Peter Queen was the son of a Glasgow
bookmaker. He had married whilst still quite young and this had turned
into a disaster with the couple separating after his wife had become an
Queen's father hired a nursemaid, Chrissie Gall, to
look after the children and it wasn't long before Peter and Chrissie
became attracted to each other. Unfortunatley like her predecessor,
Chrissie had an affinity for the bottle.
Peter Queen and Chrissie moved
in together with some friends, James Burns and his wife, but got their
own place in the summer of 1931. Chrissie was not happy about the fact
that they were living in sin and this made her drink heavily.
Mrs Johnson, who was a friend, called on Chrissie on
20th November and found her drunk. Mrs Johnson returned later with her
husband, when Queen had come home and found that Chrissie was sleeping
it off in bed. The couple left around 11pm. In the early hours of the
next morning, Peter Queen rushed into a local police station and told
them 'I think you will find my wife dead.'
When the police went around to their house it was to
find Chrissie lying dead in bed, she had been strangled with a clothes
line. There were no signs of a struggle but Queen was charged with her
murder. The defence obtained the services of Sir Bernard Spilsbury and
Sir Sydney Smith who both decided that, because of the lack of signs of
a struggle, the woman had committed suicide.
One theory which could explain the lack of a struggle
would be that Chrissie was still drunk when Peter strangled her and
never actually regained consiousness.
At Queen's trial, at Glasgow in January 1932, their
testimony failed to persuade the jury of Queens' innocence and Queen was
found guilty, but with a recommendation to mercy. Queen was sentenced to
death but the sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. He was later
released and died in 1958.