Death in the Undergrowth

By SallyB2 Last edited 148 months ago
Death in the Undergrowth

2510.skull.jpg Sir David Attenborough might usually be associated with Life in all its magnificent forms, but this weekend he was faced with death in cold blood when a skull was unearthed at his Barnes home.

Criminologists believe it to be the missing head of Julia Martha Thomas, an elderly lady who in 1879 was murdered by her maid, Katherine Webster, subsequently dissected and boiled down into a vat of 'lard'. Victorian London was not a particularly safe place by all accounts, but this act stood out for its savagery, and Webster's trial and execution for the murder attracted a lot of attention at the time. Whilst much of the victim's body was accounted for, the head was never found..

That it should now surface in the garden of our best-loved adventurer and naturalist, just a few days before Hallowe'en, is curiously chilling. But then, this is not the first time the Attenborough family have delved into London's grisly history. One wonders if big brother Richard will make something of this....


Last Updated 25 October 2010