It seems that Beryl Evans also had a brother named Peter and a sister named Pat as well as her brother Basil.
In an article in the Sunday Mirror Beryl's brother who is named Peter Mylton-Thorley has stated that he wishes the bodies of Beryl and Geraldine to be exhumed from Gunnersbury Roman Catholic cemetery and re-interrred in a Jewish cemetery as Beryl was in fact Jewish herself. He also states that he would sometimes visit Beryl at 10 Rillington Place and if she was out he would have a cup of tea and a sticky bun with the Christies until she returned. He states that he was working in New Zealand at the time Beryl was murdered and did not discover her grave until 2003.
This is certainly interesting information as I had no idea that Beryl was Jewish. As far as I am aware this has never been mentioned previously in any book or article about the case and so it cannot have been widely known. I was also unaware that Beryl had another brother and a sister as well as her brother Basil. The article has a picture of Beryl as a child with her brothers Peter and Basil and her sister Pat, as well as as a recent picture of Basil, Peter and Pat as adults and another of Peter with his wife.
This is all very intriguing. I would assume that Beryl was originally buried in a Catholic cemetery as her husband was Catholic and Geraldine may possibly have been given a Catholic baptism. At the same time it is difficult to understand why Peter did not discover Beryl's grave until 2003 as it's location had been mentioned in several accounts of the case previously, including Forty Years of Murder by Keith Simpson published in the 1970s. Basil also stated that it had taken many years to discover Beryl's grave when he appeared in a documentary a couple of years or so ago.
Surely Beryl's family would have been notified of her place of burial when her funeral took place? If they were not, then why not? Why did they not make enquiries at the time of her death? This is yet another mystery arising from the cases of Christie and Evans.
The sudden appearance of Beryl's "lost" relatives late last year was indeed a major revelation. So far, we only knew of Basil, Beryl's younger brother who was only 17 at the time, who knew Evans very well, and was totally convinced of his brother-in-law's guilt, stating such explicitely in John's Eddowes' book.
I consider it almost unbelievable that the authorities had no idea of Beryl's background when interring her twice (1949 and 1953) in a Catholic graveyard.
I wonder whether Lucy Endecott and Joan Vincent, close friends of Beryl who were still in their late teens at the time of the 1949 murders, are still alive.
Just an observation from a "cradle Catholic"-- my mother was required to take classes in Catholicism and convert from her Methodist faith, before marrying my Catholic father. This was in the early 1940s, though in California.
I don't think Beryl could have married a Catholic man without a similar conversion, unless they did not have a church wedding. I thought among Jews the faith was through the mother's line, not the father's, anyway?
--------------- Von Konigswald: Jack the Ripper plays shuffleboard. -- Happy Birthday, Wanda June by Kurt Vonnegut, c.1970.
I have no idea why it would take so much time to locate Beryl, unless the family had no idea to look in Catholic cemeteries.
If a Jew converts to Catholicism to marry a Catholic, the person is still considered Jewish, and can at at any time, even death, return to Judaism, and so can be buried in a Jewish cemetery, Geraldine would have been a more interesting case, If she asked a beit din if she were Jewish to rule on her status, when she was an adult, after having no Jewish upbringing, it is hard t say what they would rule. Recently, in the US, there has been a sort of "rule" to use the word in it's vernacular, that in a family which has turned to another religion, or simply ceased to raise their children as Jewish, four generations are required before a child loses the right to become ba'al tshuvah, and must convert.
Under a ruling like that, Geraldine would be Jewish.
Hi everyone, have stumbled across a new podcast on Itunes called 'The Other Side of Rillington Place', which looks at the lives of Christie's actual and supposed victims. No great revelations so far but quite effective nonetheless
I have just discovered that the Chamber of Horrors in London's Madame Tussaud's closed a couple of years ago. Apparently young children were finding it too frightening and it has been replaced by something called the Sherlock Holmes Experience.
It is therefore no longer possible to see a waxwork effigy of Christie in Madame Tussaud's. The last one I saw was in the 1980s when he was pasting wallpaper on his kitchen table to cover up the door of the alcove where he had concealed the bodies of Rita Nelson, Kathleen Maloney and Hectorina Maclennan. This may have been his second effigy. I never saw the third one where he was about to be executed.