Unsolved Murders

Antoni Rozanski

Age: 70

Sex: male

Date: 28 Aug 1959

Place: Capps Wood, Denham, Buckinghamshire

Antoni Rozanski was found dead in the heart of Capps Wood, Denham on 28 August 1959.

His body was found in the wood by two boys at about 3.15pm that had been out searching for foxes.

He had been a kitchen porter at the Witcombe Residential Club in Gloucester and it was not known why he had been in Denham although it was known that he had been there for several months.

He was known to have previously lived in Gloucester at a number of different addresses, including, Horton Road Hostel, Pembrook Street and Arthur Street.

However, it was said that he had also become quite a well-known character between Denham and Gerrards Cross where he had been seen walking the road with a knitted beret pulled down over his ears giving a teapot-cosy effect and wearing three pairs of trousers and three jackets.

A woman gave evidence at the inquest to say that she last saw Antoni Rozanski at the end of May 1959 which was thought to have been the last sighting of him. The woman had lived in Amersham Road, Tatling End, and said that she had come to know of Antoni Rozanski by sight because of his frequent wanderings past her house. When she was later shown the clothes that were found with Antoni Rozanski's body, she said that the man that she had seen had worn and overcoat and beret similar to the items.

When she was shown a photograph on an Alien Registration Card that had been taken of Antoni Rozanski 11 or 12 years earlier, she said that 'the resemblance is very close'.

It was noted that he had once been taken to the police station after it was thought that he had been looking in refuse bins for food for which documents showed him to be Rozanski.

He was also injured in a road accident in March 1959 and again documents showed him to be Rozanski.

When he was found he also had an official document in his possession which was said to have tied up with other records except for his age.

The inquest heard that the body that was found had a tattoo of a heart and dagger with the initials RA on one arm, and it was thought that the initials were the continental style of placing the surname first. It was said that all of the evidence of identification tied up with the alien record card that was supplied by the Gloucester police and the Coroner said that he was satisfied with the identification of the body found in the wood as that of Antoni Rozanski. The Coroner said, 'I am much obliged to the police. They have been most helpful in laying before me documents and evidence sufficient to enable me to say that this man is Antoni Rozanski'.

However, the inquest heard that owing to the state of decomposition of his body that it was not possible to determine either the precise date of his death or cause and an open verdict was returned.

The two boys that found his body in the wood said that when they poked his head with a stick that it rolled away from the body from the neck. The body was first discovered by one of the boys, a 16-year-old that had lived in Broken Gate Lane in Denham. He said that he first saw what he thought was a heap of rags and that he then went back for his 11-year-old friend, who also lived in Broken Gate Lane, and that the grimness of the situation was then revealed after which they went off for the police.

A policeman that went to examine Antoni Rozanski's body on the day that it was discovered said that he found no signs of violence and concluded that he thought that his body had been there for between 8-12 weeks.

He said that some of his neck bones were missing and that he thought that Antoni Rozanski might have collapsed and died where he was found.

He added that there were no signs that he had been camping in the place where he was found.

The policeman said that following the discovery of Antoni Rozanski's body that he had tied up the document found in his possession with the records obtained from the Gloucester police and found that a medical report on Antoni Rozanski mentioned schizophrenia. He also added that Antoni Rozanski had been seen wandering about past the police station.

In evidence at the inquest a detective said that there was a substantial root of a tree across the pathway along which Antoni Rozanski would have travelled and also produced photographs of how Antoni Rozanski was found lying on the ground and a sketch of the tattoo found on his arm.

Antoni Rozanski was said to have had a wife and three children.

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

see www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

see Buckinghamshire Examiner - Friday 02 October 1959