Unsolved Murders

Robert Duncan Murdoch

Age: 49

Sex: male

Date: 25 Jul 1957

Place: Bandstand, Grand Parade, Eastbourne

Robert Duncan Murdoch was found knocked down in the road near the pedestrian crossing at the Bandstand in Grande Parade on 25 July 1957.

Shortly after he was knocked down witnesses saw a green Austin A35 van moving away from the scene of the accident, but it was never traced.

He was found in the road just after 11pm and taken to Princess Alice Hospital where he died shortly after following an operation. His brother had been called shortly after the accident but by the time he had arrived Robert Murdoch had gone into the operating theatre and he could not see him and he was next told that Robert Murdoch had died.

The police said that they were looking for anyone that had been near the bandstand late on the Thursday evening that might have seen anything. They said that it was possible that Robert Murdoch had been lying in the road for a short while before he was found and appealed for anyone that had been there between 11pm and 11.10pm to contact them.

Appeals for information were made in the press, the BBC and at local places of entertainment.

A witness, who lived in Ramsdale Crescent, Nottingham, said that they heard a noise like a car door being slammed and then saw the green van going off towards Beachy Head at a slow speed. He said that it swerved into the crown of the road before continuing and said that its headlamps did not appear to be on but that its sidelights were.

He said that he then heard a moaning and then walked into the road to investigate.

A pathologist gave Robert Murdoch's cause of death as being due to respiratory failure due to lung injuries and injuries to his chest wall. He added that there weas evidence of heart disease and said that he could not rule out the possibility that Robert Murdoch had had a heart attack and had fallen into the road and had then been run over.

An open verdict was returned at his inquest.

Robert Murdoch had lived in Temple Square in Aylesbury and had been a stockbroker. His brother said that Robert Murdoch had lived with their mother and had been in good health. He had been on holiday at the time staying at the Cavendish Hotel and had been a visiting Rotarian at a luncheon of the Eastbourne Rotary Club the week before.

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

see www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

see Eastbourne Herald - Saturday 17 August 1957, p20

see Eastbourne Gazette - Wednesday 31 July 1957