Frederick Cummins was a 28 year old Aircraftman in the
Royal Air Force. He was married to a theatre producer's
secretary in 1936, and was known to his fellow RAF
friends as 'The Count' because of his pretensions to a
In the course of six days in February 1942, Cummins
murdered four women and in the case of three of them the
bodies were mutilated after their death.
Sunday 9th February 1942, Evelyn Hamilton's body,
aged 40, was found in an air raid shelter in Montagu Place,
London W1. She had been strangled, and her handbag
containing £80 had been taken. Apart from the strangulation
marks, the body had not been mutilated and there were no
signs of a sexual assault
Monday 10th February 1942, On the following day,
Evelyn Oatley, aged 35 years and also known as Nita Ward was
found naked in her Wardour Street flat. She had been
strangled. Following this, her throat had been cut and she
had been sexually mutilated with a tin opener. After a
post-mortem the police knew that the murderer was
left-handed. Also the police found some finger prints on the
Tuesday 11th February 1942, a prostitute called Mrs
Margaret Florence Lowe (also known as Pearl) aged 43 years,
was murdered in her flat in Gosfield Street, London W1. She
had been strangled with a silk stocking, and her body
mutilated with a razor blade and a knife. The experience
pathologist, Bernard Spilsbury, after seeing Mrs Lowe's
injuries commented that they were " ... quite dreadful ..."
and that the murderer was a savage sexual maniac.
Wednesday 12 February 1942, Mrs Doris Jouannet aged 32
years (also known as Doris Robson) was murdered in a 2 room
ground floor flat that she shared with her husband (a hotel
manager). She had been strangled with a scarf and her naked
body sexually mutilated.
Friday 14 February 1942, Mrs Greta Hayward was
near London's Piccadilly Circus. Her attacker had been
interrupted by the arrival of a delivery boy making his
rounds. Hayward escaped her attacker, who then ran off.
However, he left his service gas mask behind at the scene.
The gas mask container had the number 525987 marked on the
Before the number was traced, the police received news of
another attack. A prostitute called Mrs. Mulcahy, who was
also known as Kathleen King, was attacked in her flat
located near London's Paddington Rail Station. She managed
to fight off her attacker, who gave her an extra £5 before
fleeing the scene.
16th February 1942,
The police traced the service number found on the gas mask
case, they arrested Gordon Cummins.
When they searched his quarters, they found various items
which belonged to his victims. Also his finger prints
matched those on the tin opener used to mutilate his 2nd
victim, and on various objects associated with his victims.
27th April 1942, the trial of Gordon Cummins for the
murder of Evelyn Oatley began at London's Old Bailey court. .
The evidence against Cummins was conclusive,
and following a 1-day trial the jury took just 35 minutes to
find Cummins guilty of the murder of Evelyn Oatley. He was
sentenced to death by hanging.
25th June 1942, Cummins was executed at London's
Wandsworth Prison, while an air raid was occurring.