Unsolved Murders
Elsie Isabel Duckett

Elsie Isabel Duckett

Age: 17

Sex: female

Date: 13 Aug 1930

Place: Reynolds Retreat, Monk Sherborne, Basingstoke, Hampshire

Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

Elsie Isabel Duckett died from arsenic poisoning.

When she was in hospital all she could say was 'It was that cup'.

She was taken ill after drinking a cup of tea. After she said that the tea had had a bitter taste.

She had brought in a teapot from the breakfast-room after breakfast, got a cup, put milk and sugar into it, and then poured out some tea. She then drank half of it and complained that it tasted very bitter and nasty and then threw the rest away.

She was then taken to hospital where she died.

She was a servant girl.

Her mother said that Elsie Duckett would come home for a half day every Wednesday and Sunday but on the Sunday 6 July she received a call from Elsie Duckett's employer saying that Elsie Duckett was ill. The mother then went immediately to the house where she saw her daughter in one of the servant’s rooms in bed. She said to Elsie Duckett 'Elsie, you look ill. Whatever is the matter with you?' and Elsie Duckett replied 'I know I am ill, but I don't know what is the matter'.

When Elsie Duckett was taken to the hospital her mother would visit her 2-3 times a day but said that all she could say was 'It was that cup'.

Her employer, a young farmer said that there was weed-killer in the shed and that no one other than he had a right to be in there. He said that when he went to examine the tin of weed-killer he found that the tin cap was off, and the cork not in properly.

At her inquest, it was determined that she was not in a certain way. It was heard that she might have thought she was and might have administered some weed killer with the intention of getting rid of her trouble whilst not killing herself, however, it was also said that there was no evidence for that.


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

see Gloucester Citizen - Wednesday 13 August 1930

see Western Morning News - Wednesday 13 August 1930

see Western Morning News - Wednesday 06 August 1930

see Gloucester Journal - Saturday 26 July 1930

see Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Wednesday 06 August 1930

see Western Daily Press - Wednesday 13 August 1930

see Western Daily Press - Thursday 24 July 1930