Unsolved Murders

Rene MacLean

Age: 20

Sex: female

Date: 9 Mar 1918

Place: Little Newport Street, Soho

Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

Rene MacLean died after having an abortion.

She was from May Street in Manchester but died at a property in Little Newport Street in Soho.

She had been ill for about six weeks and had gone to London with the 26-year-old manager of a waterproof company in Dutton Street, Manchester. They first stayed in Foley Street off Tottenham Court Road at the home of the waterproof company manager's brother. Rene MacLean was then found a room in Little Newport Street where she died.

Her post mortem stated that she died from blood poisoning following a premature confinement.

A Cingalese doctor from Shaftesbury Avenue said that he was called out to see her but said that he had not been told why he had been called out saying that he had just been asked to see a 'patient'. After seeing her the doctor called the police.

When the police in Manchester visited Rene MacLean's lodgings in Manchester they found a certain prescription and an instrument. The police said that that also learned that Rene MacLean had been going out with a married man who when questioned, denied all knowledge of her condition.

A policeman said that when he met the waterproof company manager he had said to him 'She is my fiancee, and we are up from Manchester on holiday'. However, he later denied being her fiancee and said that he had not seen her more than six times in the previous four years. He said that before he went to London with Rene MacLean on 22 February 1918 at Rene MacLean's sister's request he had not seen her for five months. He also said that he knew nothing about her condition until after she had died.

When the jury returned their verdict, they added a rider censuring the London doctor and also said that they thought that the evidence of the waterproof company manager, his brother and Rene MacLean's friend was very unsatisfactory. The Coroner added that all was not right and that there was a good deal in the waterproof company manager's story which required explanation.


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


see Lincolnshire Echo - Saturday 09 March 1918

see The People - Sunday 24 March 1918