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Report No. 35

Appendix XVII

Cases of Cruel Murder

Cruel murders

We may refer to a few cases of cruel murder.

Supreme Court Cases

(1) One Fahim, cruelly murdered Mrs. Nelson, wife of an American Missionary, at Handia on Varanasi-Allahabad highway. (The husband had gone to Allahabad to get repaired a damaged tyre of his car, leaving behind his wife in the Car). The Allahabad High Court confirmed the sentence of death. The Supreme Court refused leave to appeal against the High Court's judgment dated 8th Oct. 19651.

(2) Unni, a naval rating conspired along with 4 others to burgle the safe of the Naval Base Supply Office at Cochin, and they decoyed Lt. Commander Mendanha from his house on the pretext that he was wanted at the Naval base. In a lonely place they caught hold of him, tied his hands and legs, gagged his mouth with sticking-plaster, and plugged his nostrils with cotton soaked in chloroform and deposited him in a shallow drain. Unni was sentenced to death by the High Court of Kerala. The Supreme Court upheld the conviction and the sentence2.

(3) In a brutal murder, the accused killed a young girl by cutting her into pieces. The Sessions Judge, Srinagar, while finding him guilty of murder sentenced him to life imprisonment on the ground that the accused had become emaciated in the legs and was crawling. The High Court observed, that this was no ground for leniency in the circumstances of the case, and enhanced the sentence to one of death3.

(4) Wamanrao Kasture, a clerk, sprinkled kerosene on the person of a woman and set fire, which resulted in the woman's death. Death sentence confirmed by the Nagpur High Court4 as the crime was an atrocious one.

(5) A student-Vijai Karan Singh, stabbed his Vice-Principal, piercing through his heart, as a revenge for the victim having sponsored action against the accused for using unfair means at the examination. Death sentence was confirmed by the Allahabad High Court (Lucknow Bench)5.

(6) Chinnaswami, a domestic servant murdered Mayyapan, his creditor by enticing him to his quarters. Death sentence was confirmed by the Punjab High Court, (Delhi Bench)6.

(7) Anti, appellant, mercilessly struck Shanker on his head by a Kodali (a pointed digging instrument like an axe). The death sentence passed by the Sessions Judge, Santhal Parganas, was confirmed by the Patna High Court7.

(8) The late Shri H. N. Sanyal, Solicitor-General of India, was strangled to death at night by a party of persons who entered his house at night, apparently for committing theft. The murder was a gruesome one. The death sentence was confirmed by the High Court of Punjab (at Delhi) on 25th January, 1966.8

(9) The recent sadistic murder tried at the trial known as "Bodies on the moors" may be referred to:-9

Sadism, sexual perversion and cruelty which motivated a young couple to the "cold blooded" killing of a girl of 10, a boy of 12 and youth of 17 and to bury their bodies on lonely moors led to their being given life sentences at the end of their trial yesterday at Chester. The case known as "bodies on the moors" trial attracted reporters and psychologists from all parts of the Western world and took up more space in the British Press than any criminal case in recent years.

The accused who were convicted were Ian Brady, a clerk of 28, and Myra Hindley, a shorthand typist aged 23, his girl friend who worked in the same office and lived together in the same house.

Evidence at the trial brought out that the couple had a library of books on murder, sadism and perversion, including the works of Marquis de Sade. Smith had, according to his statement, been at first drawn in by them and had heard Brady boast of having killed many persons. Later when he witnessed Brady axing to death Evans who had been inveigled into the house, he broke down and ran to the police.

Other discoveries by the police included a tape recording of the frightened cries of a child identified as Lesley Ann Downey, 10, whom the accused admitted to having photographed in the nude but denied murder. The girl's body had been found buried on the moors at a spot a photograph of which was found in Brady's album. The pathetic pleadings of the child were heard by the court and the jury when the tape was played out during the trial as also the commands of Brady and Hindley to the girl.

The police also produced a diary kept by Brady in which there was the name of John Kilbride, 12, whose body also was found on the moors near the other burial. Other finds included a plan for disposal of bodies drawn up by Brady.

The contention of the prosecution was that Brady was a cold-blooded pervert who took pleasure in inflicting pain on helpless children and who killed for kicks. Hindley, it was brought out, had fallen under his spell and became a willing

A curious sidelight on the sensational Press in Britain was thrown by the evidence of Smith. He admitted that the News of the World had signed him on to give material for article on the murder after the accused were convicted. In the meanwhile they were giving a substantial weekly allowance.

1. Bombay Chornicle, dated 22-3-1966.

2. Times of India /Hindustan Standard, Dated 23-4-1966.

3. Case in 'Hindustan' Times, New Delhi, dated 11th June, 1965, since reported as Akbar Shah v. State, (1965) 2 Cr LJ 771 (J&K).

4. Nagpur Times dated 23-7-1965.

5. 'National Herald,' dated 22-10-1965.

6. 'Patriot,' dated.-11-1965.

7. 'Search Light,' Patna, dated 12-12-1965.

8. 'Hindustan Times,' 8th May, 1966

9. See also Calcutta Weekly Notes, (April, 1965), p. 75, "Reporting Crime"

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