Unsolved Murders

Annie Cracknell

Age: 21

Sex: female

Date: 1 Jan 1924

Place: 73 Cumberland Street, Hull

Annie Cracknell died following an illegal operation.

She had been the wife of a dock labourer. They already had two children, one aged two years and three months and the other eleven months.

Around December 1923 Annie Cracknell told her husband that she was expecting another child. A short while later he said that she fell down the stairs but didn't complain of being ill until 1 January 1924. He said that he returned from work at 5.30pm to find his wife on the couch suffering from pain with her mother there. They then sent for a doctor who attended her until 4 January 1924 when she was taken to the Royal Infirmary.

The mother said that she had lived with her daughter and her husband since they were married and that Annie Cracknell had had an accident about three weeks earlier when she fell down about six steps after which she complained about pains in her back. The mother said that Annie Cracknell went out on 1 January 1924 on an errand to the fish and chip shop and when she returned about fifteen minutes later she looked very ill and was sick.

The doctor said that he examined Annie Cracknell on 1 January 1924 on the sofa on the front room downstairs saying that she was complaining about severe pains in her body and had a haemorrhage. He said that he examined her and determined that an abortion had taken place.

Annie Cracknell was admitted to the hospital on the Friday evening, 4 January 1924 and operated on that night but died the following day. Her death was given as peritonitis and a lacerated wound was found in her body caused by some blunt instrument. The instrument was said to have been used with considerable force and could have been as thick as a thumb and at least 9 inches to a foot in length and could have been self-inflicted, however, the doctor who examined her said that in his opinion the injury was inflicted by someone other than Annie Cracknell.

The doctor also said that with regards to the time when Annie Cracknell had gone out to the fish and chip shop for a quarter of an hour that the injury could have easily have been caused in that time and that the fall downstairs had nothing to do with it.

The coroner said that he had never known of a plainer case where something was done and a woman had died in consequence. He said that if the injury had been caused on 1 January 1924 then it must have been performed in a house in the neighbourhood.

A verdict of wilful murder against some person or person’s unknown was returned.

Cumberland Street has since been mostly redeveloped into an industrial area.

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

see www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

see Hull Daily Mail - Tuesday 08 January 1924

see National Library of Scotland