Unsolved Murders


Age: 0

Sex: female

Date: 14 Feb 1923

Place: Grand Union Canal, Frog Island, Leicester

The body of a newly-born female child was found wrapped up in brown paper on the canal-side in Leicester near Frog Island.

An inquest in Leicester on Friday 23 February 1923 returned a verdict of 'Wilful murder against some person or persons unknown'.

The body was found on the canal towing path near Frog Island in the early hours of Wednesday 14 February 1923.

The Coroner noted that full inquiries had been made, but that there was no evidence as to who put it there or who the parents were.

A police constable said that the body had been in a brown paper parcel and that he thought that it looked as if someone had intended to throw it straight into the water.

He said that at about 12.05am on the Wednesday morning that he had been on duty in Frog Island and that he had looked under the Frog Island canal bridge, on the towing path, and that he had seen a brown paper parcel which he opened at one end and discovered that it contained the body of a child.

He said that in his opinion that it had been dropped over the bridge, noting that as the canal narrowed at that part, that any person standing in the centre of the bridge might drop an object which would not drop into the water. He noted that the parcel was near the canal edge.

It was noted that on the paper in which the body was wrapped was a purple railway label bearing the inscription, '24 Cheshire Lines Paid. From Manchester Central'.

Two doctors said that the child had had a separate existence, and that there had been want of attention at birth, and that the stomach had contained no food.

They said that the child also had a fracture of the bone that had led to the laceration of the brain which could not have been brought about by an ordinary fall, and that in their opinion, considerable violence had been used with a blunt instrument.

They said that the child had been fully developed and normal in every way, and had been born within three days of its examination. On the left cheek there were two slight abrasions and there was a large whitish mark on the right side of the scalp, under which was an accumulation of blood, larger than the mark.

The doctors said that that suggested that the child's head had been struck with some blunt or padded instrument, and with considerable violence, adding that they were not injuries that could have occurred at birth, or by a fall of two or three feet.

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

see www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

see Nottingham Evening Post - Saturday 24 February 1923, p7

see Leicester Evening Mail - Saturday 17 February 1923