Unsolved Murders

William Simpson

Age: 60

Sex: male

Date: 15 Oct 1915

Place: Rochdale Canal, Dicken Green Bridge

Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

William Simpson was found dead in a canal with a piece of rope tied round his neck and leg.

He was a fitter's labourer and had lived at 175 Ashfield Road in Rochdale.

He was found in the Rochdale Canal near Dicken Green on the Friday afternoon.

He had worked at Messrs. Tomlinson's works in Oldham Road, but had not worked for the previous two weeks because he had been suffering from bronchitis.

He left his home at about 6.30am on the Wednesday morning, 12 October 1915 saying that he was going for a walk and was not seen again.

A Corporation labourer that lived on Grafton Street in Rochdale said that he was walking along the canal tow path at about 2.30pm on the Friday afternoon when he saw William Simpson floating in the canal about 50 yards along from the Dicken Green Bridge going towards Castleton, about nine feet from the bank.

He said that he took his body out of the canal and found that there was a piece of rope fastened to his body, one end of which was tied round his neck and the other end tied round his left leg.

A policeman said that when he examined William Simpson, he formed the opinion that William Simpson had been in the water for about two days. He said that the only mark he could see on his body was a slight abrasion on his neck where the rope had been fastened.

The Coroner said that there was no evidence to show how William Simpson had got into the water and suggested that the jury return an open verdict but said that he thought the jury would agree in adding the opinion that he might have committed suicide whilst of unsound mind, which they did.


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


see Rochdale Observer - Wednesday 20 October 1915, p8