald Halliday Christie. Unfortunately, the case was also known for the wrongful execution of Timothy Evans.

John Reginald Halliday Christie making a second appearance at West London Court charged with the murder of his wife, Ethel Christie.

John Reginald Halliday Christie making a second appearance at West London Court charged with the murder of his wife, Ethel Christie.

Here we re-publish extracts from the Yorkshire Post at the time.

The strangler: a warning

Information that has come into the possession of Scotland Yard has led them to believe that the man who strangled four women and concealed their bodies in a house in Rillington Place, in the Notting Hill district of London, is a sex maniac.

They fear that unless he is quickly apprehended he may lure other women to their death.

John Reginald Halliday Christie 
Early photograph after crime of stealing postal orders.

John Reginald Halliday Christie Early photograph after crime of stealing postal orders.

Last night Scotland Yard stated that all the dead women had been identified at Kensington Mortuary during the day. They were:—

Mrs. Ethel Christie, aged 45; Miss Hectorina Maclennan aged about 25, Miss Kathleen Maloney, aged l9, of Plymouth, and Miss Rita Elisabeth Nelson, aged 24.

The police are still searching for Mrs. Christie’s husband. 55-year-old Mr. John Reginald Christie, a former tenant of the ground floor flat at the house, who they think may be able to help them In their inquiries.

Mr. John Reginald Christie is believed to be a Halifax man who left the district nearly 30 years ago. His full name is John Reginald Halliday Christie. He was born at Halifax in 1899, younger son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Ernest John Christie, of Chester Road, Akroydon, Halifax, who had two sons and five daughters.

John Reginald Halllday Christie, who is remembered as a tall, rather shy young man, attended Boothtown Council School. He worked as a clerk before becoming a temporary postman in Halifax.

He left this employment in 1921. He was married in 1930 at Halifax Register Office to Miss Ethel Simpson, who was 22 at the time and employed as a clerk.

Halifax Borough Police have been making inquiries but it is understood that Christie has had no contact with the district for many years.

A white-haired retired businessman who lives in Leeds, told The Yorkshire Post last night: “I have, or had, a brother called John Reginald Christie. But neither myself nor any members of the family have seen or heard of him since he disappeared from Halifax 33 years ago.“

It is understood that much helpful information has already reached Scotland Yard from provincial forces who have been asked to co-operate.

Last night, even after daylight had gone, five children were playing in the dimly lit cul-de-sac that is Rillington Place. A police constable stood at the front door of No. 10, where the bodies were found, and a shaft of light broke through the drab blinds and curtains in the front parlour.

Rillngton Place is so insignificant that it is not shown on any of the pocket street guides to London.

But No. 10 was the scene of two murders in December, 1940. those of 19-year-old Miss Beryl Evans and her 14-month-old baby.

Search through our archive papers and much more at the British Newspaper Archive

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