Unsolved Murders

Edna Gertrude Turner

Age: 29

Sex: female

Date: 20 Jun 1931

Place: 325 Ecclesall Road, Sheffield

Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

Edna Gertrude Turner died from cyanide of potassium poisoning.

It was thought that she might have eaten some bad rhubarb.

The rhubarb was grown in the garden and cooked on 17 June 1931 and a portion that was not eaten was thrown away on 22 June 1931 owing to its condition.

She died 20 minutes after her husband had left her seemingly in good health. Her husband had been talking to her at 8.30am and had then gone out at 8.45am. He was later telephoned by a maid to say that Edna Turner had died.

At first there was no suspicion that her death was anything but natural until the post-mortem revealed that she had died from poisoning.

A maid said that just after the husband had left she had heard Edna Turner talking to two three-year-old children and had heard one of them say 'Is that your medicine Mummy?' and then heard Edna Turner reply 'Yes, dear, that is my nasty medicine'. The maid said that she didn't hear Edna Turner speak again but she then heard her breathing heavily and when she went into her room she saw a child crying.

The maid said that she ran down the stairs and got another maid and that they then both went into Edna Turner's bedroom and saw her lying in her nightdress across the bed with her feet hanging over the side.

A theory was put forward that she might have eaten some bad rhubarb that she had eaten either on the Friday night or Saturday morning, the remains of which were found in her stomach.

Her post-mortem concluded that she had died from some form of irritant poisoning, probably ammonia or a compound of ammonia and her organs were sent away for analysis. It wasn't thought that she had died from food poisoning due to the condition of her stomach.

However, after her organs had been analysed, traces of cyanide were found in her stomach lining.

The police said that they were unable to determine where the cyanide had come from but said that there was no suspicion of murder, although they were unable to suggest whether the case was one of accident or suicide.

One of the maids said that Edna Turner had sometimes complained of headaches and back pains since the birth of her baby in February 1931.

Her husband was the director of the Pneumatic Engineering Company.


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


see Sheffield Daily Telegraph - Friday 24 July 1931

see Sheffield Independent - Friday 26 June 1931

see Sheffield Daily Telegraph - Friday 26 June 1931