Murder of London girl

Hertfordshire Mercury, 9th January 1926


Wanted for murder of London girl

Quite a sensation was caused in Hitchin on Sunday evening when it became generally known that Eugene de Vere, otherwise John Albert Stitchell, who was wanted in connection with a murder in Camden Town, had been arrested in Hitchin.

De Vere who was attired in Oxford ” bags ” had arrived in the town on Saturday evening and called at a small temperance hotel in Wadsworth Road known as ”The Acacias”  and asked for lodgings ”for two nights or possibly a week”. During the evening de Vere visited a local cinema , and on his return he was let in by a young Air Force Man, Mr W. E. Sims.

Mr Sims and de Vere occupied the same bedroom and Sims’ curiosity was attracted by the fact that de Vere did not take off his horn-rimmed glasses when he got into bed. Mr. Sims chanced to read a description of the man wanted for the Camden Town murder, and he was struck by the similarity of the man with whom he had shared the room, although de Vere had shaven off his moustache. Mr. Sims consulted with Mrs Tabner, the proprietress of the Acaias, and with Mr C. W. Tabner, and while de Vere was working out a cross-word puzzle Mr Tabner and Mr Sims went to the police station. Mrs Tabner engaged the man in conversation until Police-Sergeant Saunders arrived. Sergeant Saunders spoke to the man, who admitted he was de Vere, and then took him to the Police Station.

Subsequently Detective-Inspector Hambrook , of Scotland Yard , came to Hitchin , and took de Vere to London on the 5. 20 train.

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