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Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Parricide - Domestic violence
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: April 25, 1922
Date of arrest: Same day
Date of birth: 1870
Victim profile: Ellen Thompson (his wife)
Method of murder: Cutting her throat with a razor
Location: Bamber Bridge, Lancashire, England, United Kingdom
Status: Executed by hanging in Manchester on May 30, 1922

Fifty two year old Hyram Thompson was a Preston labourer who brutally kicked his wife to death at their home at Bamber Bridge.

On many occasions over the years, Ellen Thompson had applied for a separation order against her husband but each time he successfully managed to persuade her to change her mind. Thompson had a violent temper and his wife was not alone in bearing the brunt of his anger for he just as often turned on his three children, who had discovered early in life that it was wise to stay out of their father's way, especially when he had been drinking.

On 25th April, Thompson came home from work and sat down at the dining table. He was already in a foul mood after a hard day at work so when his wife asked him to prepare his own tea as she was looking after a neighbour's child, he flew into a rage.

Tired of his abuse, Ellen walked over to the table and struck her husband across the face. He rose from his chair and punched her to the floor, then, as she lay stunned on the carpet, he brutally kicked the last breath from her body. His anger still unsatisfied he went to the bathroom, gathered up his cutthroat razor, then returned to his wife and coldly slit her throat.

The children found their dead mother when they returned home. Beside her, the young child she had been minding was screaming in its cradle. Thompson was apprehended in a nearby bed and breakfast, and just eighteen days after he had committed the offence, he stood in the dock accused of wilful murder. His son told the court that his father was a most drunken, lazy, wicked man, and that the family lived in fear of him.

The whole proceedings took less than an hour and the jury did not even have to retire before they delivered a verdict of guilty. Thompson was sentenced to death by Mr Justice Branson. Less than six weeks after committing the murder, he was hanged by John Ellis and William Willis in Manchester on the 30th May 1922.


Hyran Thompson - May 30, 1922

You know you’re in trouble when your own son calls you a lazy drunk and the jury doesn’t feel the need to retire to consider the verdict.

Woman’s work

In fact the trial of one Mancunian maniac, Hyram Thompson took just one hour from start to finish. For Thompson had serious anger management issues – he was accused of kicking his wife to death for failing to have dinner on the table.

He’d apparently had a hard time at work and had come home to find his wife looking after a neighbour’s child and unable to do his supper. Suitably enraged, a row began to kick off and when Ellen Thompson hit him, well, he just let rip, really laying into her.

Strangeways, here we come

Not content to kick her to death Thompson then got a razor blade and slit her throat just to make doubly sure. He then legged it to a nearby B&B, which, of course, wasn’t far enough – for they caught up with him and a mere 18 days later, he wound up in court accused of the vicious murder.

His own child testified that he was a drunken bully who everyone feared. And when that happens, you know your days are limited. Indeed, the jury were so convinced that they didn’t even feel the need to deliberate – Thompson was as guilty as sin.

He was hanged roughly three weeks later by John Ellis and William Willis at Manchester, aged 52.


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