Unsolved Murders

Kent Loomis

Age: unknown

Sex: male

Date: 16 Jul 1904

Place: Thurleston Sands, Bigbury Bay, Kingsbridge, Devon

Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

Kent Loomis was found washed up on the shore at Thurleston Sands on Saturday 16 July 1904.

It was thought that he had gone into the water either just before or shortly after he had arrived at Plymouth from America on board the liner Kaiser Wilhelm II.

He was a United states despatch bearer and was the bearer of despatches from his brother, the acting Secretary of State at Washington for the United States Ambassador in Paris. He had left New York on 14 June 1904 and his ship had arrived at Plymouth on 20 June 1904.

His body was found by a labourer who had been walking along the cliffs early on the Saturday morning floating in the breakers 30-40 yards from the shore. The tide was coming in and by the time the labourer got down to the beach the body had washed up against the rocks.

His body was pulled out of the water and taken to a local farm. He had an abrasion under the right ear and a doctor concluded that he had received a blow to his head sufficient to kill him before he had entered the water.

When his body was examined cards were found with his name on them along with other items such as a receipt for membership of the Blennhasit Club, a gold watch that had stopped at 6 o'clock and some English and American money. However, there were no papers found on him.

His body was later identified by an American Consul.

His brother, the Assistant Secretary Of State made the following statement:

I am satisfied from the reports cabled by our Consul at Plymouth and others that the body washed ashore on the coast of Devon is that of my missing brother Kent Loomis. I visited the Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse when she was in port on this side, and carefully examined those parts of the ship which my brother frequented on his last fatal voyage, and talked at length with the officers, who were unanimous in their statements that my brother was correct in his habits throughout the voyage. I am strongly inclined to the theory that my brother ascended the deck alone at midnight to look about before retiring for the night, that he ventured outside the railing into the unprotected space, where the boats hang from their davits, and thence accidently fell overboard. There is no evidence whatever of suicide or foul play.