Timaru was rocked by the arrest of Thomas Hall (pictured, top centre) for the attempted murder of his wife Kate (top right) in 1886 after a suspicious doctor had a sample of the contents of her stomach analysed. Hall, who had poison in his pockets when arrested, was sentenced to life imprisonment. He was later successfully charged with the earlier fatal poisoning of Henry Cain, Kate's stepfather, and sentenced to death. However, Hall's murder conviction was overturned on appeal due to an evidential technicality. He was released in 1907 after serving 21 years in prison.
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