Friday, 9 October 2015

Recollections of Miss Molly

Miss Molly was the name given to the assistant to legendary pathologist Professor Keith Simpson, simply because many could not pronounce her surname: Lefebure.  Miss Molly started working for Dr Simpson in 1941, and kept meticulous records of all the work undertaken.  This is one of the early cases she recalled.  It was the brutal robbery murder of 71 year old Leonard Moules, who was attacked in his shop in Hackney Road, Shoreditch, on 30th April 1942.  He died from his injuries nine days later.  The man leading the hunt for his killer(s) was legendary detective, Superintendent Ted Greeno.  Mr Moules had been severely beaten over the head.  The intruders had also killed his dog, presumably to silence it.  

    Greeno had two clues going for him.  There was a palm print on the safe in the shop, plus a tale told by a soldier.  He had been in a cafe and seen two young men talking, then one brandished a gun.  He gave Greeno good descriptions, and also heard names: Sam & George.  Soon Greeno had arrested and charged two young men with murder.  They were 23 year old Sam Dashwood & 22 year old George Silverosa.  When questioned, they put the blame on each other.  Dashwood was known to have a gun, so it was believed he battered Mr Moules with the gun.  Silverosa had left the print on the safe.  They went on trial at the Old Bailey on July 17th 1942.  They were defended by the well known Barrister Serjeant Sullivan, and a Mr Fordham.  But they threw the trial into a spin by dismissing their counsel and defending themselves.  Needless to say, it only made things worse for them.  Dashwood tried to have the guilty verdict overturned at appeal by saying he was obviously of unstable mind, but the Appeal Judges said that this would set a dangerous precedent, with other accused using the same tactics to claim they were insane.  The appeal was dismissed.

    They were executed at Pentonville Prison on September 10th 1942 by Albert Pierrepoint, assisted by Steve Wade, Herbert Morris & Harry Kirk.  Miss Molly is not very complimentary about these two killers, citing criminality stretching back to their early teens, various unsuccessful attempts at "reforming" them.  Cosy chats with psychologists, many reports for magistrates, all to no avail.  And with a caveman mentality, that led to a brutal murder.  These days, it is even worse.