Unsolved Murders

John James King

Age: 73

Sex: male

Date: 8 May 1909

Place: 1 Copper Street, Southsea

Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

John James King died a few months after he was possibly pushed against a table.

John King was a journeyman plasterer.

His son said hat he last saw John King in his bed at his house on Saturday 14 February 1909 and said that he told him that he had hurt his side after he had gone over to his nephew's house opposite, at 79 Copper Street, after hearing them quarrelling. He said that John King told him that when he went into his nephew's house he saw his nephew and his wife quarrelling and that the pair fell against him and threw him against a table or chest of drawers.

He said that John King told him that it was quite accidental.

However, it was heard that John King had spent the next fortnight in bed and had had the doctor called in. After the fortnight it was heard that John King got up out of bed, but did not leave the house but gradually got worse and died on Wednesday 4 May 1909.

A labourer that had lived at 32 Stone Street in Southsea said that John King called at his house on the Saturday 14 February 1909 and had a glass of beer. The labourer said that a fortnight later he went to see John King at his house, 1 Copper Street, and said that John King told him about what had happened when he had gone to 79 Copper Street.

He said that John King told him that as he was going home from his house, the labourers, he had heard a noise in his nephew’s house at 79 Copper Street, which was opposite his own. He said that John King told him that when he opened the door he saw his nephew kicking his wife, who was on the floor and said that he put his hand on his nephew’s shoulder and told him to stop it, saying that he ought to be ashamed of himself. The labourer said that upon him saying that, his nephew hit him, and he fell back and struck his side against the chest of drawers in the corner of the room. He said that John King told him that he then at once went away home but that he didn't find any inconvenience until the next day, when he sent for the doctor.

The doctor that examined John King said that he had two broken ribs and added that John King, who he described as an old man, had suffered from heart trouble.

When the post-mortem was carried out, the pathologist found that John King had four broken ribs and determined that his death was due to syncope from fatty degeneration of the heart, pleurisy, and compression of the lungs.

The jury returned a verdict stating that John King had died from the cause stated by the pathologist, accelerated by the injuries to his ribs, but that there was not sufficient evidence to show how those injuries were caused, or whether the push was accidental or purposely done.


see Hampshire Telegraph - Saturday 08 May 1909, p2