Unsolved Murders

Patrick Conner

Age: 49

Sex: male

Date: 23 Mar 1906

Place: River Glass, Leigh

Patrick Conner was found dead in a river.

It was thought that he had died from a blow to the head before he had gone into the water.

Patrick Conner was a railway gate keeper and was single and lived at 40 Nel Pan Lane in Leigh.

A dataller who lodged with Patrick Conner said that Patrick Conner had been in charge of a railway cabin at the Boston Crossing for the Wigan Coal and Iron Co..

He said hat he last saw him at 8pm on the Friday when he went out saying that he was going to visit his old landlady at Westleigh Mill. He noted that it was a rough and dark night. He said that Patrick Conner would usually go through the fields by the river Glass. He said that Patrick Conner had previously had some bread and cheese and tea at about 6pm. He noted that Patrick Conner had not worked for about a fortnight owing to sickness.

A policeman said that at about 1.10pm on the Saturday he had seen a little boy running away from the River Glass near the end of Nel Pan Lane and said that when he went to look he saw Patrick Conner lying face downwards in the water, noting that the water was no more than 6 to 8 inches deep at the point where he was. He said that he was laid straight out with both hands under him.

He said that he then pulled his body out and said that it was quite cold and stiff and that he appeared to have been dead for some hours. He said that he conveyed it home and then searched the area but could find no traces of a struggle.

He noted that the river was some distance from the path and that there were marks on the wall in the brook.

When Patrick Conner's body was searched, all that was found were his tobacco pouch and a pocketknife in his pocket.

The doctor that carried out his post-mortem stated that Patrick Conner had a contused wound on his left forehead about two and a half inches in length and one inch in breadth. He added that he also had bruises on his cheek and nose and that there were also three very small bruises on the back of his left hand as well as one on his right hand and another on his right breast.

He said that there were no external indications that he had died from drowning.

He added that Patrick Conner had a clot of blood on his skull and said that the membranes of his brain were highly congested but noted that his brain itself was normal and that there was no fracture to his skull.

He said that his probable cause of death was a blow to his head and that it was caused before his death whilst other conditions pointed to his death being due to suffocation.

The jury returned an open verdict noting that there was no clear evidence to show how he had come by his death.

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

see www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

see Leigh Chronicle and Weekly District Advertiser - Friday 23 March 1906