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EPITOME OF NEWS. ............-


Three Children Murdered by…

Examination of the Prisoner.1…

The Inquest.



THE ROAD MORDEB. Constance Kent's Confession. Dr. John Charles Backnell, of Hillmorton-hall, near Rugby, who, with the permission of the Lord Chan- cellor, examined the accused for the purpose of ascer- taining whether there were any grounds for supposing, that she was labouring under mental disease, has at the request of the criminal herself communicated the fdllowing details of her crime, which she has confessed' to him and to Mr. Rod way, of Trowbridge, her so- licitor, and which she desires to be made public. She says that the manner in which she committed the crime was as follows:— A few days before the murder she obtained posses- sion of a razor from a green case in her father's ward- robe, and secreted it. This was the sole instrument whioh she used. She also secreted a oandle with matches by placing them in the corner of the closet in the garden, where the murder was committed. On. the night of the murder she undressed herself and went to bed, because she expected that her sisters would visit her room. She lay awake watching until she thought the household were all asleep, and soon after midnight she left her bedroom and went downstairs and opened the drawing-room door and window-shutters. She then went up into the nursery, withdrew the blanket: from beneath the sheet and the counterpane, and placed it on the side of the cot. She then took the child fro m his bed and carried him downstairs through; the drawing-room. She had on her nightdress, and, in the drawing-room she put on "her goloshes. Havj ing the child in one arm she raised the drawing-room window with the other hand, went round the house and into the closet, lighted the candle and placed it on the seat of the closet, the child being wrapped in the blanket, sndstillsleeping: and while the child was in ,this position she inflicted the wound in the throat. She says that she thought the blood would never come, and that the child was not killed, so she thrust the razor into its left side, and put the body with the blanket round it into the vault. The light burned out. The piece of flannel which she had with her was jorn from an old flannel garment placed in the waate- bag, and which she had taken some time before and -sewn it, to use in washing herself. She went back into her bedroom, examined her dreaa, and found only two spots of blood on it. These she washed out in the bason, and threw ttje water, which was but little dis- coloured, into the foot-pa" in which she had washed her feet. She took another of her nightdresses and got into bed. In the morning her nightdress had be. come dry where it had been washed. She folded it up and put it into the drawer. Her three night- dresses were examined by Mr. Foley, the police super- intendent, and she believes also by Mr. Parsons, the medical attendant of the family. She thought the blood stains had been effectually washed out, but on holding the dress up to the light a day or two after- wards she found the stains were still visible. She secreted the drewe, moving it from place to place, and she eventually hurned-it in her awn bedroom, and put the ashes or tinder into tha kitchen grate. It was about five or six days after the child's death that she burned the nightdress. On the Saturday morning, having cleaned the razor, she took an opportunity of replacing it unobserved in the case in the wardrobe. She abstracted her nightdress from the elothes' basket when the housemaid went to fetch a gl"s of water. (This, it may be remembered, exactly Gon,5..rmsthe evidence of the housemaid, Mrs. Rogers—formerly Cox—as given at the examination, at Trowbridge.) The stained garment found in the boiler-hole had no connection whatever with the deed. As to the prisoner's meatal condition, Dr. Backnell adds:— An opinion has baan expressed, that the peculiari- ties evinced by Constance Kent between the ages of twelve and seventeen may be attributed to the then transition period of her life. Moreover, the fact of her cutting off her hair, dressing herself in her brother's clothes, and leaving her home with the in- tention of going abroad, which occurred when she was onlythirteen years of age, indicating a ps juliarity of dis. position and great determination of character, which foreboded that for good or evil her future life would be remarkable. This peculiar disposition, which led her to such singular and violent resolves of action, seemed also to colour and intensify the thoughts and feelings, and magnify into wrongs that sjcejte to be revenged, any little family incidents or occurences which provoked her displeasure. Although it became my duty to advise her counsel that she evinced no symptons of insanity at the time of ,my examination, and that so far as it was possible to ascertain the state of her mind at so remote a period, there was no evidence of it at the time of the- murder, I am yet of opinion that owing to the peculi- arities of her constitution, it is probable that under prolonged solitary .confinein.e»t that s)ie would become ingane."