Unsolved Murders

Mary Ann Smith

Age: 45

Sex: female

Date: 2 Aug 1944

Place: Oakdene, Copyholt Lane, Stoke Prior

Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

Mary Ann Smith was found dead in a cistern.

It was noted that when the police pulled her body out of the cistern, they made a thorough search of it and found nothing else other than two bricks. However, a lodger at the house later said that he had searched the cistern after the police had and had found a bucket.

At the inquest, the coroner questioned the lodger about him finding the bucket and asked how it was that he had found the bucket when the police hadn’t and why he had made such effort to convince the police that he had found the bucket, and the lodger said that he had done so as it might have indicated that Mary Smith might have been pulled in by the bucket.

It was also heard that there was an insurance policy worth £200 on Mary Smith's life in favour of her daughter, but it noted that it was not known whether there was a suicide clause in the policy.

The coroner returned an open verdict, stating that the lodger’s actions were inexplicable and that he was satisfied that the bucket had not been in the cistern when the police had made their search.

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