The Sad Death of June Anne Devaney (1948) | Blackburn | True Crime


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Emily Holland, 1876; Alice Barnes, 1892 and Helen Chester, 1935.

Just three children whose lives were cruelly taken from them at young ages, and the one thing they all had in common is the industrial town of Blackburn, in the north west of England.

Emily was aged seven years old. Alice, slightly older and aged nine. But then we have Helen, who was only three years old when her badly mutilated body was recovered inside the back garden of a neighbours house.

All three girls had suffered tragic and violent deaths at the hands of their attackers. William Fish and Cross Duckworth would both be tried and executed by hanging for their roles in the murders of Emily and Alice respectively. The murder of Helen Chester is somewhat of a mystery and to this day no one quite knows who actually murdered her. James Mills and his wife Edith – both of whom had lived across the road from where Helen had lived with her parents, would be eventually arrested and charged with her murder but neither would admit to such an atrocity which would ultimately see the release of James due to a lack of evidence. His wife, Edith however would face life in prison after she was saved from the gallows after being reprieved by the then Home Secretary. Life in prison was short lived though as she died in prison only four months later due to a cerebral hemorrhage.

But this then brings us to our next story and the shocking and brutal murder of June Anne Devaney, whose life was abruptly snatched from her, again, at the tender age of three years and eleven months.

For more detailed information on this tragic murder, please visit our website at :

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