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CRIME CHRONICLES: A historical murder at a Chorleywood farmhouse

 Published on: 16th November 2022   |   By: Bryn Holmes   |   Category: Uncategorized

For those of you left exhausted by the crimes of the modern age, it’s always interesting to look back into the past and see what criminal justice looked like over 100 years ago…

This month’s feature tells the story of a grisly murder in 1906 that shocked the village, that of Kate Hooker, by her husband, David Hooker.

The married couple lived at Hill Farm with their two young children, alongside David’s brother, his wife and their two children. But this domestic life soon took a very dark turn.

On the evening of September 20, the two women of the house were having tea with their children, when David entered, seemingly slightly drunk, and said: “Look out for yourselves, I will blow your brains out”.

Though the sister-in-law didn’t think much of this statement, David would soon return with a shotgun and repeated his statement. When the sister-in-law told David to stop being silly, he proceeded to shoot his wife in the face.

Though he seemed to immediately regret his actions, David then threatened everyone present to stay quiet about the shooting or he would shoot them too. However, eventually, a doctor would be called out to treat Kate, who would later die from her wounds on October 7.

David would eventually face trial for his wife’s killing, was convicted and sentenced to death. He later gained a reprieve however but was imprisoned in the now-closed St Albans Prison. He would remain in captivity for the rest of his life, though the details remain unclear.

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