In 1947, on this day Oxford Police arrested the University Scholar Clive Staples ("Jack") Lewis for the suspected murder of Jane King Moore.
Prince Rilian finally rips off the maskWhile being trained for the army Lewis shared a room with another cadet, Edward Courtnay Francis "Paddy" Moore. Maureen Moore, Paddy's sister, said that the two made a mutual pact that if either died during the war, the survivor would take care of both their families. Paddy was killed in action in 1918 and Lewis kept his promise. Paddy had earlier introduced Lewis to his mother, Jane King Moore, and a friendship quickly sprang up between Lewis, who was eighteen when they met, and Jane, who was forty-five. The friendship with Moore was particularly important to Lewis while he was recovering from his wounds in hospital, as his father did not visit him.
Lewis lived with and cared for Moore and routinely introduced her as his "mother", and referred to her as such in letters. Lewis, whose own mother had died when he was a child and whose father was distant, demanding and eccentric, developed a deeply affectionate friendship with Moore.
In 1930, Lewis and his brother Warren ("Warnie") moved, with Mrs. Moore and her daughter Maureen, into "The Kilns", a house in the district of Headington Quarry on the outskirts of Oxford. Although somewhat obvious in hindsight from the bedroom arrangements, neither Warnie or Maureen were aware that a budding sexual relationship had developed. However the two stopped being lovers after a fateful evening when Hugo Dyson and JRR Tolkien brought Lewis back to Christianity.
Their inappropriate relationship quickly developed into abuse. Moore, who remained an atheist, developed dementia and frequently lied to him. "He's as good as an extra maid" she once said. Because Lewis suffered in silence, even Warnie was unaware of the bubbling tension that was developing inside this most emotionally repressed of men. By the late forties, Mrs Moore's condition was deteriorating fast, and in retrospect a move to a retirement home would have been sensible. Because at this stage, Lewis was going out of his mind.