Edith Alice Morrell was a patient of Dr Adams who had been partially paralysed after suffering a stroke. Adams supplied her with a cocktail of heroin and morphine to ease her discomfort, insomnia and symptoms of ‘cerebral irritation’ that was a condition of her illness.
During the period of her palliative treatment, Mrs Morrell made several wills in which Adams received money and items of furniture. But in other wills he was omitted.
However, three months before Morrell’s death on 13 November 1949, she added a clause to her will stating that Adams was to receive nothing. Despite this clause Dr Adams, who maintained that Morrell had died from natural causes, still received a small amount of money, cutlery and a Rolls Royce.
The second alleged victim of Dr Adams did not occur until seven years after Mrs Morrell had died. Gertrude Hullett was another patient of Dr Adams who fell ill and then into unconsciousness. Despite not even being dead, Dr Adams called a local pathologist, Francis Camps, to make an appointment for an autopsy. When Camps realised that Hullett was still alive he accused Adams of ‘extreme incompetence’.
On 23 July 1956, Gertrude Hullett died and Adams recorded the cause of death as having been the result of a brain haemorrhage. An official investigation however, arrived at the conclusion that she had committed suicide. Camps argued that she had been poisoned with sleeping pills. Like Mrs Morrell before her, Hullett left several valuable items to Dr Adams including a Rolls Royce.
Gossip surrounding Adams began circulating around the close-knit seaside community. Whether there was truth in the allegations that Adams was an ‘angel of death’ preying on vulnerable wealthy widows or was an ‘angel of mercy’ kindly alleviating suffering, was up for conjecture.
It appears that the death of Hullett in 1956 precipitated a state of affairs that was to bring Adams to the attention of the authorities.