Alfred Whiteway

Reign of terror: 24 May 1953 - 12 June 1953

Motive: Sex

Crimes: On 24th May, Whiteway sexually assaulted a 14 year old girl on Oxshott Heath, in the suburbs of London. On 12th June, he sexually assaulted a woman in Windsor Great Park. On 31st May, he raped and murdered Barbara Songhurst, 16, and Christine Reed, 18, on the towpath between Teddington and Twickenham.

Method: Whiteway knocked the girls out by throwing an axe or something similar at them. Both girls had very deep stab wounds to the chest and severe head wounds. Their skulls had been fractured.

Sentence: Whiteway was sentenced to death and was hanged at Wandsworth Prison on 23 December 1953.

Interesting facts: The body of Barbara was found half a mile downstream from the site of the murder the day after it took place. To be able to find the body of Christine, the police had to drain the Thames between Teddington and Richmond, by using the locks at Teddington. She was found some miles downstream 6 days after the murder. Whiteway was arrested after two builders recognised him from his photofit and called the police.

Whiteway hid the axe under the seat of a police car. It was found by a police officer and taken home to chop wood. By the time it as realised it was the murder weapon, the axe had been severely blunted, and no forensic evidence was found on it. However, traces of blood were found in the seam and eyelets of a pair of Whiteway's shoes. When confronted with this evidence, Whiteway admitted to the police that he had murdered the two girls. Home