Unsolved Murders

Beatie Simpson

Age: 20

Sex: female

Date: 5 Aug 1922

Place: Gibralter Road, Mablethorpe, Lincolnshire

Beatie Simpson died in a suicide pact.

Another 19-year-old girl survived and was tried for her murder, but the crown offered no evidence against her and she was acquitted.

They had both been employed at a tobacco factory in Nottingham.

They had gone on holiday together to a house in Gibraltar Road, Mablethorpe for a two week holiday, arriving on 14 July 1922, however, at the end of their two weeks they extended their holiday by a week and at the of that they took Lysol and then lay down on a bed where they were later found.

The tenant of the house was a blacksmith, but there was the condition that the 19-year-old girl's family would have the use of a sitting room and bedroom there.

On the Friday night, 4 August 1922, they had been up late packing and the blacksmith said that he heard them go down and had assumed that they had gone bathing, however, he said that he didn't hear them come back.

His said that his wife then became anxious for them to come down so that to get the rooms ready for other visitors and that at about 10am he went into the sitting-room where they had been staying and saw some coppers and letters on the table and a note addressed to the father of one of the girls on which he noted the words:

'Dear Dad and All, This is the end of all, as we knew it would be'.

He said that he then knew that there was something wrong and fetched the father of the 19-year-old girl who found the two girls lying on the same bed unconscious. He said that he later found an empty Lysol disinfectant bottle downstairs and a little measure with an aluminium top.

The blacksmith's wife said that she had noticed a bottle full of Lysol behind a picture on the dresser.

A neighbour said that at about 5.15am on the Saturday 5 August 1922 that she had seen the two girls go over the bank, as if they had been bathing, and that she was later called into the house after they were found on the bed. She said that after they were discovered that they tried to administer salt and water to the girls, doing so to the 19-year-old girl, but saying that Beatie Simpson's teeth were too tightly clenched to permit that in her case.

She said that two cups containing a little dark stuff were found in the bedroom.

The father of the 19-year-old girl said that he had seen the two girls in the sitting room on the Friday evening when he had stayed with them from 8.30pm to about 9.30pm. He said that they told him that they were returning to Nottingham on the Saturday and would start work again on the Tuesday.

He said that his daughter, the 19-year-old girl was going to take some flowers to her mother's grave and had promised to call and see him before she went.

He said that when they went they were arguing about some small photographs that they had got, but that they could hardly agree. He said that he told them to divide them equally and said that they put them in envelopes and that after that was done everything seemed to be all right.

He said that far as he knew that his daughter, the 19-year-old girl, and Beatie Simpson were always on friendly terms and said that Beatie Simpson seemed to be a cheerful girl.

He said that they didn't say anything particular about not having gone back earlier and added that nor did they ought to have gone back.

The doctor that treated the two girls said that Beatie Simpson never recovered consciousness at all.

He said that the disinfectant fluid in the two cups found in the room and that the Lysol contained 50% creasol, which he said was a by-product in the manufacture of coal tar. He added that it also contained caustic potash.

He said that Beatie Simpson was badly burnt by the corrosive fluid about the mouth and added that the fluid would have also burnt her gullet and the inside of her stomach and that her death would have resulted because of the effects on her heart and nervous system, noting that it would have caused her pain.

The letter that was found was identified as having been in the handwriting of Beatie Simpson by her brother. Her brother said that Beatie Simpson had had no troubles, but did say that she was always worrying about her mother.

The letter that was found in the house read:

'Dear Mam and All, Please forgive me if I am causing you trouble. You've wondered why we've stopped three weeks. Well I will tell you, Mam, we knew this would be the end of it all. Give my love to them all, and I have thought about every one of them in their turns today, but please believe me, Mam, neither of us are in any kind of trouble. You will no doubt wonder why we've done this, but no one will ever know that, only the other girl and I. So goodbye, Mam, and all, Love, Beatie Simpson and other girl'.

When the 19-year-old girl made a statement, she said 'Yes, we agreed to die together. We had stayed away too long and were afraid to go back to our work. Beatie went down to drown herself, but the tide was not done coming in. I waited a minute or two then went and touched her. She said, 'The tide will wash me in again', so we came back home. Beatie went out again, but she soon came back to the house and said, 'The man who works with dad was on the bank watching us'. So we then sat up in bed and drank it at the same time. We decided some time before to do it together'.

The Coroner noted that if two persons agreed to commit suicide together and the means employed to produce death only took effect on one, the survivor would in law be guilty of the murder of the one who died.

The coroner’s jury then found that Beatie Simpson had been in a normal state of mind when she had drunk the poison and said that the two girls had agreed to die together.

The 19-year-old girl was committed to trial for the murder of Beatie Simpson, but at the trial the prosecution offered no evidence and she was discharged.

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

see www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

see National Archives - ASSI 13/52

see Gloucester Citizen - Tuesday 31 October 1922