Unsolved Murders

Margaret Ellen Simpson

Age: 25

Sex: female

Date: 22 Jul 1915

Place: Aireville Wood, Skipton

Margaret Ellen Simpson was found dead in Aireville Wood.

When she was found she had marks on her neck.

Her body was examined for poison but none could be found.

Her husband was held for her murder but later released.

On 16 July 1915 a neighbour saw Margaret Simpson and said she had marks on her neck and said that she told her that she had had a quarrel with her husband. The marks looked as though they had been caused by fingers, perhaps a week before.

She was found by a police sergeant lying on her back in the long gras in the woods. She was fully dressed and in a natural position.

When her body was examined her throat was found to be red and swollen and there was a mark on the left side of her mouth as though caused by violence.

There was a small place near her that was trampled down but nothing to suggest that anyone had been in the shrubbery with her.

When her husband was questioned by the police he was asked if he had been absent from his billet and he said that he had. He said that since Sunday until that day, Thursday he had had no food or water and had been sleeping rough in a Skipton churchyard.

When he was told that his wife was dead he dropped his head and said, 'Dead'. The coroner asked the policeman if he appeared astonished and the policeman said that he didn't.

The doctor said that he could not swear that Margaret Simpson had died from strangulation. He said that there were no internal indications and that the marks on her neck were clearly defined and could have been there for some time prior to her death. He said that she might have died from heart failure following excitement, from over-exhaustion or from a fit.

Her husband's Lance Corporal said that her husband had been absent from the army camp from 8.30pm on the Sunday until the following Thursday at 8.30am and had no reason for his absence.

They had lived at Mill Bridge in Skipton.

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

see www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

see Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser - Thursday 05 August 1915