Beryl Evans

Beryl Evans

Birth
Death 8 Nov 1949 (aged 20)
Notting Hill, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Greater London, England
Burial Acton, London Borough of Ealing, Greater London, England
Plot G 179
Memorial ID 6532296 · View Source
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Beryl Susanna Evans (nee Thorley) of 10 Rillington Place, Ladbroke Grove, West London, was the victim of perhaps the most notorious murder of the Twentieth Century. She was married to Timothy Evans, a truck driver who could not read or write. They had one daughter, Geraldine (born October 1948) and another child on the way. As they could not afford another baby, and as this was before the passing of the Abortion Act 1967, they asked John Reginald Halliday Christie, who lived in the same house and who claimed to have had some medical training, if he could help them dispose of the fetus. Under the guise of giving Beryl some anaesthetic, he gassed her, strangled her and raped her, then hid her body in an outside lavatory. When Evans came back from work, Christie suggested that it might be better if, as an accessory before the fact, he (Evans) ought to go and stay with his family in South Wales until the heat had died down. Christie promised to find another family who would look after Geraldine. Instead, two days later, he strangled her, as well. Evans, who knew none of this, felt guilty that he had asked his friend to perform an illegal abortion, and told the police that he himself had murdered his wife and hidden her corpse in the drains, which was where Christie had said he would dispose of her. Of course, the police found nothing there, and it took three policemen to remove the manhole cover, so Evans could not possibly have done it himself. When Evans learned of this, he at first retracted his story, then allegedly made a further confession ; although, given his illiteracy, there are reasons to disbelieve this. Evans was tried for the murder of Geraldine, found guilty and hanged on the 9th. March 1950 at Pentonville Prison. What was not then known was that, during the War, Christie had murdered and raped (in that order) two women and buried their bodies in the garden. In 1953, Christie murdered his own wife and buried her beneath the floorboards, then invited three prostitutes back to the house, all of whom met the same fate as Beryl. He then left the house, and the new tenant found the three corpses in an alcove. Christie was arrested, confessed to the murder of Beryl (but not that of Geraldine) and was hanged on the 15th. July 1953 for the murder of his wife. An enquiry, held just before Christie's execution, maintained that, although Christie had strangled six women and had confessed to the murder of another Evans was guilty ; which required one to believe that there must have been two murderers, with exactly the same modus operandum, in the same small house. However, another inquiry was held in 1966 and found that Evans had not murdered the baby ; although, amazingly, and in the face of all the evidence, it was contended that he had, probably, murdered his wife. As it was for the murder of Geraldine, not Beryl, that Evans had been hanged, he was granted a full and free pardon. After Christie's conviction, the name of Rillington Place was changed to Ruston Mews and, in 1971, No. 10 was demolished.

Bio by: Iain MacFarlaine


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Iain MacFarlaine
  • Added: 21 Jun 2002
  • Find A Grave Memorial 6532296
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Beryl Evans (19 Sep 1929–8 Nov 1949), Find A Grave Memorial no. 6532296, citing Gunnersbury Cemetery, Acton, London Borough of Ealing, Greater London, England ; Maintained by Find A Grave .