Date Of Execution: 18 Nov 1878
Execution Place: Usk
On the morning of Wednesday 17th July, a young farm worker called at the house of forty year old William Watkins, at Llangilly, near Newport, to find out why he had failed to report for work. As he approached he noticed smoke coming from an upstairs window and entering the house he discovered the bodies of Watkins, his wife Elizabeth who was slightly older than her husband at forty four, and their three children: Charlotte aged eight, Frederick who was five, and Alice just four. Mr and Mrs Watkins had been stabbed to death while the children had been hacked to death with an axe as they lay asleep. Their bed was then set alight. On the previous morning. a Spanish sailor named Joseph Garcia had been released from Usk Prison after serving a nine month sentence for house breaking. On the Wednesday night a mail cart driver witnessed him walking towards Newport, and offered him a lift, which Garcia refused. When the driver reached the town he read about the murder and reported the suspicious traveller to the police who set up observation points around the town. Garcia was spotted as he entered the town and police noticed that he had cuts, bruises, bloodstains and other obvious signs of a struggle. When searched he had in his pockets some items he hadn't been in possession of when released from prison. He spoke little English and protested his innocence through a Spanish counsel. He was hanged by William Marwood on the 18th November 1878 at Usk. He was just twenty one when he died.