Unsolved Murders

Samuel Henry Smith

Age: 68

Sex: male

Date: 3 Nov 1930

Place: Parkfield Drive, Hull

Samuel Henry Smith was found shot dead at his home in a pool of blood with head injuries and a bootlace tied tightly round his neck.

He was a retired moneylender, bookmaker and clothing club agent.

It was thought that robbery was the motive. A bureau in the house had been ransacked and was thought to have been the main objective.

He had lived on Parkfield Drive, Hull with his son-in-law and daughter but they had been away in Ireland for a few days at the time.

After he had not been seen since the Saturday at about 9pm, the fiance of one of Samuel Smith's granddaughters obtained a key and let herself in on the Monday. When she went in she turned on a light and saw Samuel Smith lying dead in a pool of blood.

He had seven deep wounds on his head as well as a mohair bootlace tied round his neck sufficiently tight to have caused strangulation itself. The post-mortem stated that Samuel Smith had died with his hands to his throat as though he had been trying to drag away the bootlace that was choking him.

The police said that they thought that he was murdered at about 9pm on the Saturday night.

When his son-in-law returned from Ireland on 6 November he examined the bureau. It was said that Samuel Smith had had a reputation for being a man of means but it was later said that that was not the case and it was thought that the murderer had probably got away with less than £10.

The only items that could definitely be established as missing were a gold watch and albert with a Victorian sovereign attached, some money and the front door key.

It was thought that he had been hit on the head with something like a heavy packing case opener.

It was noted that Samuel Smith's dog had gone missing about seven weeks before and Samuel Smith had told neighbours that he was worried about its disappearance before he died. It was later suggested that the dog might have been lured away by the murderer in preparation for the robbery. As such, the police said that they were also trying to trace the dog.

The police said that Samuel Smith's wireless set was on at the time when they went in on the Monday and said that they thought that the murderer had entered his house without Samuel Smith's knowledge and taken him by surprise in his room.

On 17 November 1930 an anonymous letter was received by the Hull police stating that the writer knew the identity of the murderer and said that if the man did not give himself up that week then he would disclose his whereabouts.

The police said that they were trying to trace a bareheaded man of medium build and a friend of his who had boarded an East Yorkshire motor omnibus opposite Springfield Drive near to Samuel Smith's house at about 11.10pm on the night of the murder. The conductor of the omnibus had given the police a fairly minute description of the man but the police said that they were also anxious to get in touch with as many of the other passengers that had been on the omnibus at the time.

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

see www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

see Yorkshire Evening Post - Wednesday 07 January 1931

see Dundee Courier - Wednesday 05 November 1930

see Northern Whig - Tuesday 18 November 1930

see Hull Daily Mail - Wednesday 01 April 1931

see Hull Daily Mail - Wednesday 19 November 1930

see Leeds Mercury - Thursday 06 November 1930

see Lancashire Evening Post - Thursday 02 April 1931