“My body belongs to him”
Leslie George Hylton is the only Test cricketer to have been hanged for murder. A fast bowler, he was born on 29 March 1905 and made six appearances for the West Indies between 1935 and 1939 and helped to win against R.E.S. Wyatt’s touring side in 1934-1935, taking 13 wickets in four Tests at an average of 19.3. In 1939 he was not included in the side to visit England under R.S. Grant and a public appeal raised £400 to pay for his fare. It turned out to be a waste of money He took just three wickets in two Tests. His top Test score was 19. He also played 40 first class matches for his native Jamaica, top scoring with 80 and taking 120 wickets.
In 1954 Hylton’s wife Lurlene confessed to adultery with notorious womanizer Roy Francis. She said, “I’m in love with Roy. My body belongs to him,” and pulled up her nightdress as if to prove it. Hylton shot her seven times then phoned the police. At his trial his counsel, his Jamaican cricket captain Noel “Crab” Nethersole, produced a letter Lurlene had written to Roy Francis. “My beloved,” it said, “I’m realizing even more than I did before how much I love you. I am going to force my man’s hand as soon as I can.” Nethersole further claimed that Hylton was attempting to shoot himself but missed. It was an odd argument because Hylton had shot seven bullets into Lurlene which meant he had had to reload his revolver. The all-male jury still took 90 minutes to convict.
While in the death cell he was received into the Roman Catholic Church. Hylton was hanged at St Catherine’s Prison, Jamaica on 17 May 1955.
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Curiously, his obituary in Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack makes no mention of the circumstances of his death, merely reporting that he died in Jamaica.