Brother of Serial Killer Victim Requests to Have Sister, Niece Exhumed From Pauper’s Grave in London to Be Buried With Him in Jewish Cemetery
An elderly Briton is asking to have the bodies of his sister and baby niece – both murdered by a notorious serial killer 67 years ago — exhumed from a Catholic graveyard in Chelsea, so that he can be buried next to them in a Jewish cemetery, the Daily Mail reported on Sunday.
According to the report, Peter Mylton-Thorley, 82, wants permission from the Archbishop of Westminster to exhume Beryl Evans and her daughter, Geraldine, who were killed by John Christie, the subject of Richard Fleischer’s 1971 film, “10 Rillington Place,” starring Richard Attenborough and John Hurt.
Mylton-Thorley explained his quest — which began in 2003, when he and his wife discovered the location of his sister’s and niece’s shared pauper’s grave at the Gunnersbury Cemetery — by telling the Sunday Mirror, “I haven’t got long left. All I want is to be buried with my sister. It would be wonderful to have that closure.” He also said his sister was Jewish and therefore the current grave is unsuitable.
John Christie, a special constable during WWII, whose case has been brought back into the public eye as a result of a new three-part BBC series about the killer, who murdered at least eight women between 1943 and 1953 at his home at 10 Rillington Place in west London.
Mylton-Thorley’s sister – who was pregnant at the time of her murder – had lived at that address with her husband and daughter. Mylton-Thorley, a teenager at the time, said he came to know Christie in this context.
“If Beryl wasn’t in I would wait for her. Christie would invite me in and sit playing cards. [His wife] Ethel [whom he later strangled and buried beneath the floorboards] would give me a cup of tea and a sticky bun,” he recounted.
The case was widely reported not only because of the brutal slayings, committed by the seemingly respectable man, but because Timothy Evans — Beryl’s husband and Geraldine’s father — was convicted of the crime and hanged in 1950. When the truth later emerged, his conviction was ruled a miscarriage of justice. Evans’ wrongful death sentence contributed to the abolition of the death penalty in the UK 15 years later. Christie, who eventually confessed to his crimes, was executed in July 1953.
According to Mylton-Thorley, if the Archbishop of Westminster grants his request, it will not be the first time that his sister’s body will have been removed from the grave it shares with her daughter. “Beryl is on the top because the police exhumed her twice before,” he said.
According to the Daily Mail, Mylton-Thorley was invited by the BBC to watch the drama before it aired, and after viewing it, he said he was grateful it did not show the moment Beryl died.