Unsolved Murders

Freddie William Saunders

Age: 37

Sex: male

Date: 5 Oct 1936

Place: 38 Bevan Street, Lowestoft

Freddie Saunders was found strangled and beaten about the head in his home. His mother was tried for his murder but acquitted.

A hammer and a knife were found nearby, and he had throat injuries and had been strangled.

Freddie Saunders was a dwarf and was mentally deficient. It was said that he had been strangled with human hands.

It was noted that a blood-stained shirt was found folded up in his room in the manner which Freddie Saunders was accustomed to fold them and it was described as a peculiar point.

On 4 October 1936 Freddie Saunders went to bed at 10pm, laying the fire before he did so. His mother and his brother went to bed shortly after.

It was noted that the brother would always give his watch to his mother before he went to bed and that she put it on the box besides her bed. It was also heard that she would shout out the time if the brother did not shout it out.

On the morning of 5 October 1936 the brother asked what the time was and she said 5.55am. Sometimes the brother would call out twice for the time and on that morning he did so again at 6.05am and his mother heard him get up on the second call. The brother then went into his mother’s room and she gave him the watch which he took down with him. The brother then lit the fire and put coal on. At 6.20am the brother shouted, 'Goodbye mother twenty past six', and she heard him shut the door.

The mother then heard Freddie Saunders go downstairs. Then at 6.25am Freddie Saunders brought the watch up to his mother who was in bed which he gave her and she put it on the box. The mother then said 'It is five and twenty past six Freddie and you don't want to get up yet, go back to bed' which he did.

Freddie Saunders duty was to get up between 7am and 7.15am and make the breakfast. The mother said that she normally got up at about 8.15am although she was later that morning.

The mother said that it was light and she had her blind up and said that Freddie Saunders was in his striped shirt that he was taken away in and no trousers. She said that she heard him go back to bed and heard the springs on his bed creak. The mother said that then she went back to sleep and didn't hear anything until she was woken up at 8.25am by the brother.

The brother called for his mother saying, 'Oh mother look at Freddie be quick come down'. When the mother came down to the kitchen and saw Freddie Saunders she asked her other son to go and get a doctor who arrived at 9am.

The pantry door was open and his feet were just inside and his body was in the kitchen with his head pointed towards the fire. There was blood coming from his nose, a bruise on his forehead and he had marks on his neck. He had one shoe on and one shoe off as if it came off when he had fallen and in front of him there were several sheets of paper on which were a hammer, knife and handkerchief neatly laid out. The mother said that she knew that Freddie Saunders could not have laid out the newspapers and tools as they were done too neatly.

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

see www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

see National Archives - ASSI 36/51, DPP 2/405

see Western Daily Press - Saturday 23 January 1937