IN 1949, a pregnant 20-year-old woman and her baby daughter were found strangled in a washhouse.

The murders of Beryl Evans and her daughter Geraldine at 10 Rillington Place in Notting Hill, west London, and the theories surrounding their deaths, have been the subject of numerous articles, films and television dramas.

Beryl’s husband Timothy Evans was convicted and hanged for the two killings in 1950.

However Evans was posthumously pardoned in 1966 after an inquiry found that John Christie, who lived in a flat below the Evans family in Rillington Place, was responsible for killing baby Geraldine as well as Beryl.

Christie had been prosecuted and hanged for murder in 1953 after it was revealed he was a serial killer and necrophile who had killed six other women in the same house, including his own wife Ethel.

Christie was a key prosecution witness at Evans’ trial and Evans had accused Christie of committing the murders.

In the years since Christie’s trial it became widely accepted that Timothy Evans had been wrongly convicted and his case played a part in the abolition of capital punishment for murder in the UK.

Now Beryl’s only surviving sibling, Peter Thorley, has published a book about what he believes really happened to his beloved older sister and young niece. Inside 10 Rillington Place is the result of 35 years of research.

Peter, who lives in Arundel with his wife Lea, is convinced Evans was truly responsible for killing Beryl and baby Geraldine.

The 85-year-old said: “I was only a youngster when it all happened.

“My sister Beryl married Timothy when she was only 19 years old and I instantly did not take to Tim.

“There were constant rows between Beryl and Tim. To use today’s term, he was a true wife-beater.

“He would do it front of me and the baby when she was only a few months old. There are so many times when he threatened to kill her in front of myself and other witnesses.

“It has been my belief from day one that without doubt, Timothy Evans murdered both of them.”

Peter had moved down to Brighton with his father William Thorley in the late 1940s after his mother Elizabeth had died.

He would go and visit his older sister Beryl as often as he could as the pair were very close, and they would regularly spend time with the tenant downstairs at Rillington Place – John Christie, who was known to friends and neighbours as Reg.

Peter said: “When I went to visit we would often have tea and sticky buns downstairs with Reg, who we called uncle Reg, and I would play with their dog Judy.

“I remember Reg was very protective of Beryl. There would be row after row with her and Tim and the reason for most of the rows was debt.

“Tim was a gambler and spent a lot of money in pubs and when Beryl had the baby she had to give up her job. He knocked her about something awful.”

In the book, Peter recounts the last time he saw his sister before she died.

He said: “She was desperate to go back to Brighton and had no money for food or the baby’s milk.

“I gave her the ten shillings I had in my pocket and bought her some milk. Then she took off her wedding ring and put it in my hand.

“She said: ‘If you don’t take it he will gamble it away or sell it’.

“I still have that ring now.”

Peter believes that Christie was “without doubt” a murderer, but maintains the killing techniques used by Christie and Evans were different. He also believes the reason Christie confessed to Beryl’s murder was so he could make an insanity plea.

Peter said: “Christie has been accused of being a backstreet abortionist but in the book we have proven Beryl did not have an abortion.

“They both strangled people but Christie used to gas people first. We had Beryl’s body exhumed and we know she was not gassed. She had been viciously beaten and strangled from behind.

“Writing this book has taken 35 years of research and it’s been like a jigsaw puzzle.

“It’s been very emotional and distressing but it has to be put out there as the truth about what really happened in 10 Rillington Place.

“We hope this will set the record straight and give us peace.”

Inside 10 Rillington Place is available from all good bookshops and on Amazon for £8.99.