Unsolved Murders

Esther Prager

Age: 17

Sex: female

Date: 17 Oct 1908

Place: 3 Bernard Street, Russell Square, London

Esther Prager was strangled.

She had lived in a boarding house at 3 Bernard Street and according to her sister for the last 18 months had been living a bad life. She was a Jewish girl.

Her body was found by the son of the landlady on Saturday morning who had gone into her dark room with a lit match to find her dead beneath a heap of clothes.

A towel had been tied tightly around her neck within which was an insulated electric wire, although the wire was not round the neck.

Close to the wire was a piece of cotton wool about the size of the palm of the hand with some blood on it whilst a similar piece was found on the floor and another piece in the centre of the bed.

There was also a second piece of wire attached to the bedstead.

The wire was later found to have been similar to that used to hang pictures up on the walls. The police later also noticed that one of the pictures in the room was missing.

She had over a dozen abrasions to her neck and throat.

Her hands and teeth were clenched and there was a wound on her right breast. She also had an agonised expression on her face. Her eyes were closed but when the lids were opened they were found to be protruding.

The police also found finger prints on the bedstead and wash basin which were photographed with the aid of a microscope.

Her death was due to asphyxia.

A lodger heard screams at about 2am in the morning and heard someone say, 'Ga Volt!' which meant help police, but had thought that they had come from outside.

She had been seen the previous night at about 11.30pm near Southampton Row with a man about 23 years old, 4ft. 9in. tall with a pale face, dark hair and dark eyes with a peculiar staring expression. He was described as clean shaven, of a slim build with rather broad shoulders and wearing a grey striped suit with a grey cloth cap pulled down over his ears and had the appearance of a clerk.

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

see www.truecrimelibrary.com

see Wells Journal - Thursday 22 October 1908

see Dundee Courier - Thursday 22 October 1908

see Sheffield Independent - Tuesday 20 October 1908