Unsolved Murders

Evelyn Miller

Age: 20

Sex: female

Date: 23 Mar 1927

Place: Alfreds Terrace, Hull

Evelyn Miller died on the way to the hospital whilst in a certain condition. A herbalist/botanist was charged with her murder but was found not guilty and was discharged.

She died from septicaemia as a result of an illegal operation.

She had lived on Alfred's Terrace just off of Northumberland Avenue in Hull. She had been a machinist.

Her mother said that she took Evelyn Miller to a Herbalist on Tuesday 1 March 1927 where she was treated. Evelyn Miller's mother said that she asked the Herbalist 'Are you sure you are not doing anything wrong?', and that the Herbalist had replied 'No, a child could undergo the treatment'. She said that there were two subsequent visits, the last being on 23 March 1927. She said that she went to see the Herbalist and said, 'My God, do something for her'. She said that the Herbalist appeared to be very much upset and first brought her a hot, brown drink and then later gave her something, remarking 'It's the last thing they give to a person who has nearly drowned'.

Earlier on 23 March 1927 they had been to the Prince's Hall Cinema but Evelyn Miller wasn't feeling very well. The mother said that on the way back home at about 8.30pm when they were near the Majestic Evelyn Miller reeled against her mother and said 'Oh mum, Everything is going black, take me home'.

They then got a taxi home and after the mother took her to the Herbalist and then to the Royal Infirmary but she died on the way.

The mother said that after Evelyn Miller had died she had gone to see the Herbalist on 25 March 1927 and said that he had told her that he was very sorry and had said 'I will never do it again. I have had dozens, and I never had such a thing happen before. Never mind, don't fret. I will help you with the expenses' and that he had given her £5 in Treasury notes and had told her to buy black and some flowers.

Evelyn Miller's sister said that she had gone with Evelyn Miller to see the Herbalist when she had first gone and said that the Herbalist had said that girl's from all parts of the country went to see him and that he had shown them several letters apparently written by satisfied patients and that he had told them that his fees started from £9 9s through to £10 10s.

The herbalist who had lived on Sandringham Street in Hull was charged with her murder although at the Assizes the charge was reduced to manslaughter, however he was found not guilty and discharged.

The court heard that he had used a certain instrument upon her. However, he said that he had never touched her and said that the only reason Evelyn Miller's mother and sister had implicated him was because their original story had been found out by the Coroner and that they had wanted to save their skins.

He said that he had treated Evelyn Miller for anaemia and when arrested produced a bundle of over one hundred testimonials.

He said that after Evelyn Miller's death he had returned £1 to Evelyn Miller's mother that he had initially received in fees after she had come to see him and told him that she didn't have sufficient money to pay for the funeral and that she was in arrears with her insurance policies. He said that he had done so because he didn't want anything more to do with the case.

He also said that Evelyn Miller's mother came to see him the following day and asked him if he had known the taxi-driver and then asked him to confirm the statement that she had made and that had appeared in the evening paper. He said then that she borrowed £5 from him on the conditions that she repay 5s each week.

The herbalist admitted that he had called the taxi-driver and asked him to keep quiet about the matter saying that it would have done him harm if it had become known that Evelyn Miller had collapsed on his premises saying that he had a fine business connection. He said that he had not asked the taxi-driver to stick to the story that he had read in the newspaper and had only asked him to keep quiet about it. He said that when Evelyn Miller first came to his house she seemed all right. However, when she left she was in a terrible way and he had asked the taxi-driver to keep quiet about the matter because it would be a serious thing for him if a patient had died on his premises as he was not medically qualified. He said that he knew there was no harm in him conducting business so long as he didn't pretend to be a doctor.

When the herbalist was cross examined he said that he had successfully treated child patients who could not be cured by Harley Street doctors. He said that he had not kept a record of Evelyn Miller's visits but that if she had made more visits he would have then undoubtedly have kept a record of it. He also said that the reason that he could not remember her name when questioned by police at first was because he had so many patients.

When he was cross examined the prosecution said 'I suggest that you knew her collapse was due to the fact that you had interfered with her' but the Herbalist replied, 'I never touched her. Never put a finger on her'. He also denied that Evelyn Miller had ever asked him if there was any danger in his treatment and that he had ever told Evelyn Miller's sister that his methods were clean and that the police knew all about them.

When the prosecution asked the herbalist why Evelyn Miller's mother and sister would tell lies about him the Herbalist said that it was because they had been found out by the Coroner and that they were trying to save their own skin. He said, 'It is very cruel, it has broken me and it has broken my business. I have given away one pound out of every two that I made in doing good. During the war I never charged a soldier or a sailor's wife one penny piece.' He also said that he had treated members of the police force and been thanked for it.

The Judge said that the only inference that they could draw from the Herbalist's gift of £5 to Evelyn Miller's mother was that it was hush money and he was discharged.

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

see www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

see National Library of Scotland

see Historic England

see Hull Daily Mail - Saturday 26 March 1927

see Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer - Thursday 07 April 1927

see Hull Daily Mail - Thursday 12 May 1927

see Gloucester Citizen - Wednesday 06 April 1927

see Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer - Saturday 30 April 1927