Crib Lane murder

In July 1926, Crib Lane, Dean Clough, was the scene of a murder. The culprit was 22-year-old William Cornelius Jones, a labourer at Thornton's brickworks and part-time soldier with the West Riding Territorial Regiment at Halifax Drill Hall.

The previous October, he had married 18-year-old Winnifred Jones, who was heavily pregnant, but the couple were estranged, and Winnifred had moved out of their home at 39, Crib Lane, to live with an aunt.

On the day of the murder, Jones had collected a rifle from the Drill Hall and was on his way to attend a musketry parade at Bradshaw when he encountered his wife in Crib Lane. They ignored each other but Jones told the territorials with him that he was going to pop into his house and would catch up with them later.

Instead, he loaded his rifle and shot his wife in the street. She was rushed to the Royal Halifax Infirmary but died before she arrived. She had been due to give birth within two weeks.

As his wife lay dying on Crib Lane, Jones was heard to say to her

I have done it. You have no need to be frightened. I shan't run away

He did not resist arrest and was tried at Leeds Assizes in December, and sentenced to death.

He was hanged at Armley jail on 7th January 1927

© Malcolm Bull 2021
Revised 15:13 / 15th May 2021 / 2985

Page Ref: MMC517

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