Unsolved Murders

Lennard Rodolphe Warrens

Age: 46

Sex: male

Date: 17 Aug 1946

Place: Westleigh Avenue, Putney

Lennard Warrens was found dead on the pavement on Westleigh Avenue in Putney having been shot between 17 and 18 August 1946.

He was found with gunshot wounds to his head lying next to a 5ft high allotment fence by a milkman a few hundred yards away from where he lived. He had been shot at close range.

It was noted that although he had been shot in a quiet area, no one had heard the shot and the police said that they thought that some article of heavy clothing such as an Army greatcoat, might have been thrown over him first in order to deaden the sound.

The police said that his pockets had been rifled after he was shot and his money, a gold oblong wristlet watch, and other articles were missing. An intensive two-day check-up of London pawnbrokers and jewellers was made in a hunt for his stolen wristlet-watch.

He had gone out on the Saturday morning to keep a business appointment in Kingston, which had actually been cancelled unbeknown to him, and was not expected home until later that evening.

The police said that they had three theories regarding his murder:

  1. That Lennard Warrens was shot in a car on Putney Heath, which was only a minute ride from his home in Chartfield Avenue, and that his body was then dumped a minute later in Westleigh Avenue, which was the road next to his.
  2. That Lennard Warrens was followed home, and after he had got off a bus at The Green Man public house on Putney Heath, was shot down in Westleigh Avenue.
  3. That he had been murdered by a person who had seen him pull out a wad of banknotes in a public house. He was known for often carrying a considerable sum of money about with him.

The police combed through the grass and weeds near where his body was found searching for clues.

Lennard Warrens was last seen in the company of three soldiers in a pub who were thought might have been Canadians.

The police visited a number of London service clubs and hostels frequented by soldiers in an effort to trace the three soldiers that he was said to have been seen drinking with earlier on and questioned several people, but no one was arrested.

The police said that they were also searching for two girls who, a few hours before he was shot, were believed to have had a drink with the three soldiers wanted for questioning.

He was a bachelor of independent means and lived with his 70-year-old mother in Chartfield Avenue, Putney. He was a former War Office official and was described as a 'backroom boy' there. It was said that he had held a secret position in the War Office for six years. He had started at the War Office as a temporary clerical worker. He left in July 1946. While working in the War Office, he was noted for his 'copper plate' handwriting as his words were so evenly spaced that a ruler disclosed almost no variation in the spacing.

After he had failed to return home, a letter that had arrived for him that morning was opened and it was found to have been from the person that he was due to meet that day stating that the appointment had been cancelled for the time being.

It was thought that he was a homosexual and he was said to have had a 'secret side'.

His post-mortem stated that his injuries were not self-inflicted.

He was the son of a City stock jobber.

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

see www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

see "News in Brief." Times [London, England] 1 Nov. 1946: 2. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 3 Mar. 2013.

see Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer - Monday 19 August 1946

see Aberdeen Press and Journal - Monday 19 August 1946

see Daily Herald - Monday 19 August 1946

see Yorkshire Evening Post - Wednesday 21 August 1946

see Lincolnshire Echo - Monday 19 August 1946

see Derby Daily Telegraph - Monday 19 August 1946

see Daily Herald - Wednesday 21 August 1946

see Dundee Evening Telegraph - Monday 19 August 1946

see Coventry Evening Telegraph - Monday 19 August 1946

see National Archives - MEPO 3/2736