NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND — At Nottingham Magistrates Court yesterday Herbert Leonard Mills, 19, a former dispatch clerk, of Mansfield Street, Sherwood, Nottingham, was charged with the murder of Mrs. Bale Tattershaw, of Longmead Drive, Sherwood, whose body was found in a derelict orchard two miles from her home and who was described by the prosecution as "a woman of small significance."

Mr Donal Barry, for the prosecution, said the body was found after a person giving the name of Mills had telephoned a London Sunday newspaper saying that he had discovered the body of a woman who had been strangled.

Mills was alleged to have made a statement in the course of which he said:

I had always considered the possibility of the perfect crime-murder. I am very much interested in crime and here was my opportunity. I have been most successful. No motive. No clues. ... I am quite proud of my achievement. Seeing an opportunity of putting my theory into practice I consented to meet her on the morrow. ... I put on a pair of gloves. I knelt, my knees on her shoulders. ... I was very pleased. I think I did it rather well. The strangling itself was quite easily accomplished. ... I now confess I murdered Mrs. Tattershaw.

After evidence had been given the hearing was adjourned until to-day.


The problem (for some) with pulling off the 'perfect crime' is getting credit where credit is due. Unwilling to wait for the body to be discovered (or for the police to actually conduct an investigation and declare it 'unsolvable'), Mills had called News of the World to report his "discovery" and insisted that he, a self-professed poet, be allowed to write the story. His story — for which he was paid — amounted to a baldfaced confession, which the editors turned over to the police. The 'perfect criminal' was executed the following December.