The Case of Oscar Slater

Notes about the Oscar Slater Case: the Glasgow Murder…
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I know nothing about it. I came from America on my own account. I can say no more. The verdict was, it is said, a complete surprise to most of those in the Court, and certainly is surprising when examined after the event. I do not see how any reasonable man can carefully weigh the evidence and not admit that when the unfortunate prisoner cried, "I know nothing about it," he was possibly, and even probably, speaking the literal truth.

Consider the monstrous coincidence which is involved in his guilt, the coincidence that the police owing to their mistake over the brooch, by pure chance started out in pursuit of the right man. Which is A Priori the more probable: That such an unheard-of million-to-one coincidence should have occurred, Or, that the police, having committed themselves to the theory that he was the murderer, refused to admit that they were wrong when the bottom fell out of the original case, and persevered in the hope that vague identifications of a queer-looking foreigner would justify their original action?

Outside these identifications, I must repeat once again there is nothing to couple Slater with the murder, or to show that he ever knew, or could have known that such a person as Miss Gilchrist existed. The admirable memorial for a reprieve drawn up by the solicitors for the defence, and reproduced at the end of this pamphlet, was signed by 20, members of the public, and had the effect of changing the death sentence to one of penal servitude for life.

The sentence was passed on May 6th. For twenty days the man was left in doubt, and the written reprieve only arrived on May 26th within twenty-four hours of the time for the execution. On July 8th Slater was conveyed to the Peterhead Convict prison. There he has now been for three years, and there he still remains.

I cannot help in my own mind comparing the case of Oscar Slater with another, which I had occasion to examine—that of George Edalji. I must admit that they are not of the same class. George Edalji was a youth of exemplary character. Oscar Slater was a blackguard. George Edalji was physically incapable of the crime for which he suffered three years' imprisonment years for which he has not received, after his innocence was established, one shilling of compensation from the nation. Oscar Slater might conceivably have committed the murder, but the balance of proof and probability seems entirely against it.

Thus, one cannot feel the same burning sense of injustice over the matter. And yet I trust for the sake of our character not only for justice, but for intelligence, that the judgment may in some way be reconsidered and the man's present punishment allowed to atone for those irregularities of life which helped to make his conviction possible. Before leaving the case it is interesting to see how far this curious crime may be reconstructed and whether any possible light can be thrown upon it.

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Roughead's book convinced many of Slater's innocence; The Case of Oscar Slater, a plea for a full pardon for Slater. Conan Doyle first heard the name Oscar Slater years earlier. He became aware of the case when Slater was sentenced to death for the murder of Marion.

Using second-hand material one cannot hope to do more than indicate certain possibilities which may already have been considered and tested by the police. The trouble, however, with all police prosecutions is that, having once got what they imagine to be their man, they are not very open to any line of investigation which might lead to other conclusions. Everything which will not fit into the official theory is liable to be excluded.

see One might make a few isolated comments on the case which may at least give rise to some interesting trains of thought. One question which has to be asked was whether the assassin was after the jewels at all. It might be urged that the type of man described by the spectators was by no means that of the ordinary thief. When he reached the bedroom and lit the gas, he did not at once seize the watch and rings which were lying openly exposed upon the dressing-table.

He did not pick up a half- sovereign which was lying on the dining-room table. His attention was given to a wooden box, the lid of which he wrenched open. This, I think, was "the breaking of sticks" heard by Adams. The papers in it were strewed on the ground. Were the papers his object, and the final abstraction of one diamond brooch a mere blind? Personally, I can only point out the possibility of such a solution. On the other hand, it might be urged, if the thief's action seems inconsequential, that Adams had rung and that he already found himself in a desperate situation.

It might be said also that save a will it would be difficult to imagine any paper which would account for such an enterprise, while the jewels, on the other hand, were an obvious mark for whoever knew of their existence. Presuming that the assassin was indeed after the jewels, it is very instructive to note his knowledge of their location, and also its limitations.

