Date: 16 Dec 1957
Edward Murray was found nearly naked and burnt near to plant that he was guarding in Greasley Street, Bulwell, Nottingham. He later died in hospital.
He was found in the early hours of 16 December 1957 by a 61-year-old night worker at about 1.20am.
About 250 yards from where his body was found the police found a dump of tools and building materials that was on fire.
It was thought that he had been struck by two youths and that afterwards his clothes caught on fire. Most of his clothing had been burned off.
When he was questioned by a policeman he said, 'I came back to do my lamps. Two men done me'.
The night worker that found him said that just after 1am that two of his workmates had told him that they had heard 'pitiful moaning' and that he had gone to investigate. He said that when he got to Edward Murray's canvas hut that he saw the tools on the fire. He said, 'I could still hear moaning, and eventually I discovered Murray about 150 yards from the hut. He looked as though he had been trying to crawl home. He was a dreadful sight. He was naked except for socks and a shoe, because his clothes had been burned off him. I ran back to get a coat to put over him whilst the other two went for the police. While I stood by him he muttered something about two men, but I couldn't really understand it as he could hardly speak'.
Edward Murray had lived in Coventry Road in Bulwell.
His inquest, which concluded on Monday 17 February 1958, returned a verdict of 'manslaughter by a person or persons unknown'.
The pathologist that carried out his post mortem said that Edward Murray had had a black eye and that he had come to the conclusion that he had probably been struck whilst he was standing outside his hut and that his clothes had caught fire later.
The police said that during their inquiries that more than 13,000 houses had been visited with more than 1,000 people being interviewed and it was heard that a fairly accurate description of one of the two youths thought to have been responsible was known.
Their enquiries were said to have involved thirty detectives who visited every house within a quarter of a mile radius on Greasley Street. On 21 December 1957 it was reported that the police were aiming to question more than 5,000 men in the Bulwell area, adding, 'We will question the whole of Bulwell (population 23,000) if necessary.
On the night of Friday 27 December 1957 an artist's impression of one of the youths was broadcast on television through the BBC's Sutton Coldfield transmitter. The sketch was said to have shown how the youth had been dressed, but his face was left blank. Copies of the artist’s sketch were also shown at cinemas and in shops and it was said that the police were showing people copies of the sketch when asking them for information.
The youth was described as being:
It was said that the youth had been seen in the Greasby Street at about 12.30am with a man.
The police said that they had issued several thousand questionnaires to all men in he Bulwell area aged between 16 and 35, with each of them being asked:
The police added that the questionnaires would be kept confidential.
The Coroner said that it appeared that someone was screening or shielding the youths responsible.
see "Manslaughter In Watchman Case." Times [London, England] 18 Feb. 1958: 4. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 28 May 2016.
see "News in Brief." Times [London, England] 17 Dec. 1957: 6. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 28 May 2016.
see Birmingham Daily Post - Tuesday 18 February 1958
see Halifax Evening Courier - Tuesday 18 February 1958
see Western Mail - Saturday 28 December 1957
see Northern Whig - Tuesday 17 December 1957
see Birmingham Daily Post - Saturday 21 December 1957
see Daily Herald - Saturday 21 December 1957
see Londonderry Sentinel - Saturday 28 December 1957