Unsolved Murders

Florence May de Bussy

Age: 64

Sex: female

Date: 25 Mar 1950

Place: 13 Alexandra Drive, Burnage, Manchester

Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

Florence May de Bussy was found battered to death in her bed with a coal hammer at her home on 25 March 1950.

She had been beaten about the head with six blows resulting in a fractured skull. The police said that they thought that she was murdered shortly after midnight and said that they believed that the motive was robbery, but that they thought that the murderer had only got away with a few pounds.

Florence de Bussy was a cripple and rarely went out.

The telephone wires to her house had been cut and it was thought that the murderer had entered her house through the window of the small back bedroom. It was said that he would have been able to have reached that easily by climbing on to the lean-to-scullery and scrambling up its sloping roof.

Florence de Bussy had been sleeping in the front bedroom.

On Monday 27 March 1950 it was reported that the police were seeking a young hatless man that was seen running from 13 Alexandra Drive earlier in the night. He was seen by Florence de Bussy's neighbour at about the time that she last saw and spoke to Florence de Bussy.

Her neighbour said that she saw Florence de Bussy shortly before 10pm on 24 March 1950 as she was leaving her house and said that Florence Bussy told her, 'I have made special precautions tonight. I have been reading in the paper about a lady being found battered to death and I don't want to be found battered to death'. She was also described as a generally careful woman who always carefully bolted her doors at night.

The neighbour said that she told Florence de Bussy that that would never happen to her and said that when she left, she heard Florence de Bussy bolt her door. She added also that she heard nothing unusual in the night.

Her son said that about a week before her murder that he had given her £19. He said that there was nothing missing from her house so far as he knew other than her grey handbag. However, no money was found in the house and it was assumed that the £19 had been stolen.

Another neighbour said that he found a handbag in the washhouse with its contents on the floor and a hammer.

It was also reported soon after the murder that the police were hoping that the purchaser of a recently bought ginger overcoat might provide them with information that might help in solving the murder.

The police said that they had interviewed 1,400 people during their investigation and that of those, 643 of them had had their movements on the night of the murder checked.

A verdict of 'wilful murder by some person or persons unknown' was returned at her inquest on Thursday 18 May 1950 at Manchester.


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


see Western Daily Press - Friday 19 May 1950

see Hull Daily Mail - Thursday 18 May 1950

see Leicester Daily Mercury - Thursday 18 May 1950

see Daily Mirror - Friday 19 May 1950