Unsolved Murders

George Harry Storrs

Age: 49

Sex: male

Date: 1 Nov 1909

Place: Gorse Hall, Dukinfield, Stalybridge

Source: en.wikipedia.org

George Storrs was killed in his mansion.

Two men were tried but neither was convicted.

He left behind him an estate worth £22,316 net

George Storrs was a building contractor. He lived in Gorse Hall and on 10 September 1909 an intruder entered the grounds and threatened to shoot through a curtained window. The intruder shot through the window and George Storrs chased him off. After that George Storrs had an alarm bell fitted that could be heard in Stalybridge.

Later on 1 November 1909 another intruder entered the kitchen of Gorse Hall and forced his way into the living room where George Storrs grappled him and George Storrs's wife hit the intruder with a shillelagh and grabbed the revolver that he had been wielding. George Storrs's wife then ran upstairs to ring the alarm bell and the servants went to fetch help.

It was thought that the intruder then broke out through the scullery window but then came back in through the kitchen door where he stabbed George Storrs.

When George Storrs was found he was asked if he could identify the intruder and with his dying breath he said, 'No'. Another witness said that when asked if he knew who the intruder was he had said 'I can’t, I can’t' and had given him the impression that he could have if he had wanted.

A few days after the murder George Storrs coachman committed suicide because of his grief.

George Storrs wife said that she thought that the armed burglars who had broken the window on 10 September 1909 had included a discharged gardener.

The post mortem showed that George Storrs had 16 wounds, mostly clean cut.

It was first thought that the revolver found was a dummy but it was later revealed to have been an American bulldog of a small type that had one revolver shot. However, it was said that the trigger was weak and the intruder finding that it could not be fired had given it up.

Two separate men were tried for the crime but both were acquitted.

The first was a burglar who was picked out from an identity parade by George Storrs wife but there was no other evidence against him. She had said that the man was, 'like the murderer'. The cook also identified him. He was in fact a cousin to George Storrs. However, it was thought if he had had been the intruder then George Storrs would have been able to identify him. He also had an alibi, stating that he had been in Huddersfield playing dominoes at the time and amongst the witnesses he called was the landlord of the pub the Ring and Bells in Huddersfield who confirmed that the man had been in his pub playing dominoes at the time.

The second suspect was an ex-soldier who had served in the Worcestershire Regiment at Dover up until March 1909 and who was arrested on 28 August 1910. He was arrested when he left Knutsford Gaol where he had been serving a term of imprisonment for another crime. He was arrested on the grounds that the knife he had used in another crime could have been similar to the knife used to stab George Storrs. It was also said that he had at one time owned the revolver that had been left behind by the intruder. He said that the only similarity between the gun found at Gorse Hall and the ones he had owned were that they were both nickel plated and had black handles. He had been arrested on 20 June after he attacked a man and a young lady in the road in Dukinfield. However, the man had wrestled the knife off of him and it was later given to the police who said that it was similar to the type of weapon that might have caused the stab injury to George Storrs. Several other witnesses said that they had seen the man's revolvers on his mantelpiece after the murder. He said that he had destroyed his guns at the request of his mother and not because of the murder. The judge told the jury that the most important part of the evidence was whether or not the gun found at Gorse Hall was the mans or not. However, the man was acquitted.

*map pointers are rough estimates based on known location details as per Place field above.

see Dundee Courier - Tuesday 30 November 1909

see Dundee Evening Telegraph - Monday 08 November 1909

see Dover Express - Friday 26 August 1910

see Aberdeen Journal - Wednesday 31 August 1910

see Cornishman - Thursday 25 November 1909

see The Murders Whos Who

see Gorse Hall

see 'The Stabbing of George Harry Storrs' written by Jonathan Goodman printed by Allison & Busby Ltd.

see 'Murder Casebook' Marshall Cavendish Publications. pages 4611-31