Smith, George Joseph

The 'brides in the bath' murderer, born on 11 January 1872. Although there is no evidence that he was a Methodist, when he arrived in Southsea in 1913 he attended one of the WM churches (probably Victoria Road, rather than the newer and populist Albert Road), where he met and quickly married a young nurse, Alice Burnham. He took out life insurance on his wife and also made a concerned approach to a doctor, saying that she was suffering from epileptic fits. A month later she was found drowned in the bath; the verdict: death by misadventure.

A year later Alice's father saw a report in the News of the Worldabout a Mr. John Lloyd whose wife, a clergyman's daughter, had died in Bath in similar circumstances. He alerted the police, who discovered that this was none other than G.J. Smith. Investigation revealed another identical death in Weymouth and there may well have been others. Smith was convicted and hanged in August 1915.

  • Oxford DNB

Entry written by: GDS
Category: Person
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