Date Of Execution: 30 Dec 1890
Execution Place: Liverpool
December 30th: Thomas McDONALD (32)
On the morning of Saturday 15 November, a young schoolboy discovered the body of his teacher Miss Elizabeth Ann Holt, lying in a field at Belmont, near Bolton. The police ascertained that she had been kicked and stabbed to death, and although her clothes had been ripped there was no sign of rape. Police learned that she had been missing for a week. As she spent weekends with her family at home, and weekdays staying with the headmaster at the school, both thought she was with the other. The head assumed she was off sick and the family had no idea she had failed to reach her destination. Witnesses revealed that shortly before she had vanished, she was seen walking along a path a few hundred yards ahead of Thomas McDonald, a man well known to the police as a local villain. and until recently a suspect in a mysterious death. He had a long criminal record, which included rape and police called on him to ask for a statement. He admitted being in the area but claimed that he had passed the spot where the body was found and gone to work at a nearby pit. A quick check with the mine owner proved he was lying and he was taken into custody. McDonald was tried at Liverpool Assizes by Mr Justice Cave on 13 December, and convicted after the prosecution put forward a strong case. Shortly before he was hanged by Berry, he was reported to have confessed to a relative that he had killed the girl.