Tours | Categories (New, Hot) | Map

Alcohol - Ancient - Animal - Architecture - Art - Aviation - Boxing - Celebrity - Charity - Children - Church - Cinema - Comedy - Crime - Dance - Death - Disaster - Drugs - Fashion - Food - Gambling - Ghost - Grave - Health - Historical - Industry - Justice - LGBT - Literary - Look Up - Medical - Military - Motoring - Murder - Museum - Music - Nature - Naval - Paranormal - Pioneer - Poetry - Police - Politics - Pub - Public Amenities - Quirky - Religion - Retail - Ripper - River - Royalty - Science - Sculpture - Sex - Signs - Society - Sport - Subterranean - Technology - Theatre - Train - Transport - Tube - TV - Weather -

Contact Us


Westfield Stratford City East
Westfield Stratford City East Retail Theme


The Rolling Stones London Tour
The Rolling Stones London Tour


20th March 1968 Arsenal footballer Paul Merson was born in Harlesden, North London.

20th March 1920 1st flight from London to South Africa lands (1 months)

20th March 1906 George B Shaws Captain Brassbound's Conversion, premieres in London

20th March 1727 Issac Newton, English physicist/astronomer, died in London aged 84.go to related location

20th March 1616 Walter Raleigh released from Tower of London to seek gold in Guyana

David Attenborough's Skull

David Attenborough's Skull

A grisly Victorian murder solved by modern day methods.

Location: 3 Park Road, Richmond

Description: This is where TV presenter Sir David Attenborough discovered a skull in his back garden and found it belonged to a Victorian murder victim in a scandal called at the victim The Barnes Mystery.

The skull was discovered in 2010 during excavations at the rear of his house, a converted pub (formerly the Hole in the Wall).

Irish-born maid Kate Webster, who had a history of drunkeness and a long criminal record, murdered her employer the widowed Julia Martha Thomas next door on 22 March 1879, following an argument.

In a fit of rage, she is alleged to have pushed the 55-year-old down the stairs. The acting Detective Inspector David Bolton, who led the investigation, explained: Realising she had injured her, she proceeded to strangle her to stop her from screaming and getting her in trouble. Webster decided to do away with the body and used a razor to chop off the head. Having decapitated her, she used a razor, a meat saw and a carving knife to cut the body up. The dismembered body was put into a copper laundry vessel and she proceeded to boil up the body parts of Mrs Thomas.

Webster subsequently disposed of most of the body in the Thames, where it was discovered close to Barnes Bridge.

Some of the remains ended up as a free meal to local kids, according to the Daily Mail, but what happened to the head remained a mystery.

Police have now identified the unfortunate victim's skull. They reviewed the case files and census records, and deployed radiocarbon testing to provide compelling evidence that the skull was indeed that of Mrs Thomas.

Chief Superintendent Clive Chalk, Borough Commander of Richmond, said: This is a fascinating case and a good example of how good old-fashioned detective work, historical records and technological advances came together to solve the 'Barnes mystery'.

As for Kate Webster's fate, she fled to Ireland, but was arrested and returned to England. She was tried at the Old Bailey, found guilty of murder and hanged at Wandsworth Prison on 29 July 1879.

Themes: MurderMurder Theme  DeathDeath Theme
Ranking This Month: 271/2763
Pages Hit This Month: 86
Link to This Page: http://www.shadyoldlady.com/location/2257

David Attenborough's Skull

A grisly Victorian murder solved by modern day methods.

The Shady Old Lady points out that you can drag this map using mouse. Or visit our full massive map.

Got something to add? Write it 'ere:
Name:     Email:
Your email will ONLY be used once, to confirm the publication of your comments. We value your contribution and privacy.

Anti-spam Security: Please enter this code:
Other places nearby...

First Murder solved by Identikit», 8.1km

Charles Bravo Murder», 6.6km

The infamous Lipski acid murder», 10.km

Writers Poison Umbrella Stabbing», 8.5km

Mystery of Scotland Yard», 7.5km

The Golden Lion», 8.0km

Allan Chappelow Murder», 8.7km

The Infamous Ratcliff Murders», 10.km

White Chapel & Altab Ali Park», 10.km

The Demon Barber of Fleet Street», 8.9km