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Edward Francis BALL

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

   
 
 
Classification: Homicide
Characteristics: Parricide - The body was never found
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: February 17, 1936
Date of arrest: 5 days after
Date of birth: May 9, 1916
Victim profile: His mother, Vera Preston Ball, 53
Method of murder: Beating with an axe
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Status: Found guilty but insane. Ordered to be Detained During the Pleasure of the Governor General. Died in 1987
 
 
 
 
 
 

Edward Ball, 19, murdered his mother, Lavinia (Vera), at their home in Booterstown, on February 17 1936. Her body was never found (her car was recovered at the coast in Shankill, Dublin).

Ball, who pleaded 'not guilty' at his trial, said that he had returned home to find that his mother had committed suicide by cutting her own throat with an open razor. He had decided to hide the suicide by disposing of the body in the sea. Evidence, however, pointed towards a struggle although he had worked hard the night of the murder to destroy it. He was found guilty, but insane.

 
 

Edward Ball was charged with the murder of his mother although her body was never found.

A man delivering newspapers noticed a car strangely parked facing the sea and the car door partially open. Inside the car were bloodstains and a bloodstained towel.

He was suspicious and reported the matter to the police who went to the house and searched the premises. They found bloodstained linen wrapped in newspaper in Edward Balls room.

When confronted Edward stated that his 53 year old mother had committed suicide and cut her throat. When he found her body he decided to dispose of the body at sea. He had taken the body to the shore at Shankill and let the tide take it out to sea.

The prosecution dismissed this story and showed it more likely that she had been killed with a bloodstained axe found at the house. He was found guilty but insane and 19 year old Edward Ball was ordered to be Detained During the Pleasure of the Governor General.

It would seem that the likely motive for this may have been that his mother had been suffereing from Dementia and this had become too much for a young man of 19 to put up with.

He was found guilty but insane.

 
 

Son charged with motherís murder

The Irish News

February 23, 1936

There was a sensational sequel last night to the disappearance of Mrs Vera Preston Ball, the 53-year-old wife of a Dublin specialist, Edward Ball, the 19-year-old son of Mrs Ball, was charged with the murder of his mother.

The youth was arrested at the house in St Helenís Road, Booterstown, Co Dublin where he had lived with his mother. The house has been closely guarded by detectives since the discovery of Mrs Ballís blood-stained car, abandoned near the seashore at Shankill early on Wednesday morning.

Since the discovery a widespread search had been made in the surrounding countryside but no trace has been found of the missing woman.

Edward Ball completed his studies in England some time ago and returned to Ireland to live with his mother.

Dr Charles Preston Ball is in practice in Dublin and did not know of his wifeís disappearance until he was informed by the police.

St Helenís Road is in the fashionable residential area of Booterstown, a few miles from Dublin. Mrs Ball was a woman of means and was well known in the social life of the city.

Aeroplanes were used by the police during their search for her.

Ball was arrested at 7pm and taken to Bridewell police station where he was charged with murder.

A motorist who gave a lift from Shankill to the city to a man on Monday night has communicated with the police and it is understood that they are awaiting the discovery of the body.

As a result of certain information, the Civic Guards are now devoting their search to the sea at Shankill close to where the blood-saturated motor car was found abandoned. Furnished with row-boats and equipped with grappling apparatus, the police are engaged sweeping the sea between Shankill and Killiney. They are inclined to discard the suggestion that the body may have been weighted but they accept the probability that it may have been enveloped in a rug and that the weight of this has prevented the body from being washed ashore.

A hairpin, some human hair and blood stains have been found along the lane leading to the sea and it now believed that the body was dragged along from the car and thrown into the water. The police are satisfied that they have procured all the information that they require as to how Mrs Ball came to her death.

 

 

 
 
 
 
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