Unsolved Murders

John Jeremy Gibbens

Age: 27

Sex: male

Date: 21 Aug 1963

Place: Norton Bridge, Stafford

John Jeremy Gibbens was found dead on the railway at Stafford on 21 August 1963.

He had lived in St George's Square in Pimlico.

At the time of his death he had been carrying £210 in 'fivers', 42 or them, but it was not known why. It was found in his luggage which was still on the train. A single ticket from Lime Street, Liverpool to Euston was also found amongst his possessions.

The suitcase was initially taken to the lost property office at Marylebone Station before it was connected to John Gibbens after he was found on the line.

There was no note and no known reason for him to have ended up on the line. He was thought to have been travelling on the train from Liverpool to London that had passed through Norton.

When the train was examined it was found that all the doors and locks were in good order.

A guard that checked the train at Stafford, its first stop after Norton said that he found no doors open. He noted that if a door had been opened that it would have remained open.

A lecturer in engineering who had lived at 42 Mulberry Street in Liverpool, said that he last saw John Gibbens in London about six earlier and that they had then arranged for John Gibbens to visit him and his wife in Liverpool.

He said that on 20 August 1963 he received a letter from John Gibbens saying that he would arrive at their home that day, but he didn't turn up.

He said that he didn't know why John Gibbens changed his mind and decided to go back home.

Newspaper reports noted that there was thought to be no connection between his death and the mail train robbery.

At his inquest the Coroner said that there were three possible explanations for how John Gibbens fell to his death:

  1. Murder.
  2. Accident.
  3. Suicide.

However, the Coroner said that the evidence was inconclusive.

He added that it was not known why John Gibbens, who was a man of education and means, had been carrying a large amount of money about and that no one would ever know what caused him to change his mind about visiting his friend in Liverpool.

An open verdict was returned.

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

see www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

see Westminster & Pimlico News - Friday 06 September 1963

see Belfast Telegraph - Thursday 22 August 1963

see Westminster & Pimlico News - Friday 06 September 1963