Unsolved Murders

John Bianchi

Age: 18

Sex: male

Date: 26 Jan 1919

Place: Bigges Main, Walkergate, Newcastle

Source: www.chroniclelive.co.uk

John Bianchi was shot as he walked through Walkergate in Newcastle with his cousin.

He had been escorting his cousin from her father's house to a fever hospital at walker Gate, Newcastle, where she was employed as a laundry-maid when a shot was fired from behind a hedge at him. After the man ran out of the bushes and hit the cousin on her face with the butt-end of the revolver and then made off towards some fields. The cousin's hat had served as protection and she had only received a cut wound. The incident took place on a road between Bigges Main near Walker and Walker Gate.

John Bianchi was taken to the Newcastle Infirmary where he died on 27 January 1919.

Police later found a Webley & Scott revolver near the scene and determined that it had been taken illegally from one of His Majesty's ships in a North-East Coast port. Along with it the police found several packages of cartridges and a magazine to fit the revolver as well as about seven feet of clothes-line with a bowline knot at one end. The revolver was stamped 'Webley and Scott, Limited, Pistol, self-loading, 455, Mark I.N., 1917'. The cartridges found also bore a Government stamp.

The cousin that John Bianchi had been walking with said that the man that had attacked them was about 26 years old, about 5ft. 8in. tall, had broad shoulders and was dressed in a dark overcoat with a cap.

She was 26 years old and from Blackpool and had been in Newcastle for two months. She was engaged and her fiancee had been serving abroad at the time in the Army.

She had lived in Thornton-le-Flyde and during the weekends she used to visit her aunt and uncle, John Bianchi's parents, after which she would return to the hospital generally accompanied by John Bianchi.

A £50 reward was offered for the discovery and conviction of the murderer.

John Bianchi had been an apprentice driller.


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


see Dundee Courier - Tuesday 18 February 1919

see Dundee Evening Telegraph - Tuesday 28 January 1919

see Cambridge Daily News - Wednesday 29 January 1919

see Lancashire Evening Post - Tuesday 28 January 1919