In today’s episode of the Glasgow Crime Stories, we look back to 1920 and the story of war veteran Henry Senior who was murdered in a “honey pot” robbery gone wrong. 

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Former soldier and First World War veteran Henry Senior was looking forward to a night on the town. 

He was thirty-five years of age, single, recently discharged from the Army and had money in his pocket. 

Around 7pm on February 3, 1920, he left his home in Charles Street, Govanhill on the south-side of Glasgow with the intention of spending that Tuesday evening in the city-centre. 

He lived with his widowed mother who fretted over the fact that he seems to have a lot of money on him. 

She had watched her son put £10 into his coat pocket – the equivalent of £500 today – which she feared would make him vulnerable to robbers and pickpockets. 

At the end of the day Henry, who now worked as a stonecutter, took £2 with him. More than enough for what he was looking for. 

Henry said goodbye to his mother and brother and headed out the door dressed in his smart tweed overcoat. 

He got a tram into the city-centre and hit a few bars. 

Later that evening as he walked down Hope Street towards Argyle Street Henry was approached by Helen White, a twenty-year-old prostitute.  

They chatted for a few minutes and then decided to go to Queen’s Park which was a popular spot for late night gatherings between members of the opposite sex. 

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In 1920, most single men lived with their parents and bachelor flats were unheard of. Secret liaisons were usually in the open air. 

Two young men James Rollins and Albert Fraser watched carefully in Hope Street as Henry was being picked up. 

They were both pimps who had previously arranged with White to lure them a client, who they would then mug. 

Henry and White boarded a tram in Glassford Street for Queens Park.  

Rollins and Fraser, who had been following, boarded the same tram keeping a close eye on the couple. 

Suspecting nothing, Henry took White into the park and lay down on the grass. 

While sitting on the grass Henry produced a small pocketbook and took out a ten-shilling note (around £25) which he handed to White, the agreed fee for their sexual liaison. 

But before anything could take place, Fraser and Rollins confronted Senior who objected loudly at the unwelcome intrusion. 

They had been there for no more than a minute when Rollins and Fraser intruded. Fraser pointed a revolver at a shocked Henry, while Rollins then roughly told White to disappear. 

Henry was determined to stand his ground and not give up without a fight. 

But he had little chance against two desperate and powerfully built men who were determined to rob him. 

Rollins flung his arm round Henry's neck, at the same time placing a leg against his back and forcing him backwards.  

Fraser then battered him about the face and head with the butt of the revolver. Henry fell to the ground unconscious. 

White, who witnessed the entire attack from a distance, screamed at the two men to go easy on their victim.

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But Rollins and Fraser ignored her pleas and she fled in terror realising that the situation had got seriously out of hand. 

Henry was dead, and the murderers took all that he had left of his £2 which was six shillings (around £15). They also took his overcoat and removed his boots.  

After sharing the money, they dragged Henry's body and dumped it under some bushes.  

Rollins and Fraser then left the park, Rollins carrying the overcoat and Fraser with a boot sticking out from each of his coat pockets. They boarded a tram in Langside Road back into the city-centre. 

The day after the murder two nine-year-old schoolboys discovered the victim's battered body in the bushes and informed the police.  

They were pupils at a nearby school and had made their way to Queens Park to play a game of football.  

One of the boys found Henry after they had kicked the ball into the bushes. 

Running as fast as they could, the two boys returned to their school with news of their gruesome find.  

Soon the park was swarming with police. 

Detective Chief Inspector Andrew Keith and Detective Inspector Louis Noble were put in charge of the murder investigation. 

This would be no easy task.  

For a start they didn't have a clue who the man was as no one matching his description had been reported missing. 

There were no personal papers or identification on the body, 

While the face of the victim was so badly beaten that it was unrecognisable  

Both trouser pockets had been torn away with a knife, suggesting the killers had been looking for money. 

With the victim's shoes and coat missing, robbery was clearly the main motive. 

Henry's body was taken to a mortuary attached to the nearby Queens Park police station, and a search of the surrounding parkland began.  

All the police could do was release a description to the local newspapers.  

