Unsolved Murders

Susan Faulkner Moore

Age: 41

Sex: female

Date: 6 Nov 1949

Place: Crescent Road, Birkdale, Southport, Lancashire

Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

Susan Faulkner Moore died after taking poison on 6 November 1949.

The poison cup that she was thought to have used was later found on a rubbish heap where Susan Moore could not have put it.

Susan Moore was a former kennel maid and had lived with her widowed mother and sister in Crescent Road.

She was found collapsed in the bathroom and was taken to Southport Infirmary but died on the way. Her sister said that Susan Moore came into the kitchen and said, 'It has gone very cold', and then went to the bathroom and that she heard a sound as though the bathroom window was being closed and then heard a gurgling sound and went in to find her sinking to the bathroom floor. She said that after she heard the window she had called out to ask whether the window was stuck but got no answer and that after listening for a moment she heard the gurgling. She said that when she went in and saw Susan Moore sinking slowly to the bathroom floor that she supported her head and that Susan Moore then said, 'It is best', but that she never spoke again after that. She said that she also smelt carbolic.

The police searched the property to try and find a bottle that had contained disinfectant, but without success. However, Susan Moore's sister said that several days later she found a cup outside on a compost heap that was standing upright that smelled of disinfectant and a bottle, but that she had no idea where they came from. The coroner noted that it was his opinion that Susan Moore did not or could not have placed the cup and bottle where they were found. The police said that four police officers had made an intensive search for the items after Susan Moore died, but found nothing. They said that on the first day they searched the house to try and find a bottle that had contained disinfectant, but without success, and that on the following day they continued their search in the garden, but again found nothing.

The coroner concluded that she died from phenol poisoning after having taken sodium amitol, but that there was insufficient evidence to show the circumstances. He said, 'The person or persons responsible have created a mystery, and it must remain a mystery'.

It was heard that she had a previously had a nervous breakdown and had attempted to gas herself. Her sister said that Susan Moore had suffered from bouts of acute depression for the previous twelve months and that she had attempted to gas herself in February 1949 and had later been a patient at a mental hospital for several months.

An open verdict was returned.


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


see Manchester Evening News - Tuesday 29 November 1949

see Liverpool Echo - Tuesday 29 November 1949