Murder - Crimes - History - Bootle and North Liverpool

Your place to talk about your Bootle memories
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efc46
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Wed Feb 17, 2016 4:27 am

Does any body remember the Harry Baker (rent man) murder I dont think it was solved about 1959/60
Davey Rowlands Bootle
nicolas
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Wed Feb 17, 2016 8:50 am

EVERY Friday was Bootle day for Harry Baker - the day the 61-year-old Jewish credit draper did a round of calls on housewife customers in the town. However, Friday June 6, 1958 was Bootle day with a tragic difference for mild-mannered Harry - a 'perky little sparrow' is how one man described him; the 'club man' who never pushed his customers hard if they could not pay.

Mr Baker, whose home was at Southport, had made about 50 calls on customers in the Bootle area during that morning. He had 63 other calls to make in Bootle and the adjoining north Liverpool district that day. Then he vanished, apparently into thin air.

He was last seen alive talking to a thin-faced man at about 1.45pm, at the number 23 bus stop in Strand Road, Bootle, from where he may have got a bus into Liverpool for a quick lunch at a city cafe. There were unconfirmed reports that the clubman had been seen walking along rather morosely with his head bowed near the Pier Head.

Seventeen days after he vanished - on June 23 - Harry Baker's body was found, amid pink and purple rhododendrons, wrapped in two sacks on a plantation off the main A50 trunk road at High Leigh, near Knutsford, Cheshire. He had been beaten and strangled.

Today, the murder is still unsolved. Where did Harry die and who killed him? What was the motive? Was this murder really committed for about pounds 25, two watches and a fountain pen, missing from Baker's possession when his body was found? How many people were implicated in the killing?

One of the biggest manhunts Merseyside has ever known was mounted by the police. At the height of the investigation, 20,000 people were interviewed, 9,000 statements were taken and replies obtained to 10,000 questionnaires. Unfortunately, positive placing of Baker's movements while he was alive came to a dead stop at that number 23 bus stop.

One theory that was propounded by detectives on the case was that the killer - or killers - fled abroad, and this led to police checks overseas as the inquiry proceeded. Information still trickled in about the crime from time to time in the years following Baker's murder, but no significant headway was ever made.

Eight years after the murder in 1966, Detective Chief Inspector Bill Cotter, head of the Bootle C.I.D., ruefully remarked to the ECHO: 'The Baker death is still very much in the minds of police officers. The file will, of course, remain open until the killer or killers of this man come to book, even if it takes another eight years.'
henry
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Wed Feb 17, 2016 12:53 pm

I remember when I was a kid the police going to every street where he collected from and searching all homes in our street for any clues but found nothing and all us kids talked about the murder for ages and just goes to show that any murder nowadays is just treated as a normal everyday thing
HENRY BORN FLORIDA STREET OFF STRAND ROAD
Shelagh
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Wed Feb 17, 2016 10:40 pm

Very sad story about little Tommy Lyons,, an horrific murder but without justice..
The judge had no choice but to let the accused go...insufficient evidence!!
If this murder had happened today, sophisticated technology would most definitely have helped in apprehending the murderer and bringing him to justice!!
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fatboyjoe90
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Thu Feb 18, 2016 11:08 pm

Spurned Man Cleared of Killer Punch

A man taunted by a navy cadet who was dating his ex girlfriend killed him with a single punch but was acquitted at his trial.

In March 1940 Phyllis Pape broke off a four year courtship with George Vincent, a twenty four year old painter. They both lived in Gladstone Road in Seaforth and soon afterwards Phyllis began seeing Thomas Griffiths, a naval cadet from Great Crosby.

On the evening of 25th May that year Thomas and Phyllis went to the pictures and afterwards they were both talking outside of Phyllis's home when Vincent walked past. When Thomas followed Vincent and taunted him, it was a step too far and he was punched in the face and fell backwards, hitting his head on the kerb. His skull was fractured and the following evening he died in Bootle Hospital of a brain hemorrhage.