Why did he go straight into the spare bedroom where the jewels were actually kept? The same question may be asked with equal force if we consider that he was after the papers. Why the spare bedroom? Any knowledge gathered from outside by a watcher in the back-yard for example would go to the length of ascertaining which was the old lady's room. One would expect a robber who had gained his information thus, to go straight to that chamber.

But this man did not do so. He went straight to the unlikely room in which both jewels and papers actually were. Is not this remarkably suggestive? Does it not pre-suppose a previous acquaintance with the inside of the flat and the ways of its owner? But now note the limitations of the knowledge. If it were the jewels he was after, he knew what room they were in, but not in what part of the room. A fuller knowledge would have told him they were kept in the wardrobe. And yet he searched a box. If he was after papers, his information was complete; but if he was indeed after the jewels, then we can say that he had the knowledge of one who is conversant, but not intimately conversant, with the household arrangements.

To this we may add that he would seem to have shown ignorance of the habits of the inmates, or he would surely have chosen Lambie's afternoon or evening out for his attempt, and not have done it at a time when the girl was bound to be back within a very few minutes. What men had ever visited the house? The number must have been very limited. What friends? One is averse to throw out vague suspicions which may give pain to innocent people, and yet it is clear that there are lines of inquiry here which should be followed up, however negative the results.

How did the murderer get in if Lambie is correct in thinking that she shut the doors? I cannot get away from the conclusion that he had duplicate keys. In that case all becomes comprehensible, for the old lady—whose faculties were quite normal—would hear the lock go and would not be alarmed, thinking that Lambie had returned before her time. Thus, she would only know her danger when the murderer rushed into the room, and would hardly have time to rise, receive the first blow, and fall, as she was found, beside the chair, upon which she had been sitting.

That is intelligible. But if he had not the keys, consider the difficulties. If the old lady had opened the flat door her body would have been found in the passage. Therefore, the police were driven to the hypothesis that the old lady heard the ring, opened the lower stair door from above as can be done in all Scotch flats , opened the flat door, never looked over the lighted stair to see who was coming up, but returned to her chair and her magazine, leaving the door open, and a free entrance to the murderer.

This is possible, but is it not in the highest degree improbable? Miss Gilchrist was nervous of robbery and would not neglect obvious precautions.

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The ring came immediately after the maid's departure. She could hardly have thought that it was her returning, the less so as the girl had the keys and would not need to ring. If she went as far as the hall door to open it, she only had to take another step to see who was ascending the stair. Would she not have taken it if it were only to say: "What, have you forgotten your keys? And look at it from the murderer's point of view.

He had planned out his proceedings. It is notorious that it is the easiest thing in the world to open the lower door of a Scotch flat. The blade of any penknife will do that. If he was to depend upon ringing to get at his victim, it was evidently better for him to ring at the upper door, as otherwise the chance would seem very great that she would look down, see him coming up the stair, and shut herself in. On the other hand, if he were at the upper door and she answered it, he had only to push his way in.

Therefore, the latter would be his course if he rang at all. And yet the police theory is that though he rang, he rang from below. It is not what he would do, and if he did do it, it would be most unlikely that he would get in.

Notes about the Oscar Slater Case: the Glasgow Murder…

How could he suppose that the old lady would do so incredible a thing as leave her door open and return to her reading? If she waited, she might even up to the last instant have shut the door in his face. If one weighs all these reasons, one can hardly fail, I think, to come to the conclusion that the murderer had keys, and that the old lady never rose from her chair until the last instant, because, hearing the keys in the door, she took it for granted that the maid had come back.

But if he had keys, how did he get the mould, and how did he get them made? There is a line of inquiry there. The only conceivable alternatives are, that the murderer was actually concealed in the flat when Lambie came out, and of that there is no evidence whatever, or that the visitor was some one whom the old lady knew, in which case he would naturally have been admitted.

There are still one or two singular points which invite comment. One of these, which I have incidentally mentioned, is that neither the match, the match-box, nor the box opened in the bedroom showed any marks of blood. Yet the crime had been an extraordinarily bloody one. This is certainly very singular. An explanation given by Dr. Adams who was the first medical man to view the body is worthy of attention. He considered that the wounds might have been inflicted by prods downwards from the leg of a chair, in which case the seat of the chair would preserve the clothes and to some extent the hands of the murderer from bloodstains.

