2 April 1907 – Edwin James Moore

Edwin James Moore really sparked a family furore with his execution.

He was executed at Warwick for what could possibly be branded manslaughter, after he set his mum on fire.

Feeling the heat

One night, Moore came home after having been on the lash. Completely off his face, the ex-army man promptly had a row with his mum. Incensed, he lobbed a lamp at her in the heat of the moment, which missed. Unfortunately, some papers kindled, and the flames then caused his mum’s blouse to catch light. Sadly she was wearing it at the time.

Realising what he’d done, Moore tried to put his mother out. But sadly, Fanny Adelaide Moore died agonisingly of her burns.

Moore’s kid brother couldn’t forgive him, instead he testified against him, and on the basis of that statement, Moore was sent down for murder. Moore forgave his brother for giving such damning evidence while his father forgave Moore for robbing him of his beloved wife.

Moore’s the pity

Of course, Moore’s appeal for clemency was based on the fact that the action was not premeditated, but sadly, that argument failed. Despite the fact that the crime should have been manslaughter, Moore was hanged for murder by William Willis and John Ellis.

As they exited the gallows, a warder asked if the deed had been done. They nodded to which the warder replied ‘Well you’ve just hanged an innocent man’. Ellis merely replied ‘We can’t help that. We had to carry out our orders’.

And Ellis was right – in this particular case there was just no hanging around, at least not where justice was concerned. The whole episode from crime to punishment, took just 33 days.

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