Vincent was arrested and charged with manslaughter and was tried at the Manchester Assizes on 8th July. In opening the case the prosecution acknowledged that Vincent had lost his temper and struck a sudden blow on impulse, and had no intention to kill. All that Phyllis was able to say was she saw Thomas go after Vincent and then heard a thud and when she ran down the road her new boyfriend was lying on the ground.

Vincent then went in the witness box to give his version of events, expressing great remorse for what had happened. He told the court that he had been told by a friend that Thomas had been boasting about taking Phyllis from him. When Thomas refused to admit what had been going on, Vincent struck him. He then said 'when he fell backwards to the road and stayed there I was flabbergasted and called his name.'

The defence counsel said that his client had put himself in the dock to describe what happened as there was no direct witness and he was being truthful. The judge agreed in his summing up and the jury returned a verdict of not guilty without leaving their box. The judge then commented 'I agree with you and am very glad' before praising Vincent for his honesty and saying he was free to leave.
Cheers Joe.
maureen howell
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Fri Feb 19, 2016 10:24 am

Hi Joe
I don't know where you get these tales from...... but keep them coming .Well done.
Take Care
Maureen
maureen howell
efc46
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Fri Feb 19, 2016 10:54 am

Tommy Mckeon was kicked to death outside the litherland town hall does anyone remember the tragic event he was Dennis Mckeon cousin another Bootle lad that never grew old he was out at the dance the night it happened
Davey Rowlands Bootle
Shelagh
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Fri Feb 19, 2016 6:31 pm

Another crime of passion, just goes to show, one punch can wipe out a persons life, very sad case.. but as there were no witnesses, the judge accepted the accused's account of what happened, praised Thomas Griffiths for his honesty, and told him he was free to go!! (How trusting of the judge)
Shelagh K.
Shelagh
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Fri Feb 19, 2016 6:59 pm

Davy, I can vaguely remember that poor lad being murdered,, I was still at school at the time, so didn't know an awful lot about it, just that the whole school was talking about the tragedy...a lot of the girls even went to see him before saying their goodbyes..so sad!
Was anyone ever caught for this dreadful murder?
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fatboyjoe90
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Sat Feb 20, 2016 3:20 am

Baby Boy Drowned in Park Pond
A tragic case in Bootle in 1944 saw a happily married wife and mother drown her baby boy in a Bootle park.

On Tuesday 7th November that year 42 year old mother of five Catherine ?????? walked into an undertakers in Marsh Lane and stunned staff with her request. She asked the man on reception if someone could get her baby from the pond in North Park and put it in a little coffin to bury.

Catherine, who was said to be wild eyed and glaring, was sent to a clergyman while the police were called. They drained the pond and found the body of her ten week old son James. When interviewed by detectives, Catherine said that on the previous Saturday evening she had a row with her husband and taken a tram from her home at Wilbraham Street, Everton to Bootle. She then claimed that she had given a boy ten shillings and sixpence to throw the baby into the pond and walked away, hearing a splash. Despite extensive police enquiries, they were unable to find any trace of this boy's existence.

At the committal hearing on 23rd November a doctor who had treated for Catherine around the time of the birth when she was suffering from thrombosis phlebitis said that this would not have effected the state of mind. The doctor from Strangeways gaol though said that when he examined Catherine she was garulous, agitated and depressed. Under cross examination this doctor stated that her mind was disturbed and she had never recovered from the effects of the birth.

Catherine's nineteen year old daughter Kathleen told the court that her mother had been poorly when she first came home from hospital and had wanted to have the baby adopted. This was the explanation given when Kathleen noticed the baby was missing from his cot on 4th November, with her mother responding that he was now in safe hands. Kathleen described the family, whose eldest son was abroad with the forces, as very happy but that Catherine had been changed by the birth, becoming more irritable and 'acting queer'.

