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Daniel RAVEN





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Motive unknown
Number of victims: 2
Date of murders: October 10, 1949
Date of arrest: Same day
Date of birth: 1926
Victims profile: Leopold Goodman, 49, and his wife, Esther, 47 (his wealthy in-laws)
Method of murder: Beating with the heavy base of a television aerial
Location: Edgware, Middlesex, England, United Kingdom
Status: Executed by hanging at Pentonville Prison on 6th January 1950

Daniel Raven's wife had just given birth to their son. On evening of Monday 10th October 1949 Daniel Raven took his wife parents to visit her and their four day old child in a maternity home in Muswell Hill. After spending some time with his wife Marie he then drove his in-laws home and using the heavy base of a television aerial he beat them both to death.

Daniel Raven was a 23-year-old Jewish advertising agent with a reputation for always being immaculately turned out. His wealthy in-laws, 49-year-old Leopold Goodman and his 47-year-old wife, Esther, were both Russian Jews.

After the murder Raven went home but was surprised when he received a telephone call from police about 10.30 that night asking him to come to his in-laws' house in Ashcombe Gardens. He had not expected the bodies to be discovered until the next day at the earliest so taken by surprise he had to quickly change into smart, clean clothes, stuffing the bloodstained, dark blue suit he had been wearing into the boiler. Unexpectedly Mr Goodman's business partner, Frederick Fraiman, along with his wife and daughter, had called at the house at about 9.55pm to inquire about Marie and the baby. Getting no response to his ringing Mr Fraiman climbed in through an open window and found the savaged bodies of the Goodmans in their blood-soaked dining-room.

Police investigating the killings noticed the smart way in which Daniel was dressed and it certainly did not look as if these clothes had been worn all day. The obvious question in their minds was why had he changed so late in the day. On checking they soon discovered that it was not the same clothes he had worn earlier in the day. A search of Raven's Edgewarebury Lane house soon turned up the remains of the blue suit in the boiler. Forensic examination of it showed bloodstains on the trousers and also on a pair of freshly-scrubbed shoes hidden in the garage. The driver's seat of Raven's car had also been scrubbed.

He was arrested and charged with the joint murder of his inlaws. At his Old Bailey trial that opened on Tuesday 22nd November, his defence was that, like Mr Fraiman, he had entered the house after getting no reply to him knocking and had discovered the bodies, got blood on the suit when he knelt by his mother-in-law's body and had fled in panic.

On 24th November he was found guilty and sentenced to death. An appeal, supported with evidence of insanity, was dismissed and Raven was hanged at Pentonville Prison on Friday 6th January 1950.



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