13
THE SPALDING MURDER TRIAL Part 1 The Bowden Hill Tragedy

My head is full of the murder case. It has been a very dramatic affair, & is not yet over. I think I'm beaten. The black dress has pursued me like a nightmare . . .

Norman Manley, in a letter to his wife Edna, 18 September 1924

In September 1924, Manley was assigned by the Crown to defend one Luther Spalding, accused of murdering his paramour, Miriam Ross. She had been reported missing from 31 May that year. Her body was discovered one month later buried in Spalding's banana field. According to Spalding, Miriam said she was leaving him, and took off with one of his war medals. He went after her, and they had a scuffle. When Miriam cried for help, Luther's sister, Esther, flung a clothes iron at him, but it caught Miriam and killed her. Together, Luther and Esther had buried Miriam in the field.

Bowden Hill: Sketch showing principal areas mentioned in the case.

With Leslie Clerk for company, Manley had ridden on horseback to the scene of the crime in Stony Hill, full of enthusiasm but as the case progressed the more pessimistic he became.

The trial opened on 17 September 1924 at the Home Circuit Court in the Public Buildings which also housed the Supreme Court on King Street in Kingston. Both the Attorney-General, F.C. Wells-Durrant, and his Acting Assistant, John St John Yates, appeared

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Lawyer Manley - Vol. 1
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • List of Illustrations viii
  • Table of Cases x
  • Foreword xi
  • Preface xiii
  • Acknowledgements xxiii
  • Series Introduction xxv
  • I - First Time Up 1
  • 2 - A Litigious Charmer 13
  • 3 - A Chinese Controversy 21
  • 4 - An East Indian Affair 33
  • 5 - A Soap Opera 41
  • 6 - This Land is My Land 47
  • 7 - Money by Menaces 59
  • 8 - Of 'Panya Jar' and Drop Pan 65
  • 9 - Motor Madness 71
  • 10 - Compelling Evidence 79
  • 11 - A Rum Letter 91
  • 12 - Cutting the Cotta 95
  • 13 - The Spalding Murder Trial Part 1 the Bowden Hill Tragedy 103
  • 14 - The Spalding Murder Trial Part 2 Message from the Grave 125
  • 15 - "Re Garvey: I Am of the Opinion . . ." 141
  • 16 - The Louise Walker Murder Trial Murder Between Intimates 149
  • 17 - Ksac Under Fire 181
  • Notes 185
  • References 195
  • Index 199
  • Lawyer Manley: Supreme Defence 207
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