Story of a Terrible Crime
Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXI, Issue 5896, 23 February 1903, Page 4
Story of a Terrible Crime
A mysterious discovery made at Ley ton 3. on December 3rd, when three mutilated/ bodies were found buried m a garden, was • to some extent, eluoidated on December 4th by the identification of the victims, and a man named Edgar Edwards, already m custody for another offenoe, being charged with causing their death. The circumstances of the tragedy extend over a period of about two months, but only during the past few days have the police become posb63sed of information justifying them m charging Edwards. The prisoner was charged at btratford Police Court on Christmas Eve with committing a violent assault on an elderly man named John Garland, of Leytonstone, by striking him on the head with a piece of iron, TRtPLK MURDER IN LONDON. Whilst the prisoner was under remand the police investigations revealed a gruesome smd terrible story. The names of the murdered persons are William John Darby, aged twenty-six; Beatrice Darby, his wife, aged twenty-eight; and their baby, aged three months. They were respectably connected, and kept a small grocer's shop m Wyndham Koad, Camberwell, which they were supposed to have sold to Edward about the middle of November, when they suddenly disappeared. Edwards then took up residence there until early m Deeomber, when he removed to 87 Church Road, Leyton, buried m the back garden of which the mutilated bodies were discovored. Edwards was assisted m the Wyndham Road business by a hunchback named Goodwin, a sort of handy-man, and subsequently he and Edwards were seen to drive a covered van to the shop, lift into it some furniture, and a couple of boxes, supposed to contain Moskery, and drive away. Since then the Camberwelt business had been closed. A few days previously a man named Rawlin had been engaged to dig the back garden at the Leyton house, and ho assisted m unloading the furniture and boxes. Little was seen of Edwards after this, and his movements excited no suspicion. From the time of the disappearance of the Darbys their friends thought all was not well, and communicated with the police. THE DISCOVEKIES AT LKYTON. When Edwards was m custody and -his house searched neighbours told of strange happenings m the garden, and the outcome was the discovery of the bodies. In the upstairs rooms were clothes belonging to Mrs Darby. A small dog formerly belonging to Mrs Darby was also m Edwards' possession, and, it is said, was continually smelling round the spot where his raa*ter and mistresa were burled, and would not move away. The officers also found a let ter purporting to be a reference from Mr Darby to a house agent at Leyton. This is pronounced to be a forgery. The bodies when discovered presented a shocking sight. They were tied m half-a-dozen sacks. The heads, arm 3, and legs had been severed, but, though decomposed, were identified by the deceased's relatives. AT CAMBERWELL. On searching the premises m Wyndhnm Road, the police discovered evidences of bloodshed, while on the floor, wrapped m paper was a window sash weight with blood marks on it. An old rusty saw 1 was also found, which had been hauded |to an analyst. The appearance of the room indicated that it had recently been washed. The Darbys had been m, the Wyndham Road business about twelve months, bxit as it was not satisfactory they advertised it for sale, and Edwards entered into negotiations. No details of Edwards' antecedents have yet been discovored. The inquest will be opened on Friday, but probably only formal evidence will be taken. THE ATTEMPTRD MURDER AL LETTON. With reference to the attempt upon Garland, the police consider the prisoner had serious designs on him. They wore negotiating with reference to a business Edwards had for sale, and it is stated that on the day of the assault, Garland called with a deposit, the arrangement being that both should go to town subsequently to settle matters. When the assault was committed Garland shouted "murder," and on the arrival of the police they had to force an entry. Garland was found seriously wounded, while Edwards was escaping from the baok of the house. He was captured, and a sash weight similar to that found at Camberwell was discovered, also wrapped m paper, with which the assault on Garland had been made. The hunchback has also been detained, and has identified Edwards.