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Unsolved Murders

Ronald Hector McGuire

Age: 38

Sex: male

Date: 25 May 1956

Place: Thames Estuary, All Hallows, Kent

Ronald Hector McGuire was found dead in the Thames Estuary near All Hallows on Friday 25 May 1956.

He was last seen going out on his boat with a stranger on 2 April 1956.

He was the owner of the yacht (also described as a fishing smack) Patricia which was found severely damaged two miles off Southend pier in April 1956.

He was last known to have sailed from Gravesend on 2 April 1956 apparently for Whitehall Creek in the Medway. However, on the night of 8 April 1956 the crew of the tug Danube V heard calls for help near Barrow Deeps after which the Southend lifeboat went out and searched for hours but in vain.

Ronald McGuire was described as being:

  • Age: 37.
  • Height: 5ft 9in tall.
  • Complexion: sallow.
  • Hair: medium brown, brushed back.
  • Build: slim.
  • Clean shaven.
  • Wearing blue dungaree trousers, a grey jersey and it was believed rubber boots.

His unknown companion was described as:

  • Age: 22 to 25.
  • Height: 6ft.
  • Hair, black and frizzy.
  • Wearing blue-grey trousers, a light green shirt and a high neck pullover with a zip at the front.

The Patricia was later found submerged about two miles off Southend pier by a fishing boat on 1 May 1956 and was later raised by a salvage vessel. No one was found aboard.

A waterman and lighterman at Gravesend said that Ronald McGuire sold a boat and bought the Patricia which he said was a seaworthy vessel. He said that later on 9 April 1956 that Ronald McGuire told him that he was going round the Isle of Grain to Whitehall Creek in the river Medway to break up some barges and that the last time he saw him he was accompanied by an unidentified man aged about 25.

The pathologist that examined his body said that he was unable to draw any conclusions about his cause of death.

A police detective said that he had taken a thumb print from Ronald McGuire's body that he was able to match at New Scotland Yard as belonging to him and the Coroner said that he was satisfied as to the identity of the body as that of Ronald McGuire.

His inquest, which was held at Hoo near Rochester on 30 May 1956 returned an open verdict of 'found dead'.

He had lived in Welwyn Dale Road in Sutton Coldfield.

The fates of the companion or how the Patricia came to sink are not known.


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

see www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

see Coventry Evening Telegraph - Wednesday 30 May 1956

see Belfast Telegraph - Thursday 03 May 1956

see Hartlepool Northern Daily Mail - Monday 28 May 1956

see Birmingham Daily Gazette - Wednesday 30 May 1956