Tuesday, 22 May 2012

A 'pathetic place in the pageant of the innocent'

One of the things that has made writing about this case so interesting is the way that new aspects of, sources for and references to it kept turning up.

I have to admit, though, that it's a bit frustrating to keep finding new things after the book is finished.

Appropriately enough -- given that today is the eighty-fourth anniversary of Beatrice Pace being charged with her husband Harry's murder -- I ran across a comment on the case from the Hull Daily Mail (which is now available through the British Newspaper Archive) about the case.

The article was titled 'The Year's Crime', which looked back at the major criminal cases of 1928. And this is what it said about the Pace case:

Mrs Pace’s Ordeal

Perhaps there is just one drama of the courts that alone will be remembered out of the crime annals of the present year. The whole nation followed Mrs Beatrice Annie Pace through the terribly long, drawn-out ordeal of the Coroner’s inquest into the death of her husband, Harry Pace, from arsenical poisoning, and her subsequent trial for murder. The drama was almost without parallel in its development. At the conclusion of the inquest the jury found that the man had died from arsenic, but not self-administered, and the Coroner insisted that some person must be named. Then it came about that 'the tragic widow of Coleford' was arrested and placed on trial. But the hearing came to a dramatic end, for Mr Justice Horridge stopped the case and ordered the jury to find a verdict of 'Not Guilty.' So Mrs Pace takes her pathetic place in the pageant of the innocent.

Daily Mail (Hull), 31 December 1928, p. 6

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