Found strangled on a train at Shoreditch, London, on JANUARY 9th, 1914, seven-year-old William Starchfield had been sent on an errand by his mother. Just what happened to him after that remained a mystery. The police believed he had been strangled with a rope in a railway stations toilets, and two weeks later his father John Starchfield was arrested and charged with murder.
A witness was subsequently found dead in his room, having committed suicide, but Starchfield was nevertheless brought to trial. On the second day, however, the proceedings were stopped by the judge and Starchfield walked free.
He was well known because two years earlier he had helped to arrest a man who had shot dead the manageress of a London hotel. In the scuffle Starchfield had been shot in the stomach, and in 1916 he died from his injuries.