Tuesday, 27 May 2014

The Murder of Elsie Salter

This is one of those instances where some scumbag has murdered, been given a sentence of not much over ten years, then the bastard years later, murders again in exactly the same fashion.  This reptile was called Bernard Joseph McCrorey.  The circumstances of the death of Mrs Salter go way back to 1962, when her husband, Bill, went on a coach outing with friends to the races at Thirsk.  He left Elsie to run his pub, The Kendal Castle Hotel, and back in those days, opening hours on a Saturday were 12.00 to 3.00pm, then reopen at 6.00pm that evening.  Barmaid Pauline Green decided to go in just a little bit earlier to help get things ready but was surprised to find the pub closed.  She went and fetched her husband and they both entered by an unsecured fire door.  In the kitchen, they made a gruesome discovery. 57 year old Elsie had been battered beyond recognition.  They discovered the till had been emptied, making this a murder/robbery.

    Police tried to work out if the killer came through the fire door or did he hide inside, from the mid-day opening?  A list of regulars was given to Police who immediately questioned them all.  The regulars were shocked and appalled at what happened to Mrs Salter.  With one exception; Bernard McCrorey, a 29 year old labourer, with a history of mental problems.  A search of his home revealed a blood stained hammer, and at this point, McCrorey spilled his guts.  Yes, he had hidden himself in the pub, in the toilets, with the view of seeing what he could steal from the Salters.  But Mrs Salter disturbed him and he responded by battering her numerous times over the head with a hammer.  He then emptied the till and stole 100 cigarettes.  Mrs Salter had been struck eight times, an autopsy later revealed.  Earlier that day, McCrorey tried to borrow money from Mrs Salter but was refused.  This angered him, and he muttered to other regulars that she would be sorry. 

    McCrorey was put on trial for Capital Murder, as this came under one of the five provisions that constituted a hanging offence; Murder in the furtherance of theft.  For the prosecution, the Senior Medical Officer at Walton Prison in Liverpool, testified that McCrorey seemed normal to him.  The Defence fielded Psychiatric specialists who testified that they viewed McCrorey as abnormal.  The Jury at Manchester Crown Court, however, convicted him of murder and he was duly sentenced to death.  His appeal was upheld by the Court of Appeal who decided that the Judge misdirected the Jury over the issues of mental illness.  He was reprieved and sentenced to life, in which he served 12 years!  The case files have a 95 year closure ruling on them.  Why?

    Then just to show how much McCrorey reformed and rehabilitated, in 1984, he battered Leicester pensioner Walter Thompson to death WITH A HAMMER!!!!!!  He was duly "sentenced to life" again but the family of Mr Thompson must have felt severe revulsion to find out that McCrorey had been once sentenced to death for murdering somebody with a hammer.  Yes, one of those great examples of "protecting the public" the authorities do so well.  Mr Thompson was bludgeoned to death by a man who thought nothing of using a hammer so brutally, but authorities cowered at the thought of making him pay for his violence.  It is an instance where you think that the Russians and Chinese have a much better method; a bullet to the back of the head.