George Joseph Smith

George Joseph Smith

Serial Killer
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George Joseph Smith

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George Joseph Smith (January 11, 1872 – August 13, 1915) was an English serial killer and bigamist. In 1915 he was convicted and subsequently hanged for the slayings of three women, the case becoming known as the "Brides in the Bath Murders". As well as being widely reported in the media, the case was a significant case in the history of forensic pathology and detection. It was also one of the first cases in which similarities between connected crimes were used to prove deliberation, a technique used in subsequent prosecutions.

Early life and marriages

The son of an insurance agent, George Joseph Smith was born in Bethnal Green, London. He was sent to a reformatory at Gravesend, Kent at the age of nine and later served time for swindling and theft. In 1896, he was imprisoned for 12 months for persuading a woman to steal from her employers. He used the proceeds to open a baker's shop in Leicester.

In 1898, he married Caroline Beatrice Thornhill (under another alias, Oliver George Love) in Leicester; it was his only legal marriage (although he also married another woman bigamously the following year). They moved to London, where she worked as a maid for a number of employers, stealing from them for her husband. She was eventually caught in Worthing, Sussex, and sentenced to 12 months. On her release, she incriminated her husband and he was imprisoned in January 1901 for two years. On his release, she fled to Canada. Smith then went back to his other wife,...
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