Unsolved Murders

Francis Edward Atkinson Postill

Age: 59

Sex: male

Date: 11 Dec 1952

Place: Brook Square, Scarborough

Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

Francis Edward Atkinson Postill died from burns whilst sitting in his chair.

There was no known source for the fire.

He was said to have been a non-smoker and to have not lit any fire in his grate and to have had all his gas taps turned off.

However, underneath him was the remains of an easy chair that was practically burnt to dust.

The Home Office pathologist said that the interior of the house showed signs of a slow, smouldering fire, noting that the furniture, walls and ceiling were covered with an oily brown deposit.

He said that Francis Postill was healthy and said that although there was no evidence that he had had a heart attack that it was possible that he had had one. He noted that the fire was confined entirely to the chair.

The police said that there had obviously been intense heat, but apparently no flames. He said that the draperies near the burnt chair did not appear to have caught fire although they were scorched.

The coroner said, 'It is extraordinary. The mystery deepens more the longer we go on'.

The jury then returned a verdict of 'Death from shock due to extensive burns'.


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


see Yorkshire Evening Post - Thursday 11 December 1952, p3