Unsolved Murders

George Wotherspoon

Age: 53

Sex: male

Date: 22 Mar 1926

Place: 23 South Street, Cockmouth

Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

George Wotherspoon died at his apartment from strychnine poisoning.

He was found to have had .67 of a grain of strychnine and .55 of a grain of brucine in his stomach.

His wife said that she had no idea where George Wotherspoon had got the strychnine from.

His wife said that on 21 March 1926 she was laid up with a cold and saw very little of George Wotherspoon who seemed to be very well indeed. She said that George Wotherspoon came to bed between 10pm and 10.30pm and that she was later woken up by a noise saying that she thought it was a snoring noise and said she said 'Oh, don't make that noise'. She then said that she realised that it wasn't actually snoring and that George Wotherspoon then said 'Put a light on' and that she then lighted a candle and saw that George Wotherspoon was in distress. She said that George Wotherspoon was trembling very much and told her to push off the bedclothes. she said that she then called out for the landlady and sent for a doctor.

The doctor stated that death was due to strychnine poisoning and said that strychnine poisoning could take place immediately or it might be delayed for some hours.

The Coroner asked his wife if George Wotherspoon was in the habit of taking strychnine and she said that he wasn't. He then asked if they had any in the house and she said that the didn't although they did have a range of medicines in the bathroom including aloin which contained a small portion of strychnine although the doctor said that he would have had to have taken 100 of the pills to have poisoned himself.

The Coroner also asked George Wotherspoon' wife if they had been to any countries where nux vomica was grown and George Wotherspoon' wife asked what nux vomica was and the Coroner said that it was a seed containing strychnine. George Wotherspoon's wife then said that they had been to Rhodesia in 1917 but had not returned.

George Wotherspoon's wife also said that George Wotherspoon had never threatened to do away with himself.


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


see Lancashire Evening Post - Wednesday 07 April 1926

see Leeds Mercury - Wednesday 07 April 1926