Timothy John Evans

Timothy John Evans was not exceptionally intelligent. You must comprehend this in order for what follows to make sense. He was similarly unlikable. In spite of the fact that subsequent films have presented him as a tragic victim of circumstance, he drank excessively and frequently stumbled home to rage at his wife. Occasionally jostle her about.

He was renowned for his bombastic tales centered on his heroics. When he attempted to defend himself against the charge of murdering his child, they undermined him.

Timothy John Evans

On November 30, 1949, Timothy Evans attended the Merthyr Tydfil police station. He expressed concern for the safety of his 18-month-old daughter Geraldine, he informed them.

Where was the infant’s mother, they inquired?

He informed them that the individual was deceased. Died under strange conditions.

What exceptional circumstances?

Again, she was pregnant, he informed them. A man had given her a substance to induce an abortion. Beryl was given it to drink. She’d died. He had thrown her body into a manhole outside his London residence at No. 10 Rillington Place. He had made arrangements for Geraldine’s care before returning to his hometown.

He was twenty-five years old. Appeared considerably older. Never lived a full life. His father, the famous hero, abandoned his pregnant mother. Every developmental milestone reached by Timothy was delayed: crawling, walking, and speaking.

How do you teach a child who cannot speak to read? He lagged behind the class from the very beginning, and by the time he left school at age 13, he could hardly write his own name.

Timothy Evans moved to London

In 1939, he came to London with his mother and witnessed the destruction of the city by German bombs. In the dire housing crisis that followed World War II, they were thankful to find a home in Notting Hill, despite the neighborhood’s unsanitary reputation.

Timothy John Evans
Timothy and Beryl Evans, posing with their daughter Geraldine, and Beryl’s sister

The next year, he wed Beryl Thorley. Initially, they stayed with his mother, but when Beryl became pregnant, in classic valleys fashion, they moved around the corner into the upper apartment at No. 10 Rillington Place.

On the 10th of October, Geraldine was born.

It was not a joyful union. Raised with the Welsh valleys’ emphasis on cleanliness, he hated her disorderliness. She disapproved of his drinking. They were both permanently destitute and unable to manage a household budget.

So the “joyous news” that Beryl was pregnant again in November 1949 was horrifying.

Timothy Evans returned to Wales on November 14 and stayed with relatives who were dissatisfied. Like his father, had he abandoned his pregnant wife?

They initially convinced him to return to London to check on the well-being of the infant, but he was sent away. On November 30, Evans was finally persuaded to go to the police. They kept him in the cells for two days while Notting Hill police conducted a cursory search of No. 10 Rillington Place. They uncovered nothing. Also, there was nothing in the manhole, although it took three cops to remove the lid. Who were Timothy Evans’s partners?

Timothy Evans: Doubts arise

Timothy Evans’ second confession: John Christie, his downstairs neighbor, had volunteered to abort the fetes (abortion was illegal at the time). On the morning of November 8, Timothy Evans had left Beryl in the “competent” hands of his neighbor before heading for work. On his return home that evening, he was informed that Beryl had died. His neighbor had offered to dispose of the body in the manhole and adopt Geraldine to a couple. He suggested that Evans should leave London in the interim.

This should have caused the police to pause and reflect. Men who are guilty frequently admit to committing crimes. Often, innocent men confess to crimes they did not commit. But for a man to voluntarily confess to a crime and then construct a cockamamie explanation for how he did it is, to put it mildly, rare.

Timothy John evans

The cops, however, did not believe a word of it. They twisted and hid evidence, not out of concern that Evans may be innocent, but because they were certain of his guilt.

The photograph of Evans being hauled off the train at Paddington station in London by two burly, grim-faced detectives depicts a terrified man. When he arrived at the Notting Hill police station, he was informed that a second search of his home had uncovered the bodies of a woman and a baby in the old outhouse. He was bewildered, sad, wracked with guilt, and knew nothing save that Beryl was not under the manhole. Both victims were strangled. He was shown clothing items removed from the bodies. He identified them as belonging to Beryl and Geraldine.

