believe in it, [she obviously didn’t know Maxim Sanders!], and has ceased to throw adark shadow over any of our lives.’(Hole, 1945:160).A few years later and in another of her books published after the repeal of the actHole’s tone is still fairly hostile‘Reports appear occasionally in the newspapers of the unpleasant activities of secretsocieties practising the more evil forms of ritual magick.’The author goes on to give the full transcript of some of these reports;One of these concerns a supposed ritual murder in 1945 at Lower Quinton, a stone’sthrow from the Rollright Stones. This story continually resurfaced in 1954, after therepeal of the act and was given the big treatment by the
on the ninthanniversary of the still unsolved slaying - February 13th 1954.VIII. MURDER AT LOWER QUINTON, 1945
Daily Mirror, February 13th, 1954
Ask in these parts whether seventy-four-year-old Charles Walton, murdered in ahedgerow here nine years ago on Sunday, was the victim of witchcraft, and even thedetectives no longer smile.For I can reveal that new clues and strange coincidences in this unsolved crime haverecently come to light. And the idea that Walton was a twentieth-century sacrifice to black magic is no longer a joke in this Warwickshire hamlet.At the time it seemed quite a commonplace murder. Walton, a hedger, was found withhis throat slashed, beneath the hedge he had been trimming.'Just find the motive and you find the killer,' thought the police.But whispers of black magic trickled round the cottages of Lower Quinton almost assoon as Superintendent Alex Spooner, chief of Warwickshire C.I.D., andSuperintendent Bob Fabian of The Yard started their enquiries.The gossip about 'witchcraft' and 'a ritual killing' tickled the detectives. They smiled politely. That was nine years ago on Sunday-St Valentine's Day.The killer of Charles Walton is still untraced. And today the detectives won't mock theword 'witchcraft'.MURDER Although Superintendent Fabian, who spent three months in the village, has retired,his colleague, Superintendent Spooner, has never admitted defeat on the case. Notonce has he stopped inquiring. But what facts are there to go on?First, picture Charles Walton on St Valentine's Day, 1945. The sun was unusually kindfor February. It dappled the lanes and fields. Old Charles had a contract to cut thehedges of a local farmer and this was the sort of day his rheumatism would let himwork. With his two-pronged hayfork and a razor-sharp hedge-slasher he hobbled fromhis thatched cottage. He had left his purse containing the little money he possessed athome-Charles Walton didn't believe in carrying money with him. Everyone knew that.