Manageress at Eastman’s dry-cleaners’ branch in St. John’s Wood High Street, London, Emily Armstrong was found dead only an hour after she had been viciously attacked by someone using a weapon like a claw hammer.

There were 22 severe lacerating wounds on her head and face, and the left side of her skull was shattered.

Her handbag was missing. A heavily bloodstained handkerchief with a floral pattern and a laundry mark H.612 was found not far away, but it proved to be unhelpful.

During the morning of the murder, Thursday, APRIL 14th, 1949, a man had made a spurious inquiry about goods he said he had left at the shop some seven weeks previously. He was described as of medium height, aged about 30, but he was never traced.

One suspect was John Allen, the child murderer and Broadmoor escapee. He was not picked out on an identification parade but he was almost certainly in St. John’s Wood that day.