It’s exactly 100 years ago that a man ‘falsely’ confessed to committing a murder in Huddersfield that still remains unsolved.
On the morning of Monday, February 15, 1915, the body of 32-year-old Carrie Jubb was found in a sunken water tub in the Brook Street yard of Messrs John Beever and Sons, rag manufacturers, Huddersfield.
The victim had a large scalp wound and her arms were severely bruised, as if violently restrained. Her body was taken to the town’s Back Ramsden Street mortuary.
Extensive police investigations were unable to identify the killer, although there were potential suspects.
But just as the trail appeared to have gone cold, a new potential lead appeared almost out of the blue.
In November 1917 a small story appeared in the national newspapers reporting that a soldier named Richardson had owned up to police in Derbyshire that he had killed Carrie Jubb.
Huddersfield police were understandably in immediate touch with their Derbyshire counterparts but for some unknown reason no further action was taken.
Richardson was never charged with Carrie’s murder.
And since that ‘confession’, the case has remained unsolved for a century.
The police did have their suspicions and, with the modern investigative tools of today, would probably have caught the killer.
But they still had some compelling evidence at their disposal, much to the fascination of professional genealogist Jane Roberts who came across the story while researching the life of a First World War soldier from Dewsbury, from where Carrie originated.
“It’s a bleak tale with victims on many levels which still resonates today,” explained Jane.
“Who knows what has happened in the past on the streets you walk upon now?
“Family history throws up some surprising tales from the funny and uplifting to the tragic, sad and downright bad. But it’s all part of who we are.
“Over the centuries human nature remains fairly constant. All those characters exist in families today.”
The story revolves around Carrie and her relationship with married man and mysterious petty criminal John Bamford, who is reported to have died on September 28, 1916 during the Battle of the Somme. His body was never found and he is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial in France.
But before he travelled to the Western Front he was involved over a number of years in an on/off tempestuous relationship with Carrie. He was jailed in 1908 for assaulting her and living off the earnings of prostitution. In Carrie’s words she led “a dog’s life” as he sent her out night after night onto the streets of Dewsbury.
Carrie, who was married to another man, Herbert Jubb, returned to her husband.
But he too was jailed in 1910 for living off the immoral earnings brought home by Carrie. She gave evidence against him.
By 1914 Carrie was back with Bamford and living in Huddersfield. Their relationship ended in November when he was locked up for desertion and she took up with another man, William Nicholson.
A few days before her murder Bamford was back in Huddersfield.
On the actual night of her death, Carrie and Nicholson were seen at the Ship Inn on Ramsden Street and then the Ring o’ Bells on Northgate.
They left the Ring o’ Bells at around 9pm and went their separate ways on errands and Carrie was never seen alive again.
Initially police suspected her new lover murdered her through jealousy, fearing she would return once more to the enigmatic Bamford.
But the charges were thrown out of court as the evidence was purely circumstantial.
“I would love to know who carried out this murder - we owe it to Carrie, if nothing else,” added Jane.
“Unfortunately, there are unsolved cases like this all over the country, but it would be amazing to think we’d solved a murder that took place in Huddersfield 100 years ago.”
For the full story of the ‘Cold Case; The Huddersfield Tub Murder’ go to Jane’s website at: pasttopresentgenealogy.wordpress.com