After hearing the evidence the examining magistrate reduced the charge to infanticide and Catherine was committed to the Liverpool assizes for trial. On 30th January 1945 Catherine pleaded guilty to infanticide. A report from the prison doctor was then read out, which stated that Catherine had been suffering from hallucinations and heard imaginary voices and seen imaginary people. Taking this into account the Lord Chief Justice sentenced her to a nominal three months imprisonment. Saying to her 'You must not think I am punishing you' he then expressed a wish that Catherine could return home and resume the happy family life she had enjoyed before the birth. This however, could only take place after she had received a period of institutionalised treatment.
Cheers Joe.
bob. b
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Sat Feb 20, 2016 9:13 am

Joe keep them coming very interesting reading thanks Joe Bob b
JOE21
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Sat Feb 20, 2016 3:05 pm

tommy Mc keon was on way home from litherland town hall dance.i think the year 1960.he got involved in a fight with three other lads .the fight took place on the island out side the regal .tommy substained alot of cuts to head .what i can remember tommy got some soil in the cuts ,he died a few days later from tetanus i cant remember what happened to the lads involved.
lynne99
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Sun Feb 21, 2016 9:30 am

Died from tetanus in 1960. Did we not have a tetanus vaccine then? Poor family takes a lot of getting over that. At the risk of alienating others, poor perpetrators, as I am sure they would not have thought of that happening.
I had a relative in 1845 who died of tetanus , 10 days, and absolute agony, according to the coroner.
JOE21
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Sun Feb 21, 2016 7:20 pm

tommy Mc keon dad was a docker .a few years after tommy died, he was on nights ,he was working on deck and was walking across the hatch, he did not see that their where some hatch boards missing ,and fell through to his death
Shelagh
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Sun Feb 21, 2016 7:53 pm

Strange how tragedy seems to surround certain families,, such a very sad story Joe..
Thanks for clarification regarding Tommy McKeown!!
Shelagh K.
Shelagh
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Mon Feb 22, 2016 12:12 am

Going back to "Baby Boy Drowned In Park Pond" The poor mother must have been in a hell
of a state in order to to commit such a crime, especially as the baby was already ten weeks old, an age when most mothers would have bonded with their babies..
Thought it very strange why she should pay a boy money to throw the infant into the pond....
but then again if her mind was so disturbed, she wouldn't understand the implication of enticing a youngster to commit this murder....
Chilling to think of a mother walking into an undertakers after such a crime, and then making such a shocking request !!!
Shelagh K.
efc46
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Mon Feb 22, 2016 1:30 am

Hi joe I always thought Tommy died from the wounds in the fight I knew Dennis and mick McKeon(Oneil street) so sad to here it was tetinus that killed Tommy Good information Joe /Davey
Davey Rowlands Bootle
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fatboyjoe90
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Wed Feb 24, 2016 10:36 pm

The Bootle Bath Murder

The killing of a Bootle woman who was found drowned in a bath in 1951 remains unsolved after her friend was tried for her murder but acquitted. It was a case which the defence barrister described as 'the most harrowing she had ever dealt with.'

Emma Grace was just 22 years old when she separated from her husband in the mid 1930s, going on to bring three children up on her own whilst working as a clerk for a pools firm. She lived in Irlam Road in Bootle in a house that was also occupied by Martin and Anna Neary and their three children. Each family had a floor in the house and they shared a bathroom.

On 25th May 1951 Emma's nineteen year old daughter Mary, a student nurse, returned home at around 5pm to find Anna sobbing hysterically. She described how she had heard Emma go to the bathroom and then raised voices, so when she went up to see what was happening a man had threatened her with a revolver then lifted Emma into the bath and drowned her before making off. When 39 year old Emma's fully clothed body was removed from the bath it was badly bruised and there had clearly been signs of a struggle.

Anna was questioned by the police who were sceptical about her story, as they simply did not believe that the bathroom was big enough for one person to face great difficulty in drowning another while another escaped unscathed. As some of Emma's wages were found hidden within the fireplace in Anna's room, they concluded that she had committed the murder with robbery as a motive, refusing to believe her statement that a large man with hairy hands had committed the deed.