The condition of one of the chairs seemed to him to favour this supposition. The explanation is ingenious, but I must confess that I cannot understand how such wounds could be inflicted by such an instrument. There were in particular a number of spindle-shaped cuts with a bridge of skin between them which are very suggestive. My first choice as to the weapon which inflicted these would be a burglar's jemmy, which is bifurcated at one end, while the blow which pushed the poor woman's eye into her brain would represent a thrust from the other end. Failing a jemmy, I should choose a hammer, but a very different one from the toy thing from a half-crown card of tools which was exhibited in Court.

Surely commonsense would say that such an instrument could burst an eye-ball, but could not possibly drive it deep into the brain, since the short head could not penetrate nearly so far. The hammer, which I would reconstruct from the injuries would be what they call, I believe, a plasterer's ham. But how such a weapon could be used without the user bearing marks of it, is more than I can say.

It has never been explained why a rug was laid over the murdered woman. The murderer, as his conduct before Lambie and Adams showed, was a perfectly cool person. It is at least possible that he used the rug as a shield between him and his victim while he battered her with his weapon. His clothes, if not his hands, would in this way be preserved.

I have said that it is of the first importance to trace who knew of the existence of the jewels, since this might greatly help the solution of the problem. In connection with this there is a passage in Lambie's evidence in New York which is of some importance. I give it from the stenographer's report, condensing in places:. This is a condensation of a very interesting and searching piece of the cross-examination which reveals several things. One is Lambie's qualities as a witness. Another is the very curious picture of the old lady, the bookmaker and the servant-maid all sitting at dinner together.

The last and most important is the fact, that a knowledge of the jewels had got out. Against the man himself there is no possible allegation. The matter was looked into by the police, and their conclusions were absolute, and were shared by those responsible for the defence. But is it to be believed that during the months which elapsed between this man acquiring this curious knowledge, and the actual crime, never once chanced to repeat to any friend, who in turn repeated it to another, the strange story of the lonely old woman and her hoard? This he would do in full innocence.

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It was a most natural thing to do. But, for almost the first time in the case we seem to catch some glimpse of the relation between possible cause and effect, some connection between the dead woman on one side, and outsiders on the other who had the means of knowing something of her remarkable situation.

There is just one other piece of Lambie's cross-examination, this time from the Edinburgh trial, which I would desire to quote. It did not appear in America, just as the American extract already given did not appear in Edinburgh. For the first time they come out together:. The reader should be reminded that Slater did not arrive in Glasgow until the end of October of that year.

His previous residences in the town were as far back as igoi and If the dog were indeed poisoned in anticipation of the crime, he, at least, could have had nothing to do with it.

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Nellie Lambie had probably admitted Birrell earlier to the kitchen, for the two were romantically involved. Descendants of Robert the Bruce of Scotland Monarch. The boy replied, " No, there is not any clue yet, and I don't think there is any likelihood of getting one. The short December afternoon has died early into winter darkness. FOX 26 Houston. Read more. Nichols observed a peculiarity about his nose it was not a twisted nose, but a nose that had been broken.

There is one other piece of evidence which may, or may not have been of importance. It is that of Miss Brown, the schoolmistress. This lady was in court, but seems to have been called by neither side for the reason that her evidence was helpful to neither the prosecution nor the defence.

She deposed that on the night of the murder, about ten minutes past seven, she saw two men running away from the scene. One of these men closely corresponded to the original description of the murderer before it was modified by Barrowman. This one was of medium build, dark hair and clean shaven, with three-quarter length grey overcoat, dark tweed cap, and both hands in his pockets.

Here we have the actual assassin described to the life, and had Miss Brown declared that this man was the prisoner, she would have been a formidable addition to the witnesses for prosecution. Miss Brown, however identified Oscar Slater after the usual absurd fashion of such identifications as the second man, whom she describes, as of "Dark glossy hair, navy blue overcoat with velvet collar, dark trousers, black boots, something in his hand which seemed clumsier than a walking stick.

