3 March 1903 – Edgar Owen (aka Edwards)

Triple murderer Edgar Owen got greedy. It was his deadly avarice that led to his execution on this day in 1903.

Edgar Owen (aka Edwards) was hanged for wiping out an entire family. The victims had been hoping he’d snap up their business, but he took their lives instead.

Grocer and grosser

The murderer came in contact with his victims after he responded to their advert. The Darbys had put their grocery shop up for sale and Owen had arranged to meet them. But he had absolutely no intention of buying the shop. His motivation was far more devious.

Case closed

He took a lead sash weight to the husband John and wife Beatrice, and strangled their 10-week-old baby girl, Ethel. Owen then stuffed John Darby’s body in a suitcase and buried it in the back yard of his rented house in east London. He pocketed the contents of the till and sold off all the merchandise. And maybe he’d have gotten away with it had he not tried to do it all over again to another man. He was arrested and the crimes against the Darbys emerged.

He tried to blag that he was insane, but the jury wouldn’t have a bar of it. The 44-year-old was found guilty of the murders and hanged for his crimes at Wandsworth Prison.

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