Unsolved Murders

Evelyn Hatton

Age: 44

Sex: female

Date: 16 Dec 1944

Place: 44 Duke Street, St James, London

Source: www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Evelyn Hatton was strangled in her home at 44 Duke Street in St James, London.

Her flat door was locked, and she was later found inside lying by her bed, fully dressed in her outdoor clothes by a man that sub-let her apartment on Saturday night, 16 December 1944.

She had a silk bandeau knotted and tied tightly round her throat and her feet had been bound together with a sheet from her bed. Her handbag had also been rifled.

When she was found it was thought that she had been dead for at least 24 hours, and probably more.

She was last seen on the Wednesday night, 13 December 1944 with two men.

London was described as being foggy at the time and that as such it would have been easy for her murderer to walk about unseen.

The pathologist said, on 2 January 1945, that her cause of death was strangulation by a ligature round the neck, noting that there was nothing in the condition of her heart that might have caused her death. However, he had said on 19 December 1944 that she had not been strangled and that he had thought that she had died from heart failure. As such, the police initially said that they thought that she had collapsed whilst trying to prevent her flat from being robbed and had died from shock as her assailant was trussing her feet up as she lay on the floor.

She was said to have had three lives.

In the West End she was known as Eve and lived in her flat in Duke Street, moving in a big circle of people who frequented the night haunts around Piccadilly. She had had the flat in Duke Street for nine weeks and had been paying 9 guineas a week for it. She was known as Eva to the licensees and customers of the houses that she visited. In the Piccadilly area it was noted that she had been seen recently in the company of a taxi-driver.

It was noted that the room that she was found in was on the second storey, facing the front of the building. It had its blinds drawn and a 'To Let' notice hung from the window.

However, she was married to a cinema attendant in Holland Park where they lived in a £4/week flat. In Holland Park she was known as Mrs Clayton and was described by a neighbour as a quiet little person that she seldom saw.

However, at the time of her murder she had been living in a furnished home with her husband in Colville Terrace in Bayswater, although the landlady there said that she and her husband were only due to stay until the Saturday. It was noted that whilst at Colville Terrace she and her husband had not given up their flat in Holland Park even though they had not been seen there for some time.

The police said that they had a short-list of suspects and said that they were still trying to identify two men that that she had been seen talking to on the evening that she was last seen.

Evelyn Hatton was described by friends as a smartly dressed brunette with a perfect complexion who had looked much younger than her age.

At her inquest her husband gave evidence stating that he was a cinema usher and had lived in Colville Terrace in Bayswater, but that he didn't know where Evelyn Hatton had lived.

Her inquest was concluded on 7 February 1945 when a verdict of murder against some person or persons unknown was returned.

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

see National Archives - MEPO 3/2285

see Daily Herald - Tuesday 19 December 1944

see Dundee Courier - Monday 18 December 1944

see Gloucester Citizen - Monday 18 December 1944

see Aberdeen Press and Journal - Wednesday 07 February 1945

see Gloucestershire Echo - Tuesday 02 January 1945

see Derby Daily Telegraph - Tuesday 02 January 1945

see Belfast News-Letter - Tuesday 19 December 1944

see Gloucester Citizen - Tuesday 19 December 1944

see Daily Mirror - Monday 18 December 1944