Unsolved Murders

William Whittle

Age: 55

Sex: male

Date: 27 Dec 1929

Place: Ragged Stone Cottage, Holly Bush, Ledbury

Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

William Whittle died from potassium cyanide poisoning.

When the doctor carried out the post-mortem he found William Whittle's stomach to contain a dark red fluid and his organs were sent off to the Public Analyst.

The Public Analyst said that William Whittle would have died within five minutes and would have been unconscious after 30 seconds.

The inquest heard that the potassium cyanide had been purchased in Ledbury some months previously by a woman on the instruction of William Whittle for the purpose of killing wasps.

His wife said that William Whittle had been out drinking the day before and had come home quite merry and had some wine before he went to bed. She said that after he retired he called for some chocolates and water which she put by the side of his bed.

She said that she didn't sleep with him that night owing to his condition but that when she went into the room at 8am he appeared to be sleeping. She said that she then went out on her postal rounds and when she got back at 11am she found him dead in bed.

When the Coroner summed up he said that in his view the poison had been diluted in the water and it was for the jury to say who had administered it.

After a long deliberation, the jury returned an open verdict.

William Whittle was a labourer.


see Gloucester Journal - Saturday 25 January 1930

see Gloucester Citizen - Tuesday 21 January 1930