Monday, 10 August 2015

Alma Rattenbury & George Stoner

In years gone by, there have been love triangles that have resulted in the deaths of the the spouse in the way, and in a number of cases, the execution of others in the play.  The most famous was Edith Thompson and Fred Bywaters, he executed for killing Percy Thompson, and Edith, basically executed for her morals.  She not only took a much younger lover, but he was also lower class!  Charlotte Bryant was hanged for killing her husband, as she cavorted with a younger man.  Then there was Alma Rattenbury and George Stoner.  This case started in Bournemouth in 1935, in Manor Park Road.  Francis Rattenbury was a successful Architect, but he was also very much older than his wife, Alma.  He 67, she 38.  The trouble was their chauffeur & handyman, George Stoner aged 18.  There was also a companion & helper, Irene Riggs.

    When sparks between Alma & George started flying, he exercised his vigour more in the bedroom than at his job.  Alma even took him on shopping expeditions to London than ran for days.  He was spoiled with expensive clothes and repaid her with passionate nights in the Royal Palace Hotel in Kensington.  But the affair went to Stoner`s head, in which he made demands, and displayed jealousy that his lover slept at night in the marital bed, not his.  Alma was supposed to have tried to persuade Stoner that her husband was simply no match for him sexually, and that he drank a lot.  Stoner soon put an end to the debate with a mallet to the head of his rival.  This put them both in the dock at the Old Bailey.  She tried to take the blame for him, he for her.  The Jury decided that she was innocent and he guilty.  Stoner was sentenced to death.  Alma went down to a stream by Christchurch, a place she and Stoner used to go to, and repeatedly plunged a knife into herself, dying.  She took this line of action believing she would meet Stoner in heaven.  But shortly after her suicide, Stoner was reprieved!  He went on to live out his life near Bournemouth.