The Erdington Murders: Two Eerily Similar Slayings – 157 Years Apart!

There are many strange and surprising events that occur in the world every day. These stories often prompt us to think more deeply or simply leave us astonished. One topic that often arises in these contexts is the concept of coincidence and destiny, and the two controversial cases of the Erdington murders provide an interesting example of this. These cases highlight the complexity and mystery of human psychology and behavior and raise questions about the role of coincidence and fate in our lives.


The Erdington Murders:

On right, is Mary Ashford, and left is Barbara Forrest

Mary Ashford and Barbara Forrest, both 20 years old, spent their last hours alive dancing on May 27, 157 years apart. However, in a shocking coincidence, both women were brutally murdered in the same location in Erdington and in a similar manner. This bizarre coincidence has garnered widespread attention and raised questions about the role of fate in these tragedies.

The Case Of Mary Ashford:

Pype Hayes Park in the peaceful suburb of Erdington, Birmingham, UK, may appear serene, but it holds a dark secret: the location of two disturbingly similar murders. In 1817, Mary Ashford was seen with Abraham Thornton late at night after attending a dance with her friend Hannah Cox. At 4:00 AM, Ashford returned to Cox's house, where she had left her work clothes, and claimed to have been with Thornton, according to The Lineup.


A few hours after leaving the dance, Mary Ashford's bruised body was discovered in a water-filled pit in Pype Hayes Park by a laborer who followed two sets of footprints from a pool of blood on the grass, according to the Birmingham Mail. It was believed that Ashford had been sexually assaulted and drowned, and Thornton was put on trial for her murder.

Although Thornton admitted to having sex with Ashford before walking her home, he denied killing her and was found not guilty after three witnesses supported his alibi.


Fast Forward 157 Years:

Authorities claim that Barbara Forrest was raped and strangled on May 27, 1974, in Pype Hayes Park. She had been dancing with her boyfriend until 1:00 AM when he said he accompanied her to a bus stop.

This time, authorities did not suspect the person Barbara was last seen with. Instead, they charged Barbara's co-worker with her murder after blood stains were found on his pants and his alibi was proven false. Making the situation even more bizarre, his name was Michael Ian Thornton - the same last name as the man acquitted in Mary Ashford's murder.


Wait, Let It Be Finished:

Michael Thornton was later found not guilty due to a lack of evidence. In a further similarity between the two cases, The Lineup reports that both Mary Ashford and Barbara had expressed feelings of fear or foreboding in the days leading up to their deaths. Both murders remain unsolved to this day.

The Crime Scenes:

Mary Ashford's body was found in this pit

The Pype Hayes Park Manor:

In addition to the double murder mystery, Pype Hayes Park is rumored to be the site where medieval lovers carried out a suicide pact.

The now-abandoned Pype Hayes Park Hall is rumored to be haunted by the ghosts of these sorrowful individuals.

Pype Hayes Park Hall is pictured in this photo shared on Facebook.

Is it a mere coincidence that the unsolved murder cases of Mary Ashford and Barbara Forrest both occurred in the same location, or is it a matter of fate?