England · Newspaper clippings

Man murders pregnant 18-year-old wife when she tries to leave him following abuse

July 10, 1926
Halifax, England
William Cornelius Jones shoots and kills his 18-year-old pregnant wife after she tried to leave him for being abusive

William and Winifred had marital issues almost immediately, and Winifred lodged a complaint against William. He promised to stop, which he did for a short while, but fell back into abuse despite the fact his wife was now pregnant. Winifred left him to live with her aunt and had a letter issued to William stating divorce proceedings were to follow. The day the letter arrived, William, a territorial soldier, went to a Territorial Army meeting at the local rifle range. He off-handedly mentioned he planned to shoot his wife with the live round in his pocket, though his colleagues didn’t believe he was serious.

As Winifred walked down the street later that afternoon, William fired a single shot, mortally wounding her. At trial, William claimed the gun went off accidentally. The jury didn’t believe his story and he was convicted after only minutes of deliberation. He was hanged January 5, 1927.

Clipping: The Guardian (London), July 13, 1926

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