Unsolved Murders

Frances Vera Mizzi

Age: 26

Sex: male

Date: 25 Feb 1946

Place: 157 Wardour Street, Soho, London

Frances Vera Mizzi was found strangled with a silk stocking in a flat in Wardour Street, Soho on the night of Monday 25 February 1946.

It was thought that she might have been murdered on the previous Friday 22 February 1946 or in the early hours of Saturday morning.

She was last seen alive at about 9.45pm on the Friday night walking towards her flat with a small man with dark hair who was wearing a dark shabby suit and no overcoat. The owner of the flat next door said that she later heard sounds like furniture being moved about or tipped over and the sounds of a muffled cry.

Frances Mizzi's friend's, who had not seen her since the Friday night later called the police who forced an entry to her flat on the Monday and found her dead.

It was reported that she had been seen on the Saturday morning with a short sailor with a Scottish accent at about 1am and the police later went to Glasgow and Clydeside in search of him. The man was described as being about 25-years-old, small, about 5ft 1in to 5ft 4in tall, with a boyish face, sturdily built and with a dark sallow complexion, a thinnish face and with dark hair, well greased and with a wave in front.

The police also questioned one or two young women who were believed to have visited her flat over the weekend.

It was thought that her murderer had spent about two hours in her flat after her murder.

The police said that they were working on the theory that the motive for her murder had been either robbery or revenge.

The police said that they were trying to trace her handbag which was missing from her flat that was thought to have contained money as well as a small tin box that was missing from her flat.

It was also reported that her murder might have been carried out by a gang in revenge for her having been a 'squealer'. It was said that there were rumours in the Soho underworld and the small West End cafes that she had been known to visit that she was an informant and that she had squealed on one of her friends, possibly a member of a black-market gang.

During the search of her flat the police found a man's suit button, some strands of hair and a partly blurred fingerprint that was found on a bedside table.

Frances Mizzi was married to a 27-year-old Maltese man who was later, on 27 February 1946, sentenced to three months imprisonment after pleading guilty to living fully, or in part, on her immoral earnings. He had previously been convicted of living off of the immoral earnings of his wife on 3 February 1944 and sentenced to three months hard labour.

Frances Mizzi was found in a second floor flat in Wardour Street above a radio shop which was noted as being opposite the headquarters of many famous film companies, an area described as being in the centre of London's film land.

In July 1946 it was reported that the police were interviewing a man in connection with another case who they thought might have been able to offer a clue into her murder, but little else was reported.

In December 1946, it was reported that there was a good basis for the theory that her murder was the work of a man who was executed for the murder of a woman in North London in very similar circumstances.

Frances Mizzi was also known as Frances Hanley. She was said to have led a mysterious life.

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

see www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

see Dundee Evening Telegraph - Friday 01 March 1946

see Daily Herald - Saturday 02 March 1946

see Lancashire Evening Post - Monday 25 February 1946

see Daily Herald - Monday 29 July 1946

see Daily Herald - Wednesday 27 February 1946

see Lancashire Evening Post - Tuesday 26 February 1946

see Lincolnshire Echo - Monday 25 February 1946

see Belfast Telegraph - Monday 25 February 1946