Unsolved Murders

Florence Victoria Reeves

Age: 24

Sex: female

Date: 26 Jul 1919

Place: 29 Peel Street, Cardiff

Florence Reeves was shot. A coloured man was tried for her murder but acquitted.

The coloured man who had been lodging at the boarding house was tried. He said that he had been asleep at the time with his head on the table and was awoken by the sound of an explosion and found Florence Reeves dead.

A witness saw one or two men running away from the scene of the crime but could not identify them or say whether they were black or white.

Another person had heard the voice of a coloured man and a white woman quarrelling in the house and then heard a shot fired.

The man said 'Florrie was frying something for her supper, and as she had made up the fire for the purpose it is likely a live cartridge got in and exploded.'. He said that as far as he knew there was no one else in the room with her at the time.

The coloured man was an invalid and suffered from rheumatics from Naval Service. He said that moments before he was fully awakened by the shot he had heard two men in the passage say 'Good night'.

The bullet had gone into her brain.

When the police searched through the fireplace they found a used cartridge case with its firing cap dented similarly to one fired from a weapon. It was noted however by a doctor that the fact that the cartridge had an indented firing cap did not mean that the theory that the cartridge had exploded in the fire was not true, saying that it might have been a misfired cartridge which was then disposed on the fire or that it might have been thrown away in the coalhouse or got in the coal some other way.

The shot appeared to have grazed Florence Reeves's finger, wounded her wrist and gone into her head. The doctor said he thought it was highly unlikely that a shot from a weapon could have possibly been fired to have caused a wound in that manner.

Peel Street has since been redeveloped but was approximatly where the upper prong of Maria Street is today.

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

see www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

see National Archives - ASSI 72/45/6

see Western Daily Press - Saturday 08 November 1919

see Yorkshire Evening Post - Saturday 26 July 1919

see Dundee People's Journal - Saturday 19 July 1919