Infamous riddle retold in book

More Unsolved Murders book cover, and below, a portrait of Mary Comins
More Unsolved Murders book cover, and below, a portrait of Mary Comins

THE grisly tale of a famous unsolved Scarborough murder has been charted in a new book.

The death of 33-year-old Mary Comins in a disused Vine Street bus garage in 1943 is highlighted in the book, More Unsolved Murders.

Mary Comins.jpg

Mary Comins.jpg

Mrs Comins was found lying face down in inches of filthy water and oil in an inspection pit.

The former grocer’s shop worker had been strangled.

The book reveals Mrs Comins, who was originally from Middlesbrough, had enjoyed an evening out with a friend, known as Edna, and soldiers, only referred to as Dick and Jimmy.

The four of them visited the Hole in the Wall pub, in Vernon Road, before later splitting into pairs.

Mary and Dick left and the book confirms Edna later saw her friend with a different man in Dean Road around 11pm.

It said: “Mary was with another man who Edna later said was ‘I believe, a soldier. He certainly wasn’t a civilian.’

“Mary crossed the road to Edna and they discussed the two soldiers they had been with earlier.

“At that time, Edna thought Mary was perfectly alright.

“Edna could not tell for sure if the man in the street was in uniform.

“He was not wearing an overcoat and stood in the shadows.

“But it was this man that Mary almost certainly went to the garage with.”

The book reveals Mary’s body laid in the garage for three days until it was found by schoolboy Thomas Johnson, who lived in Trafalgar Street West.

After telling his friend Irene Mayes of the discovery, she passed on the information to next door neighbour Bobby Wood, 16, who went to the police.

Scotland Yard detectives were immediately called in to investigate.

Prof Peter Sutherland, from Leeds University, carried out a post-mortem which confirmed Mary’s death was due to strangulation.

The book added: “It was thought the body was dragged across the yard before it was dumped in the pit.

“There were no reports of any damage of tears in Mary’s clothing, which was consistent with her entering the garage voluntarily.

“There were reports of screams that night, but the witnesses who heard were a long way off.

“An extensive investigation led by Det Chief Insp Arthur Thorpe of Scotland Yard eliminated Dick and Jimmy from the inquiry and on May 8 1943, coroner Claude Royle recorded a verdict of murder by person or persons unknown.

“Edna died in the 1990s.

“The killer of Mary Comins was never found.”