Unsolved Murders

Jean Milne

Age: 67

Sex: female

Date: 1 Nov 1912

Place: Elmgrove, West Ferry

Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

Jean Milne was beaten to death in her home with a poker by an intruder.

The intruder had broken in while she was out and then when she returned he had beaten her from behind with a poker, or possibly stabbed her with a carving fork. Her body had laid in her house for three weeks until the postman noticed the letters piling up.

The intruder had cut the telephone wires and tied Jean Milne up with window cord and then put a sheet over her body.

Jean Milne was a recluse and it was thought that the intruder had known that she had lived alone. It wasn't thought that theft was the primary motive as although some of her money and belongings were missing, considerable quantities of jewellery were left behind and Jean Milne's body was found with rings still on her fingers, a watch still hanging from her neck and a broach on that had been dented in the struggle. However, a valuable diamond ring that she was known to never be seen without was found to be missing.

It was first thought that she had been beaten to death with a poker, but after her burial it was also thought that she might have been stabbed as well with a carving fork after a carving fork was found on the floor and perforations in her clothes were found. It was then suggested that she had also been stabbed with a fork in various parts of her body including her heart. The fork was found near her body, half concealed by a cabin trunk. The perforations in the clothing that she had been wearing included small perforations in the back and front of her blouse and underclothing. The matter was reported and it was stated that Crown authorities had the option of exhuming her body to examine the implications of the perforations further although it is not known whether they did.

It was also first thought that Jean Milne might have gone out for a walk in her garden and that a man might have slipped into her house to ransack it, but that he had been surprised when Jean Milne had returned and had then attacked her. It was thought, as such that when Jean Milne had come back into her house, that upon seeing the man, she had gone to the telephone, which was fixed to the wall of the dining-room door to call the police and that the man had gone after her, seizing the first weapon that came to hand, the fork, which was packed in with other cutlery in cases on the sideboard that also stood close to the dining-room door.

However, the police later said that they didn't think that robbery was the motive for her murder.

Jean Milne was known to have visited the bank in Dundee shortly before her death and it was thought that she might have been followed back to her home.

She was known to travel a lot and to often be away for up to three months at a time.

Jean Milne was a regular traveller to London and that although she had made no friends in Broughty Ferry, she had a circle of friends in London. When she visited London, she would stay at the Strand Palace Hotel.

It was later thought that her murderer might have been a person that she had met in London and whom had later tried to blackmail her.

It was noted that one peculiarity of Jean Milne at Elmgrove, was that she would sit in her dining room until the early hours of the morning without drawing the blinds and that as such, she would have been in full view of any visitor to her home without her being able to see them. It was then suggested that once inside her house, it would have been easy for an assailant to stun her before she had an opportunity to summon assistance, which was further facilitated by the fact that she was such a small and fragile woman.

Her net estate was later found to amount to £8801 9s 6d with the amount of duty payable being £313 10s 11d.

Her Scottish estate comprised of the following:

  • Caledonian Railway Company: £93 8s 9d.
  • North British Railway Company: £160 2s 6d.
  • Alliance Trust: £288 8s.
  • North American Trust: £1192 17s 6d.
  • British Canadian Trust: £194 10s.
  • Investor's Mortgage Security Co., Ltd: £453 7s.
  • British Investment Trust, Ltd: £276 14s 9d.
  • Scottish Invetment Trust, £157 17s 6d.
  • Scottish American Mortgage Company: £258 2s 6d.
  • Edinburgh American Land Mortgage: £251 2s 6d.
  • West of Scotland American Investment Company: £500 5s.
  • Stock of the United Kingdom: £364 13s 9d.
  • Denver and Rio Grande Railroad Company: £395.
  • Cash in house: £17.
  • Cash in Dundee Savings Bank and Royal Bank of Scotland: £650 11s 6d.
  • Household furniture: £250.
  • Proportion accrued to date of death on revenue of the trust estate of her husband, tobacco manufacturer, Dundee, and of which he had the life rent: £134 17s 4d.

Her English esate comprised of the following:

  • Investment Trust Corporation, Limited: £835 2s 6d.
  • Brokenhill Proprietary Company, Limited, £1402 10s.
  • Deposit receipt in Royal Bank of Scotland, London, £28 11s 8d.

However, Jean Milne died intestate, and the only document that she had written in 1899 left everything but £100 to her brother, who had since died, with whom she was said to have been close. The will was described as a very interesting document and had been written in pencil on a rough piece of paper.


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


see Banbury Advertiser - Thursday 09 January 1913

see Falkirk Herald - Wednesday 08 January 1913

see Dundee Evening Telegraph - Tuesday 26 November 1912

see Dundee Evening Telegraph - Monday 04 November 1912 (photo of house and Jean Milne)

see Pall Mall Gazette - Thursday 21 November 1912

see Dundee Courier - Wednesday 06 November 1912

see Dundee Evening Telegraph - Tuesday 05 November 1912

see Dundee Evening Telegraph - Friday 13 December 1912

see Nottingham Evening Post - Saturday 23 November 1912

see Dundee Evening Telegraph - Thursday 21 November 1912