Unsolved Murders

Emily Shinn

Age: 37

Sex: female

Date: 22 Oct 1931

Place: Patcham Park, Patcham

Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

Emily Shinn died from cyanide of potassium poisoning.

She had been walking along with a man when she collapsed and later died in hospital. The man, who was her employer, shot himself several days later at his shop in Church Road, Applegate. The man had been a well-known Freemason.

She had just returned from holiday and had been full of gaiety and high spirits on the Monday that she died. After lunch, she had telephoned her uncle and aunt in Brighton saying that she had to remain late at work, but that wasn't true. It was noted that she had kept a diary which was stated, if it were up to date, would be of considerable assistance to the police.

A friend of the man that shot himself said that he had been extremely upset over her death.

On the Saturday, the man had reported to the police that he had been the victim of a robbery. The police had also told the man that in consequence of information that they had received they wished to have another interview with him over the death of Emily Shinn.

It was said that the matter was mentioned casually to the man but shortly after they left, within a minute or two, a revolver shot was heard and he was found with a wound to his head and he died in hospital shortly after.

It was said that during the man's conversation with the police on the Saturday he had said 'I can explain it all. It was an accident. I have warned the poor girl time after time. She used to carry cyanide of potassium in her handbag, screwed up in paper, and used it to clean her hands after she had been dying her hair'. Before they left a police inspector told him to explain that the to the Brighton police officers when they came.

The man’s death was recorded as suicide whilst of unsound mind.

In the man's pocket after he died, the police found a note saying 'Please forgive me. I cannot stand the ordeal. Both of us are innocent'.

Emily Shinn was a hairdresser’s assistant and had lived with her uncle and aunt in Brighton.


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


see Sheffield Daily Telegraph - Thursday 22 October 1931

see Western Daily Press - Saturday 10 October 1931

see Sunderland Daily Echo and Shipping Gazette - Saturday 10 October 1931

see Western Morning News - Monday 12 October 1931

see Northern Whig - Monday 12 October 1931

see Taunton Courier, and Western Advertiser - Wednesday 14 October 1931