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Who Killed David Thomas? | John Wake

david-thomas-killed

Describing Catherine Thomas on the way to the morgue. ‘The woman nearly fainted, breathless and totally confused she called out to the Lord to help, hoping against hope that the person she was there to see was not her husband, David’.

The more and more I look at that 1896 murder in Fairwater the more I believe there was some skulduggery afoot. David Thomas was shot dead just past the green on his way to St Fagans, his new home. The witness statements, the ancillaries, all add up to a reasonably simple case to solve. Yes, it’s easy to say that now I appreciate, but a police service, even then, can’t be that inefficient can it?

We know that certain rich and influential people owned the newspapers. It was they who pulled the strings. The most galling thing is the use of the medium. She screamed the name of the killer out, in front of the media, and within seances, yet not once was that name printed in any paper or even listed in the police notes. Did she have the right name? Why was that name not found anywhere in all the scores of hours of research done in contemporary police archives or media sheets? There is so much information. I could even ‘step’ out to the exact location of the murder, near today’s Wellright Road.

Reward posters could be seen following the crime.

There was intrigue, marriage tensions, suspicions, even the thought that the cold blooded murderer was a woman dressed up as a man. One man viewing the murdered man’s body at the morgue (Llandaff Police Station) wrote this:-

‘But add to those eyes the surroundings amidst which one viewed them and you had a scene which it might well take the pen of a realist like Emile Zola to adequately portray’.


I would have thought that David’s grave at St Fagans Church would be still there to be viewed. it has disappeared as well.

‘… then they quietly and reverently stole away to their homes, and the sexton was soon filling in the grave of him who had borne the name of David Thomas’.

In those days the ‘top dogs’ in society were virtually untouchable, they had influence which could deceive or delay investigations. I put the whole sad tale in a book some time ago, ‘Why Shoot David Thomas?‘ but it still wrangles that the case was solvable, yet it still lies on file.

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Who Killed David Thomas? | John Wake

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