Date: 20 Jun 1928
Place: Halkin Street, Leicester
Ritchie West Milne was found dead in an advanced state of decomposition in an empty house in Halkin Street, Leicester.
He had just bought the house and had paid a deposit of £92 10s on 18 June 1928. He saw a builder a couple of days later regarding some alterations but was not seen again.
When the builder later went back to the house on 17 August 1928 he found Ritchie Milne's body. It was identified by his watch-chain. He said that he had known Ritchie Milne for two months and had been introduced to him as the prospective purchaser of the house and had discussed certain alterations to the property with him. He said that when he had not heard from him after that he went to the house where he had lived and was told that his boxes had been forwarded to the new house. When he went there he went inside and found Ritchie Milne dead on a bed.
A doctor said that it was impossible to say what the cause of death was. There were traces of blood on his clothing but no razor or knife was found. He said that all of his organs were eaten away and so it was impossible to say whether he had committed suicide or not.
A policeman said that he found 9s. 6d in money on his body along with a pocket knife, a bunch of keys, a gold watch and chain and some cuff links. There were also two trunks in the house along with a wallet containing two £1 notes, a bank book and a national insurance card with his name on it. There was also a the name of an estate office at Redditch. They also found four unopened letters that had been sent by post, the earliest having a date of 27 June 1928 on it.
One of the letters was to Messrs. Stone, the solicitors for the owner of the house, in which he wrote 'It did not occur to me I had done wrong until I had read your letter. This property is going to to be too much for me, and I have made up my mind to get rid of it'.
There was another letter to Messrs. Brown and Sons, auctioneers, Leicester, stating 'Will you please sell the property as I find I have not the capital necessary to develop it'. The Coroner noted that Ritchie Milne had intended to convert the house into a shop.
A further document purporting to be a will was found which stated 'All monies and property belonging to me, including a small balance at the Midland Bank at Beeston (Notts.) share and share alike to my two sisters'.
A man that had lodged with Ritchie Milne at his previous address on Cemetery Road in Sileby said that Ritchie Milne had told him 'I have relatives but I am glad to get away from them' .
One of his sisters said that Ritchie Milne was not a strong man and that she had last seen him two or three years earlier.
The Coroner said that there seemed to be no reason why he would commit suicide as he was not short of money. A banker's receipt for five National Savings Bank certificates of £130 each had been found lodged in his Midland Bank at Beeston in Nottinghamshire.
A verdict of found dead was returned noting that it was impossible to ascertain the cause of death.
Ritchie Milne was formerly employed in a land agent's office near Redditch.
He was a native of Fraserburgh and the son of a fish curer. He had served an apprenticeship in the Philorth estate office but seldom visited it since leaving many years earlier. He was described as a quiet man of a retiring disposition.
see Nottingham Evening Post - Thursday 23 August 1928
see Gloucester Journal - Saturday 25 August 1928
see Western Morning News - Thursday 23 August 1928
see Aberdeen Press and Journal - Saturday 25 August 1928
see Nottingham Journal - Thursday 23 August 1928