Editorial

Cornwall’s Most Famous ‘Murder’ Tale

The death of 18 year old Charlotte Dymond is said to the one of the most famous murders to have ever occurred in Cornwall. She is said to have been killed by her jealous lover Matthew Meeks, but even though he was eventually found guilty and hanged at Bodmin in August of 1844, there are still some people who believe he was innocent of the crime. In fact subsequent research cast a lot of doubts on his guilt as several clues point to another jealous lover as the culprit and not Weeks.

Pretty eighteen year old Charlotte got into a relationship with Weeks who was in his early 20s and described as not good looking, walking with a heavy limp and missing a few teeth. Not a few locals raised eyebrows at the unlikely relationship and wondered what the girl saw in Weeks.

Weeks however was not the only one smitten by the pretty girl. Thomas Prout, a nephew of the owner of Penhale Farms where the couple worked also had his eye on Charlotte and overhead to have boasted that he could take Charlotte away from weeks. When the girl got missing, people actually thought the two had run away to get married.

However, investigations revealed that Charlotte was last seen in the company of Weeks heading towards the moor, while Weeks returned alone in that evening without Charlotte.

A week after she was last seen, Charlotte’s body was discovered at Roughtor, her throat had been slit from ear to ear. Weeks emerged at the prime suspect in the case after he was found at his sister’s house with bloodstained clothes.

Weeks was tried at Bodmin Assize Court and even though he pleaded not guilty was found guilty by a jury. He spent ten days in Bodmin jail before he was finally executed by hanging. During his incarceration, Weeks penned down two letters considered to be confessions although these confessions raised more questions than provided answers.

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