It was a lovely summer day in 1898 and Miss Beatrice Gregory was on vacation with her mother in Hastings, England. While strolling through Alexandra Park she was approached by a well-dressed, charming young man who introduced himself as Arthur Devereux, a chemist's assistant.
At first Beatrice's mother, Mrs Ellen Gregory, approved of Arthur. He presented himself as a good catch. He was ambitious and made grandiose promises about the future. Beatrice happily accepted his proposal and they were wed soon after even though her mother had developed some grave reservations about Arthur.
Within a few months Beatrice wished that she had paid attention to her mother. Arthur proved to be immature, impractical, impulsive, and clearly not cut out for married life. To add to her misfortune Beatrice soon found herself with child.
When their son, Stanley, was born, Beatrice had hopes once again that their marriage might at last be a happy one. Those hopes were soon dashed when she realized that although he clearly doted on his son, Arthur had little love for Beatrice. She found herself pregnant again and this time she presented Arthur with twin boys, Lawrence and Evelyn. As a chemist's assistant Arthur was only bringing home a weekly salary of £2. He was barely making enough to take care of himself let alone a family of five.
In early January Arthur gave notice at the chemist shop. Later that month he brought home a large tin trunk, probably explaining to Beatrice that he needed it for storage. He began selling off household items and on the 7th of February, Arthur moved with Stanley to a smaller flat in London and arranged to have the large tin trunk sent to a storage warehouse in Kenal Rise.
Although Ellen Gregory did not get on well with her son-in-law, she was very close to her daughter and grandchildren. so she was quite shocked when she called on the flat in Kilburn and found it to be vacant. It took several weeks for Mrs Gregory to track Arthur down at his new digs and when she finally did she was alarmed to discover that Beatrice and the twins were not there. When Mrs. Gregory questioned Arthur concerning their whereabouts his response was evasive. He claimed that Beatrice and the twins were on holiday but refused to tell his mother-in-law exactly where. When she realized that she was not going to get any further information from Arthur Mrs Gregory left. If Arthur thought he had taken care of matters he was sadly mistaken. He had not counted on Mrs. Gregory's tenacious nature. She returned to their old flat in Kilburn to question the Devereux's neighbors. While speaking with the neighbors she found out about the large tin trunk and the moving van that had come to collect it. Fearing the worst Mrs Gregory contacted the police to report her daughter and grandchildren missing.
It took several weeks to track down the storage warehouse but eventually the trunk was located. Instead of the books and chemicals Arthur claimed was in the trunk there were three decomposing bodies. The cause of death was attributed to Morphine overdose. Arthur knew the gig was up when the story about the bodies broke in all the newspapers. He packed up and moved to Coventry with Stanley.
The case was assigned to Inspector Pollard of Scotland Yard. Knowing that Arthur would have to support Stanley and himself he began questioning chemists to see if they had recently hired an assistant with a six-year-old son. It wasn't long before Insp. Pollard showed up at Arthur's place of employment in Coventry. While he was being questioned Arthur blurted out he didn't know anything about a tin trunk. The problem was Pollard had not asked him about the trunk yet. He was immediately placed under arrest.
Arthur went on trial at London's Old Bailey in July of 1905. He tried to claim that Beatrice had killed the twins and then committed suicide. He was afraid that no one would believe him so he brought the tin trunk and hid the bodies. He was right! Amongst the evidence used to convict him was his job applications. He listed himself as a widower with a young son. The problem with that was Beatrice and the twins weren't dead yet! Arthur Devereux was found guilty and put to death on August 15, 1905 at Pentonville Prison.