3 May 1934 – Reginald Hinks

Bored of waiting for his father-in-law to pop his clogs, Reginald Hinks staged the man’s suicide to speed things along instead. As a result the son-in-law from hell was hanged as a murderer.

Clean sweep

Vacuum cleaner salesman, Hinks married into the family following a warp-speed wooing. Constance Pullen was a divorcee with a kid in tow, so he had a ready-made family. Now all he needed was a ready-made home. Luckily for him, his new wife came with a house in Bath. The only hitch was that it contained her 85-year-old dad, James.

Pullen Senior was senile and needed 24-hour care in the shape of a nurse. But when Hinks came along, he got shot of the hired help so he could do the ‘caring’ himself. But care was the last thing on his mind – his care consisted of a grim diet and long walks, which, more often than not, involved Pullen being dumped on busy streets and left to fend for himself.

But Pullen was made of surprisingly stern stuff, so Hinks turned up the heat, employing even fouler methods to rid himself of the old man.

Oven ready

At the beginning of December 1933, the police were called to find the 85-year-old with his head stashed in the gas oven. Hinks pointed out a bruise and said it was inflicted when he tried to haul the elderly gent out of the oven. The police knew a dodgy comment when they heard one, so Hinks’ observation was duly noted.

Sure enough, his lies were revealed by the autopsy, which showed that bruising occurred before the so-called suicide. As a result, when the case came to trial Hinks’ case didn’t look good. He was found guilty and sent to the gallows in Bristol, aged 32, just five months later.

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