Some years ago, I read something about a Liverpool church which was the scene of a double murder early in the 20th century and though I was interested to learn more about it, I could never turn anything up on the affair. Eventually I managed to do so using a newspaper search. The murders had not actually happened in the church, as it turned out but elsewhere in the city. The church, which still stands in Upper Parliament Street next to Hope Street, was built in 1913 for a group known as the Positive Sect, who met in an assembly room in Falkland Street, and the new building was to become their "Temple Of Humanity." Before it could be opened however, it was rocked by a double murder and suicide.
One of the congregation, 20 year old William MacDonald had fallen in love with a lady who also attended the church, a Miss Crompton, a woman twice his age. MacDonald deeply resented her apparent interest in a young man called Paul Gaze, whom he saw as a rival for Miss Crompton's affections. Gaze had in fact only recently married. Desolate that his attentions were having no effect on Miss Crompton, MacDonald made his way one night to the Islington home of a Mr Roberts, an aquaintance from the church whom MacDonald felt was showing too great an interest in the lady in question. Hoping to remove another rival from the picture, he pulled out a gun and shot at Roberts, who was lucky to be only slightly wounded.
MacDonald then fled and, meeting the unfortunate Paul Gaze nearby, he decided to accompany him to Gaze's home in Grove Street. Once there, he murdered Gaze with two shots to the head. Lastly MacDonald journeyed to the home of Miss Crompton in nearby Bedford Street South and, after a short conversation with her where it appears she rebuffed him, he killed her also. He then turned the gun on himself, dying from his wound some hours later. The "Temple Of Humanity" did open some months later but due to the scandal, the congregation never reached the figures hoped for and the building eventually passed to another faith.