Muriel Amelia Eady was born in West Ham, on 14 October 1912, at home, at 20 Baron Road, Plaistow, West Ham, to William Eady and Fanny Louisa Hooper, the youngest of four children.
In 1913, the family moved to 78, Clifton Road, Canning Town, West Ham, E16 (Before Muriel’s birth, on the 1911 census, the family had lived 81 Guildford Road, Bromley East, Poplar, E14).
In 1918, sadly Muriel’s mother Fanny Louisa, died in Poplar Hospital, and William could no longer cope with the children and the grief of losing his wife, so Muriel and her brothers were sent to Children’s Homes paid for by their father, Reginald born 1907 and Ernest born 1909, were sent to Shenfield Home, Sheffield, whilst Muriel being placed into Poplar Homes then to Hutton Poplar Residential Home for Destitute Children, Poplar Drive, Brentwood to be with her brothers. Muriel’s older brother Leslie died at an early age. Here, she lived until 1923. From 1923 to 1935, she is living with her aunt Ethel G Souhami nee Hooper, at 48 Creswick Road, Acton, who forbade her to see boys. Ethel falls ill, and Muriel moves back to Acton, Ethel finally dies in March 1939, and Muriel moves for a short while to 50, Creswick Road.
On September 29th 1939, she is listed as living at 8, Pembroke Street, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, as a Laundry Servant.
By December 5th 1939, Muriel has moved, this time to 34, Tenison Road. Cambridge, presently a unemployed Domestic Servant.
In 1940 Muriel then moved in with aunt Martha Hooper at 12 Roskell Road, Putney. In 1943 She began work at integral Auxiliary Equipment Company at Chiswick. She went to work in Park Royal, for Ultra Electronics Ltd, which made radios, not very far from her old home, in Acton, on the assembly line, It was here she met John Reginald Halliday Christie on 20th April 1944.
The two became acquainted and Muriel even visited Christie at his home, although she was accompanied by a friend, Ernest Lawson, on the first occasion. However, on Saturday, 7 October 1944, she left home at 4pm that afternoon, after having lunch with her aunt, to do some shopping. Mrs Hooper recalled her saying at lunch, ‘I shan’t be late’, and wearing a black frock, black shows, a camel coloured coat but no hat. Yet she never returned home and, on Monday, did not arrive at work. There was no hue and cry, Muriel’s employers initially thought she was ill, and on 25 October, requested a medical certificate.
(Christie had planned Muriel’s murder precisely, taking sick leave from 2nd to 10th October, and was taking a risk doing so, as he was unsure if Muriel had told anyone of her whereabouts).
Wilfred Dunn, a cousin, reported Muriel missing at Putney Police Station on 4th November, and a report was duly completed. Martha, her aunt thought she might have been pregnant by her male friend. It was presumed by family she had been to a Dance Hall in Putney, which was bomb by V2 rockets and not, because all her money, her savings book which totalled £26 14- 9d and belongings were left at home.
Her father William was told of her disappearance in 1945. Christie remained with Ultra Electrics until 8th April 1946.
Christie later explained that he had invited her around so he could help her with her catarrh, and he mixed up some Friar’s Balsam and water in a jar with the mouthpiece connected to a tube in the jar, another tube, was connected to the domestic gas which was coal gas through a tap. When she fell unconscious, he strangled her with a pair of tights he found, raped her postmortem disposed of her body in the wash-house whilst he dug a grave next to Ruth Fuerst and buried the body. Muriel had not told anyone where she was going. If she had done, one wonders whether several lives, including perhaps Geraldine’s, might have been saved if police had been led to investigate Christie earlier.
Mistakes in the investigation
The police made several mistakes in the handling of the case, especially in overlooking the remains of Christie’s previous murder victims left in the garden at Rillington Place; one femur was later found propping up a fence, overlooked in the first search, after Christie had shamelessly dug it up and leant it again the trellis in 1946. The garden of the property was very small, about 16 by 14 feet (4.9 by 4.3) and the fence was parallel to the wash-house where the bodies of Beryl and Geraldine were later found. Several searches were made at the house after Evans confessed to placing his wife’s remains in the drains, but the wash-house was not entered at any point by the three policemen conducting the search.The garden was apparently examined but was not excavated at this point. Christie later admitted that his dog had unearthed the skull of Muriel Eady in the garden shortly after these police searches, which he simply threw into an abandoned bombed-out house in nearby St. Marks Road. (this evidence was corroborated by an autopsy report on the skull found in St. Mark’s Road, in 1949, was that to be of a woman aged 32-34 suffering from nasal catarrh) There was clearly no systematic search made of the crime scene in which this or other human remains would have been found, and pointed to Christie as the perpetrator. Several police searches of the property showed a complete lack of expertise in handling forensic evidence and were quite superficial, at best. Had the searches been conducted effectively, the investigation would have exposed Christie as a murderer, and the lives of four women, as well as Evans, would have been saved Christie left 10 Rillington Place on 20 March 1953, being arrested a few days later, on 31 March 1953.
Conviction and execution
While in custody, Christie confessed to seven murders: the three women found in the kitchen alcove, his wife, and the two women buried in the back garden. He also admitted being responsible for the murder of Beryl Evans, which Timothy Evans had originally been charged with during the police investigation in 1949, although he denied killing Geraldine Evans, Christie was tried only for the murder of his wife Ethel. His trial began on 22 June 1953, in the same court in which Evans had been tried three years earlier.Christie pleaded insanity and claimed to have a poor memory of the events. The jury rejected the plea, and after deliberating for 85 minutes found Christie guilty. Christie did not appeal against his conviction.
On 15th July 1953, a few minutes after 8AM Christie was hanged at Pentonville Prison. His executioner was Albert Pierrepoint, who had previously hanged Evans. After being pinioned for execution, Christie complained that his nose itched. Pierrepoint assured him that “It won’t bother you for long”.
Final Resting Place. SADLY… Muriel’s final resting place is yet to be found, a year after getting justice for his daughter, William, in 1954.