Unsolved Murders

Pamela Frances Pettitt

Age: 20

Sex: female

Date: 8 Jul 1935

Place: Colosseum Terrace, Albany Street, London

Pamela Frances Pettitt died after an illegal operation.

She was a dancer and had died a fortnight after returning from a Continental tour. She had lived in Colosseum Terrace in Albany Street, London, NW and had been engaged to a Frenchman and was due to marry in September 1935.

She went to the Middlesex Hospital at about 1am on 28 June 1935 where she told a doctor what had happened to her four days earlier but there was no bed for her there and so she was taken by ambulance to St Pancras Hospital where she later died. She had gone to the hospital accompanied by a Frenchman.

A relative from Surbiton said that when she saw Pamela Pettitt in the hospital on 30 June 1935 she had given her no explanation regarding what had happened but said that on a later occasion Pamela Pettitt had given her the name of a person that had operated on her, adding that she later gave that name to the police.

At her inquest, a woman that had lived in Belsize Road in Hampstead was asked to give evidence but said, 'If I do it is going to hurt somebody. As you have my statement before you, I would rather not give evidence'.

The pathologist said that her cause of death was heart failure due to acute general peritonitis consequent on septic infection but added that it might have been caused by an accidental fall.

The police said that whilst Pamela Pettitt had been in hospital she had mentioned the name of a doctor. They said that they then went to see the doctor but said that the doctor told them that he was too busy to attend the hospital where the magistrate was taking Pamela Pettitt's deposition and said that he didn't know her and had no record of her in his books. However, the police noted that the doctor had refused to let them see his books. They said that when they had asked him if he had known Pamela Pettitt he had said, 'I don't know the name', and that he had picked up his book and turned over the leaves without properly examining it and said, 'I have no record of her'.

When the police inspector that had gone to see him said, 'You understand the allegation the girl has made against you and that you are being afforded the opportunity of coming to the hospital to question her in case she dies?', the doctor had replied, 'I am not going to make any statement. She can say what she likes one way or the other'. When the police inspector said, 'Perhaps it would be in your interest to go. You will be afforded an opportunity of questioning her’, the doctor had said, 'It might be in my interest, it might not'.

When the police inspector asked to see the book, he said that the doctor took a similar looking book from his desk and put it on top of the first book and then put his right elbow on both books and said that he was not going to show him his books.

The police later returned with a subpoena on the doctor and took possession of his books.

When he was later asked why he didn't go to the hospital he said that he had just opened up his evening surgery and didn't think that it was any good going to the hospital and added that he could meet any allegation made against him later.

At the inquest, the doctor acknowledged that he new the woman who lived in Belsize Road in Hampstead, saying that he had known her for 2-3 years and said that he would occasionally send her patients saying that she took people who were old and infirm and needed looking after. He added that sending the patients to her was purely a recommendation.

He also said that he did know Pamela Pettitt, saying that she had come to see him on 19 June 1935. He said that she had told him that she had just returned from the Continent and that she had complained of pains. He said that he had advised her to either go and see the woman in Belsize Road, Hampstead or to go to the hospital but added that he had strongly recommended her going to the Middlesex Hospital.

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

see www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

see Daily Herald - Tuesday 23 July 1935

see Nottingham Evening Post - Saturday 20 July 1935