Born in Glasgow in 1924 Archibald Hall, spent many years in and out of prison as a thief, house burglar and petty forger.
While in prison on a ten year sentence
for theft, he decided to change his style. He studied speech, clearing his Scottish accent, he also researched etiquette and antiques. A butler who became very good at his job,
a fan of actress Joan Fontaine, he changed his name to
Roy Fontaine, and returned to his native Scotland.
1975, He got a job as a butler in
Dumfriesshire, he planned to steal from the wealthy
estate but found he liked his job as well as liking his
1977, David Wright, was an ex friend from prison. The two had met in Hull prison when Fontaine was serving time for theft. Wright was impressed by Fontaine, but also saw potential in Fontaine's past. He started to gather information and when they met up after prison, Wright threatened to expose jewel thief Fontaine to his wealthy female employer Lady Hudson. The two argued and Fontaine shot Wright in the back of the head with a rifle.,
her buried him next to a river.
Hall moved back to London, the plausible butler
got a position with wealthy ex-MP Walter Scott-Elliot and his wife who were wealthy antique collectors.
He planned to rob the wealthy couple and
By this time he had two accomplices to
his thieving ways, Michael Kitto and Mary Coggle. One
evening while Hall and Kitto were
planning the robbery Mrs Scott-Elliot walked in on them,
Kitto grabbed a pillow and suffocated the old lady.
In a panic the two men, now helped by
local prostitute Mary Coggle, drugged Walter
Scott-Elliot, and put the two bodies in a car and drove
to Scotland. They buried Mrs Scott-Elliot in Perthshire,
then drove to Inverness where they strangled the drugged
old man, beat him with a shovel and buried him in woods
near Tomich, Invernesshire.
25th December 1977, Coggle enjoyed
wearing Mrs. Scott-Elliot's clothes, this annoyed Hall
and Kitto who felt she was drawing too much attention to
them, they hit her with a crowbar, and left her body in
a barn in Middlebie, Dumfriesshire. A farmer discovered
her body in the barn on Christmas morning.
The pair left Scotland and headed for a
holiday home in Cumbria, once they the discovered Hall's
half brother, who had recently been released from
prison, he was a paedophile, Hall hated him, they tied
him up and drowned him in a bath.
They put the body in the boot of the car
and headed for Scotland for a burial. The weather was
vey bad and they had to stop at a hotel overnight. They
were acting suspiciously, the hotel manager called the
police, who searched the car, discovering the body of
Donald Hall. Kitto was arrested, but Archibald Hall
escaped, but was caught later that day at a roadblock.
When Hall was captured, he tried to commit suicide twice using secret stashes of barbiturate tablets that he had hidden up his rectum.
After stealing from the Scott-Elliot
house, they had sold gold and jewellery around the
country, it did not take police long to search the
Scott-Elliot house and link the murders back to Hall and
Kitto, They had by now found the body of Mary Coggle,
who also had worked for the Scott-Elliot's.
Once in custody Hall confessed and
confirmed where all the bodies were buried.
Hall and Kitto were charged with five
May 1978, Hearings at The Old Bailey in London, and The Edinburgh high court found Hall and accomplice Kitto guilty, both were sentenced to life imprisonment, Hall having made a full confession to 5 murders.
Hall is on the list of prisoners to serve
a 'Whole Life Tariff', see list
1999, Hall published his autobiography "
A Perfect Gentleman"
16th September 2002, Hall died of a stroke while
serving time at Kingston prison in Portsmouth, he was 78