Unsolved Murders

Doris Mary Kidd

Age: 39

Sex: female

Date: 9 Aug 1952

Place: Durning Road, Upper Norwood, Batterea, London

Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

Doris Mary Kidd died from tetanus poisoning following a septic abortion at St James Hospital in Balham on 9 August 1952.

A verdict of death by misadventure was returned at her inquest.

The pathologist said that Doris Kidd had in his opinion been about three months pregnant at the time and that the miscarriage had happened about two weeks before her death.

He said that he could find no injury to show interference but said that a virus culture on her womb suggested that something had been introduced.

However, after the police carried out investigations, they said that they were satisfied that only Doris Kidd was involved.

Her husband was a general builder and said that on the day before she died that Doris Kidd had complained of having a sore throat and so he called in a doctor. He said that later that evening, after being treated, that Doris Kidd didn't seem to get any better and told him that she was having difficulty in opening her mouth. He said that he spent the night preparing poultices and making her comfortable and then early on the Sunday morning he called the doctor again who sent her off to St James Hospital.

She died later the same day.

Her death was stated as having been due to tetanus poisoning which was also known as 'lock-jaw'.

Doris Kidd's husband said that Doris Kidd had always been anaemic and said that she had been a patient at a mental hospital in 1951 but had been discharged as fit.

He said that he didn't suspect that she had been pregnant.

Their neighbour said that they had been friends for about nine years and said that she first noticed that Doris Kidd had not been well a few days before she became ill, saying that she had a vacant stare. She said that Doris Kidd had mentioned nothing to her about being pregnant, noting that Doris Kidd had previously told her that because she had a 21-year-old son that she would be embarrassed if she had any more children.

When the coroner summed up to the jury, he told them that they had to decide whether or not the neighbour had known that Doris Kidd was pregnant.

They then returned a verdict of misadventure.


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


see Norwood News - Friday 29 August 1952