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Reese owned a small pharmacy in the City of London, where he worked with his assistant Mary. At some point before 1868, the Reese family farm was forced to close, due to the interference of industrialist John Ashton, which caused Reese's parents to live in poverty.
Not long after, Reese was informed of Ashton's involvement in the affair by his sibling, who wrote him a letter and urged him to do what he had to. When Ashton came in, requesting his usual blue medication, Reese swapped it for a poisonous blue chemical, which would cause Ashton's death in less than thirty minutes.
That morning, however, several others also made an attempt on Ashton's life. The Assassins Jacob and Evie Frye deduced that he had been poisoned twice, shot, stabbed, and finally crushed by a wooden crate. During their investigation, they discovered that Mrs. Ashton had delivered the lethal strike with her knitting needle, and they let all would-be murderers get away with their crimes.