Unsolved Murders

Indries Ali

Age: 41

Sex: male

Date: 24 Mar 1931

Place: 19 Victoria Dock Road, Canning Town, London

Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

Indries Ali was a Bengalese seaman and was found murdered in his room at 19 Victoria Dock Road Canning Town.

He was found dead and terribly battered about the head in a locked, gas-filled room behind his shop. He was found by two friends and housemates that had gone to his room and when they pushed up a window they smelt gas and when they went in and lit the gas light they found Indries Ali lying between a table and a bed as though he had fallen from the bed. They said that they picked him up and put him on the bed and then saw blood on the floor.

His business partner, an Indian salesman, was tried for his murder at the central Criminal Court but was found not guilty and discharged.

They had been in partnership together as live poultry dealers on Victoria Dock Road. The business partner had been living at 32 Victoria Dock Road.

They had arrived together on the same ship in September 1930. Indries Ali had then started a poultry business and taken the man that was tried for his murder into partnership with him. However, it appeared that there had been a dispute between them about the business accounts. It was heard that Indries Ali could not read or write but that his business partner could do both. However, it was heard that Indries Ali had said 'He write one thing and tell me another. He is causing trouble all the time through that'. The man that Indries Ali had said that to, said that Indries Ali and his business partner appeared quite good friends and that he had never seen them quarrel. The man said that he could not say whether the accounts were in order or not and added that it was possible that Indries Ali owed his business partner money.

On the evening that Indries Ali was found dead his business partner was seen running away from the house at about 6.30pm. Another Indian ship's fireman said that he saw the business partner walking rather fast and said that he looked rather peculiar. He said that he had asked the business partner to shake hands but that the business partner didn't do so and when running off he nearly knocked over a child.

Indries Ali was said to have been at his home cooking pigeons before he was killed.

When the business partner was questioned he said 'Indries Ali was very good man. Never quarrelled with anybody'. He also said that he had visited the premises but didn't see Indries Ali and said that he later heard that Indries Ali was dead. When he was arrested he said 'I say nothing. I never done it'. He said that he last saw Indries Ali at 10.30am

A woman said that the business partner who had been to her house on the day of the murder came to see her the following day and said, 'If anyone asks you what time I came say five o'clock'. She said that he had actually come to see her between 6pm and 7pm but refused to play cards as usual and that when she had asked him where Indries Ali was he had said 'He is all right. He is in the room'. She said that he stayed until 10.30pm.

Another woman said that on 17 March 1931 she had heard Indries Ali and his business partner talking in a sort of English and heard Indries Ali asking the business partner how he had got his key.

A man that ran a lodging house for seamen said that at one time the business partner had owed him as much as £114 but had paid him back and that he currently owed him £65.

Blood was found on the business partners clothes but it was said to have not been human blood.

It was heard that the business partner was known to some of his friends as 'Mystery'.

The medical evidence showed that Indries Ali had wounds and bruises on his face and nose and that his death was due to haemorrhage.


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


see Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Thursday 26 March 1931

see Sheffield Independent - Friday 17 April 1931

see Essex Newsman - Saturday 23 May 1931

see Derby Daily Telegraph - Thursday 09 April 1931

see Dundee Evening Telegraph - Friday 27 March 1931

see Chelmsford Chronicle - Friday 22 May 1931

see Dundee Evening Telegraph - Thursday 02 April 1931

see Gloucester Citizen - Thursday 02 April 1931

see Lancashire Evening Post - Thursday 02 April 1931

see Hull Daily Mail - Thursday 23 April 1931

see Portsmouth Evening News - Thursday 16 April 1931

see Lancashire Evening Post - Thursday 02 April 1931