British Executions

Lionel Rupert Nathan Watson

Age: 30

Sex: male

Crime: murder

Date Of Execution: 12 Nov 1941

Crime Location: 9 Goring Way, Greenford

Execution Place: Pentonville

Method: hanging

Executioner: Thomas Pierrepoint


Lionel Rupert Nathan Watson was convicted of the murder of Phyllis Elizabeth Crocker 28 and Eileen Alice Crocker 18m.

Lionel Watson was already married with 4 children when he moved in with Phyllis Crocker at 9 Goring Way, Greenford in 1940. He had met her at the Hoover factory in Perivale when they had both worked there between January 1940 and August 1940 when Phyllis Crocker left. After Phyllis Crocker left, in September or October 1940, Lionel Watson moved in with her at 9 Goring Way. He had intended to marry her properly but when his current wife would not give him a divorce he married her bigamously in January 1941.

However, he later began to make advances towards a 17 year old girl at the Hoover factory where they both also worked and decided to get rid of Phyllis Crocker and Eileen Crocker so that he could see her instead.

He used sodium cyanide which he got from his place of work where he was a bakerlite moulder, to kill them and then buried their bodies in the garden under some flagstones on 26 May 1941.

He told people that they had gone to Scotland and that he would be following them soon. However, neighbours began to notice a terrible smell from the property and when they mentioned it to Lionel Watson he said that it must be the drains. They saw him pouring some thick disinfectant over the area on 27 June but the smell still didnt go away and on 30 June 1941 the neighbours started to dig about in the area of the smell and found rotting flesh.

When Lionel Watson was arrested he said that he had gone to work on 20 May 1941 and when he gotr home he found that Phyllis Crocker had killed Eileen Crocker and then committed suicide and he decided to bury them in the garden.

However, he was convicted of their murders and executed.

see National Archives - PCOM 9/826, CRIM 1/1337, DPP 2/898, MEPO 3/2186

see Murder by Poison: A Casebook of Historic British Murders By Nicola Sly

see Hanged at Pentonville By Steve Fielding

see Trove