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15-year-old Harold Jones murdered two little girls

2021.07.23 17:34 CountEveryMoment 15-year-old Harold Jones murdered two little girls

On the morning of 5 Feb. 1921 around 9 a.m. 8-year-old Freda Burnell went to buy poultry grit and spice at Mortimer's Corn Store on Somerset Street in Abertillery, Wales. She would arrive at the store where 15-year-old Harold Jones was working. He would be the last person to see Freda alive.
He would somehow get the girl to the chicken run shed belonging to Harold's employer. This was where he would attack and kill the girl. He would tie up her elbows behind her back, and ankles together. She would have been gagged, and he would attempt to sexually assault her. He would hit her in the head with an ax handle and strangled her with a cord.
Later Freda's father would go and search for the girl, but she could not be found. He would go to the shop and ask if she had been there. Harold would tell him that she had been there, but was only there for 10 minutes and said that she was going to ask her father if loose poultry grit was okay. By 3 p.m. police were informed of the girl's disappearance. For 6 hours they searched for her, but could not find her. At 10:20 to 10:30 Harold kept others from the shed and went to it on his own.
Freda's body would be found at 7:30 the next morning. She was concealed in a bag still bound with the cord still wrapped around her neck. It was noted that traces of corn Chaff was found on her body. The police would look at the shed that Jones and his employers only had access to. Inside the shed, the ax handle used to beat her and her handkerchief was found hidden among sacking.
Harold would soon be arrested and tried for Freda's murder on 21 June. He would remain calm at trial even during his testimony for his own defense withstanding rigorous cross-examination. His employer Hebert Mortrimer would provide an alibi insisting that his son and Harold were working in the store before they were sent to deliver a sack of potatoes to a customer around 10 a.m. His father would also testify that Harold did not leave the home that night and leave Freda's body where it was found. His testimony was corroborated by his wife's and it was noted that he exhibited good behavior with young girls.
Evidence showing that Freda was likely killed by Harold. He had contradicted himself on several occasions in the initial inquest. Despite this after the jury deliberated for 5 hours and he would be acquitted for Freda's murder.
There were numerous supporters for Harold at the time. Many believed that a 15-year-old could not kill and sexually assault a young child. After a private reunion with his parents, they would be escorted to a local restaurant to eat. At the service, Harold would state "I thank you all. I do not hold a grudge against the people of Abertillery for the horrendous ordeal I have been put through." One of those who would greet him would be George Little a neighbor who would say "Well done, lad. We knew you didn't do it."
This would be a statement he would soon regret.
On8 July and 17 days after Harold was acquitted he noticed 11-year-old Florence Little and her sister Flossie outside his home on 10 Darran Rd. Harold would ask the young girl into his home to help him run an errand. She would go inside the home and be attacked. He would instantly partially strangle the girl and dragged her to the kitchen. He would beat her in the head and temple with a plank of wooded before suspending her head and neck over the sick where he grabbed her by the hair and slit her throat with his father's pocket knife.
He would wrap Florence's head with a grey army shirt and concealed her partially dressed body in the attic. He washed all the blood he could find and then proceed to take a bath. Florence's mother would come to the Jones home in search of her. Harold would tell her that she was there at his front door, but had run off.
At 11:15 p.m. police were notified of Florence's disappearance which led to the house to house searches, and woodland and mountains were searched. There were hundreds of volunteers including Harold Jones.
Police would still suspect the boy of this killing. When asked he repeated the lies he told Mrs. Little. With his father's consent, the police searched the home at 8:30 a.m. and Harold would sneak out of the home knowing she would be found.
Police found that the trapdoor for the attic and a table nearby was blood-stained and had evidence of an attempt of being cleaned. They searched the attic and found the little girl's body outstretched on the rafters. An extended search of the home led to the blood-stained knife, a small egg-saucepan filled with blood and water, a blood-stained plank 19 inches long beneath the boiler.
When Phillip Jones was informed of the girl's murder he left the home to perform a citizen's arrest on his son. The two would then go back to Darran rd where Harold was placed under arrest.When the public heard of Harold's arrest for a second murdered girl around 500 people case to the local police station requesting that he be let free.
This was when Superintendent Lewis would address the crowd. "I have found the body of a child in the attic of Harold Jones, foully murdered, and I have arrested Harold Jones. I think this is all I can tell you and it would help us if you disperse and go to your homes."
On 11 Julyinquest into Florence Little's murder began. On 23 July the jury took 30 minutes to find Harold guilty of murder. During this inquest, Harold was adamant about being innocent. While waiting for his trial in November though on 17 September he made a statement about the motive for the crimes. He said it was " a desire to kill" that led to the deaths.
On 1 November 1921, he was tried in front of Mr. Justice Bray. The trial only last one hour and was ordered to be detained at His Majestys Pleasure. Harold was under 16 at the time and couldn't be subjected to any capital punishment. He would state that he also killed Freda because of his "desire to kill".
The grocery store was relocated and the Mortimer's moved. He felt guilt and may people were blaming him for giving a false alibi and it helped allow Harold to be able to kill Florence.
Harold would get out of prison on 6 December 1941. He would go and join the Merchant Navy. By 1948 he would then reside in Fulham, London, England under the name Harry Stevens. He would then go on and have a family and go by Harry. He would get bone cancer and die on 2 Jan. 1971 in London, England. At the time he was going by Harry Jones and before he died he would tell his wife to put Harold Jones on his death certificate.
Both Freda and Florence were buried in Brynithel Cemetary. Over the decades their graves would fall into disrepair. In 2017 a local author Neil Milkins helped raise £4,000 to help restore the graves and in 2018 they were able to do that. Family members of the girls appreciated that the graves were restored.
SOURCES: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_Jones_(murderer)
https://murderpedia.org/male.J/j/jones-harold.htm
https://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/news/16398968.hundreds-attend-unveiling-of-new-graves-for-murdered-freda-burnell-and-florence-little/
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/191989916/florence-little
https://murdersinhistory.blogspot.com/2020/05/murders-of-freda-burnell-and-florence.html (my blog post on this.)
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Title has it all..
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