British Executions

George Emanuel Michael

Age: 49

Sex: male

Crime: murder

Date Of Execution: 27 Apr 1932

Crime Location: 7 Upper Union Street, Hull

Execution Place: Hull

Method: hanging

Executioner: Thomas Pierrepoint


George Michael murdered his bigamous wife Theresa Mary Hempstock 47 who he stabbed to death at her home in Upper Union Street, Hull on 31 December 1931.

George Michael had married Theresa Hempstock in 1929 but she was already married. Later she gave herself up to the police for the crime of bigamy.

George Michael was a black man from Denmark.

Theresa Hempstock went to the police station on 12 December 1931 with a friend. The friend later saw George Michael that day at 2.45pm and said 'Theresa hs given herself up for bigamy' and told him to go to the police but George Michael said 'No, i'm not frightened of the police. I'll kill her. She's done this to get rid of me'.

In the second week of December George Michael took a room at 9 Providence Terrace, Walker, Hull. On 21 December George Michael was in the itchen with the landlady playing cards when he said to her 'Do you think it is wicked to kill anyone?' and the land lady said she said 'Certainly it is wicked'. George Michael then asked her 'suppose anyone does anything to you. What must you do then?' and the landlady said 'You mustn't kill anyone. They'll kill you if you do'. they then started to talk about hanging and George Michael said 'In Denmark they don't hang anyone'. the landlady said 'they do here unless its an accident. You dont want to think things like that, you'll get over it'. She said 'You get to sea and you'll get over it' and George Michael said 'I'll never get over it'.

The landlady said that George Michael seemed very upset while he was at the house and was like a crazy man worried out of his mind. He had told her that Theresa Hempstock had been unfaithful to him and that he found out that she had been married and that her husband was still alive. He also told her that Theresa Hempstock had been mixing with another man and that she had taken all his money. The landlady said that it was an obsession with him.

On 31 December 1931 he seemed upset and went to the post office to take out his money. Later he went to an ironmongers where he brought a sheath knife.

About 3pm he went to 7 Upper Union Street, Hull where Theresa Hempstock was staying and called for her to come out. A woman said that he would have to get a policeman before she let him in to see her. George Michael said 'Tell her to come out, I wont do anything to her. By Jesus Christ i'll go to the gallows for her before I leave this bloody street'. Then a policeman came by and they spoke. Then Theresa Hempstock came to the door and she, George Michael and the policeman went inside. A neighbour who had been watching what was happening said that when they went into the house he became anxious and went into his house and got a stave and went back out again. He then heard a womans scream and went into 7 Upper Union Street where he saw George Michael with a knife struggling with the policeman and he went in and hit George Michael on the head a few times with the stave and when he fell down he stabbed himself in the breast with the knife.

The policeman had been called by one of the neighbours who had seen George Michael causing trouble outside the house. When the policeman found George Michael he asked him what he wanted and he said 'I want that woman, she has gone in here from next door. She has got my naturlization papers and I want them.' the policeman asked if she was in number 5 and George Michael said no, number 7. then Theresa Hempstock came to the door and they went up to her and George Michael said 'I want my papers'. Theresa Hempstock said 'I've got no papers belonging to you.' George Michael said 'You have'. Theresa Hempstock said I havn't'.

The policeman said 'If you have any papers belonging to himlet him have them and let him go'. Theresa Hempstock then said 'I have nothing belonging to him. Come inside and i'll show you what he has done'. They all went inside and through to the back where Theresa Hempstock showed the policeman the door leading from the scullery into the yard that had some of the panels broken saying 'He has done this during the afternoon.' the police man asked George Michael what he knew of that and George Michael said 'Yes, I done it. I want my papers, she has them upstairs in a drawer.' Theresa Hempstock said she would go and get the drawer and show the policeman and went upstairs to get it and then came back down with it an dput it on a couch in the kitchen. George Michael looked through ther drawer but didn't find the papers and then said 'You have hid them. you have them somewhere'. Theresa Hempstock said 'I have nothing belonging to you'.

Then George Michael rushed past the policeman and struck her with his right hand. The policeman caught hold of him by his coat collar but he continued to strike Theresa Hempstock about her head and shoulders. Theresa Hempstock screamed and several men came into the room one of whom struck George Michael several times with a baton causing him to collapse. As George Michael dropped he drove the dagger into his left breast.

When the surgeon arrived at 4pm Theresa Hempstock was dead. the autopsy showed that Theresa Hempstock had died from haemorrhage and had a large wound to the apex of her left lung.

see Gloucestershire Echo - Tuesday 12 April 1932

see National archives - ASSI 45/92/6, HO 144/15849/406804, DPP 2/74