On New Year’s Eve 1832 while the villagers of Clifton, enjoyed their New Year celebrations, a young man called Robert Rayner played a practical joke on his sister Liz that put her in the path of a murderer.
Passed down through my family, the story of the unsolved murder raises intriguing questions. Who gained from Liz Rayner’s death? Did the assailant act alone, or was there a sinister conspiracy at work? And in such a small, tight knit community, how did the killer get away with it?
With these questions in mind, I donned my metaphorical deerstalker hat, and began to analyse the available historical documents: coroner’s court depositions, newspaper articles, parish records and censuses.
The results of my research were astonishing and allowed me to build a theory about the motive and who the killer was. Of course, after almost two hundred years, it’s a theory that can’t be proved, and there are certainly other suspects in the case…If, when you’ve read it, you’ve got a different theory – post this site