Date: 19 Oct 1953
Frances Mary Hood was found on a road with a fractured skull. She was taken by the police to a police station and put in a cell and later to a hospital where she died two weeks later.
She was last seen by friends at 11.15pm on 5 October 1953 after she stepped out of a coach near her home in Sparkbrook after having been to a dance.
She was found about 30 minutes later by police in a patrol car about a mile from her home with a fractured skull and what had happened to her in that half-an-hour was a mystery.
When the police found Frances Hood in the road, they thought that she was drunk and took her to a police station and after she refused to give her name she was transferred to the city's central Lock-up. However, after about six hours in the cell she was sent to the hospital for a medical examination and died a fortnight later.
At her inquest the Coroner told the jury that they had to consider whether Frances Hood had been struck in the police station. However, he said, 'On the evidence I can find not the slightest criticism of the conduct of the police. There is some mystery about how she got to Moseley Road where she was found. It was nowhere near her home and she would have had no need to go that way. There is no evidence at all of a road accident. Her spectacles, which she always wore were missing and an intensive search of the whole district has failed to find them'.
Frances Hood had lived in Oldfield Road in Sparkbrook.
Three people that had been out with Frances Hood on the evening she became injured said that she had not been drunk and that she had never been a heavy drinker.
A pathologist that carried out her post mortem said that Frances Hood had a fractured skull and a blood clot that had pressed on her brain.
Her inquest returned a verdict of accidental death. However, the police said, 'We are still trying to find out what happened to this woman in that 30 minutes. Investigations are continuing in an attempt to fill the gap and end the mystery'.
see Birmingham Daily Gazette - Thursday 05 November 1953