Unsolved Murders

Mary Dean

Age: 40

Sex: female

Date: 13 Oct 1912

Place: Dale Street, Ancoats

Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

Mary Dean died after receiving a stab wound in her downstairs front room whilst her husband was asleep upstairs.

Her husband said that Mary Dean called to him on the Saturday night at 11.30am and he went downstairs and and unlocked the door and let her in and then returned to bed.

He said that Mary Dean then called out again saying that she was not going to bed as she might be called out again at any moment and said that he then went to sleep.

He said that he heard nothing more until 1.30am when he went downstairs and found Mary Dean lying on the sofa and a lot of blood on the floor. He said that he shook her and then went out to call the neighbours.

At the inquest, it was noted that Mary Dean had been of intemperate habits and was frequently drunk. It was also heard that her husband, who was a cotton spinner, was described as quiet, sober and hard-working, and noted that he had done all he could to cure Mary Dean of her drinking.

A neighbour said that on the Saturday night, 12 October 1912, she had heard Mary Dean knocking at her own door and shouting for her husband to open it. She said that half an hour later she heard another shout, and then after another half hour, she heard someone shouting, 'Doctor! Mary! Help! Police, police!', and said that the voice sounded like Mary Dean's husbands.

The neighbour said that when she went into the street, she saw Mary Dean's husband who said to her, 'Do go in. She's in there lying on the sofa'.

The woman said that she went in and found Mary Dean lying on the sofa still breathing, but unconscious, adding that there was a lot of blood on the floor and that Mary Dean had been lying in it.

A doctor was sent for, but Mary Dean died about ten minutes later.

The neighbour said that Mary Dean's husband came into her shop the following day and said, 'The Lord help me. She was always a trouble to me. I'm glad she's gone. I'm innocent'.

When Mary Dean's body was later examined, it was found that the bed on which she had laid on and her clothing had also been burnt.

The blade of a large table-knife was also found in the house.

When a doctor examined her, he found that Mary Dean had suffered from an internal injury, saying that an important artery had been cleanly cut by a wound about three-quarters of an inch long and three eighths of an inch deep. However, he said that he didn't think that it could have been made by the large table-knife blade that was found in the house, noting that he thought that it was more likely to have been caused by a fair-sized penknife.

The coroner said that the evidence was circumstantial and said that the jury could either return a verdict of wilful murder against the husband or could return an open verdict.

The jury then returned an open verdict.


see Dundee Evening Telegraph - Thursday 31 October 1912