Murderpedia

 

 

Juan Ignacio Blanco  

 

  MALE murderers

index by country

index by name   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

  FEMALE murderers

index by country

index by name   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

 

 

 
   

Murderpedia has thousands of hours of work behind it. To keep creating new content, we kindly appreciate any donation you can give to help the Murderpedia project stay alive. We have many
plans and enthusiasm to keep expanding and making Murderpedia a better site, but we really
need your help for this. Thank you very much in advance.

   

 

 

Herbert Leonard MILLS

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

   
 
 
Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: "I had always considered the possibility of the perfect crime-murder"
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: August 3, 1951
Date of arrest: August 25, 1951
Date of birth: 1932
Victim profile: Mabel Tattershaw, 48
Method of murder: Strangulation
Location: Nottingham, East Midlands, England, United Kingdom
Status: Executed by hanging at Lincoln prison on December 11, 1951
 
 
 
 
 
 

It was August 9 1951 when Herbert Leonard Mills called the News of the World and told them that he had found a body and he thought it looked like a murder. The editor asked him if he had called the police and when he said he had not they did so for him. When the police arrived he took them to an isolated spot in Sherwood Vale where the strangled body of Mabel Tattershaw a 48 year old housewife from Nottingham.

He gave the newspaper a full account of what had happened and told them that he wanted to be paid for it. What he had written down almost amounted to a confession. They handed it over to the police and Mills was arrested and charged.

Mills had met Mabel the day before he killed her and agreed to meet on Friday 3 August and go for a walk. He took her to Sherwood Vale which he knew to be secluded and safe. He had already decided to commit murder but the most disturbing fact is that he wanted to do it as part of an experiment.

He wanted to see if he could commit the perfect murder. He persuaded Mabel to lie down and then he struck her several times with a blunt instrument before strangling her. Once she was dead he had no further interest in the body.

Herbert Leonard Mills then went home and waited for the discovery of the body. He wanted to see the frustration of the police when they were unable to solve his murder. He waited and waited but still no one found the body. Tired of waiting on 9 August he rang the newspaper to tell them of the body.

One of the things that mills told the police which first made them suspicious was that when they first saw the body it was plain to see that she had been severely beaten and yet Mills told them that the woman had been strangled, a fact that certainly was not apparent from simply looking at the body.

He was tried in November 1951 and forensic evidence was given that left no doubt about his guilt. Some hairs were found on the victim which matched those on Mills' head. Also beneath the victims fingernail they found a small blue thread that matched Mills' suit. He was hanged on 11 December 1951 at Lincoln prison by Albert Pierrepoint.

Whenever a murder is committed it is a sad business but when the murder is purely so that someone can see if they are capable of the perfect murder is seems all the worse for it.

Real-crime.co.uk

 
 

Herbert Leonard Mills

Stephen-Stratford.co.uk

The Case Details

On 9 August 1951, Hertbert Leonard Mills (aged 19) phoned the News of the World (a UK tabloid newspaper published on Sundays). He stated that he had discovered the body of a women, adding that "It looks like a murder." The newspaper then contacted the police, and informed them of the conversation.

The police, accompanied by Mills, went to Sherwood Vale where they found the body of a Nottinghamshire housewife called Mabel Tattershaw. She had been beaten and strangled.

Mills described himself as an artist and poet. In a later interview with the News of the World newspaper, Mills said that he went to Sherwood Vale to relax. He said that when he saw the body he read a poem before deciding his next action. He told the newspaper that he wanted some payment, and then wrote his own account of the murder. This just served as his confession, and the newspaper passed the account to the police.

Mills was charged with Mabel Tattershaw's murder. He was under the illusion that he had conducted the perfect murder. Mills met Mabel Tattershaw at a local cinema and arranged to met the following day. They met at Sherwood Vale, where Mills hit her before strangling her. At his trial, forensic evidenced linked the fibres found under the dead women's fingernails with the fibres of Mills suit.

Mills was found guilty of murder and sentenced to death by hanging. Mills was executed at Lincoln Prison on 11 December 1951. At the inquest, held that afternoon, the doctor present at the execution reported that it took 20 minutes for Mills heart to stop beating. However, the post-mortem confirmed that Mills' neck had been broken and that he had not died of asphyxiation.

 
 

Herbert Leonard Mills

The London Times

Aug 27, 1951

Nottingham, England At Nottingham Magistrates Court yesterday Herbert Leonard Mills, 19, a former dispatch clerk, of Mansfield Street, Sherwood, Nottingham, was charged with the murder of Mrs. Bale Tattershaw, of Longmead Drive, Sherwood, whose body was found in a derelict orchard two miles from her home and who was described by the prosecution as "a woman of small significance."

Mr Donal Barry, for the prosecution, said the body was found after a person giving the name of Mills had telephoned a London Sunday newspaper saying that he had discovered the body of a woman who had been strangled.

Mills was alleged to have made a statement in the course of which he said:

I had always considered the possibility of the perfect crime-murder. I am very much interested in crime and here was my opportunity. I have been most successful. No motive. No clues. ... I am quite proud of my achievement. Seeing an opportunity of putting my theory into practice I consented to meet her on the morrow. ... I put on a pair of gloves. I knelt, my knees on her shoulders. ... I was very pleased. I think I did it rather well. The strangling itself was quite easily accomplished. ... I now confess I murdered Mrs. Tattershaw.

After evidence had been given the hearing was adjourned until to-day.

Afterword:

The problem (for some) with pulling off the 'perfect crime' is getting credit where credit is due. Unwilling to wait for the body to be discovered (or for the police to actually conduct an investigation and declare it 'unsolvable'), Mills had called News of the World to report his "discovery" and insisted that he, a self-professed poet, be allowed to write the story. His story for which he was paid amounted to a baldfaced confession, which the editors turned over to the police. The 'perfect criminal' was executed the following December.

 

 

 
 
 
 
home last updates contact