Sunday, 7 February 2016

A Tugboat Mystery

During the Second World War a man was found battered to death on a tugboat in the River Mersey and his killer was never caught.

On the morning of 22nd April 1944 crew members boarded a tug that was docked and were horrified to find the body of the firewatcher, George Parker. The 65 year old from Melville Place in Edge Hill was still in his bunk and his face had been battered beyond recognition. There was no sign of any murder weapon.

Police struggled to find a motive for the crime and there seemed to be no signs of a struggle. His landlady though was able to state that he was in possession of a torn one pound note when he went out to work on the Friday night and this was unaccounted for. This led to police appealing to anybody who may have received this in payment to contact them as a matter of urgency.

Although many people who had come across a torn pound note, worth about £40 today, came forward to give statements, none of them led to the killer. At the inquest on 10th May Parker's landlady described him as 'a man of violent temper and addicted to drink.' A detective inspector said that police inquiries had been extensive but not provided a solution and the jury returned a verdict of 'murder against some person or persons unknown.' Police failed to find either a motive or the killer.

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