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Posted: Sat 30 Jan, 2010 10:50 pm
Memories are dulled by time, I may be wrong in my cloudy recollection, but here goes:Us kids called her Old Annie (maybe Lily?), she ran a sweetshop somewhere in the back streets off the top end of Old Lane. I'm pretty sure the poor lady was kicked to death. I definitely remember the police interviewing every boy at school (Hugh Gaitskell).Other than that, I know nothing - exact location, arrest, eventual conviction etc.Thanks to anyone who knows more about this sad story.
Posted: Sat 30 Jan, 2010 11:28 pm
I lived in Maud avenue at the time. It would have been 1974 or 75, and it was a small shop in a road the other side of Tempest road from the park, running (very ) approximately parallel to Tempest road. One thing I do remember was that every male in the immediate area was interviewed and , i think, asked to give fingerprints. That included me, and , when I was asked where i was at the time i told them at work. They then went and asked there and my supervisor asked me what i wanted him to tell them !! In the end I think they caught the youth because the one responsible asked a mate of his to go in for him and say he was him. Only that came out and obviously the police then put on the pressure. I never went in th eshop, but I remember everyone said the old lady had been there for years.
Posted: Sun 31 Jan, 2010 1:01 am
The shop was on lodge lane and the lady in question was called lilly Annie Blenkarn (not sure of surname spelling but pronounced as written) the "youth" mentioned did eight years at Her Majesty's pleasure, and was still living in the area last time I saw Him. I won't mention His name or the gory details of what actualy happened , He served His time and has a new life now and any family He has may not know about the past. Lets just say this particular horror was very close to home to My family and Myself.
Posted: Sun 31 Jan, 2010 2:33 pm
Thanks all, what a depressing tale.. "Blenkarn" it was, rang a bell deep in the memory banks immediately. Lodge Lane wasn't on my route home to Miggy, but I definitely was in the shop more than once after knocking about with mates in the park.The police must have taken it very seriously to interview every boy at my school, we were all aged betwen 10 and 13, and I'm sure the local high schools were also targetted.8 years?? Wow...
Posted: Sun 31 Jan, 2010 7:24 pm
Hi everyone,It was locally known as the 'Lodge Lane' murder. The old lady was attacked in her shop, believed by a youth, around 3.30pm - 4.30pm on a weekday. The murderer left his fingerprints on a tin in the shop. All other fingerprints were accounted for and many innocent people, whose prints were found at the scene, were traced, interviewed and eliminated. The outstanding prints were never identified and the murder remained undetected for many months. Experts stated that the fingerprints found at the scene were probably those of a youth.In order to try and discover the identity of the murderer, who was probably a local youth going home from school, the Police appealed for all male persons, between the ages of around 12 to 35 years of age to, VOLUNTARILY, give their fingerprints to the Police, if they lived within an area of around a mile from the scene.The Police set up two portable buildings at the top and bottom of Cross Flatts Park. The system was that people would enter the building and give elimination fingerprints, which would then be checked by a fingerprint expert against the prints found at the murder. If they were negative then the elimination prints were destroyed in the presence of the person who gave them and they were allowed to leave. Obviously, written records were kept and checked with Voters Lists, etc.The murder remained undetected.Several months later, a young detective at Dewsbury Road Police Station, was allocated a crime to detect. It was a case of Criminal Damage where a stool had been thrown through the window of a pub in Dewsbury Road. He made local enquiries and identified a suspect. He went out and arrested him - a local youth who had no previous convictions and had never been fingerprinted before. He was fingerprinted for Criminal Record Office purposes and charged with the offence of Criminal Damage, then bailed. A few days later, a call was received from the West Riding CRO fingerprint office, at Wakefield, stating that the prints given were identical, and good enough for court purposes, to those left at the murder scene. The young detective was allowed to go with colleagues and arrest the murderer himself, which he did. The youth admitted the murder and, I believe, because of his young age, was convicted at Leeds Crown Court and 'Detained during her majesty's pleasure', as he was too young to get Life Imprisonment.What he had actually done was to get one of his mates, to find out, and go though the procedure, at one of the fingerprint booths in the park, and then go to the other booth and do the same again but giving his name and address. As a local D.S., I was involved with the murder enquiry from the start and the young detective was one of my team at Dewsbury Road Police Station.I might be wrong but I think that it was one of the first murder enquiries to take place, in Leeds, after the amalgamation of Police Forces on 1st April 1974.Ian
Posted: Sun 31 Jan, 2010 8:02 pm
Hi IanThis was a very sad case that not only ended the life of a well loved old lady, It also totally destroyed his mother, a lone parent and a very intelligent cultured women and an excellent artist. It belies the often held belief that a crime of this sort usually means a poor deprived upbringing, and to add insult to injury, on His release He had further bother with the law . Being based at Holbeck You may remember this.
Posted: Sun 31 Jan, 2010 11:25 pm
Hi Kango,I don't remember this, Brannigans was in Millgarth Division, and I have no knowledge. However, I used to go to Brannigans socially, to listen to the Cherry Tree Band. Ian
Posted: Sun 16 May, 2010 11:21 pm
Dear bloggersFamily history research has revealed that this lady was Lily Annie Blenkarn, who was my mam's second cousin.She was born in 1893 in Langwathby, Cumberland. Her mother Jane tragically died when Lily was born, so she was sent to live with her grandparents Thomas and Elizabeth Blenkarn who moved from Cumberland to Newcastle, to Westmorland, and then on to Leeds.Thomas died in 1901 in Hunslet; Elizabeth was a "milk dealer" in Sunbeam Terrace, Hunslet at the time of the 1901 census. Don't know what happened after that, but it looks like Lily remained in Leeds as a shopkeeper (perhaps taking over the running of her grandmother's shop) until her tragic murder in 1974.Matthew Erskine
Posted: Wed 10 Aug, 2011 4:09 am
I remember this murder very well, and I had been in Old Annie's shop a few times, she struck me as very vulnerable but I wouldn't have thought she was as old as she was. She seemed a very decent person, it was a shame the way she died.
Re: Murder in Beeston, ca. 1974?
Posted: Fri 03 May, 2019 7:50 am
The murder was in Lodge Lane, I remember it well , very old she was and she used a ladder to get to the shelves , we used to go n for a quarter of whatever we fancied on the day , I know the lad who did it he was in my class at school Hugh Gaitskell , the shop was in the middle of the row of shops along Lodge lane , Susan Cocharane had the fruit shop and a man with a hump back ran a wool shop a little way along the row with his wife , the morning it happened we went to the shop on the way to school I think it must have been , it was taped off as she had been found dead . we thought she had fallen off her ladder but no this boy who will remain nameless had killed her , what for I don't know , there was a portacabin set up in Cross flatts park and everybody had to go get fingerprints taken. shame she was such a nice lady .