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William Cornelius JONES





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Parricide
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: July 10, 1926
Date of arrest: Same day
Date of birth: 1904
Victim profile: Winifred Jones, 18 (his pregnant wife)
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Halifax, West Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom
Status: Executed by hanging at Leeds on January 5, 1927

William Cornelius Jones was a young territorial soldier who shot dead his wife with his service rifle. Winifred was just eighteen and Jones was twenty two.

The couple married in late 1925 and in autumn of the following year, they moved into their first home on Crib Lane, Halifax. Not long after, Mrs Jones went to see a solicitor regarding her husband's cruel behaviour. A letter was sent to Jones which caused him to mend his ways, and for the next few months they got along well.

By July however, Jones was again mistreating his wife, despite the fact that she was now pregnant. She left him this time and went to lodge with an aunt. Her solicitor again wrote to Jones and informed him that divorce proceedings were being taken out against him.

On 10 July, the day the letter arrived, he called on the solicitor and denied being cruel to his wife. He was due to attend a Territorial Army meeting at a local rifle range, and after leaving the solicitor's office he changed into his uniform and met up with a number of fellow territorials.

While travelling to the range, he told one of the men that he intended shooting his wife with the live round he carried in his pocket. His companions thought he was joking.

Later that afternoon, Mrs Jones was shot dead as she walked along Crib Lane. Jones was seen firing the single shot and was soon placed under arrest.

At his trial before Mr Justice MacCardie at Leeds Assizes on 6 December, he claimed that the gun had gone off accidentally. The prosecution contested the point and claimed it was wilful murder.

The jury needed only minutes to return a guilty verdict and Jones was later hanged by Thomas Pierrepoint and Robert Baxter at Leeds on the 5th January 1927.



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