Unsolved Murders

Betty Mary Jessop

Age: 23

Sex: female

Date: 30 May 1944

Place: Elborough Road, South Norwood

Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

Betty Mary Jessop died from an abortion which was said to have not been self-inflicted.

She was married and lived in Elborough Road, and her husband had been away for nearly two years.

Her mother said that Betty Jessop had been douching herself and 'taking all sorts of pills' because of her condition. However, she said that Betty Jessop became ill on Whit Monday and was admitted to Mayday Hospital where she died the following day.

A doctor at Mayday Hospital said that when Betty Jessop was admitted she was in good spirits but complained of pain on the right side of her abdomen which she said had come about around 6am earlier that morning. The doctor said that Betty Jessop admitted that she had been douching herself but denied that she had used an instrument. The doctor said that later that day she heard Betty Jessop tell another doctor that she had been douching herself since March and April and had also been taking pills.

The doctor that carried out her post-mortem said that her cause of death was septic abortion. He said that her injuries were not, in his opinion, self-inflicted and added that he didn't think that the pills that she had been taking were a material cause of death. He concluded by saying, 'It is my firm belief that the woman did not inflict the injuries from which she died'.

A sapper said that he had first met Betty Jessop in January 1944 and that they had become friendly and that he had visited her house on many occasions. He said that he knew that she was married and said that she mentioned her condition to him about two months before she died.

The sapper said, 'I said that I was willing to take responsibility for the child and have it adopted, and when I made the suggestion, she seemed to like it'.

An open verdict was returned.


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


see Norwood News - Friday 23 June 1944