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.
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
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.
Old Bailey trial he was found guilty and was executed at Bristol on 3
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.
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.
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