three year old George Parker was a former marine, turned petty thief,
who was convicted of the murder of William Pearson who was found shot
dead in a railway carriage.
On Thursday 17 January, Parker boarded a
London bound train at Eastleigh, just north of Southampton, and settled
into a third class carriage which had one other occupant, a middle aged
woman called Mrs King.
Parker was short of money and had only been able
to buy a ticket as far as Winchester. Knowing that when he reached
London he would be fined for not having the correct fare, he decided to
rob one of his fellow travellers.
The train stopped at Winchester where
William Pearson, a wealthy farmer, entered the carriage. Parker
considered him a suitable victim and as the train reached Surbiton, he
went into the lavatory and loaded a gun he habitually carried.
Re-entering the carriage, he shot the farmer dead then turned the gun on
Mrs King who had witnessed the murder, wounding her. She pleaded for her
life as he demanded money but when she offered him only a few pence, he
ignored it and rifled the pockets of the farmer instead.
entered Vauxhall, Parker opened the door, and as it slowed down he
jumped onto the platform, thrust the dead man's ticket at the collector
and fled, Mrs King hurried onto the platform and began screaming
Parker was chased and caught; when searched he was found to
be in possession of items identified as belonging to the dead man.
his trial at Hampshire Assizes before Mr Justice Phillimore, he was
convicted on overwhelming evidence and after sentence of death was
passed, he admitted carrying out the robbery to finance his liaison with
a soldier's wife.
The sentence was carried out on the 19 March 1901 in Wandsworth when he was hanged by James and Thomas Billington.