Crime Museum UK - Discovery Channel Welsh Cave Murder

Welsh Cave Murder

WELSH CAVE MURDER

Some criminals have remained at liberty because they have successfully disposed of or concealed crucial evidence and even their victims’ bodies. However, our sins have a way of coming back to haunt us.

Forensic archaeology is a relatively new science, but one which means that even crimes committed in the distant past can often be solved.

A skeleton (iStockphoto.com)

It took forty-two years to finally lay to rest the mystery of one missing person. It was near Brandy Cove, in South Wales, on Sunday 5 November 1961, that three pot-holers began exploring an old lead mine.

They found a skeleton. On examination, it was found to have been cut into three pieces by sawing through the spine, the upper arms and the thighs. 

The police were trawling through their missing person’s files, but they had to look back much further than they originally thought.

One name, Mamie Stuart, shone out from the lists; an attractive chorus girl who had disappeared suddenly, just before Christmas 1919.

‘The Abode of Peace’

Several years before, Mamie had met and fallen in love with a dapper marine surveyor from Cardiff, named George Shotton. They were married in 1918 and Shotton rented a new home for them, a solitary house, not far from the sea.

The house was called Ty-Llonwydd, which is Welsh for 'The Abode of Peace'. However, it would seem that Mamie spent few tranquil moments there.

Her parents met a brick wall when trying to contact her, receiving only a rather formal Christmas greeting, then nothing.

Then, disturbingly, they had a visitor.

The police had found a suitcase at the Grosvenor Hotel in Swansea which led them to Mamie's parents. The suitcase contained some of their daughter's possessions. Their daughter, however, could not be contacted.

Shotton was interviewed by the police. He admitted that he had lived with Mamie but claimed that they had never married. It transpired that Shotton had already been married, had a child, and was currently living with that family just a mile from Ty-Llonwydd, Mamie Stewart's last known address. However, the police had obtained letters from Shotton to Mamie in which he called her 'wife', thus discrediting his statement.

Shotton claimed he had ended his relationship with Mamie in early December and had not seen her since.

A description of Mamie was circulated throughout Britain. It failed to turn up a single lead or sighting, and the police believed that they were now on a murder hunt.

A feeble defence

Shotton was brought to trial in May 1920, but the only charge that could be brought against him was bigamy. His feeble defence, that another man had assumed his identity and married Mamie, fooled no one. He was given eighteen months hard labour, and that was the end of the case.

Why Do Killers Kill? The eyes of a criminal (Link: Why Do Killers Kill? feature) (DCL)
Criminalists Evidence under a magnifying glass (Link: Criminalists feature) (DCL)
Play 'On The Run' The chalk outline of a body (Link: Play 'On the Run' game) (DCL)
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