All that can be said of this incident is that if the second man was Slater, then he certainly was not the actual murderer whose dress corresponds closely to the first, and in no particular to the second. To the Northern eye, all swarthy foreigners bear a resemblance, and that there was a swarthy man, whether foreign or not, concerned in this affair would seem to be beyond question. That there should have been two confederates, one of whom had planned the crime while the other carried it out, is a perfectly feasible supposition.

Miss Brown's story does not necessarily contradict that of Barrowman, as one would imagine that the second man would join the murderer at some little distance from the scene of the crime. However, as there was no cross-examination upon the story, it is difficult to know what weight to attach to it. Let me say in conclusion that I have had no desire in anything said in this argument, to hurt the feelings or usurp the functions of anyone, whether of the police or the criminal court, who had to do with the case.

It is difficult to discuss matters from a detached point of view without giving offence. I am well aware that it is easier to theorise at a distance than to work a case out in practice whether as detective or as counsel. I leave the matter now with the hope that, even after many days, some sudden flash may be sent which will throw a light upon as brutal and callous a crime as has ever been recorded in those black annals in which the criminologist finds the materials for his study. Meanwhile it is on the conscience of the authorities, and in the last resort on that of the community that this verdict obtained under the circumstances which I have indicated, shall now be reconsidered.

The Prisoner is a Jew, and was born in Germany. He is 37 years of age. The Jury returned a verdict of "Guilty" by a majority of nine to six, and the legal advisers of the condemned man hold a very strong opinion that the verdict of the majority of the Jury was not in accordance with the evidence led, and that this evidence was quite insufficient to identify the Prisoner with the murderer, and so to establish the Prisoner's guilt.

This view, they believe, is shared by the general public of all classes in Scotland, and by the Glasgow press vide leading article in The Glasgow Herald of 7th May, , sent herewith. Your Memorialist has endeavoured in this paper to deal with the matter as briefly and with as little argument as possible; but in view of the fact that the trial of the Prisoner occupied four days, it is inevitable that the Memorial should extend to some length.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - the case of Oscar Slater

It is common ground that the late Miss Gilchrist, a lady of about 82 years of age, resided alone with her domestic servant, Nellie Lambie, a girl of about 21 years of age. According to the evidence of Lambie, the latter left Miss Gilchrist alone in the house at seven o'clock on the evening of 21st December, , and went to purchase an evening paper. Lambie deponed that she securely shut the house door behind her, and also the door at the close, or street entry; that she was only absent about ten minutes; that on returning about ten minutes past seven o'clock she found the close door open; that upon ascending the stair she found Mr.

Adams, a gentleman who resides in the flat below, standing at Miss Gilchrist's house door; that Adams informed her that he had gone up to Miss Gilchrist's door because he had heard knocking on the floor of Miss Gilchrist's house, and had rung the bell, but that he could obtain no admittance; that the lobby was lighted by one gas jet turned half up, but giving a good light; that Lambie thereupon opened the house door with her keys; that upon the door being opened a man came through the lobby or hall of Miss Gilchrist's house, passed Lambie and Adams, went downstairs, and disappeared; and that, upon Lambie and Adams entering the house, they found Miss Gilchrist lying on the dining-room floor dead, her head having been smashed.

Upon the Wednesday following the murder 23rd December, , the Glasgow Police were informed by a message girl named Mary Barrowman about 15 years of age , that she had seen a man wearing a Donegal hat and a light coat running out of the close which leads from the street to Miss Gilchrist's house shortly after seven o'clock on the night of the murder; that the man passed her, running at top speed; that she noticed that he was dark, and clean shaven, and that his nose was twisted towards the right side. The servant Lambie had also informed the Police that a gold cresent brooch, set in diamonds, had disappeared from Miss Gilchrist's house on the night of the murder, and that this was all of Miss Gilchrist's property that she missed.

