Murder at the Crumbles

The Case of Emily Kaye

Patrick Herbert Mahon was a handsome philanderer with winning ways who committed what an Appeal Court judge described as a 'most cruel, repulsive and carefully planned murder'.
Mahon led and exemplary life until he married at the age of 20 in 1910. There followed a succession of charges for fraud, embezzlement and robbery with violence. In 1922, through his wife's influence, he was made sales manager of a firm at Sunbury. He became attracted to 37-year-old typist Emily Beilby Kaye.

Patrick Mahon

They decided to engage in a 'love experiment' by living together in a bungalow rented for the purpose on a lonely part of the Sussex coast between Eastbourne and Pevensey Bay known as the Crumbles.

The Bungalow at the Crumbles

On April 12th 1924 Mahon bought a saw and knife before travelling down to Eastbourne to meet Miss Kaye. His firm and his wife thought he was travelling on company business, while Miss Kaye, completely infatuated with Mahon, told friends she was engaged and planned to visit South Africa. When Mahon failed to obtain a passport as he had promised, there was an argument in the 'love bungalow' during which Mahon claimed Emily attacked him and, falling down in the process, struck her head on a coal bucket. She allegedly died from this blow.

The room in which Emily was murdered

Mrs. Mahon, concerned by her husband's pursuit of other women, went through the pockets of one of his suits. There she found a cloakroom ticket which, when presented a Waterloo railway station, produced a Gladstone bag containing bloodstained female clothing. Mahon was stopped by the police when he turned up to collect his bag. His excuse that he had carried dog meat failed, it having been established that the bloodstains were human.

Detectives at the bungalow and the crowd gathered

Detectives visited the bungalow at the Crumbles. They found pieces of boiled flesh in a saucepan; sawn-up chunks of a corpse in a hat box, a trunk and a biscuit tin; and ashes n the fire containing bone fragments. Sir Bernard Spilsbury pieced together the body of the pregnant Emily Kaye, but no head was ever found.
Patrick Mahon was tried at Lewes Assizes in July 1924. He maintained that Miss Kaye died accidentally by hitting her head on the coal bucket. But the purchase of a knife and saw, together with the information that he had been fleecing Kaye of her savings, went against him. He was found guilty and told the judge that he was 'too conscious of the bitterness and unfairness of the summing up' to say anything except that he was not guilty. Avory passed the death sentence and unfair or not, he was hanged at Wandsworth Prison on September 2nd, 1924.


Click on her photogrpaph to read the sad story of Irene Munro

Story courtesy of 'The New Murderers Who's Who'

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