Thursday, May 12, 2005

Strange blue outing.

A couple of weeks ago I went for a walk in Richmond Park. I then went into the elegant and exclusive area of Richmond Hill, where people like Pete Townsend and Mick Jagger live. I was looking for Park Road, which was the site of a rather exciting murder...

I won't go into too many details, because you would be better off reading the excellent account here. A maid who was working out her notice killed the lady who employed her, and disposed of the body in a rather gruesome fashion, boiling the head and throwing it off Richmond Bridge in a trunk. It was washed up at Barnes. Incidentally, if you were going to throw the head off a bridge in a trunk, why would you boil it first?

Park Road is an elegant street, built on quite a steep slope, full of large, expensive houses. I couldn't find any trace of 2 Vine Cottages, though, or even of any house that could be described as a cottage. But the murder happened 126 years ago, and there is a modern block of flats at the top of the road, and a well designed 1930s type block of flats at the bottom. There is also a decidedly modern pub. Quite possibly the site has been built on.

It was hard to imagine it as a murder scene, possibly because it's a very affluent, safe neighbourhood. Kate Webster was hanged. I don't approve of the death penalty, but it's hard to feel much sympathy for her, although thinking of a couple of my previous bosses, I would quite like to have dismembered them and thrown their head off Richmond Bridge!