Unsolved Murders

Philip Greenbaum

Age: 62

Sex: male

Date: 21 Oct 1949

Place: Meanwood Road, Leeds, Yorkshire

Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

Philip Greenbaum died three months after he was attacked by two men. However, it could not be determined whether he had died as a result of his injury or from natural causes and the jury at his inquest on Friday 21 October 1949 returned an open verdict.

He was attacked in his tailors’ shop on 6 July 1949 and died later in the Leeds Infirmary on 17 October 1949 from his injuries. Although he had apparently made a good recovery and had returned home, he was later readmitted to the hospital suffering from concussion and head injuries after he collapsed in his shop about two weeks before his death.

He said that two men entered his shop on 6 July 1949 and demanded money and then threw a cloth over his head and struck him over the head repeatedly with a bottle.

A woman that lived next door to his shop heard the attack whilst she was in her cellar and then heard Philip Greenbaum groaning. The woman then went into his shop with another woman after dialling 999 and found Philip Greenbaum staggering towards the door with cuts on his head.

It was said that Philip Greenbaum was reputed in the neighbourhood to have been a wealthy man and that was believed to have been the motive for the attack. It was said that although Philip Greenbaum had been badly battered, he had refused to disclose the whereabouts of his money. It was said that after being asked by one of his assailants, 'Where is the money?', that he had indicated a drawer that he used as a till. When his neighbours looked in the drawer they found only a few coppers.

When the police arrived at the shop, they found the interior in a state of disorder. They said, 'There was an overturned table and near the sink were traces of blood and remnants of a broken bottle'.

Following Philip Greenbaum's death his two sons offered a £100 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the two men. One of the brothers said, 'Before this incident my father was a strong man'.

At Philip Greenbaum's inquest Leeds CID officers said that they had found a clue during their investigation that had given them an important lead on the two men that had attacked Philip Greenbaum, describing it as an unusual, but very important clue that led them to interview many people and take many statements. A police inspector said that the clue was so unusual that it was the first time in his knowledge that it had been used in a criminal investigation in the Leeds area. However, they didn't say what the clue was.

The inquest heard that the medical evidence showed that Philip Greenbaum's death could have been due to the attack. However, the doctor that carried out the post-mortem said that whilst it was possible that the haemorrhage that Philip Greenbaum died from could have been due to the assault, it was also possible that it could have come on spontaneously without any ascertainable cause. He added that he would not have known that it was the result of an assault had he not known the history of the case.

The coroner said, 'It seems strange to me that two women heard groaning and heard another man asking for money in the shop. One of them later looked through the window and saw a man and then they stood at the shop next door and waited for the men to come out'. The detective inspector then replied, 'It is quite true that a woman at a house at the back of the shop heard moaning and groaning. She informed the occupier of the shop next door. They looked through the window and saw two men. For reasons best known to themselves they waited till all the act had been completed'.

When the coroner returned the open verdict, he added, 'It is very unfortunate that these women did not give any warning beforehand'.

Philip Greenbaum was from Birmingham but had been in business in Leeds for 17 years.


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


see Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer - Friday 21 October 1949

see Manchester Evening News - Monday 17 October 1949

see Yorkshire Evening Post - Thursday 07 July 1949

see Yorkshire Evening Post - Thursday 20 October 1949

see Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer - Friday 21 October 1949

see Portsmouth Evening News - Monday 17 October 1949

see Yorkshire Evening Post - Friday 04 November 1949

see Yorkshire Evening Post - Monday 17 October 1949

see Western Mail - Tuesday 18 October 1949

see Aberdeen Press and Journal - Saturday 19 November 1949

see Hartlepool Northern Daily Mail - Monday 17 October 1949

see Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer - Saturday 05 November 1949