Archibald Thompson Hall – The Barbarian Butler

Archibald Thompson Hall – the Barbarian Butler

Archibald Thompson Hall was born on June, 17th 1924 in Glasgow, Scotland. Though petty, Hall ventured into the life of a career criminal at quite a young age. While a teenager, Hall was working for the Red Cross. During this time, he would stand outside with two tin cans in hand and beg for change as donations. The change was supposed to go to the Red Cross. However, Hall would end up keeping the majority of the money for his own selfish needs.

In his early 20’s, Hall graduated the life of petty crime and ventured onto bigger and better things. In 1941, he received his very first prison sentence for posing as a member of a very wealthy family. After serving ten years for this crime, Hall was released and was re-arrested soon after for stealing jewels. It was then that Hall realized he had to take from others to get what he wanted.

While incarcerated for his jewel thievery, Hall escaped. It took investigators two years to locate him and re-arrest him. From there, he spent another decade behind bars until he was released on parole.

From Thief to Murderer

After his release in the world and after illegally changing his name, Hall went on to become a butler. His very first legitimate job was working for an aristocratic woman named Peggy Hudson. On his first day working for Mrs. Hudson, Hall was re-introduced to David Wright –an acquaintance from Hall’s last prison term who was working as a groundskeeper at the Hudson residence. Hall and Wright became the best of friends and they even were homosexual lovers. Being they were both career thieves, it comes to no surprise that they both began stealing from Peggy Hudson and selling her antiques and valuable possessions.

An argument broke out between the two lovers about who would “rat” out the other to their employer. Hall was secretly enraged and tricked his homosexual lover to come out on a hunting trip with him, pretending as if it was a way to makeup from their prior disagreement. During this hunting trip, Hall committed his very first cold-blooded murder. He shot his companion straight in the head and buried him next to a stream. Following this incident, Hall immediately quit his job at the Hudson residence and ventured to London where he would then change his name yet again and land another job as a butler for a wealthy elderly couple named Walter Elliot and Dorothy Elliot.

Yet again, Hall could not leave his purloin past behind him. He made a pact with his friend, Michael Kitto, to steal as much as they could from the Elliot family. Unfortunately for Dorothy Elliot, she had walked into a private conversation between Hall and Kitto where they were discussing their plans to sell some of the stolen goods. This ended up costing Mrs. Elliot her life. She was quickly bombarded, brought to the floor, and suffocated with a pillow. Mr. Elliot was next. He was drugged with his prescribed medication. Mary Coggle, the Elliot’s housekeeper was in on the plan and helped Kitto and Hall transport the two bodies to Braco, Perthshire, where Mr. Elliot was beaten to death with a shovel and buried alongside his wife.

Once this crime spree was over, Hall was extremely worried about Mary Coggle drawing attention to herself by wearing the deceased Mrs. Elliot’s clothing and jewelry. It was like she was parading around and proud of the fact that she was an accomplice in a double homicide. This braggadocios attitude ended up costing her life. Hall and Kitto used a poker and killed Coggle. They left her body in a stream near Middlebie, Dumfriesshire. Her decaying corpse was not discovered until years later.

The last and final victim was Hall’s brother, Donald. Donald, a career criminal himself and a pedophile was tricked into working with Hall and Kitto. Once they got what they needed from him, they tied him up in a chair and used chloroform to knock him out. Once he was no longer conscious, they drowned him in a bathtub and attempted to dispose of him.

The Arrest

With Donald’s dead body in tow, Kitto and Hall drove to Scotland to carry out another burial. Except this time, they were stopped by a police officer who noticed that the tax disc and number plate for Hall’s car did not match. Once escorted back to the police station, the trunk of the car was opened and police found Donald’s dead body in the back. This final discovery put an end to Hall’s murderous and horrific crime spree.

Once officially arrested and charged with Donald’s murder, investigators began to put together pieces of information. It was eventually established that Hall was connected with four different murders. Kitto wasn’t getting off easy, either. He was charged with three murders. Both Kitto and Hall were sent to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Prison Life

After many suicide attempts, Hall decided to keep himself busy and wrote his very own autobiography titled “A Perfect Gentleman”. One of the creepiest quotes from his book is: “There is a side of me, when aroused, that is cold and completely heartless.”

He died of a stroke in 2002 in Kingston Prison. He was 78 years old.

Serial killers, Crime
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