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TCH Jacobs

Broken Alibi

Stanley Paul 1957
Jacket design unattributed

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THE fashion in trunk murders was set by Crossman in 1902, since when there have been many such crimes, the majority of which have involved the cloakrooms of railway stations. The Lighten Trunk Murder was no exception to the general pattern and only aroused such tremendous public interest because it was the third case that year. The dismembered torso discovered at Croydon and the headless corpse at King's Cross were both, at that time, unsolved crimes. It was on the second day of the Lighten Race Meeting in June that the plywood trunk was deposited at the railway station. As always, the meeting attracted thousands of visitors to the town. The plywood trunk was the fifteenth trunk that had been deposited that day, one of the busiest of the year for the railway staff. So it was not surprising that no one remembered the person, or persons, who had deposited this particular trunk, a cheap affair, covered with brown canvas and strengthened by four cane bands. Ten days later the trunk had not been reclaimed and had by now been pushed into a far corner. An offensive smell which had been observed and commented upon by Mr. Harry Hob-son, one of the staff, when the cloakroom was opened in the morning, persisted and grew worse.

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