The Murder Of Alfreda Pike (Kenneth Peacock)

You tender friends I pray draw near,
And listen whilst I rhyme,
Of a dreadful murder you soon shall hear,
A base and terrible crime.

A charming girl, her age sixteen,
Well-formed, in beauty groomed,
Who suffered death, a cruel death,
In Harbour Grace entombed.

She had not walked past one half-mile
Before she was overtaken
By a monster, one of Satan's friends,
But still in human shape.

He asked of her one awful thing,
The reason that I don't know why,
To satisfy that awful wish,
Poor girl, she had to die.

He took her by the curly locks,
He threw her to the ground,
He cut her throat from ear to ear,
And laid her body down.

Oh, then he stayed and waited around
Till all her blood had flown,
And carelessly he threw aside
Her once sweet, lovely form.

But if that murderer is found
No judge or jury need,
He'll be hung up to that cruel spot
Where he done that cruel deed.

####.... Author unknown. Original Newfoundland murder ballad ....####
Collected in 1959 by Kenneth Peacock from George William Decker [1878-1962] of Rocky Harbour, NL, and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Vol 3, pp.821-822, by the National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

Kenneth Peacock noted that although imported murder ballads are popular in Newfoundland, it is very unusual to find a native ballad composed about a local murder. He was pondering on this seeming contradiction when someone informed him that murder is a very rare crime in Newfoundland.

From The Times and The Harbour Grace Standard in January, 1870: Alfreda Pike [1844-1870] daughter of Edward Pike [1804-1872] of Mosquito was murdered.

Author Jack Fitzgerald in his 1999 book The Hangman Is Never Late (Creative Book Publishing , St John's, NL) states that former Constable Furey confessed to the murder while on his death bed in Grand Falls over 50 years later. It is also noted that Alfreda's boyfriend, Thomas Pike, who was wrongly suspected to be guilty, left Newfoundland for the United States and never returned.


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