The Brighton Trunk Murders

The Trial

The First Trunk Murder: The Trial
Robinson’s defence was that Bonati had died of a heart attack, but the prosecution argued that the injuries to her head were not enough to have killed her. On 11 July 1927 at the Old Bailey, Sir Spilsbury argued that Bonati was in good health and said that the bruises on her chest suggested someone had knelt on her while holding her down and possibly suffocating her. The jury believed him and Robinson was found guilty. He was hanged at Pentonville Prison on 12 August 1927.

The Second Trunk Murder: The Trial
At Lewes Assizes on 10 December 1934 Mancini was represented by William Norman Birkett. Birkett was a liberal defence lawyer who had served as the alternate British Judge during the Nuremberg trials after World War II. He produced evidence that Kaye took morphine as well as being a heavy drinker and suggested this could have been the reason for her fall.

Despite overwhelming evidence for the prosecution the case against Mancini failed and on 14 December 1934, after 2 hours and 18 minutes deliberation, the jury found Mancini not guilty of her murder.

However in 1976, aged 68, Mancini publicly confessed to the murder in The News of the World, but the Director of Public Prosecutions ruled he could not be tried again.

No evidence could be found to associate him with the second murder, and the woman, known only as the Girl with Pretty Feet, was never identified, her head was never found and her murderer was never brought to justice.