The Halifax Slasher

Bedford Street North
Sunday 27 November 1938

On the Saturday, attacks were reported in Longwood, Huddersfield; Aspinall Street, just up Pellon Lane from Green Lane; and Caddy Fields in Halifax.

Sunday night's terror began in Bedford Street South, yards away from the site of a previous terror - the famous Halifax Gibbet.

The base of the 16th century Halifax Gibbet, on the corner of Gibbet Street and Bedford Road North

Beatrice Sorrell, a 19-year-old warehouse hand, parted with her older lover, one Michael Alphonsius Higgins, at around 7pm and walked down Bedford Street North.

Passing a dark yard, she saw a mackintosh-clad hand emerge from the gloom and felt a sharp dig. Seeing her hand was bleeding, she ran to the fire station for help.

'Look what someone has done,' she told deputy chief officer Joseph Smith, showing a cut in her sleeve and two superficial wounds to her arm. Smith noticed that she didn't seem too distressed, unlike the mob of several hundred people who appeared at the scene to search for the attacker.

Sorrell confessed all on 1 December. Having quarrelled with Higgins, she had spent her busfare on a new razor and cut herself. She was sent for trial and received the standard four week sentence. She was also said to have recently discovered that she was pregnant.

Also on the evening of the 27, Lily Woodhead reported another attack at Twine Lane, Mytholmroyd. She too later confessed and was bound over for two years. The same evening also saw one of the most disturbing vigilante attacks.

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