24 June 1926 – Louie Calvert
Despite her protestations that she was up the duff, it took a mere 20 seconds to kill Louie Calvert on this day in 1926.
The murderess was hanged in Strangeways after she’d been found guilty of killing her landlady and a former boss. However, she tried to wriggle out of her sentence by saying she was pregnant – which, up to that point, had been a sure-fire way to earn a reprieve.
However, this is not the first time Calvert had pretended to be in the family way – she’d bagged a husband by blagging that she was carrying his child.
That wasn’t all. Nor was Calvert reticent when it came to criminal activities – after all, she’d devoted her life to thieving and prostitution as means of making ends meet.
So when her thieving ways were thwarted, Calvert didn’t take too kindly to the person who’d grassed her up. And that person was Lilly Waterhouse – her landlady.
Of course, Waterhouse had every right to go to the police, after all some of her stuff had been stolen by Calvert. That Waterhouse had every right, didn’t stop Calvert mercilessly beating her up and strangling her to death.
As the prime suspect, they tracked Calvert down to her husband’s house in Leeds where they found some incriminating goods belonging to Waterhouse. She was dragged in for questioning and there she tried to pass the items off as gifts from the deceased woman. Nevertheless, she was had up for trial, where it turned out this was not the first time she’d bumped someone off.
She had also murdered an old boss by the name of John Frobisher. Needless to say, Calvert was found guilty and given the death penalty, and this is when she played the pregnancy card, but it resoundingly failed and the sentence was carried out by Thomas Pierrepoint at Strangeways when she was 33.
The autopsy revealed she wasn’t actually pregnant at all. However, she was survived by her five-year-old son, upon whom she had doted. Thankfully, he was looked after following her premature death.