These statements were published in the Glasgow newspapers on Friday, 25th December, , and following upon this the witness Allan Maclean, a member of a club to which Slater belonged, informed the Police that Slater's appearance somewhat corresponded with the description advertised, and that he had been trying to sell a pawn ticket for a diamond brooch. Following up this clue, the Police went to Slater's house at 69, St. George's Road, Glasgow, on the night of Friday, 25th December, and learned that he and Miss Andree Antoine, with whom he had been cohabiting, had left Glasgow that night with their belongings.

The Police thereafter ascertained that Slater had sailed on the "Lusitania " for New York from Liverpool on Saturday, 26th December, and cabled to the Authorities at New York to detain and search him on his arrival. This was done, and the pawn ticket, which he had been trying to sell, was found upon him, but turned out to be a pawn ticket for a brooch which belonged to Miss Antoine, had never belonged to Miss Gilchrist, and had been pawned a considerable time before the murder. Proceedings, however, were instituted for Slater's extradition.

The witnesses Lambie, Adams, and Barrowman gave evidence in America, purporting to identify him as the man seen leaving Miss Gilchrist's house, and Slater was he states of his own consent extradited, and brought back to Scotland for trial. The only evidence against Slater, which might be called direct evidence, was the evidence of the persons who saw a man walk out of the lobby or hall in Miss Gilchrist's house on the night of the murder Lambie and Adams , or leaving the close leading therefrom, or running along the street Barrowman.

At the trials Lambie professed to identify Slater, as the man whom she had seen leaving the house, by the side of his face. It was put to her, however, and clearly proved, that when she gave evidence in New York in the extradition proceedings she stated in Court there that she did not see the man's face, and professed to identify him by his walk. When Slater's own coat, the one found in his luggage, was shown to her at the trial, she at once remarked, even before it was unrolled, that it was not like the coat the man in the lobby wore—it was the coat.

It was obviously impossible that she knew it to be the same coat. Lord Guthrie referred to this in his charge to the jury as a typical example of the nature of her evidence.

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With regard to the positive nature of her evidence generally, it is interesting to note that her first answer in America, when asked if she saw the man, was, "One is very suspicious, if anything. The witness only saw the man who was leaving the house for a moment or two. Adams and she contradicted each other as to where she was when the man walked across the lobby.

Adams deponed that she was by the lobby clock and walking towards the kitchen. If so, she must practically have had her back to the man. She says she was on the threshold of the door. In any event, her view was momentary. The witness Adams, who deponed that he had a better view of the man in the house than Lambie, stated at the trial that he, standing at the threshold, saw the man's face as he approached, that their eyes met, and that the man walked slowly towards him, face to face, but Adams would not go further than to say that Slater resembled the man very much.

He is superior to Lambie and Barrowman in years, education and intelligence. Your Memorialist begs to emphasise the fact that this witness had a much better view of the man than any of the other witnesses. The witness Barrowman stated at the trial that the man ran out of the close and rushed past her at top speed, brushing against her, and that he had his hat pulled well down over his forehead. The witness is a message girl, about 15 years of age. She also stated that the man had on brown boots, a Donegal hat, and a fawn coat, and that he was dark and clean shaven, and that his nose had a twist to the right.

She professed to have noticed all these things as he rushed past her at top speed. At the trial this witness stated in cross-examination i that she was proceeding in the opposite direction from the man, to deliver a parcel, but that she turned and went some distance after him; that she thought he was probably going to catch a tramcar; but she could not explain why she should go out of her way to turn and follow a man running for a car in a busy city like Glasgow; and 2 that, although the girl Lambie and she had occupied the same cabin on the voyage to America, which lasted about twelve days, she had not once discussed the appearance of the man, and that no one had warned her not to do so.

These two statements do not impress your Memorialist as bearing the stamp of truth. This girl started the description of the twisted nose. She is the only witness who refers to it. Her view of the man's face must necessarily have been momentary. Slater's nose cannot properly be described as "twisted to the right.

