A policeman throughout his career will on occasion have cases of death to deal with, which are classified as suicide, or a natural death, but which leave a lingering doubt in his mind.
One such case comes to mind, when I was driving 6L for Lima, the Area Wireless car, and we had a radio call to Champion Park, Dog Kennel Hill, Camberwell, early one morning.
A man taking his dog for an early morning walk had just entered the park when he saw his dog sniffing at a parcel hidden in the shrubbery just twelve yards inside the gate, I stood on the pathway, and could see the parcel wrapped in a coloured tablecloth, and tied several times around with string, the knots in a very neat fashion. The ground was wet and so was the parcel, and there were no footprints on the soft earth, only marks of the dogs paws.
It had started raining about 3.am and stopped an hour later, so the parcel had been placed there before it had started raining, otherwise there would have been footprints. The parcel was of such a shape that I guessed it could have been a baby's remains, so approached from a different direction, and carefully cut the string without disturbing the knots.
It did contain the body of a new born babe, and my first thoughts were that it was some distraught young girl disposing of an unwanted child, but as I looked closer, there were black bruise marks around the mouth area. This indicated that the child had breathed and a hand or something had been placed over the mouth. I thought it could have been done by a back street abortionist, but that didn't make sense. They would only want the child to live. Another thought crossed my mind, that this would now be a case for the CID, who would make enquiries at Hospital s and surgeries in the locality.
Champion Park had several entrances, and this entrance was the only one on a main road, the others being in secluded streets, all of them having shrouded shrubbery. There were no houses near my entrance, only the hospital's, and right opposite was Denmark Hill Railway Station. I was convinced that the disposer of the body came by train from a different part of London the previous evening, not really knowing the area, and going into that first entrance just before closing time at dusk. A distraught young mother would dispose of the body at the nearest and quietest place, which further indicated a man did the deed. I thought that if the disposer, had arrived at the station on a late evening train, when passengers were few, and before the park was closed, the ticket collector might remember a person arriving carrying a bag big enough to hold the body of a baby. It was unlikely that he would remember from where the person had come, but who knows it may have been a single ticket, which was given up, and might still be recovered, with the remotest chance of fingerprints, or saying from where the person had come from. If that ticket collector had seen the same person on the opposite platform returning within half an hour, it would be a good indication that this theory was correct.
I called the CID to the spot. Local enquiries were made by them, at doctor's surgeries and three local hospitals with no result.
I had moved on to Scotland Yard by then, but always felt that more could have been done.