Esoteric London

No. 350: Cecil Court, WC2

Posted in Crime and Punishment, Shops by esotericlondon on July 1, 2011

Cecil Court, London, WC2. Photo © Roger Dean 2011

Elsie Batten was stabbed to death on 3rd March 1961 whilst working as a shop assistant in an antiques shop at number 23 Cecil Court in London’s theatre district. The police interviewed the owner of the shop and his son who gave a description of a man they had both noticed acting suspiciously  in the shop a few days previously. From this description the police created the first identikit picture used by Scotland Yard with the result Edwin Bush was recognised in Old Compton Street five days later and arrested. Bush confessed to the killing of Elsie with an antique dagger that he had been examining in the shop at the time. Bush, who was Eurasian, claimed that Elsie had provoked him by saying “You niggers are all the same. You come in and never buy anything”. The jury, however, found him guilty of murder and he was executed in Pentonville Prison in July of the same year. R.D.