British Executions

John Charles Parr

Age: 19

Sex: male

Crime: murder

Date Of Execution: 2 Oct 1900

Crime Location: Bethnal Green Road

Execution Place: Newgate

Method: hanging

Executioner: James Billington


John Parr shot his ex-girlfriend Sarah Willett 19 outside Bethnal Green Road police station, London on 27 August 1900.

They had been engaged to marry but when Sarah Willett discovered that John Parr had been in prison and had lied about having a job as a French polisher she ended their relationship.

A couple of days before the murder John Parr had been in a pub with some women when he pulled out a revolver and told them that he was going to shoot Sarah Willett and then himself and to prove it he fired a shot outside and shouted 'Instead of hearing of a marriage, you'll hear of a burial.'

On 27 August 1900 Sarah Willett went to the Foresters Music Hall in the West End, but John Parr  turned up as well. He asked Sarah Willett to buy him a drink but when she refused he picked up her glass and drank it. When it became clear that John Parr was looking for trouble Sarah Willett and her friends left but John Parr followed them.

As they were walking down Bethnal Green Road he stopped them and asked Sarah Willett  to take him back but she refused, saying 'I don't want you. All I want is an honest, hard working fellow, not one who robs others.'. She then threatened to walk into the police station that they were opposite and John Parr told her to do so. However, as she turned to go he shot her in the head.

When the police came out he still had the gun in his hand and he shouted 'I have done it. I have done it'.