The Bizarre Case of Richard Massey (1926) | Padiham | True Crime


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The week leading up to Saturday, 3rd July, 1926 had been one of ups and downs for the Barker family, with Willie Stanworth Barker, a weaver by trade, apparently becoming tired of his wife’s whereabouts in recent weeks.

But life wasn’t always like this and after Willie and Sarah had married on the 19th August, 1911 – they had enjoyed a relatively happy marriage up until the end of the war in 1918. Together, they had three children, a daughter who was 14 years old and two son’s, one aged 11 and the other being 3.

Sarah was one to enjoy socialising and it appears that since the end of the war, she had began staying out late at night, and although she would always inform her husband of where she had been, it appears Willie would turn a blind eye and apparently believe everything he was being told.

However, on Monday, 28th June, and after another late night outing, Sarah returned home and despite her reassurances that she had been with friends, Willie complained, telling Sarah that she had to stop in her ways and spend more time with her family over that of her friends. Whilst no row took place, Willie made it clear he was unhappy with his wife’s apparently wayward lifestyle.

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