The gruesome tale of an entire Buckinghamshire family who were bludgeoned to death by a vengeful employee. 

Denham blacksmith Emmanuel Marshall lived in a humble cottage in the Bucks village with his wife Charlotte, their four children as well as his mother and sister. 

The family were last seen alive at the Uxbridge market on May 21, 1870. 

Two days later on May 23, a seamstress who had been hired by the family to make a wedding dress for Emmanuel's sister Mary visited the cottage. 

After repeatedly knocking the door to no avail, the dressmaker decided to look through one of the cottage window's to see if anyone was home. 

Alas, she received a nasty shock as she peered through the windows to see the cottage floor covered in blood and bodies. 

Horrified by the shocking scene the screaming dressmaker rushed to the authorities, demanding someone revisit the property with her immediately. 

The village constable arrived at the cottage to confirm the entire family had been murdered - there were six corpses which included Emmanuel's wife, mother and sister, and the three children. 

All of the bodies had been brutally beaten to death with a sledgehammer. 

Naturally the blame was immediately thought to have fallen on Emmanuel, he must have been the one to kill his family. 

However, moments later his murdered corpse was found in the smithy - he had suffered the same fate as the other victims.

Immediately a murder investigation was launched which was lead by Superintendent Thomas Dunham.

That day officers went round interviewing neighbours, one woman said she had seen a respectably dressed man leaving the cottage the day after the murder, whom she assumed had been Emmanuel. 

The same man was spotted later that day having a drink at the local pub and carrying a canvas bag.

The next day, a bricklayer known as Coombes who lived in a lodging house in Uxbridge informed police about a 'rough-looking' man he knew only as 'Jack' who also resided at the property.

'Jack' had been very poor before the weekend, barely able to afford a pint of beer in the public house. 

But since Monday he seemed to be flush with money and splashing the cash. 

The individual, who was in fact named John Owen, told Coombes he would be going to Reading on the 6.45pm train. 

Police followed him to Reading and went to the Oxford Arms public house in Silver Street, a popular haunt among the homeless.

When they entered the pub, Coombes, who had accompanied the officers, pointed out one of the men and exclaimed it was 'Jack'.

Owen had stolen a pistol from the cottage which he tried to draw and point at the officers, this was torn out of his hands and he was captured in a violent struggle. 

Many items found on Owen actually belonged to the Marshalls' and tickets in his pockets indicated he had already been to the pawn shop to get money for some of the goods. 

Owen was in fact a disgraced former blacksmith and criminal who had committed crimes including theft and stealing sheep in the past. 

It turns out however that the murders were not random but instead they were premeditated by Owen who held a grudge against Emmanuel. 

Once employed by the Marshall's to mend some wheels, he had done so badly at his job that Emmanuel refused to pay him. 

It is thought that Owen was angry and vengeful after this embarrassment and craved bloody revenge. 

Two days before the massacre Owen had been released from prison and was heard speaking of a man in Denham that owned him money, adding that if he did not get it he would murder him.

When the judge sentenced Owen to death, the murderer said his only regret was not shooting Superintendent Dunham as well. 

Owen was hanged at Aylesbury Gaol on August 8, 1870.