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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2009

    Canada - Mary Pillsworth, 28, Brampton, Ont, 12 Jan 1946


    COLD CASE: Brampton housewife bludgeoned in her own living room

    A 71-year-old murder mystery

    News Aug 08, 2017 by Pam Douglas
    As cold cases go, the mysterious murder of Brampton housewife Mary Pillsworth is probably one of this city's coldest.

    Pillsworth, 30, was brutally beaten to death inside her Mill Street South living room while her two young children were asleep in their beds.
    It was Jan. 12, 1946, and Canada's murder rate was the lowest it would be compared to the decades that followed. So, in Brampton, population 5,000, the young mother's killing was unusual, and cause for alarm.
    Now, 71 years later, it's still not known why Pillsworth was killed, or who did it.

    According to accounts, she had already gone upstairs to bed. She was in her bedclothes, and her daughter Linda, four, and son Donald, seven months, were tucked in their beds asleep. But something brought her downstairs, just before 10 p.m. She either heard a noise, or someone had knocked on the door or rung the doorbell.
    Whatever brought her to the living room, someone came inside the house and she was hit repeatedly on the head. According to the pathologist at the time, her skull was fractured in several places.
    It is believed her attacker than went to the side door of the house and ran out, leaving it open.
    The family dog, a cocker spaniel, had wandered outside the house when he got there, and inside he found his wife on the hallway floor in a pool of blood.

    "I found my wife on the floor, unconscious, but still clutching the receiver," Elbert was quoted as saying in one newspaper account.
    Pillsworth was rushed to Toronto General Hospital where she died the next morning.
    "Why this thing happened I don't know," her husband told a newspaper reporter at the time. "Sitting beside her in the hospital, I tried to think of anyone we might have unintentionally offended or any enemy she may have had. I couldn't think of anyone. She didn't have any. Everyone here and in Orangeville (where they used to live) liked her very much."
    The couple had been married for 5 years and had lived in Orangeville before moving to Brampton two years before the attack.
    Their daughter Linda, who now lives in Texas, spoke to The Guardian last year about growing up without a mother and away from her country of birth.

    "I often think what my life would have been like if that hadn't happened," she said. "Growing up in Canada . It would have been a completely different life."

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009

    “Back in 1946, this was a horrible crime,” says OPP spokesperson Const. Peter Leon when asked about the killing. “It’s a horrible crime in today’s world – someone was attacked in their home.”

    And he says the investigation, although likely one of the oldest in the OPP’s cold case files, is still considered open.
    “If somebody comes forward with information on any unsolved crime, that information will be thoroughly investigated,” he said. “It is still an open investigation.”

    Mary’s husband, Elbert, who had opened a radio and electric shop, Brampton Electric on nearby Main Street, earlier that year after leaving his job as a mechanic at Trans-Canada Airlines in Malton, told police at the time that he was just about to lock up for the night when he got the call.
    The OPP followed up on the few leads they had, but despite some speculation in the local newspapers at one point that an arrest was imminent, no one was ever even identified as a solid suspect and no motive was every identified. Nothing was taken from the home, and nothing inside had been disturbed. Coroner C. N. Mooney, who performed Mary’s autopsy, reported she had no injuries other than the head wound. Police said there was no sign of a struggle in the living room, leading to speculation that Mary knew her killer and had possibly opened the door to him or her.

    The murder weapon was never found.
    Visitors to the Pillsworth home over the weeks prior were traced and questioned by police, but all had reasons to visit that were far from sinister.
    The town council posted a $2,000 reward, then an additional $1,000 for information leading to her killer.
    But leads turned into dead ends. A stranger with a “glassy-eyed stare” had called at the house 24 hours before the murder, when babysitter Muriel Goodfellow, 16, answered the door while the Pillsworths were at the theatre. Police searched for that man, but when he turned up, they determined he had nothing to do with killing Mary.
    As the days and weeks turned into months without an arrest, speculation and rumour took the place of anxiety.
    Some believed Elbert had killed his wife, despite witness accounts from customers and employees that he had been at the store the entire night.
    Police concluded the couple were very happy, and there was no insurance policy on Mary’s life.

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