Unsolved Murders

Eliza Sylvia Goodman

Age: 26

Sex: female

Date: 12 Apr 1926

Place: River Thames, London

Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

Eliza Sylvia Goodman was found drowned in the River Thames.

There were no signs of violence but she had earlier been seen driven either, ill, unconscious or resisting in a taxi-cab through London and it was considered that she might have been abducted.

She was an art student and had lived at Bromsgrove in Worcestershire and her father was a Birmingham solicitor.

She had been studying art in London and had been staying at the Women's Hostel in Rotherhithe.

She disappeared on 19 March 1926 about three weeks before she was found around 8 April 1926.

She was described as a very pleasant, gentle, sweet-tempered and popular with other residents at the hostel.

A woman that knew Eliza Goodman said that she was unable to identify her but did recognise certain clothing and a Yale latch key was found on her that fitted the from door of her hostel. She said that she last saw Eliza Goodman on 19 March 1926 when she had left the hostel to go shopping and then to go to the School of Art.

After going to the School of Art she was due to meet a girl friend from near her home to go to the theatre but she didn't turn up. The friend later called at 10.30pm to ask if Eliza Goodman had returned as she had not met her. She then called again just before midnight. When Eliza Goodman didn't return to her hostel the police were called.

At the Coroner's inquest, the jury heard that she didn't have a boyfriend.

A fellow art student said that she had tea with Eliza Goodman on 19 March 1926 after which they walked to Shaftesbury Avenue where they separated. she said that Eliza Goodman didn't say where she was going to spend the evening.

A taxi-driver that that about 5.30pm on 18 or 19 March 1926 he was hailed by a man in Euston Road who was in the company of an elderly lady and a young woman. He said that the young woman resisted entry into the cab and the man and the elderly woman forced her in. The cab driver said that he was then forced to drive to a convent in East Finchley where the young woman, resisting, got out. He said that when his wife read about it in the papers he went to the police.

The Lady Superior at the Good Shepherd Convent in East Finchley in London said 'No young woman has been taken into this instruction against her will. So far as I can recall, the only young woman recently to arrive by taxi-cab came here about a fortnight ago. She came alone and she is here still'.

However, there was no evidence of foul play and her body had no marks of injury or violence. The Coroner recorded the verdict that death was due to drowning and that there was no evidence to show how she got in the water.


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


see Northern Whig - Monday 12 April 1926

see Aberdeen Press and Journal - Monday 12 April 1926

see Lancashire Evening Post - Monday 12 April 1926

see Leeds Mercury - Monday 12 April 1926