The Murder of Old “ANNIE”

Published date01 January 1977
AuthorDennis A. Hoban
Date01 January 1977
Subject MatterArticle
Detective Chief Superintendent,
West Yorkshire Metropolitan Police
lesson in mass fingerprinting)
Lily Annie Blenkarn reached the age of 80 years and still toiled
away in her little sweet shop, tucked away amidst the hundreds of
terraced houses populated by the artisan men and women of the
district of Beeston, Leeds, Yorkshire.
Locally, Miss Blenkarn, aspinster, was known as "Old Annie".
She lived a frugal existence and the sweet shop netted no more than
£400 or £500 per year. She lived quietly above the shop, with no
amalgamation of the Police Forces of Leeds City, Bradford
City and the West Yorkshire Constabulary took place on April I,
1974, and it was on the second day after amalgamation when
these three Forces were faced with the first investigation of homi-
cide following the metropolitanization of the district.
During the afternoon of April 2, 1974 a small group of customers
waiting to be served in "Old Annie's" shop became curious and
alarmed when she did not appear at the counter following their
constant ringing of the shop bell; so much so that one customer
went round the counter, into the back of the shop, and found
Annie" in a most bizarre situation. She was lying on her face,
her knees were folded beneath her and she had been dragged, or
pushed, in the stairwell leading to the staircase to the upstairs
rooms. She was dead.
scene was all the more macabre when the customer found
ahandbag tightly wedged over Annie's head and face; she was
fully clothed.
The police were called immediately and, in the first few minutes
of the investigation, it was shown quite clearly that Annie had
received a considerable beating at the hands of her assailant. She
had suffered a broken jaw, broken nose and several fractured ribs.
Her spectacles were lying several feet from the body; the back
room of the shop was in some disorder but it was quite apparent
her assailant had been disturbed by the customers ringing for
attention at the counter and it was believed by the investigators
he had pulled
Annie" and tried to hide her in the stair-
well before making good his escape through the back door into
the maze of streets of terraced houses at the rear.
was noticed that on the sideboard was an old "Radiance"
toffee tin which contained oddments such as an old lady would

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