At lunchtime the following day Anna was charged and replied 'Why should I kill her, she has been awfully good to me.' A special court in Bootle was convened and Anna was formally remanded, leading to her shouting out 'This is not justice, God help me.' She was led away to the cells on what was her 27th birthday leaving her husband in the public gallery holding a young baby

Anna was 26 years old and had been born in France to Polish parents. After growing up near Lille, she had come to Britain after the war, during which she met her husband who was a serviceman with the RAF.

Martin's sister Margaret took the couple's children into her care, telling them that their mother was in hospital.

The trial opened at the Manchester Assizes on 11th July, with the prosecutors outlining the case that the man with hairy hands had not been traced and as nobody else was in the house or could have gained access, and then Anna was guilty.

When Anna gave her evidence on the second day she stood by what she had told the police on the fateful night, that she had gone to the bathroom where she was locked in by a man with 'big ugly hairy hands' who then threatened her with a gun before drowning Emma. Anna then went on to describe how there were a number of unknown male visitors to Emma and her daughter, one of whom she had expressed a wish never to see again as he had a nice wife. When asked by her defence counsel Rose Heilbron if she had killed Emma she replied 'No, never' and broke down crying, leading to a five minute adjournment to allow her to regain her composure.

In her closing speech, Miss Heilbron said there was no evidence of ill feeling between the two women and that Anna was not short of money so robbery could not have been a motive.

After retiring for two and a half hours the jury returned a verdict of not guilty. There was a round of applause from the public gallery but this came to an abrupt halt as Anna fainted in the dock and it took two minutes to revive her. She was still sobbing as Justice Barry said 'You may be discharged'. Anna then turned to the jury and said 'Thank you, I swear I did not do it.'

Outside the court, Anna buried her head into the arms of her husband as she was rushed to a waiting car. Miss Heilbron said that it was the most harrowing case she had ever been involved in and family members said that Martin and Anna planned to take a holiday in France. Although Martin's four sisters and two brothers had been of great help, Anna's mother was too poor to visit England during her daughter's imprisonment and trial.

The killing of Emma Grace remains unsolved.
My mother was a witness for the prosecution we (lived next door) in that case and Anna Neary, got away with murder. I have some of the transcripts from the trial. In which she contradicts herself so many times it’s unbelievable.

I was 3 years old, at the time and I a vividly remember people running in and out of our house screaming and shouting, and then the police arrived and they were searching the backyard.
Although I knew about the murder I didn’t know the name of that poor woman until 2009, my mother wouldn’t talk about it.
Cheers Joe.
lily8
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Thu Feb 25, 2016 2:59 am

Hi Joe that was an interesting case and is cited in a book about K and Q C Rose Heilbron which you might find interesting.

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=vo ... le&f=false
Lily
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fatboyjoe90
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Thu Feb 25, 2016 3:33 am

Morning Lily, thanks for that it looks very interesting, I’ve just put into my bookmarks. :wink: :)
Cheers Joe.
Shelagh
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Thu Feb 25, 2016 9:36 pm

A very strange case Joe -The victims wages hidden behind the grate- a murderer with great big hairy hands and a revolver, no robbery - no motive!
Good job she had Rose Heilbronn defending, otherwise Anna Neary may well have hung
for murder!!
Thanks Joe for another one of you're Bootle Murders!!
Shelagh K.
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fatboyjoe90
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Fri Feb 26, 2016 1:58 am

Shelagh, thanks for taking the time to read it.