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Henry's frantic mother and brother read the appeal and feared the worst after he failed to return home. 

She went to report him missing and arrangements were made for a family member to identify the body. 

Due to the severity of Henry's injuries, it was agreed that his brother would do that grim task to spare his mother the trauma. 

Even then identification could only be made based on the clothing on Henry's body due to his facial injuries.  

Mrs Senior said her son had told her he was meeting a girlfriend that night. 

He originally went to take the £10 from a box on the mantelpiece, but his mother warned him about carrying large amounts of cash, so he replaced most of it leaving the house with the few pounds.  

Mrs Senior was able to give a detailed description of what her son had was wearing that night. 

As a result, the police were able to publicise that a pair of brown boots, an overcoat, a pig skin pocketbook, some money and army discharge papers were all missing. 

By this time the murderers as well as accomplices Helen Smith and Rollins’ girlfriend Elizabeth Stewart had pawned the boots and the overcoat.  

For the boots they got 17 shillings and 6 pence, which would be worth around £40 today, and for the overcoat 8 shillings and 6 pence, around £20 today.  

The two senior detectives circulated the description of Henry's coat and shoes, to the wider public and there was an immediate response. 

A tram conductor came forward claiming that two men had boarded his tramcar around 9.45pm on the night of the murder, only yards from the scene of the crime.  

He remembered a pair of boots sticking out from the pockets of his overcoat, while the other man’s hands were stained with blood. 

The conductor was able to describe both men and say that they had left the tram in Gordon Street.  

The police were quick to match the tram conductor's descriptions with two men suspected of committing a string of recent violent assaults in Queens Park. 

Other passengers also remembered both men and gave the police detailed descriptions of their appearance.  

Detectives began questioning every man known to associate with prostitutes and every prostitute who might know the identity of the murderers.  

It was from this operation that police got some vital information from an informant. 

He told the detectives that two men named Rollins and Fraser were living off the immoral earnings of prostitutes - pimping in other words. 

He also gave the officers an accurate description of both. 

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But where were they?  

The same informant told the detectives that he had once heard Fraser say that if he ever had to lie low from the police it would be a cave on the Northern Ireland coast near Belfast. 

On February 7, four days after the murder, Detective Chief Inspector Keith and Detective Inspector Noble set sail for Belfast.  

There had been given further information that both men had been spotted at Glasgow Central Station getting a boat train to Ireland. 

That evening, the two detectives were walking along the town's Albertbridge Road when they spotted the two suspects. 

The whole area had been placed under surveillance by the Scottish and Irish Police. 

The two denied knowing anything about the murder but were taken to the local police station for questioning.  

Once there, their clothing was examined for bloodstains.  

Detective Keith noticed that Rollins jacket appeared to have been washed.  

When he slit open the seams of the sleeve, he found signs of blood.  

He also found a piece of paper with an address in Lord Street, Belfast. Both men were then detained. 

The detectives went to Lord Street which was occupied by a family, also called Rollins. While there, there was a knock on the door and when he opened it, Detective Chief Inspector Keith found the two women accomplices, Helen White and Elizabeth Stewart. 

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On learning Henry had been murdered both women were upset and told the detectives the whole story. 

They admitted they had been hiding out in a cave outside Belfast. 

Rollins and Fraser were were taken back to Glasgow and charged with murder. 

The four arrived at 5.30am on the Sunday morning boat-train from Belfast accompanied by Keith and Noble  

Despite the early hour of their arrival, crowds had already begun to assemble at Central Station ready to hoot and boo the Belfast four as they entered the police van. 

The two women were charged with being accomplices in the murder. 

However, the charges were later dropped, and both became the main witnesses for the prosecution.  

Smith had also produced the pawn tickets for the coat and boots stolen from the victim, which they had found in a pawn shop in Maryhill. 

The trial at the High Court in Glasgow began on May 3, 1920. 

Fraser and Rollins faced a murder charge and three assault and robbery charges.  

There were questions each day for seats in the public gallery with many left locked outside. 

The jury was told that Albert James Fraser was a 24-year-old deserter from the Australian army and James Rollins a 22yrd old Irishman from County Tyrone, also a deserter from the army but from the Irish Guards.  

