Unsolved Murders

Susan Westwell

Age: 78

Sex: female

Date: 24 Aug 1904

Place: 24 Hyndburn Road, Accrington

Source: find.galegroup.com

Susan Westwell was murdered in a robbery at her home.

Her body was found behind the door of her cottage in the morning with her head beaten in. She had been found by cotton mill girls to whom she had usually supplied hot water for their meals. It was thought that she had been attacked the evening before as when she was found she was fully dressed and the lights were still burning. When the doctor arrived Susan Westwell was still alive but unconscious although she died a few minutes later.

It was known that she had kept a considerable sum of money in her home and it was thought that she was robbed for that. When police searched her cottage they found about £7 in various sums of copper and silver concealed in the grate and chimneys and other curious places.

She had a fractured skull and three other head wounds.

A neighbour said that Susan Westwell had been visited by two young men, aged about 17 or 18 about 9 o'clock the previous evening. She had left another house and on her way home had called at Susan Westwell's cottage and lifted the catch but found it fast but as she was walking away said that Susan Westwell opened the door and as she did so she saw a man standing near the fireplace inside with his back to the door and another man at the table with his back to the door. When she was asked whether she thought it was strange for the two men to be there the neighbour said that she thought that with the door being fast that Susan Westwell was having some business with them.

A doctor said that the injuries to her head could not have been caused by a fall and were the result of direct violence.


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


see Lancashire Evening Post - Friday 26 August 1904

see Leeds Mercury - Saturday 03 September 1904

see Sunderland Daily Echo and Shipping Gazette - Thursday 25 August 1904

see Western Times - Friday 26 August 1904

see Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser - Tuesday 30 August 1904

see Burnley Express - Wednesday 07 September 1904

see "Index." Times [London, England] 26 Aug. 1904: 7. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 3 Mar. 2013.