Unsolved Murders

Edith Shepherd

Age: 30

Sex: female

Date: 12 May 1919

Place: Leeds and Liverpool Canal, Armley

Edith Shepherd was found drowned in the Leeds and Liverpool Canal at Armley near Armley Park on 12 May 1919 under mysterious circumstances.

She was last seen around 3 May 1919.

It was heard that the day before she died, she had confided to a neighbour that her husband had made her make a will leaving everything to him.

The doctor who carried out her post-mortem stated that he thought that her death was due to syncope following the shock of immersion and that she had been in the water for about nine days.

Her husband had been heard to say, 'Supposing anything has happened to my wife, how do I stand with the home. I kept her mother until she died, and I am paying her 12s a week'.

The husband denied being in Bramley on the Friday night or in Stanningley Road the following night.

When the police went to tell him that his wife had been found dead on 12 May 1919 he said, 'Oh' and then turned to his landlady and said, 'Never mind, missis. Thank God my conscience is clear'.

When he gave an account of his movements on 3 May 1919 he said that he left home at 11am and was at the New Inn until 2.30pm after which he went into Leeds Market and then had tea at 5pm. He said that he then returned to the New Inn with another man and stayed there until 6.30pm at which time they then went back to the market together. He said that he was next at the Brigate Picture House from 8.30pm to 9.20pm after which he walked home, arriving just after 10pm.

The woman with whom he lodged said that Edith Shepherd's husband had left the house at 7am and returned at about 11pm in his usual manner and was cheerful.

At Edith Shepherd's inquest, the police noted that Edith Shepherd's husband had told them that Edith Shepherd had been in a certain condition for which he was not responsible.

Edith Shepherd had lived at 10 Bramley Street in Bramley.

Her husband had lived at 174 Kirkstall Road in Leeds.

Her husband was later charged with bigamously marrying a dressmaker who lived in Old Town, Eastbourne, whilst he was married to Edith Shepherd, and before her death

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

see www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

see Leeds Mercury - Friday 30 May 1919

see Leeds Mercury - Thursday 29 May 1919