Date: 21 Oct 1958
Olive May Streams was found dead in Regent's Park boating lake on 21 October 1958.
An open verdict was returned at her inquest at St Pancras Coroner's Court on Monday 27 October 1958.
She had lived in Barnstaple Street in Reading and it was thought that she had travelled to London to buy a present for her brother.
Her brother who had lived in Fish Street in Portsmouth said that Olive Streams was an epileptic and that she used to have black-outs about three times a year.
He said that Olive Streams would often go to London to look for 'little domestic jobs' and would wander around London Zoo, 'which gave her solace'.
He added, 'On this occasion, however, I am practically certain that she came to buy a present for me'.
The manager of the boating lake in Regent's Park said that a passer-by pointed out the body to him and said, 'She could have fallen in the lake any time that morning from 6.30 onwards'.
The pathologist that that he thought that Olive Streams's body had been in the water for no more than 11 hours and that 4 or 5 hours was a reasonable estimate. He said that he thought that as a result of her illness that Olive Streams might have become 'automationised' and walked into the lake without realising it.
A police detective said that there was no suspicion of foul play and that there was no suicide note found about her, including her handbag which was recovered from the lake.
When the Coroner returned the open verdict he said that he did not think that it was a case of suicide, but said that as there was no evidence to show how she came to be in the water that he could not rule it out.
see Reading Mercury - Saturday 01 November 1958, p3