11 August 1879 – Annie Tooke

Annie Tooke was sent to the gallows for infanticide.

The 40-year-old baby farmer was found guilty of killing and dismembering baby Reginald Hyde, who was just six months old. She had been paid to look after the child – the handsome sum of £12 plus 25p a week for his upkeep. But she couldn’t cope and little Reginald disappeared.

That was until his little torso turned up with the dismembered limbs, head and genitals not far off. Tooke nearly got away with it having incriminated and identified another preferred suspect Mary Hoskins.

However, Tooke’s suspicious statement led the police straight back to her and she was arrested. Her incarceration broke her and Tooke confessed to suffocating the infant and chopping him up on the coal bunker.

Tooke was hanged at Exeter in 1879 by William Marwood.

Also on this day

11 August 2006 – David Thomas Dawson

Stuff you may have missed over the weekend

10 August 1949 – John George Haigh (the acid bath murderer)
10 August 1922 – Reginald Dunne and Joseph O’Sullivan
10 August 1982 – Frank James Coppola
9 August 1856 – Elizabeth Martha Brown
9 August 1905 – William Hancocks

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