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Minnie Evelyn Walker

Age: 28

Sex: female

Date: 5 Apr 1903

Place: Grand Union Canal, Abbey Park Road Bridge, Churchgate, Leicester

Minnie Evelyn Walker was found floating in the Grand Union Canal near Abbey Park Road Bridge, Churchgate, Leicester on the morning of Sunday 5 April 1903.

She had been out to the theatre in Leicester on the Saturday night, 4 April 1903 and was drowned on her way home.

Her mother said that when she last saw her daughter she was wearing four valuable rings, three of which were missing when she was found.

A silver belt, pearl necklace and her purse and money were also missing and her clothes were badly torn. Her underclothing, which was produced in court, was shown to be much torn and the buttons on her jacket had been wrenched from the shanks.

She was last seen by some friends in Leicester when she left them saying that she was taking a tram to her home at the Windmill Hotel in Churchgate that her father was the proprietor.

She had been seen in the Royal Oak Inn at 6 Colton Street, Leicester on the Saturday night with three other girls. The landlady there said that she had been in her house for about 15 minutes and had left at closing time, 11pm, and had appeared all right then. When she was pressed by the police she was unable to give the names of any of the men that had been in the bar at the time.

She was later seen by a compositor being helped along by two men in Belgrave Street and appeared to be in a very helpless state. The compositor said that he first saw one man helping her along by the arm and said that another man then joined in to help. He said that she seemed very drunk but thought that the men were taking her home. He later identified the body of Minnie Walker as the woman that he had seen but said that he doubted that he would recognise the men again.

Another woman said that she had seen Minnie Walker standing up in a shop doorway with her arm round the neck of one of the men as if she was hanging on for support and thought that she was badly drunk.

A 16 year old youth said he saw Minnie Walker and the two men in an entry where they stayed for 10 minutes and afterwards saw her stand with her back to a wall with the men in front of her for 10-15 minutes. He said that they then went away dragging the woman as before and went down to the towing path of the canal. The youth said he looked over the bridge and one of the men said to him 'If you don't go back I'll throw you over the bridge'. It was also reported that one of the men said he had resented the boy's presence and had knocked him down. The boy said that he returned later to look but saw and heard nothing more of Minnie Walker or the men but added that it was a dark night. He also added that both men had kept their hats over their faces.

A woman's umbrella with a portion of the metalwork bent was found on the canal bank. Although it didn't belong to Minnie Walker it was thought that it might help solve the mystery.

Her death was said to have been from suffocation due to drowning. The doctor that carried out the post mortem said that said that all her organs were perfectly healthy and that he did not think that she had been drugged.

Minnie Walker had been a cigar maker and was said to have been earning a fair salary and was described as having always been in bright spirits and apparently had no trouble on her mind. It was said that although she was employed at a cigar factory, that she was in no want, her relatives being in comfortable circumstances running the Windmill Hotel.

It was noted that it was the first occasion that she had gone out on a Saturday night for a long time.


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

see www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

see Lincolnshire Echo - Saturday 11 April 1903

see Portsmouth Evening News - Saturday 11 April 1903

see Dundee Evening Post - Wednesday 15 April 1903

see Derby Daily Telegraph - Saturday 11 April 1903

see Dundee Evening Post - Wednesday 15 April 1903

see Dundee Evening Post - Thursday 16 April 1903