A car driver in St. James’s Mews, Brighton, around midnight on Saturday, June 7th, 1930, was startled to see a woman lying in an alley. Figuring she must be drunk, he called the police.

Beatrice Prendergast, 56, wasn’t drunk – she was dead. She lay on the ground, her face turned to a wall, and she had three puncture wounds in her left breast. Two had penetrated her heart.

No one knew anything about Beatrice. Apparently well educated, she lodged alone in a single room in Cavendish Street, Brighton, a deprived part of the seaside city. She never had a meal at home, always left her lodgings at noon and did not return until between 10 and 11 p.m. Her life, as well as her death, remains a mystery.