She was one lucky woman, but I wonder if it played on her mind for the rest of her life?
Cheers Joe.
James Moorcroft
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Fri Feb 26, 2016 1:27 pm

Maureeng, I had school pals in the Millers Bridge area, late 1940s, early 1950s. One lad Eddie Johnson, hope the spelling is correct, lived on the bridge. If my memory is still ok about six families only had one toilet on those tenement landings. (How awful those poor people were treated). After leaving St Winnies I am pretty sure Eddie worked for Rediffusion Tv on Stanley Road. I heard he learned about television inside out and emigrated to Australia. Jim
bob. b
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Fri Feb 26, 2016 1:38 pm

Jim, Colin Miffin worked for Rediffusion Tv on Stanley Road has well. :wink: :wink:
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fatboyjoe90
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Sat Feb 27, 2016 4:05 am

Colin Miffin, was also a good dart player, he played for the Bootle Provincial Club, on University Road. The last I heard of him, he went to live on Isle of Man. :wink:
Cheers Joe.
bob. b
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Sat Feb 27, 2016 1:11 pm

Joe are you kidding me a good darts player :wink: :wink: :wink:
Hope he replies Joe to this one mate.
Bobhamo could do 180
Taylors arms comes to mind on darts :wink: :wink:
Never played it so can not comment. :wink: :wink:
Regards Bob
bjones
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Sun Feb 28, 2016 10:45 am

JOE21 wrote:tommy Mc keon was on way home from litherland town hall dance.i think the year 1960.he got involved in a fight with three other lads .the fight took place on the island out side the regal .tommy substained alot of cuts to head .what i can remember tommy got some soil in the cuts ,he died a few days later from tetanus i cant remember what happened to the lads involved.
http://www.blackkalendar.nl/content.php?key=15313
Bee

"Life" is a gift to you. The way you live your life is your gift to those who come after.
bjones
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Sun Feb 28, 2016 10:48 am

fatboyjoe90 wrote:Colin Miffin, was also a good dart player, he played for the Bootle Provincial Club, on University Road. The last I heard of him, he went to live on Isle of Man. :wink:

Not certain but I think Colin MiffLin has posted on this site some years ago - mate of Eddy Lloyd as I recall.
Bee

"Life" is a gift to you. The way you live your life is your gift to those who come after.
JOE21
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Sun Feb 28, 2016 3:18 pm

Bee thanks for that info joe 21
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fatboyjoe90
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Sun Feb 28, 2016 9:55 pm

bjones wrote:
fatboyjoe90 wrote:Colin Miffin, was also a good dart player, he played for the Bootle Provincial Club, on University Road. The last I heard of him, he went to live on Isle of Man. :wink:

Not certain but I think Colin MiffLin has posted on this site some years ago - mate of Eddy Lloyd as I recall.

Thanks Bee, your right it’s Colin Mifflin, I remember posting a photo of a darts presentation with him and me on the photo but I can’t find it.It was In Bobhamo’s Bootle Darts post.

Bob, are we talking about the same Colin Mifflin?
Cheers Joe.
bjones
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Sun Feb 28, 2016 11:11 pm

Bee

"Life" is a gift to you. The way you live your life is your gift to those who come after.
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fatboyjoe90
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Sun Feb 28, 2016 11:52 pm

Yes Bee, it is thanks, :D the photo and fixture list were posted using imageshack, all of the photos with them have disappeared.
I’ve reposted the fixture list, but I can’t find the photo of the presentation so I’ll have to dig deep to try and find it.
I wonder if other members have lost any photos as well using imageshack. :wink: :D
Cheers Joe.
Brunnyboy
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Mon Feb 29, 2016 1:21 pm

There is still an unsolved murder that happened in Talbot st of marsh lane February 15th 1965 he was ten years of age the lads name Stephen Leadbetter his sister who is my partner has been trying to get the case reopened she wants answers but keeps hitting a brick wall they won't open the case for another 50 years a neighbour Ellis Lovett who got charged he was acquitted why did they no reopen the case. Stephen on the leftImage
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fatboyjoe90
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Mon Feb 29, 2016 10:07 pm

Hiya Bob, here is the link to the darts thread kindly provided by Bee. :wink: :D

http://www.bootlehistory.co.uk/forum/vi ... ilit=darts
Last edited by fatboyjoe90 on Mon Feb 29, 2016 10:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Cheers Joe.
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fatboyjoe90
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Mon Feb 29, 2016 10:10 pm

Brunnyboy, I didn’t know about this murder it must be heartbreaking for Barbara and her family after all this time.
Cheers Joe.
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