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Unsolved Murders

Isabella Bullion

Age: 23

Sex: female

Date: 25 Sep 1917

Place: 65 Dover Street, Anderston, Glasgow

Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

Isabella Bullion was killed in her home.

The last words she is thought to have spoken were 'I am just going round the corner. Is my hair all right' which she said to a neighbour she met in the street at about 3.20pm.

She was found dead by her brother when he got home from work in a concealed bed with a khahi handkerchief tied round her mouth.

She kept house for her brother, a box maker, at 60 Dover Street, Glasgow. Her brother had breakfast with her at 9.30am and then left for work and when he returned he found that there was someone in the concealed bed in the parlour. He went to get a neighbour and her lodger and they found that it was Isabella Bullion.

Between the time that the brother had gone to work and his returning Isabella Bullion had been seen in the afternoon looking as though she was going on a message and had visited a dairy where she had bought scones and a quarter of a pound of ox-tongue.

Isabella Bullion was found lying face downwards with the blankets over her fully dressed with the exception of her left shoe which was later found in the lobby.

Several drawers had been pulled out in the parlour and their contents were found lying about although it was noted that the clothes that had been removed were not thrown about but still carefully folded as though someone had been looking for an item of clothing. It was later suggested that they could have been taken out by a soldier looking to change from khaki to mufti, or by a person that wanted to make it look like he was a soldier, possibly Isabella Bullion's brother, who at the time was serving in France.

A photo of Isabella Bullion and her soldier brother in France were missing from a frame that had stood on the parlour table.

On the kitchen table there were two cups and saucers which had contained tea, two plates containing the remains of cold meat and two sets of knives, forks and spoons.

The doctor suggested that she had been suffocated although he noted that there were no marks of violence or of any struggle.

It was later suggested by the fact that there was little struggle that Isabella Bullion had not been murdered but had died from a weak heart and it was remembered that her mother had died suddenly a year or two earlier although this speculation was borne by the newspaper reporting.

A neighbour said that they had seen a young man loitering about the neighbourhood early in the day including the back court where he was seen to be staring at the windows as though he were trying to attract someone's attention. A person matching the same description was later seen in the house when they were taking the body away and was noted for the number of questions he had been asking. He was not known to any of the neighbours.

However, a 12 year old girl who lived in an adjoining tenement whose kitchen overlooked Isabella Bullion's house had looked out of her kitchen window and said to her mother 'Oh, mother, there is a soldier in Bullion's house. I wonder if that is Isabella's brother home on leave.'. The girl's mother said that she had later been in the kitchen at 5pm and had seen Isabella Bullion placing some meat on plates and then cutting bread but the girl's mother then said she sat down for her tea with her back to the window and saw nothing more.

At the time Isabella Bullion's other brother had been serving with the Colours in France.


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


see Aberdeen Evening Express - Tuesday 25 September 1917

see Dundee People's Journal - Saturday 22 September 1917

see Aberdeen Evening Express - Monday 01 October 1917