The questioning and interrogation continued incessantly, always with the threat of violence if the weary Evans did not cooperate. Hour after hour, through midnight, into the early morning hours.

Timothy Evans finally signed his third confession, which sounded more like a police officer’s statement than that of a man who rarely read anything more difficult than the Beano. On November 8th, Timothy Evans strangled Beryl after a dispute over money and concealed her body in the outhouse. Then, on November 10, he strangled his infant before returning to Wales.

Timothy Evans: evidence suppressed

Timothy John Evans

The police received the employee roster from Timothy Evans’ place of employment. It may have offered an alibi, but we will never know for certain. It was misplaced, never to be recovered.

Children who were playing in a nearby explosion site turned up a skull to the authorities. Police disregarded it.

In November, construction workers were repairing No. 10 and storing their tools in the outhouse. No one has witnessed any bodies. However, the police reinterviewed them, believing “incorrectly and naively, but still earnestly” that the witnesses had become confused, and encouraged them to change their claims. They were not required to testify in court.

The trial of Timothy Evans began on January 11, 1950. In accordance with the law of the period, he was only tried for the murder of Geraldine; nevertheless, evidence linking him to the killing of Beryl was provided. Evans’s word was pitted against that of his downstairs neighbour. Evans retracted his testimony and accused John Christie of being the murderer. His attorney drew attention to Christie’s past as a persistent petty thief who had done six months in prison for striking a woman with a cricket bat.

However, the defence was unable to offer a motivation for Christie, and John Christie’s wife, Ethel, corroborated his account.

The duration of the trial was three days. Judge recapped the arguments. According to the journalist Ludovic Kennedy, whose investigation of the case was more thorough and professional than that of the Notting Hill police, “it is outrageous that any English judge would have so blatantly misrepresented the truth.”

However, everyone was sure that Timothy Evans is guilty. The jury took only forty minutes to find him guilty. Even his defence campaign emphasised resistance to the death penalty rather than establishing his innocence.

9 March 1950, Evans was executed by hanging.

Timothy John Evans: the murders revisited

Timothy John
John Christie

As for his neighbour in the downstairs flat, John Christie, he lost his job in the Post office as a result of his criminal record being made public in court, and struggled to find an alternative. Running out of money, he fraudulently sub-let his flat in March 1953, and left with the rent.

A new tenant began peeling the wallpaper in the kitchen and discovered a closet, papered over. Inside were the corpses of three ladies.

Buried in the yard police found two skeletons, one with the skull gone, and a human thigh bone holding up the fence. They had missed that throughout their last two searches. And beneath the floorboards, Christie’s wife Ethel, who had supported his court testimony.

Christie’s time on the run was brief. After a week of spending hours in cafés and sleeping on park benches, he was recognised by a police officer at Putney Bridge on the Thames embankment.

Four times, he admitted to killing Beryl Evans, but he always denied strangling the infant. He denied performing an abortion, alleging instead that he had killed her during an intimate moment and then assisted her in committing suicide.

He implied that he had sex with the body, but stated that he was uncertain. This suggests that Christie, who often hired prostitutes, was guilty for many more killings than only those found in No. 10, Rillington Place, and had sex with the corpses frequently, if not always.

On July 15, 1953, the same individual who executed Timothy Evans also executed John Christie. Christie, whose wrists were tied behind him, complained that his nose was itching as the rope was lowered around his neck. The hangman said, “It won’t trouble you for long.”

By the end of the 1940s, capital punishment had become a contentious issue in Britain. The year prior to the execution of Timothy Evans, the House of Commons heard during a debate that the only way an innocent man could possibly be hanged would be if the police, the attorneys, the judge, and the jury all went insane.

This argument was completely demolished by Timothy Evans’s case. In the early 1960’s, death punishment was at first suspended, and then abolished, sparing by a few weeks the most notorious of Britain’s child murderers, Ian Brady and Myra Hindley.

All of the dreary, decrepit homes on Rillington Place have been removed and rebuilt with contemporary, comfortable housing. However, there is a small gap between the buildings enclosing a small garden. That’s No 10.

Geraldine Evans
Geraldine Evans

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