Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Unsolved Murder of a Baby

In 1883 a young baby was found murdered in the lake at Stanley Park and his identity was never established.

On Friday 20th April 1883 at midday a gardener called Charles Moss noticed the body of baby floating in a secluded part of the lake. He pulled it out and called for a policeman, who arranged for the baby, a boy, to be removed to the mortuary at the Walton workhouse.

An examination by doctors at the workhouse established the baby was about three months old and that a shirt had been tied tightly around the neck. The following Monday an inquest was held at the workhouse, where Mr Moss told the Coroner that the area of the lake where he found the body was secluded by trees and nobody on the footpath could have seen it floating there.

Dr Anderson, who had conducted the post mortem concluded that the baby had been well nourished and looked after, but had undoubtedly been murdered, most likely by strangling and suffocation. He also suggested the baby could still have been alive when placed in the water and ultimately died of drowning.

The jury returned a verdict of wilful murder by persons unknown. Despite a reward being offered for information leading to a conviction, the identity of the child was never established.

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