Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A Mysterious Murder in Brixton Water Lane, London, SW9

THE TIMES Monday 14th May 1900

MURDER AT BRIXTON, 1900, 44 Brixton Water Lane, Brixton

One of those mysterious murders which now and again shock London came to light at Brixton on Saturday morning. For some time past Mrs. Mary Kate Waknell, a middle-aged woman living apart from her husband, and a lad of 16 years named Robert Burgess, her son by a former marriage,
have occupied apartments in a house in Water Lane, Brixton, a thoroughfare in close proximity to the main Brixton-road. The house, which is in the occupation of several families, stands back from the road and is approached by a long forecourt. There is a separate entrance to the basement rooms occupied by Mrs. Waknell and her son. So far as can be ascertained Mrs. Waknell went out about 11 o'clock on Friday night and returned soon after midnight, it is believed, alone.

Nothing occurred during the night to attract the attention of the other occupants of the house, and it was not until the boy Burgess (who slept in the back basement room) arose on Saturday morning and went into his mother's apartment that it was found a murder had been committed.

The woman, clothed only in her night attire, was found lying on the floor in a pool of blood and with a pillow over her face. There was a horrible gash in her throat, and an exceedingly sharp pair of scissors was found embedded in her left breast in the region of the heart. It is said that there were also stabs about other part of the body. There were no signs of a struggle, the contents of the room being
undisturbed, but it is significant that the front door was found open. The scissors were the property of the woman, and were used by her in her trade as a mantle maker. The medical man who was called in had a difficulty in deciding that it was impossible for the wounds to have been self-inflicted. The police are making all possible inquiries, but the assailant left not a single vestige of evidence which could be followed up, and the officers engaged in the case freely confess that they are without a clue.

The inquest in fixed for to-day.

Source: Brixton Guide

No comments: