was convicted of the murder of Doreen Joyce Hearne aged 8 and Kathleen
Trundell aged 6. He had not sexually assaulted them so there did not
seem to be any motive. One possibility could be that he was in some way
disturbed or that he lost his nerve but having already kidnapped the two
girls could see no other way out.
On 22 November 1941, the bodies of Kathleen Trendle
and Doreen Joyce Hearne were found in Penn Wood, in Buckinghamshire.
Kathleen Trendle was six years old and Doreen Hearne was eight. The two
girls had been missing for three days. The post mortem examination
showed the two girls had died from stab wounds. There were signs to
suggest that they had both been rendered unconcious by partial
strangulation before the stab wounds were inflicted.
The police searched the area and found tyre tracks of
a lorry and a patch of oil nearby. They also found Doreen's gas-mask
holder and a khaki handkerchief with the laundry mark - RA1019.
A 12-year-old boy said that he had seen the two girls
asking the driver of an Army truck for a lift and even gave police the
unit identification marks of the truck. Police quickly traced the
markings to a unit in Yoxford, Suffolk, and were soon able to find the
exact vehicle and sure enough it had a leaking back axle.
The tread on the tyres was matched against the casts
taken at the scene and the tyre tracks matched the impressions exactly.
The driver of the vehicle was twenty six year old Harold Hill in 341
Battery, 86th Field Regiment Royal Artillery, he had the laundry mark
RA-1019 and when his fingerprints were taken they were found to match
those on the discarded gas-mask container.
He was tried in March 1942 and pleaded insanity but
this was not accepted. He was found guilty and executed at Oxford Castle
on 1 May 1942. It was a strange case in that there did not seem to be an
obvious motive. Often when children are murdered the reasons are sexual
but the girls had not been molested in that way. Of course it is always
possible that he was disturbed before he had chance to finish what he
On 22nd November
1941, the bodies of Kathleen Trendle and Doreen Hearne, aged six and
eight respectively, were found in Rough Wood near Penn, in
They had both been strangled into
unconsciousness before being stabbed repeatedly. Doreen had six stab
wounds to the body as well as three to the neck. Kathleen had almost a
dozen stab wounds to the neck and both girls had died from loss of blood.
The girls had been missing for three days.
Nearby were tyre tracks of a lorry and a large patch of oil, Doreen's
gas-mask holder and a khaki handkerchief with the laundry mark 'RA1019'.
A twelve-year-old boy said that he had seen the two girls asking the
driver of an Army truck for a lift and even gave police the unit
identification marks of the truck, a fifteen-hundredweight Fordson.
Police quickly traced the markings
to a unit, 341 Battery, 86 Field Regiment, Royal Artillery, in Yoxford,
Suffolk, and they soon came across the vehicle, with a leaking back axle.
The tyre tracks matched the impressions taken from the scene. The driver
was 26-year-old Gunner Harold Hill, he had the laundry mark 'RA1019' and
his fingerprints were found to match those on the discarded gas-mask
container. When his kit was examined, his spare uniform was found to be
wet, and despite its recent washing, it still had bloodstains.
Hill was tried in March 1942 and
pleaded insanity. He was found guilty and executed at Oxford Castle on
1st May 1942.
The body of Doreen Joyce Hearne