Unsolved Murders

Lydia Smith

Age: 72

Sex: female

Date: 21 Oct 1909

Place: 28 Belmont Road, Reading

Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

Lydia Smith was found dying at her home with a gash in her throat.

Before she died, she said that a man had been after her to kill her. She had been found kneeling on the floor at her house. When she was asked, 'What have you been doing?', Lydia Smith replied, 'A man has been after me to kill me'.

No blood-stained weapons were found in her house. Several razors were found in the house, but none of them were bloodstained.

A juror that examined her wound led him to believe that she had been stabbed.

Lydia Smith was a spinster and had lived at 28 Belmont Road in Reading with her sister, who was a widow, for a number of years.

Her sister said that Lydia Smith had been quite cheerful on the morning of her death and had never threatened to commit suicide. She said that at about 9.30am she found Lydia Smith in her bedroom kneeling on the floor with her throat cut and blood flowing freely from a severe wound that appeared to have been recently inflicted.

The sister said that she then sent for a doctor and the police, but Lydia Smith died soon after.

A policeman that arrived directly after her death said that when he arrived he found all the windows of the house fastened, and so said that she could not have thrown out a weapon and added that there were no signs of any forced entry. The police said that they searched the whole house thoroughly for several hours, and even explored the chimney, but failed to find any weapon.

The coroner stated that there was no evidence to show that her wound had been self-inflicted.

A nephew said that as far as he knew, there was no one who would benefit financially by Lydia Smith's death.

Lydia Smith was said to have lived her life in comparative seclusion and not to have mixed very freely with other residents in the neighbourhood.

An open verdict was returned.


see Western Times - Thursday 21 October 1909

see Yorkshire Evening Post - Thursday 21 October 1909

see Dundee Evening Telegraph - Thursday 21 October 1909

see Dundee Evening Telegraph - Thursday 21 October 1909

see Exmouth Journal - Saturday 23 October 1909

see Berkshire Chronicle - Wednesday 20 October 1909