Unsolved Murders

Donald John Woodman

Age: 37

Sex: male

Date: 14 Apr 1963

Place: Newcastle

Donald John Woodman was found hanged at his home.

He was found naked, with a noose made from climbing rope that was attached to some bannisters that was round a rayon scarf that was wrapped several times round his neck.

His clothing and some women's clothing were found in separate neat piles nearby and on the floor there was found an overturned three legged stool. A doctor said that the nature of his death represented a form of symbolic ritual for people with certain fetishes.

Donald Woodman had been a microbiologist.

His wife said that there had been no money troubles and that Donald Woodman had had good prospects at work. She added that they had had a normal married life and had one child.

At the inquest, a doctor said:

I have seen a considerable number of these cases where people get a sexual pleasure out of this sort of transvestitism, a fetishism associated with woman's clothing. Partial asphyxiation is part of the symbolic ritual. Very often they tie themselves up and put a rope round their neck and partially suspend themselves, get congestion of the face and the early part of asphyxiation. This apparently gives some pleasure and then of course the rope is taken off. The tragedy is that they go a bit too far and die suddenly.

The Coroner said that the verdict must be that Donald Woodman died by hanging, but that there was no evidence to show what his intentions were, and recorded an open verdict.

see www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

see Aberdeen Evening Express - Wednesday 31 July 1963