The Halifax Slasher

Elland Lane, Elland
Friday 25 November 1938

The evening of 25 November began with reported attacks on Annie Cannon at around 6.20 in the Highroad Well district, and another at 6.55 on Alice McDonald at Rugby Terrace, Ovenden.

Perhaps the most significant event of the night however involved Percy Waddington, manager of the Halifax Co-operative Industrial Society grocery store in Elland, some five miles south of Halifax.

Returning to his shop at 9.55pm with fish and chips after a trip to the pub, Waddington was attacked by an unseen assailant virtually outside his own shop. He received a three inch cut to his left hand which severed an artery. He also managed to grab a tab from the assailant's mackintosh, and later found a Corrux razor blade close by a pool of blood.It was the first real clue to the Slasher's identity.

Except the next day, a boy found a raincoat on the Old Earth rugby union ground just opposite Waddington's shop - a coat with a missing cuff tab.

A former Co-op errand boy soon identified the coat as Waddington's own, and on the evening of 29 November he confessed faking the attack. He told police: 'I don't know what came over me, but I took out a safety razor blade from my pocket and cut my left hand across the back. I was frightened and went to a house near by and kicked at the door.' He was charged with effecting a public mischief, and bound over for three years in January 1939.

There was however another incident to come on the night of 25 November.

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