The story of Timothy Evans is a terrible one, and to be fair, he wasn’t the only person who died too young in it. His wife, Beryl Evans died at the age of 20 and his daughter, Geraldine Evans died at just one year old. Timothy was hanged in March 1950 for the murder of Geraldine, and everyone believed that he had also murdered his wife.
Of course, three years later, Agatha Christie’s brother John, who used to live downstairs from the Evans family, was revealed as a serial killer. The man who moved into his flat after he had left found three dead bodies in the sealed up kitchen alcove. The filthy so and so had been murdering women for years, and probably having his wicked way with their earthly remains into the bargain. He admitted to having killed Beryl Evans an’all, but he wouldn’t admit to killing the baby. Everyone realised that it had been him though. And the rotten beggar had testified in court against Timothy Evans. It hadn’t been enough that he had killed the man’s wife and baby daughter, he was prepared to help them build a case to hang him an’all.
Lets be honest. Timothy was no saint, he wasn’t the best husband and father that the world had ever seen by a long chalk. But he was no murderer, and to die an innocent man at 25 with everyone hating you as a baby killer is not something you would wish on anyone.
They made a good film about it though. Christie was played by David Attenborough, in the days before he got obsessed with sneaking about in the undergrowth stalking animals. John Hurt got the part of Timothy Evans. He was always good at playing hard done to people on the edges of society, was John Hurt. He played that Quentin Crisp on telly once. I enjoyed that, but I didn’t think much to Quentin Crisp as a person. Its not that I’m one of those homophones. What blokes get up to together is their own business, as long as no gerbils are harmed, but it wouldn’t have hurt him to vacuum the carpet once in a while, would it?
He was also in the elephant man. Which was a ruddy good film if you like stuff about hideously deformed Victorians, and let’s be honest, who doesn’t enjoy that particular genre?
Any road, poor old Timothy Evans enjoyed a good few years on the other side before moving on. Unlike Christie, who was straight into the Meld, and realising what a wicked so and so he had been, as his ego faded away and he experienced what it is to be the victim of evil.
Apparently just before they hanged Christie, they were tying his hands behind his back, as they used to, and he says to Pierrepoint, the hangman “My Nose itches” and Pierrepoint answers, quick as a flash; “Don’t worry, It won’t bother you for long” True story that.