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When an army officer's wife is found dead in the front hall of her home in Islington during the evening of Tuesday 23 March 1915, the police initially believe it to be a tragic accident. Then a bullet is discovered lodged in Annie Wootten's spine and the authorities belatedly realise they have a murder on their hands. The story becomes a national sensation when detectives dramatically arrest their prime suspect in a Central London bar.
The case has all the ingredients of a classic murder mystery: a strange voice at the scene of the crime, a smouldering blouse, an anonymous telegram, a veiled lady, a missing revolver and even a dog which fails to bark in the night. Somewhat overshadowed in its day by reports of the trial of the 'Brides in the Bath' serial killer, George Joseph Smith, which took place in the at the same time as the trial of the accused murderer, it is surprisingly little known today but David Barrat uses unpublished documents held in the National Archives to bring the story back to life as he attempts to solve the riddle of who did it and how.
See photographs of Marie Wheatley from 1915 here