Date Of Execution: 28 Mar 1845
Execution Place: Aylesbury
Murder of SARAH HART
Apparently the book ISBN 9780646444857 is about this?
Them cords that hung John Tawell
From an Account of the Crime
On New Year’s Day 1845 John Tawell traveled by train to Slough with one purpose in mind: to murder his mistress. They met and he emptied the contents of a vial of poison into her drink. Rather naively he expected that when she finished her drink she would expire conveniently at his feet. Instead his victim let out a bloodcurdling scream and in his panic he ran out into the street to make his escape.
Neighbours also heard the scream and, opening their doors to find out what the commotion was about, saw him hurrying up the road looking very agitated. Tawell made his way to the station where a train was about to depart for London. Settling back in his seat, as the train sped along the tracks, he was convinced he had escaped and that once in London he could disappear in the crowds.
Meanwhile, the murder had been discovered and news soon reached the station of the man who had aroused suspicion. As he sat in the train he could not have known that traveling along the wires beside the speeding train flashed a message which would arrive in London long before he did.
A MURDER HAS JUST BEEN COMMITTED AT SALT HILL AND THE SUSPECTED MURDERER WAS SEEN TO TAKE A FIRST CLASS TICKET TO LONDON BY THE TRAIN WHICH LEFT SLOUGH AT 7.42 PM. HE IS IN THE GARB OF A KWAKER WITH A GREAT COAT ON WHICH REACHES NEARLY DOWN TO HIS FEET. HE IS IN THE LAST COMPARTMENT OF THE SECOND FIRST CLASS CARRIAGE.
Immediately the police were summoned and were at the station when the train pulled in.
Tawell walked out of the station, quite unaware that he was being watched, and caught an omnibus. The conductor who collected his fare was a policeman in plain clothes who also followed Tawell when he left the bus. At his lodgings the constable confronted him and asked if he had just come from Slough. Tawell answered ‘no’ and was promptly arrested.
The verdict Willful murder against John Tawell for poisoning Sarah Hart with prussic acid. He was hanged.
Londoners referred to the telegraph wires as ‘them cords that hung John Tawell’.