All of these three witnesses had, as has been said, only a momentary view of the man, and it was proved that before Barrowman professed to identify Slater in New York she was shown his photograph, and that both she and Lambie, before attempting to identify him in New York, saw him being brought into Court by a Court official, wearing a badge. In her New York evidence she first said, "He is something like the man I saw. These facts very much reduce, if they do not altogether vitiate, the value of the evidence of these identifying witnesses.

Another witness, Mrs. Liddell, who is a married sister of the witness Adams, stated that, at five minutes to seven on the evening of the murder, she saw a dark, clean-shaven man leaning against a railing at the street entry to Miss Gilchrist's house, but that this man wore a heavy brown tweed coat and a brown cap.

It is to be observed that Constable Neil, who passed the house at ten minutes to seven, saw no one there; and Lambie, who left the house promptly at seven, or, as she said in America, "perhaps a few minutes before seven," saw no one there. Further, Mrs. Liddell did not observe where the man went to; according to her he merely glided away; and although she was in Miss Gilchrist's house that night and saw the body, and would naturally be greatly concerned over the murder, she did not recollect having seen this man until the Wednesday after the murder.

Even taking her evidence as absolutely true and reliable, it provides an excellent object-lesson on the difficulty and responsibility of convicting on such evidence as this, because the man she saw was obviously dressed differently from the man seen by the other three witnesses. Her evidence does not, to any appreciable extent, further the case against Slater, as she stated that she thought this man was Slater, but admitted that she might be in error.

The other witness is a girl named Annie Armour, a ticket clerk in the Subway Station at Kelvinbridge, who says that between 7. Lord Guthrie in his charge to the jury did not refer to this witness, and your Memorialist thinks advisedly. The mere question of time is sufficient to render her evidence valueless.

The Case of Oscar Slater

She is sure the incident did not happen before 7. According to the other witnesses, the murderer must have run from the house by at least 7. It was proved that it would only take a man five or six minutes to run from the scene of the tragedy to this station, either by the most direct route or by the route which Barrowman's evidence suggests he took. Then it is impossible to suppose that she could get anything like a good view, even of the side face, of a man who rushed past her in the way she described.

All the witnesses who saw the man on the night of the murder Monday say that he was clean shaven. It was proved that on the next day or two after the murder Slater had a short, black, stubbly moustache. These were the only witnesses called by the Crown to identify Slater with the murderer. Further circumstantial evidence, however, was led by the Crown to show that, on occasions before the day of the murder.

Slater had been seen standing in or walking up and down West Princes Street—Mrs. It may be noted that Slater's house was situated about three minutes' walk from West Princes Street. These witnesses did not all agree in their evidence. Some said that Slater was the man they had seen; others, equally or perhaps better able to judge, only said that he was very like him. The Memorialist does not propose in this paper to deal at length with this part of the evidence, except to point out that two witnesses Nairn and Bryson say they saw Slater in West Princes Street on the Sunday evening previous to the murder.

Against this there is the evidence that Slater on this day, as usual, spent all Sunday day and evening in his house. Three witnesses from Paris, London, and Dublin spoke to this. Coming from different places, they had no chance to concoct a story. At Slater's trial it was suggested that there were various circumstances tending to create an atmosphere of suspicion around him; but it is submitted that all these were capable of explanation, and in no way pointing to Slater's guilt as a murderer.

Slater had written to Cameron that he could prove where he was on the evening of the murder "by five people. The evidence of his witnesses was to the effect that on the evening of the murder he was in a billiard room until 6. It was shown that Slater dealt in diamonds. There was, however, no evidence of any dishonest dealing of any kind. The brooch said to have been missing from Miss Gilchrist's house has not been traced. There was no evidence of any kind led to show that Slater ever knew, or even heard of, Miss Gilchrist or her house, and the Memorialist would emphasise the fact that it was the missing brooch that put the Police on the track of Slater.

With reference to Slater's departure for America on 25th December, igo8, it was proved that he had formed the intention, some weeks before the murder, of going to America. Cameron, Rattman, and Aumann proved this. Slater had, in fact, tried to get the last named to take over his flat. The letter from Jacobs, of 28th December, and the card bearing the words "address till 30th December," produced by the Crown, also corroborate the evidence of this intention of leaving, which is further corroborated by the evidence of Nichols, the barber, a Crown witness.

