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Edward Ernest BLACK





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Poisoner - Parricide
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: November 11, 1921
Date of birth: 1885
Victim profile: His wife, Annie Blanck, 50
Method of murder: Poisoning (arsenic)
Location: Tregonissey, Cornwall, England, United Kingdom
Status: Executed by hanging at Exeter prison on March 24, 1922

Edward was a 36 year old insurance salesman and 14 years younger than his wife, Mrs Annie Black. When she died on 11 November 1921 her husband was away. He owed money and had few friends.

Although the cause of death appeared to be gastro-enteritis the doctor was unhappy and so a post mortem was carried out. The results of this were that she had traces of arsenic in her body.

He was tracked down to Liverpool where he was found with a self inflicted wound in his throat. A failed suicide attempt. He was brought back to the West Country to Bodmin where he was tried for murder.

Although he tried to claim his innocence he had in fact signed his own death certificate when he signed the poison register in a chemist in St Austell for two ounces of arsenic.

The jury took only 40 minutes to find him guilty and he was hung at Exeter prison on 24 march 1922.


Edward Ernest Black

The sweet-shop in Tregonissey, Cornwall, was run by 50-year-old Mrs Annie Black. On 11th November 1921 she died of what appeared to be gastro-enteritis. Her doctor, however, was not satisfied and a post-mortem was conducted and arsenic was found in body tissues.

Her husband, 36-year-old Edward Black, had left home three days before she died. He made a precarious living selling insurance and owed money.

He was found in a Liverpool hotel with a self-inflicted throat wound. A coroner's jury returned a verdict of murder naming Black as the culprit.

His trial opened at Bodmin on 1st February 1922 and lasted two days. A local chemist testified that Black had purchased two ounces of arsenic and signed the poisons register.

The jury took 40 minutes to find him guilty and he was hanged on 24th March 1922.



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