Burkitt was a fisherman who
lived in Kingston-upon-Hull, in the north east of
England. The eldest of nine children, he was a world War
28th August 1915 The body of married woman Mrs
Tyler with several severe throat wounds was found after
Burkitt admitted to his mother that he had killed her.
23rd November 1915, he appeared before a court in
York charged with murder of his mistress, Mrs Mary Jane
(Polly) Tyler, Burkitt said during the trail that they
argued over a photo, he stabbed her several times.
The jury found Burkitt guilty of manslaughter and he was
sentenced to twelve yearsí imprisonment.
23rd November 1924,, Burkitt was released from
prison after nine years and set up house with another
married women, this tine it was, Ellen Spencer.
3rd November 1925, Ellen's daughter arrived to
visit her mother, she got no answer, and after a
neighbour helped break the door down, the found Ellen
Spencer dead on the floor with stab wounds to her neck.
The police were called, on arrival the police smelt gas,
and on further investigation found the gas was on, and
Burkitt was asleep, but unharmed upstairs, apparently an
attempt to gas himself.
20th November 1925, Burkitt was back at the
courts in York charged with murder. He claimed she had
frightened him when waking him up and he had lashed out
not realising who it was.
Again the jury only found him guilty of manslaughter and
this time he was given ten years.
15th August 1935, Burkitt was released from
This time he set up home with Mrs Emma Brookes. His new
partner survived with him for almost four years.
1st March 1939, he arrived unexpectedly at his
sisterís house. He stood there foaming at the mouth and
he told his sister that he had taken six hundred
aspirins. The tablets did not seem to have been having
the desired effect so Burkitt left his sisterís and
jumped into the River Humber. He was fished out and
taken to hospital.
The police were informed of Burkittís actions and they
went to check out his home. There they found the body of
Mrs Brookes, she had been strangled.
17th May 1939, This time the venue was a court in
Leeds. It must have been almost incomprehensible to the
judge, who knew of Burkittís history, when the jury
returned a guilty to manslaughter verdict for the third
time. This time though Burkitt was not so lucky in his
sentence as he was given penal servitude for life.
13th May 1954, he was released as an act of
mercy, and was admitted to hull hospital, he disappeared
in 1955 but was caught not long after.
He died a year later on 24th December 1956.