The Brides in the Bath Killer
The many identities of George Joseph Smith
In January 1915, Detective Inspector Neil received a letter from Mr Crossley of Blackpool containing two newspaper cuttings about the deaths of Margaret Lloyd and Alice Smith.
Mr Crossley suggested there was a connection and that the police should investigate. It was found that George Joseph Smith had been married five times under different names.
On 23rd March 1915, he was charged with the murders of Bessie Williams, Alice Smith, and Margaret Lloyd.
George Joseph Smith
Smith was born in Bethnal Green, London, in 1872. He was described as a cold, heartless man who was supposedly in love with a woman called Edith Pegler.
As much as he loved Pegler, he loved money more, but he was a lazy man who believed he should not work for his fortune. So he decided to use his other talent with the ladies.
He was not particularly handsome and he possessed an arrogance that irritated most men. Those who knew Smith described him as having eyes of a mad man.
He also lived in a time when many women were looking for an eligible husband.
Thornhill was eighteen when she married businessman George Love aka Smith. The man owned a bread shop and seemed a good prospect.
When Love went bankrupt, he sent his young wife to work as a servant and encouraged her to steal jewellery and silver wherever this worked.
Months later, they fled to Brighton and Eastbourne to work through the wealthy patrons of the seaside towns. Everything was progressing well until Thornhill was arrested, trying to pawn some of the stolen jewellery.
Thornhill served a year for the crime whilst her loving husband vanished.
She was determined to get her revenge.