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Reginald Ivor HINKS





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Simulated suicide
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: December 1, 1933
Date of arrest: Next day
Date of birth: 1900
Victim profile: James Pullen, 85 (his father-in-law)
Method of murder: Gas asphyxiation
Location: Bath, Somerset, England, United Kingdom
Status: Executed by hanging at Bristol on May 3, 1934

In 1933 Reginald Hinks met Constance Anne Pullen. They enjoyed a whirlwind romance before getting married. She was a divorcee with a child and she lived in Bath with her 85-year-old, senile father. Hinks was 33 years old and was a vacuum cleaner salesman who was constantly on the look out for an easier life than that of a door-to-door salesman.

The elderly Mr Pullen had a nurse to look after him but as soon as Hinks moved into the house with his bride, he forced the nurse to leave. He put the man on a strict diet and would often take him on long walks, often leaving him alone in busy streets.

The old man was a lot stronger than he looked and when he failed to succumb to these rigours Hinks changed his tatics. He decided to make it look as if the old man had committed suicide.

On 1 December 1933 Reginald Hinks called the fire brigade. When they arrived Hinks told them that he had found his father-in-law dead, with his head inside the gas-oven.

He also told them that any bruise that might be found on the old man's head had happened when he pulled him from the oven. It was felt that this was a strange thing to say and a note was made of it.

As always in the case of a suicide a post-mortem was carried out and quickly established that the bruise which was indeed present had been caused before death and Hinks was arrested.

At his Old Bailey trial he was found guilty and was executed at Bristol on 3 May 1934.



3 May 1934 – Reginald Hinks

Bored of waiting for his father-in-law to pop his clogs, Reginald Hinks staged the man’s suicide to speed things along instead. As a result the son-in-law from hell was hanged as a murderer.

Clean sweep

Vacuum cleaner salesman, Hinks married into the family following a warp-speed wooing. Constance Pullen was a divorcee with a kid in tow, so he had a ready-made family. Now all he needed was a ready-made home. Luckily for him, his new wife came with a house in Bath. The only hitch was that it contained her 85-year-old dad, James.

Pullen Senior was senile and needed 24-hour care in the shape of a nurse. But when Hinks came along, he got shot of the hired help so he could do the ‘caring’ himself. But care was the last thing on his mind – his care consisted of a grim diet and long walks, which, more often than not, involved Pullen being dumped on busy streets and left to fend for himself.

But Pullen was made of surprisingly stern stuff, so Hinks turned up the heat, employing even fouler methods to rid himself of the old man.

Oven ready

At the beginning of December 1933, the police were called to find the 85-year-old with his head stashed in the gas oven. Hinks pointed out a bruise and said it was inflicted when he tried to haul the elderly gent out of the oven. The police knew a dodgy comment when they heard one, so Hinks’ observation was duly noted.

Sure enough, his lies were revealed by the autopsy, which showed that bruising occurred before the so-called suicide. As a result, when the case came to trial Hinks’ case didn’t look good. He was found guilty and sent to the gallows in Bristol, aged 32, just five months later.



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