Kaziners Skudauckan was a Lithuanian miner living at 40 Craighead Rows Blantyre during the 1920’s. He went locally by the name of Charles Smith, far easier for people who knew him.
Shortly after midnight on Thursday 2nd September 1926, William Cullen, a neighbour who resided next door to Kaziners, heard terrifying female screams and like others in the former miner’s row in Low Blantyre, he looked out his window to see what the commotion was.
However, what William saw, gave him a fright, for there was Mrs Skudauckan attempting to leave the house by a window, her blood curdling screams suggesting something clearly was amiss.
Mr Cullen, quickly called another neighbour, Mr James McGuire, and “manned up”, they together rushed to the help of the woman, tried to get in via a door but found the door locked. They both then gained access to the house via another window, assisting the woman from out of the window and back into her home, shocked to find that she was bleeding profusely and fighting against them at the thought of being back into the house.
William and James then went into the kitchen for water to clean the injured woman and there observed her husband Kaziners, in a corner of the small kitchen with a nasty gash on the left side of his throat. In his hands, he was holding a razor, which they took from him.
The police and a doctor were called, when it was found that the woman had been viciously stabbed in six or seven places, Kaziners, clearly her attacker. Later to police, although it was not revealed what prompted the attack, the woman, known locally as Mrs Smith, admitted that her husband had been acting strange in his manner for many weeks.
Mass unemployment and the prolonged miners strike of many months in 1926 made life in Blantyre very difficult for people, especially miners. Dozens of families left, some abroad seeking employment and opportunity elsewhere. There’s no indication in the story that unemployment is behind the outburst of this man, but the timing is more than coincidental and should never have been any reason for violence of this nature.
Pictured some time later in 1955, are Bairds Rows (Craighead Rows), the scene of this crime, which is now the Carpark of Parks of Hamilton.
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