Unsolved Murders

Christina Muirhead

Age: unknown

Sex: female

Date: 3 Jun 1912

Place: Stanwix, Carlisle

Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

Christina Muirhead was found dead covered in bruises and with four fractured ribs.

Her husband and son were charged with her murder but at court the charge was reduced to manslaughter although they were acquitted.

They said that she was of drunken habits and had sustained her injuries when she had fallen over a coal scuttle.

She was found in bed, her body having been recently washed and her clothes elsewhere were saturated with water and smelling strongly of paraffin. Counsel said that the evidence indicated that they had planned to burn the body and that their plan had been frustrated or abandoned. Counsel also said that the husband had beaten her in a fit of passion, stimulated by drink, when he had come home and found his wife drunk.

When a policeman arrived on 16 April 1912, Christina Muirhead's husband told him that she had fallen over the coal scuttle the previous day. Her false teeth were found broken on the floor, and a flower pot had been broken. The husband said that he put her into a chair and when their son came home they carried her up to bed and she appeared to fall asleep. She was cut under the chin and bleeding under her nose and mouth. When asked to account for all the bruises on her, her husband said that she had fallen about on the Saturday night.

The son said that after helping put his mother to bed he went back to work and when he got back around midnight his mother was stiff and cold and he concluded that she was dead. He said he didn't know what to do and so went to bed and in the morning at 8.20am he went to fetch the doctor.

When the police searched the house on 23 April 1912 they found one of the son's shirts in a draw which had a torn and bloodstained sleeve.

Christina Muirhead was buried but five weeks later she was exhumed and the viscera were sent to Liverpool for analysis.

They lived in Stanwix where they kept a grocer's shop.

Evidence showed that Christina Muirhead was alive and well at 6pm in the grocers' shop. However, her husband had said that when he had come home at 4.30pm, he had found her lying drunk on the kitchen floor.

Her cause of death was given as shock from bruising, violence and fracture of four ribs.

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

see Dundee Evening Telegraph - Monday 03 June 1912

see Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette - Saturday 01 June 1912

see The Scotsman - Saturday 01 June 1912

see Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer - Wednesday 15 May 1912