On June 23rd…

(Source: A Day by Day Chronology of Mr. Sherlock Holmes According to Zeisler and Christ, compiled by William S Dorn)

June 23, 1890: John Turner murdered Charles McCarthy. [BOSC]

Illustration by Sidney Paget for The Strand Magazine (1891)

“When I went down there I found him talking with his son, so I smoked a cigar, and waited behind a tree until he should be alone. But as I listened to his talk all that was black and bitter in me seemed to come uppermost. He was urging his son to marry my daughter with as little regard for what she might think as if she were a slut from off the streets. It drove me mad to think that I and all that I held most dear should be in the power of such a man as this. Could I not snap the bond? I was already a dying and a desperate man. Though clear of mind and fairly strong of limb, I knew that my own fate was sealed. But my memory and my girl! Both could be saved, if I could but silence that foul tongue. I did it, Mr. Holmes. I would do it again. Deeply as I have sinned, I have led a life of martyrdom to atone for it. But that my girl should be entangled in the same meshes which held me was more than I could suffer. I struck him down with no more compunction than if he had been some foul and venomous beast. His cry brought back his son; but I had gained the cover of the wood, though I was forced to go back to fetch the cloak which I had dropped in my flight. That is the true story, gentlemen, of all that occurred.”

Chips says: I think this tale was written in such a way to gain the audience’s sympathy for the murderer already under a sentence of death, and it worked as far as I am concerned.

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