Murder of Emily Armstrong
Emily Frances Armstrong (c. 1880 – April 14, 1949) was a British victim of an unsolved murder. On April 14, 1949 69-year-old Armstrong's body was found at her place of employment, a dry cleaner's shop on St John's Wood High Street in London. She had been beaten to death with a blunt instrument; police later determined she had been killed roughly an hour before her body was found at around 4 o'clock in the afternoon. A postmortem examination also showed that her skull had been shattered by at least 22 blows, later believed to be a claw hammer.
Initially police thought Armstrong was the victim of a botched robbery. Her handbag was missing at the crime scene, and was later found nearby with a bloody handkerchief bearing a laundry mark H-612, although no leads resulted from that piece of evidence.
While authorities pursued several theories, they failed to find a suspect. Witnesses reported a "suspicious man" around 30 years old and between 5'5" or 5'6", however, police were unable to identify the individual. A murderer who had recently escaped from Broadmoor Hospital was also considered before witnesses failed to identify him in a police line-up. Several Army deserters were also questioned, however, all were eventually released.
Police eventually concluded that Armstrong's murderer had either been a tramp or "a man who had fled to Ireland".