Juan Ignacio Blanco  


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Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Robbery
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: December 26, 1948
Date of arrest: January 18, 1949
Date of birth: 1927
Victim profile: Harry Saul Michaelson
Method of murder: Hitting with a tubular steel chair
Location: Marylebone, London, England, United Kingdom
Status: Executed by hanging at Pentonville on April 21, 1949

The night porter at Furzecroft, a block of flats in George Street, Marylebone, was alarmed when he heard a shout for help in the early hours of Boxing Day, 1948. The sound seemed to come from the basement so he went to investigate.

Outside number 75, a basement flat he found the tenant, Harry Saul Michaelson, dabbing a deep wound in his forehead with a towel. Michaelson, a well-known cartoonist and commercial artist, lived in the flat with his wife but she was away on holiday.

Michaelson was rushed to hospital in Paddington where it was found that, as well as a fractured skull, he also had broken ribs. Although the hospital staff did what they could his condition deteriorated and it was necessary to operate. He died without regaining consciousness on the 27th December.

Police investigating the crime found fingerprints in Michaelsons blood on a tubular steel chair that had been used to assault Mr Michaelson. When the police ran a check at Scotland Yard they were found to match 21-year-old Harry Lewis, a known thief. He was arrested on 18th January 1949.

When questioned Lewis freely admitted entering Michaelson's flat through an open window and said that he had been disturbed when Michaelson had woken up. He also admitted picking up the chair and hitting the man twice but denied murder.

At his trial at the Old Bailey that opened on 7th July 1949, his defence put forward the theory was that it was the hospital operation that had killed the man, not the assault. The jury were not impressed by this and promptly found Lewis guilty, though they did add a recommendation for mercy.

The judge obviously did not feel the same compassion and he sentenced him to death. Harry Lewis was hanged at Pentonville Prison on 21st April 1949.



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