Monday, 12 August 2013

Who Murdered Harry Graham?

This is one of the small number of unsolved murders in Bradford before the amalgamation of forces in 1968.  There are four that I know of; a girl of about 11 years in Little Horton Green in 1938. the Garner street murder in 1955, a woman in Bowling Park in 1963, and this one in 1944.

    It was at 5.30am on 7th September that Police Constable Leonard Fell came upon the taxi cab of Harry Graham in Rooley Lane.  Inside he found the body of Mr Graham, on the back seat.  He had suffered blunt force trauma to the back of his head, leaving him with a wound inches wide.  There were blood stains on the rear seat and carpet.  PC Fell discovered that money had been taken from the wallet of Mr Graham and that his ID papers were missing also.  Police questioned as many early morning workers as they could but nobody had seen anything suspicious, leading Police to speculate that the killer had escaped across fields and used side roads.

   An airman had booked a taxi for around midnight.  He told Police that whilst driving on Canal Road, Graham was flagged down by a man waving a torch.  He got out and spoke to the man, though the passenger could not hear the conversation.  Back in the cab, Mr Graham indicated that he knew the man.  This man, however, was never traced.  Another fare used Mr Graham, to take him to the Bierley Church, near to where the murder took place, at 1.10am.  This man was traced, interviewed and eliminated from the investigation.  Police did learn from another driver that a passenger showed interest in how much money taxi drivers carried and where they kept it.  This man was never traced.   The murder remains unsolved.

    Who was the man with the torch?  Who was the inquisitive passenger?  Certainly, he would become a prime suspect if he had been traced.  Where was he attacked?  From the back seat?  Then the killer would have had a struggle getting him out of the driving seat and into the rear.  If a lot of Rooley Lane was lonely at that time, it would explain why nothing was heard, and he had the time to move the body.  A cold blooded killer got away with it.