11 November 1908 – James Phipps

One-eyed monster, James Phipps was hanged for murdering a little girl in 1908.

He was sentenced to death for killing 10-year-old Emily Warburton. Phipps apparently asked the little girl (who was playing with a group of friends) if she could get him some cigarettes.

The 21-year-old then took her along a towpath in search of a lamplighter to light his fag. He was distinctive because he had a white scarf over one eye after he lost it in an accident at school. So inevitably, when Phipps was seen with her, people instantly remembered him.

When her father found out about her encounter, he went looking for her, and quite a crowd had gathered to help. Her drowned body turned up with his white scarf around her neck, and when they saw Phipps in the area, he felt compelled to leg it. But the police caught him and he is said to have confessed that kids had made fun of him because his missing eye.

Phipps allegedly chased after them and caught Emily, who he promptly drowned. Of course the story didn’t wash with the jury and they took just 7 minutes to unanimously decide he was going down for his crime. Phipps was hanged in 1908 by Henry and Thomas Pierrepoint at Knutsford, Cheshire.

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