This Crime Chronicles tells the story a gruesome discovery, and the subsequent trial that never quite managed to pin down the circumstances leading to it.
On December 23, 1942, a woman living in Potter Street, Northwood, found a human skull, believed to have been that of a two-year-old girl, in her house. She and her husband had only moved in the year before.
Upon the discovery, the woman called the police, who then unearthed the rest of the body.
The house’s previous owners had been another married couple. The husband was in the air force, and neighbours described them as reserved. The wife had a daughter from a previous marriage.
The neighbours then said how in 1940, the couple had told them they had sent their first child to relatives in Bristol, and that shortly afterwards, she had apparently been killed in an air raid in October of that year.
However, police would later say in their investigation that not only was their no record of the girl or the relatives in Bristol, but also, no record of any air raids in Bristol in October 1940.
Despite the evidence pointing to foul play, the inquest’s judge ruled an open verdict, meaning the full truth of the girl’s death may never truly come to light.
Photo credit: David Howard