Unsolved Murders


Age: 0

Sex: male

Date: 9 Apr 1903

Place: Woolwich Common, London

The body of a new born child was found on Woolwich Common near the reservoir on the morning of Thursday 9 April 1903.

It was found by a Corporal Monk of the 4th Royal Fusiliers.

A divisional police surgeon said that the child had had a separate existence and had been dead for at least a week.

He said that it was very dirty and that there was blood on the left side of the head as well as wounds on the left arm and leg, the latter apparently due to a bite of some animal, probably rats, probably after death, adding that some of the flesh had been eaten away.

However, the post mortem showed a small puncture wound behind the left ear and that earth had been stuffed into the mouth. It was found that the parietal bone of the skull had been badly fractured and that two other bones had been splintered and that the wounds to the head had been caused before death.

The divisional police surgeon said that in his opinion that the child had been killed by a serious blow on the head that had caused haemorrhage of the brain and syncope. He said that it appeared to him that the child had been taken up and hit on the side of an iron bedstead several times.

In answer to a question from an Inspector that had been watching the case on behalf of the Chief Commissioner of Police, the divisional police surgeon said that it was quite possible that the child had been buried and dug up again and that it was equally possible that the wounds had been caused by the prongs of a fork.

After hearing the evidence the jury returned a verdict of wilful murder against some person or persons unknown.

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Dundee Evening Telegraph - Tuesday 14 April 1903