Edwards and his sweetheart Elsie Cook came from the same Welsh mining
village of Cynon Valley. On Sunday morning, 17 June, a man rushed to the
local police station and told them that he had seen a man bleeding
heavily from the neck.
Officers investigated and the blood soaked man
told them that he had killed his sweetheart and that she was lying on a
nearby hillside. He admitted cutting her throat with a razor.
tried at Glamorgan Assizes before Mr Justice Branson on 22nd November
and pleaded insanity. It was shown in court that his family had a
history of insanity and that his father had died in a local asylum.
Despite all the evidence to support the insanity plea, the fact that
Edwards had seemed perfectly sane when he confessed to the murder
weighed against him and he was sentenced to death.
He was hanged by
Robert Baxter and Alfred Allen. Allen was a new assistant, participating
at possibly his first execution, and he was involved in a dramatic
experience. Baxter was very quick in noosing the prisoner and pushing
Unfortunately for Allen, he was not able to get clear of the
doors and followed Edwards into the pit. No blame was attached, and the
Governor claimed the accident was a mixture of the hangman's alacrity
and Allen's slightly defective vision.
The sentence had been carried out
in Swansea on the 11th December 1928 with Edwards being only twenty