Unsolved Murders

Annie McKeon

Age: 23

Sex: female

Date: 24 Dec 1910

Place: 27 Husband Street, Collyhurst Street, Collyhurst, Rochdale

Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

Annie McKeon was found dead in an empty house.

It was thought that she had been strangled with her shawl. Her body was not found for a couple of weeks until about 6 January 1911 when two workmen that had gone to repair the roof saw her body through a window. It was thought that she had been lying in the house for at least 4-5 days.

The house was fully locked up and would have required the key to get in but the key which the caretaker ordinarily had was missing. It was also devoid of furniture.

A pane of glass in the house had been broken and there was blood. A shawl was tied tightly around her face and a mans grey tweed cap was lying beside her body.

The neighbours heard a woman scream in the early morning on 24 December and saw a man running away from the house.

A short broad shouldered man wearing heavy boots was seen coming shortly after from Husband Street but he apparently doubled back and ran across an adjacent street and was lost sight of.

The key to the property was normally kept at the caretakers house on the mantelpiece but at the time of the murder it was found to have been missing and it was thought that the miller had used the key to enter the house. The caretaker was part of a larger family and at the coroners inquest it was observed that some of the witnesses probably knew more than they were saying.

Husband Street was described as a narrow street typical of the class and poverty to be found in that poor and congested area. The houses were of the ordinary four roomed type, divided into two bedrooms upstairs and two living rooms downstairs.

When the police arrived they found Annie McKeon on the floor with her tongue protruding and blood from her mouth forming a small pool on the floor.

Before her identity was known a description was released which said: Body of an unknown woman found in the back room of an unoccupied dwelling house at 27 Husband Street, Collyhurst, and supposed to have met with a violent death. About 5ft. 2in. in height and of stout build. Brown hair with curling pins in front. Greyish eyes. Several teeth missing from the front. Abscess mark under the right ear. Dressed in blue print blouse with black markings, black shirt, white calico chemise, white corsets, black stockings and laced boots. The left stocking was tied with string, the right stocking with blue tape. All the garments were far worn. Age about 30. The head was covered with a dark brown shawl.

The previous tenants in the house had left it on the Thursday before Christmas and said that when they left it all the windows were intact and that there was no mans cap in it.

Annie McKeon had left home four years earlier on account of her loose living.


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


see Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser - Thursday 12 January 1911

see Yorkshire Evening Post - Thursday 12 January 1911

see Lichfield Mercury - Friday 13 January 1911