On the morning of 21st December, , Slater received two letters —one from London, stating that his wife was demanding his address, and the other from San Francisco, asking him to come over. These were spoken to by Schmalz, his servant girl, and Miss Antoine. Liddell, pawnbroker, on his brooch, and on the same day tried to sell the ticket; 2 he wrote to the Post Office for payment of the money at his credit; 3 he wired to Dent, London, to send on his watch, which was being repaired, immediately; 4 on the Monday morning he gave notice to the servant girl that she would not be required after the following Saturday these events all happened before the murder ; 5 on the Tuesday morning he redeemed a pair of binoculars from another pawnbroker whose assistant, Kempton, proved this, and who stated that he was in no way excited; 6 on the 23rd and 24th December he made inquiries at Cook's Shipping Offices regarding berths, and betrayed no signs of any excitement; on the 23rd he was, in the evening, in Johnston's billiard room, which he used to frequent; and on the 24th he spent the afternoon about Glasgow with his friend Cameron, who gave evidence; 7 on Friday morning a Mrs.

Freedman and her sister arrived from London to take over his flat, so that he and Miss Antoine left on Friday night. She closes the front door and shuts the street door. Arthur Adams is then sitting in the dining room busy tying up a Christmas parcel while his sister Laura, who has just learned that the pupil to whom she was about to give a music lesson could not come, is standing in front of the fireplace when they suddenly hear a tremendous thud upstairs, as if Miss Gilchrist had fallen on the ground.

Laura immediately thinks Miss Gilchrist is calling for help. The flat door is closed. He rings three times without receiving any answer. Through glass panels on the either side of the door, he notices that the lobby gas is lit. Then, he perceives noises which he attributes to the maid who must be breaking sticks in the kitchen. After waiting for a few minutes he returns to his house but Laura, who has heard more noises in the above dining-room, is not convinced that everything is ok with the old lady.

It is about six or seven minutes after seven. No sound can be heard from the flat this time. While Adams keeps ringing the bell Lambie comes back, surprised to find him there and also to have found the street door ajar and footmarks on the two steps nearest the door. Arthur tells her that there must be something wrong with her mistress.

They have heard alarming noises from above and a sound which made them feel the ceiling was going to crack. Adams decides to wait and make sure everything is alright. Lambie opens the door with her two latch keys and steps into the flat. The lamp is lit in the hall but produces only a dim light. After checking the kitchen where everything is alright and the spare bedroom where the mess does not seem to alarm her, Lambie at last goes into the dining room where she had left the old lady reading in front of the fireplace.

She could have done that before, all the more since the door of the dining-room is situated on the left when you enter the hall. Arthur Adams leads PC Neill in the dining-room and both are stunned to see that, in spite of her fatal injuries, Miss Gilchrist is still breathing. Arthur Adams immediately goes and gets a doctor. When the doctor arrives in the flat Miss Gilchrist is dead. Last but not least, the presence of a fourth medical man is to be noted on the place that night. One spent match is also found on the place which was probably used by the stranger to lit the gas lamp.

There are no blood spots in the room and indeed nowhere else in the flat except in the dining-room. Lambie and Arthur are asked to give a detailed account of the events and to describe the mysterious man they met in the lobby. Lambie is asked to check if there is something missing in the apartment. Wore a long grey overcoat and dark cap. Robbery appears to have been the object of the murder, as a number of boxes in a bedroom were opened and left lying on the floor. A large-sized, crescent-shaped gold brooch, set with diamonds, large diamonds in centre, graduating towards the points, is missing and may be in the possession of the murderer.

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The diamonds are set in silver. No trace of the murderer has been got. Constables will please warn booking-clerks and railway stations, as the murderer will have bloodstains on his clothing. Also warn pawns on opening regarding brooch, and keep a sharp look-out. Arrangements have been made for Lambie to move in with her aunt at South Kinning Place.

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