British Executions

Buck Ruxton

Age: 36

Sex: male

Crime: murder

Date Of Execution: 12 May 1936

Crime Location:

Execution Place: Manchester

Method: hanging

Executioner: unknown


Buck Ruxton murdered his common-in-law wife Isabella Van Ess 34 and Mary Rogerson 20 by strangling them at 2 Dalton Square, Lancaster on 15 September 1935.

Buck Ruxton was a doctor and suspected that his wife was having an affair although there was no evidence for that and became jealous of Isabella's popularity. They had rows over it and on 15 September he exploded into a rage and strangled Isabella Van Ess with his bare hands and then he suffocated his housemaid Mary Rogerson to prevent her from finding out.

He then dismembered their bodies and dumped them over 100 miles away near Moffat in Dumfriesshire, Scotland wrapped up in newspaper. However, one of the newspapers was a special edition that was only sold in Lancaster which allowed the police to quickly identify the bodies.

It was one of the first cases to use several new forensic techniques including finger prints, forensic anthropology through superimposition of photos over x-rays of the remains and forensic entomology to determine the age of maggots on the body.

Whilst he denied ever being in Scotland he had been stopped by police who had made a note of his number plate in his notebook.

His original name was Bukhtyar Rustomji Rantanji Hakim but he later changed it to Buck Ruxton.

The crime was known in the papers as The Ravine Murder.

see Open University

see Capital Punishment UK

see Murderpedia

see National Archives - MEPO 3/793, ASSI 52/463