Unsolved Murders

Lilian Dennis

Age: 21 months

Sex: female

Date: 7 Sep 1934

Place: Martell Road, West Dulwich

Lilian Dennis died from a fractured skull.

She was a 21-month-old baby.

She was admitted to Dulwich Hospital shortly before midnight on Thursday 6 September 1934 and died within an hour.

Her post-mortem stated that her cause of death was a fracture of the skull and laceration of the brain.

She was found to have had bruises all over her body that were a week old.

Her father said that he had been alone with her during the evening and had turned on the wireless to listen to some dance music and said that he then danced around the room with Lilian Dennis for a few minutes.

He said that about two hours later he heard a bump and found her lying on the floor with her go-cart lying overturned near her.

He said that she screamed when he picked her up and then became limp.

A doctor was called to the flat on the Tuesday night and found Lillian Dennis collapsed and unconscious. He said that there were bruises on the child’s face, above the left ear, the collar-bone and above the left hip.

The police surgeon said that Lillian Dennis's mother explained to him that the injuries had been caused by Lillian Dennis falling against her perambulator. However, the police surgeon said that he found it difficult to find that the injuries had been consistent with a fall.

A woman that occupied the flat below said that on the afternoon of 6 September 1934 she heard the mother go out and said that shortly after she heard what sounded like a fight in progress from the flat above her.  She said that she heard a child scream continually for about three or four minutes, and said that it then all went quiet. She said that she then heard a man's footsteps come down the stairs, and then half an hour later, she heard them again going back up. She said that she then heard the baby scream again, but not for long.

A policeman that lodged in the same building said that he heard a scuffle in the flat above him, saying that it sounded like a fight and that it was sufficient to have made the windows vibrate. He said that the noise continued for about three to four minutes during which time the child had been screaming. He said that the noise was repeated about two hours later, but not for so long.

An open verdict was returned.

see www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

see Western Daily Press - Tuesday 18 September 1934

see Gloucester Citizen - Wednesday 12 September 1934

see Western Daily Press - Tuesday 18 September 1934

see Gloucester Citizen - Tuesday 18 September 1934