In court they sat together in the docks appearing to take great delight in the proceedings, 

They laughed and joked with each other, apparently enjoying being at the centre of attraction. 

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The jury learned that Henry Senior was a bachelor and a veteran of the Great War, serving from 1914 with the 11th Hussars until he was badly injured in April 1918.  

By the time he had recovered from his wounds, the war had ended. He went back to his old employment as a stonecutter. 

Helen White explained that she was an Aberdonian who had come to Glasgow three years beforehand.  

She had met and married a Canadian soldier who was on leave at the time. 

When he went back to his unit, she soon took up with Albert Fraser and stayed in lodgings with him in the Maryhill area.  

The court heard how on the night of Henry's murder, both she and Fraser went into the city centre where they met with James Rollins. She was told by both Fraser and Rollins to ‘get a man and they would follow up’.  

Disappointed with only a meagre hail of six shillings (£15), Fraser removed Senior’s boots, hoping to find more money inside, they were empty, so Fraser decided the take the boots themselves. 

Rollins stole Senior’s tweed overcoat for himself.  

They would later meet up again with Helen, who was ordered to wash Senior’s blood-soaked overcoat. 

After the attackers described this attack on Henry, White collapsed in the witness box and had to be carried from court. 

The grand total of money from the murder of an innocent man was a miserable 41 shillings or £100 in today's money. 

Later that day, the three met with Elizabeth Stewart, Rollins’ girlfriend, after which the two women went to the cinema on Argyle Street.  

However, their film was interrupted by the two men, frantically trying to get their girlfriends attention by waving a newspaper.  

The newspaper contained the news that Henry was dead, and the four decided to immediately flee to Ireland where they were later arrested by police. 

The trial lasted two days and ended with both men being found guilty and sentenced to death. 

Helen White's evidence was the most important. She told how she, Elizabeth and the two suspects had carried out a string of "honey trap" robberies, with the women acting as bait. 

They were convincing witnesses. It took the jury a mere 20 minutes to find Rollins and Fraser guilty with a unanimous verdict.  

The judge Lord Justice Sands informed Fraser and Rollins that they ‘had been convicted of an atrocious murder  

He then donned his black cap and sentenced the pair to death.  

On hearing this, the two men were reported to have turned to each other, smiled, and shook hands.  

Some reports suggested that the prisoners even fooled around. 

Fraser was spotted wiping away pretend tears from his cheeks in an exaggerated manner while Rollins drew a finger across his throat, as if slashing it, for the benefit of the spectators in the public gallery. 

An appeal was launched for the death sentence to be commuted to life imprisonment. The two men's lawyers argued that the two men had entered Queens Park with no intention of committing murder, only assault and robbery, but the appeal was denied.   

On Wednesday May 26, 1920 Albert Fraser and James Rollins were awakened at 6am sharp, served a full breakfast, and for the first time since their trial were allowed to sit in a cell together.  

A short religious ceremony was conducted by the prison chaplain and just before 8am the famed executioner John Ellis entered the cell to prepare them for their own executions. 

Throughout both men were compliant and apparently in good spirits.  

Fraser and Rollins then were walked the short distance from the cell, across the landing to the scaffold.  

After confirming their identity, they both stepped on the trapdoor without complaint. Ellis placed a white cap over each man’s head, and a noose around each of their necks, as his assistant went to pull the lever to release the trapdoor. 

Fraser was heard to say ‘Cheer up, Jimmy’ to his companion. The lever was pulled, and the two men died instantly.  

On the morning of the execution a large crowd gathered outside Duke Street Prison in Glasgow's east end where the executions were due to take place. 

A strong police contingent was on duty from 7am in case of trouble. 

The story of how a war hero had been lured to his death had shocked the city. 

But there was no demonstration, and when shortly after 8 a.m. a notice appeared on the door of the prison that the executions had been carried out the crowd quietly dispersed. 

It was the last double execution to take place in the Duke Street jail and one of the last in Scotland

Meantime, all over Glasgow, men and women were avoiding public parks, particularly at night.