Unsolved Murders

Annie Josephine Heald

Age: 33

Sex: female

Date: 29 Oct 1912

Place: Leeds

Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

Annie Josephine Heald died from morphia poisoning.

Her inquest concluded that she had died from morphia poisoning but that it could not be determined by whom the morphia had been administered.

She had been ill for some time and her husband, who was a Leeds City Police surgeon, said that he had administered her morphia pills towards the end of her illness, but said that she had vomited, and he had stopped giving her the pills.

Following her death, the contents of her stomach were analysed, and she was found to have had 4.1 grains of morphia in the viscera. It was noted that 2 grains was generally a lethal dose in an adult and that 1 grain had been known to kill before.

After she died, just as the doctor was leaving, Annie Heald's husband said, 'I suppose I can send across for the certificate?'. However, the doctor told him that he was afraid that he would have to communicate with the coroner.

The doctor that later examined Annie Heald's body said that he had no conviction as to the cause of her death and sent two jars to Edinburgh for analysis by an expert in alkaloids following which the morphia was discovered.

It was heard that all dangerous drugs in the house were kept locked in a cupboard to which Annie Josephine Heald's husband kept the key. However, at the inquest, her husband said that Annie Heald also had access to the cupboard for other articles.


see Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer - Tuesday 29 October 1912

see Jedburgh Gazette - Friday 01 November 1912

see Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Tuesday 29 October 1912

see The Scotsman - Tuesday 22 October 1912

see Lakes Herald - Friday 25 October 1912