Murder of Olive Balchin

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Olive Balchin (c. 1906 – 20 October 1946) was a British murder victim whose body was found near a bomb site in Manchester, England. The murder weapon, a bloodstained hammer of a leather beater, was found nearby. After a lengthy investigation, police were given a description of the man who purchased the hammer from a local shopkeeper. Comparing the description with eyewitness accounts of a man last seen in the company of Balchin on the night of her murder. Based on this information, police eventually questioned Walter Graham Rowland and, after a forensic examination of his clothes showed bloodstains matching the blood type of Balchin as well as dust particles traced to the bomb site, police arrested Rowland for her murder for which he was convicted and hanged at Strangeways Prison on 27 February 1947.[1][2]

Another person, David J. Ware, confessed to the murder, but withdrew his confession. Several years later, in 1951 he attacked another woman and was found guilty but insane.[3][4][5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Encyclopedia of murderp.471-2, By Patricia Pitman
  2. ^ The Deseret News – 27 Feb 1947
  3. ^ South Manchester Reporter 11 Jan 2007
  4. ^ Koestler, Arthur. Reflections on Hanging. New York: Macmillan, 1957. p.115-128.
  5. ^ Hanged—and innocent? By Reginald Thomas Paget (Baron Paget), Samuel Sydney Silverman

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