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John Haigh was known to the other residents of Kensington’s Onslow Court Hotel as a successful businessman. He wore smart suits and drove a sports car, but his money did not come from his business. It came from murder.
When residents of the Onslow Court Hotel came down for breakfast on the morning of 19 February 1949, they immediately noticed that one of their number was missing. Mrs Olive Durand-Deacon, a wealthy 69-year old widow, had been a permanent resident at the hotel for some years and was noted for her punctiliousness. It was unlike her to be late for a meal.
Mrs Constance Lane, another resident and a close friend of Mrs Durand-Deacon, was particularly concerned and decided to make a few discreet enquiries. Her concern deepened when the hotel’s chamber maid told her that Mrs Durand-Deacon’s bed had not been slept in.