Unsolved Murders

Elizabeth Dora Woodcock

Age: 56

Sex: female

Date: 21 Apr 1917

Place: Back of 22 Rushton Street, Birmingham

Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

Elizabeth Dora Woodcock was found dead in her bed.

She had been in ill health for some time and was suffering from bronchitis. On the Monday she was too ill to go to work and told a neighbour that she was going to go to bed and remain there all day.

She had lived alone and the neighbour heard nothing of her on the Tuesday and when she tried her door that night she found that it was locked and thought that she must be asleep in bed still. When there was still no response the following day she called the police.

The police climbed in through an upstairs window and found Elizabeth Woodcock dead in bed with a head injury. She was lying in a natural position. They also found the downstairs door bolted from the inside.

There was a pool of blood at the bottom of the stairs and spots of blood in the bedroom.

There was no sign of a disturbance and her bag on the table downstairs contained food and tea having been placed in readiness to take to work.

At her post-mortem the doctor found that that she had a fractured neck, a fractured thigh bone, and a scalp wound. It was noted that she also had a diseased heart and kidneys and that her lungs showed signs of chronic bronchitis.

However, the doctor said that he thought that she had possibly fallen down the stairs resulting in the fractured bones and scalp injury and then managed to drag herself off to bed where she died.

The coroner's jury found that she had died from her injuries but that there was no evidence to say how they were sustained.


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


see Birmingham Daily Gazette - Saturday 21 April 1917

see Birmingham Mail - Friday 20 April 1917