Unsolved Murders

Jean Stafford

Age: 33

Sex: female

Date: 18 May 1942

Place: 3 Bedford Place, Holborn, WC1

Jean Stafford was strangled on her bed in her flat in Bloomsbury, London.

She was found dead in her flat by the man that lived in the flat below hers.

As well as being strangled, her jaw had also been broken.

The police said that when they searched her flat they found that there was no money there and thought that robbery might have been the motive.

She was from Hull and had married on 7 February 1933. When she married, she was 23-years-old and her husband was 50-years-old. At the time he had been a sporting journalist who had worked in Canada but at the time of her death he was an ARP Warden in Leeds.

After they married, they lived at various addresses in Hull but in 1937 Jean Stafford went to London to start working in a hotel. However, it was said that after leaving for London Jean Stafford deserted her husband.

Jean Stafford had platinum blonde hair, and her real name was Agnes Stafford and she was the daughter of a shoe and boot repairer.

Her husband said that she was a bright girl, and very pretty and said that she had a fondness for expensive clothes and a good time.

She was about 5ft 3in tall, well-built and with a fresh complexion. She had blue eyes, good teeth, a straight nose and an oval face, and spoke with a strong Yorkshire accent.

At the time of her death she was said to have been a nightclub dancer.

Her housekeeper said that she would often bring home a certain man who was never traced by the police. The housekeeper said that she only knew him by his first name and described him as being a dapper-looking cove aged between 30 to 40, with a thin face and long nose.

It was also reported that a mystery man had telephoned Jean Stafford the day before she was murdered, but it was never found out who that man had been. The man had called for Jean Stafford on 18 May 1942 just after she had gone out. When the housekeeper answered the phone, she said that the man asked for Jean Stafford and said that he was a nephew of her father's brother.

Another tenant at 3 Bedford Place said that Jean Stafford told him before she went out that she was going to meet the man that telephoned.

It was also later suggested that Jean Stafford had been working as a prostitute and that she might have been murdered by a client.

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

see www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

see National Archives MEPO 3/2220

see Yorkshire Evening Post - Monday 25 May 1942

see Hull Daily Mail - Tuesday 26 May 1942

see Daily Herald - Saturday 20 June 1942

see Sunday Mirror - Sunday 24 May 1942

see Sunday Mirror - Sunday 24 May 1942

see Hull Daily Mail - Friday 22 May 1942

see Murder Houses of London by Jan Bondeson