Unsolved Murders

Edith Mary Parkin

Age: 9

Sex: female

Date: 15 Jun 1922

Place: Pendewey Farm, Nanstallon, Bodmin

Edith Parkin was found dead in her father’s plantation at Pendewey Farm, Nanstallon near Bodmin.

The father admitted that he had an asylum inmate working on his farm and that the inmate had brought Edith Parkin flowers and that it had occurred to him that the man was getting too friendly with Edith Parkin.

A 27-year-old relative was charged on suspicion of murdering Edith Parkin, but at the Coroner's inquest the jury returned a verdict of wilful murder against some person or persons unknown.

When the man was released, he said that the charges against him had been a lot of rot. He said, 'My discharge came as no surprise to me. My arrest was a lot of rot'. He had been arrested about two hours after Edith Parkin's body was discovered.

The jury also expressed their dissatisfaction with the way that the father and the aunt had given their evidence.

Edith Parkin was last seen as she left for school at 8.45am on 15 June 1922 by the aunt. When she didn't come home for lunch between 12.30pm and 1.00pm the aunt became worried and sent her brother to look for Edith Parkin and the brother went off to the school in Nanstallon to ask after her. However, when Edith Parkin's brother spoke to the schoolmistress, he was told that Edith Parkin hadn't been to school.

Edith Parkin was later found in the plantation near Pendewey, about half-a-mile away from the farm at about 8pm by a ganger on the London and South-Western Railway.

The spot where she was found was about 80 yards from the road that ran from Bodmin to Nanstallon along which she would have gone to get to school.

It was said that at the place where she was found that there was a meadow that sloped steeply from the road to a stream in the valley about 150 yards below and that between the meadow and a field of barley there was a plantation which was composed principally of oak trees and holly bushes the whole of which stood on a long narrow plateau that was not more than ten yards wide. It was said that from the edge of the plateau that the ground fell sharply away to a small leaf covered pit about six feet deep and that it was on the edge of the pit that Edith Parkin's body was found.

She was found lying face downwards against the ivy-covered trunk of an oak and that her legs had been dangling over the pit.

It was said that it appeared from the severe wound to the back of her head, her skull being badly fractured, that her death had probably been instantaneous.

A doctor examined her where she lay at 8.45pm on 15 June 1922. He said that she had been dead for 8 to 14 hours. She was found lying on her stomach and the right side of her face near a tree. Her clothing was disarranged and some of her underclothing had been removed but there was no external evidence of any outrage. Her right ear was bruised and there were small abrasions in front and behind the ear. The cause of death was given as extensive fracture of the skull which was probably caused by a blunt instrument.

It was said that she had been killed where she was found else there would have been a trail of blood and that she had probably been pushed down first and then hit with a boot or a stone and that her injuries could not have been caused by a fist.

Edith Parkin was described as an exceptionally well-built girl for her years and that her fine stature had made her look older than she really was. She was said to have had an attractive appearance, with fair hair and a fresh complexion, and was described by all that knew her as having had a sweet disposition.

Pendewey Farm was about two miles from Bodmin.

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

see www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

see Southern Reporter - Thursday 13 July 1922

see Cornishman - Wednesday 28 June 1922

see Western Morning News - Thursday 29 June 1922

see Daily Herald - Friday 07 July 1922

see Western Evening Herald - Saturday 17 June 1922