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Kill Total: 1 Kill place:
Kill date: 8th September 1900 Victim(s): Wife - Isabella
Date of Birth: Unknown Marital Status: Married
AKA: Unknown Occupation: Bricklayer

John Bowes, a bricklayer by trade, chose not to work, preferring instead to live off the earnings of his wife and twenty-one year old daughter. He drank heavily and often mistreated his family. The drink seemed to increase his feelings of jealousy and he would often accuse his wife of having affairs with other men.

Isabella though was not the kind of woman to have affairs. She was a respectable woman who worked hard, scrimping a living by picking coal off the beach and selling it, for which, if she was lucky, she would earn five or maybe six shillings per day. She tried her best to put up with her husband's accusations and violence but even she reached the end of her tether on 21st August 1900.

On that day Bowes, drunk yet again, had attacked his wife, torn up some of his daughter's clothes, and threatened to kill the pair of them. They left him the same day and went to live with Isabella's uncle. Bowes swore that he would get even with Isabella and his daughter, because they had left him.

On 8th September, Bowes saw his wife on the beach, looking for the coal that paid her living. He stormed up to her and after a brief argument, picked up a heavy piece of wood that lay close by and struck her on the head. Isabella fell to the ground unconscious but Bowes struck her about the head another three or four times.

His anger finally satiated, Bowes realised what he had done, knelt down and cradled his wife's head in his arms and even tried to wash some of the blood off her face. He was found, still in this position, by a policeman, whom he told of the argument, saying that he had only hit Isabella with his fists.

Bowes later confessed that he had in fact used the piece of wood, describing it himself as one he would not have used to fell a bullock with. Still alive, Isabella was taken to hospital but never recovered consciousness. She died a few hours after she had been attacked.

Bowes readily admitted his guilt and seemed genuinely remorseful for what he had done. He said that he had loved Isabella and would die happily for killing her. He paid that penalty on 12th December 1900, when he was hanged at Durham.