Unsolved Murders

William Norman Latham

Age: 29

Sex: male

Date: 29 Oct 1932

Place: Hertford Place, Coventry

William Norman Latham was run over.

William Latham was a fitter and had lived at 17 Hertford Square, Hertford Place in Coventry.

He was found lying in the roadway a few yards from his home in Hertford Place shortly after midnight and taken to the Coventry and Warwickshire Hospital where he died a few hours later.

The medical evidence stated that he had probably been run over whilst lying down in the road by a motor-vehicle, and that it was probably a heavy touring motor-car.

The inquest heard that it would have been impossible for a motorist to have driven a car over his body without being aware of it and it was thought that somebody must be purposely keeping out of the way.

A friend of William Latham said that he had been with him on the night he was run over at a smoking concert and said that when he left he was quite capable.

A man that lived nearby in Hertford Place said that he was awakened from his sleep at about 12.30am by the sounds of groaning coming from the roadway and that when he went to investigate he found William Latham lying full length in the roadway with his feet towards the gutter and his bowler hat on the opposite side of the road.

The man said that about 10 minutes before he heard William Latham groaning he was also awakened by the squeal of a motor-vehicle's brakes in the road.

He said that it had been a dry night and noted that although there was a lamp near where William Latham had been lying, it was in a dark spot.

A policeman that was called out to the scene soon after William Latham was found said that he smelt strongly of drink and said that his first thought was that he was drunk and incapable. He said that he agreed with the coroner in that his state was consistent with him having been to a smoking concert and of having had two or three drinks.

A police sergeant that examined the road area said that he found a patch of mud and a tyre mark four inches wide with a Dunlop pattern that extended for 21 feet in the direction of Queen's Road.

The chief detective inspector said that they had interviewed a large number of drivers and had made an appeal and had also visited many garages but had had no good results. He said 'I should like to earnestly appeal to the motorist to come forward. If it is only for the sake of the widow and the two kiddies'.

The coroner said that it was an unsatisfactory case and said that it was a pity that the police had not been able to find the motorist, noting that he could not be called a man. The jury also said that it was a surprise and regret that the motorist had not had the courage to come forward as a witness of an incident that he could not have failed to have been aware of.

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

see www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

see Birmingham Daily Gazette - Wednesday 16 November 1932