What can be made of Catherine Ogdens death? She was undoubtedly strangled, and her body was found in undergrowth in Bowling Park, Leeds. But at the inquest on her an open verdict was returned. And asked about her murder at a press conference during the police investigation a senior officer snapped: Who says its murder? Weve never said so.
Catherine, 36, married with five children and separated from her husband, lived in Hubert Street, off Leeds Road. On Friday, June 12th, 1953, accompanied by a fair-haired man carrying a fawn raincoat, she took a taxi to a place where lovers met and open-air sex was commonplace.
Who was the man? He was never found, so it must have been a brief encounter. He was probably married, with plenty to hide. Detectives were always evasive in those days about violent sexual activity that went wrong. But in Catherines case that is perhaps the best bet she was accidentally strangled in a lovers frenzy and her partner, overwhelmed with fear for what he had done, ran for his life.