Scotland

Teenager beaten, strangled during robbery

February 19, 1909
Fife, Scotland
15-year-old Michael Swinton Brown is killed during a robbery

Brown was tasked every Friday with collecting the weekly factory wages for his employer, a task which he performed almost mechanically. Every week he took the same route at the same time, a habit Alexander Edmonstone (23) noticed and decided to take advantage of.

After Brown collected the £85 for the week (worth roughly £9350 or $13,080 in 2017), Edmonstone followed the teen until he disappeared into a brick public lavatory. Edmonstone followed. Brown was later found dead in the lavatory, beaten severely, his skull smashed, a cloth tied tightly around his neck, and a cap shoved down his throat.

Edmonstone faked a suicide note in which he confessed to killing Brown. He also claimed he intended to fill his pockets with stones and walk into a river to drown himself. Police doubted the validity of the note but dragged the river anyway, finding no body. Wanted posters offering £100 were put up in the surrounding areas and led to Edmonstone’s arrest. He attempted an insanity plea which was unsuccessful, and he was hanged on July 6, 1910.

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