Death May Have Been Murder

LONDON: Police suspect that a Spanish waiter found strangled in a friend’s room may have been murdered. And they say, it’s hard to investigate the real cause of his death because he was “a homosexual (and) it is more difficult than usual to make enquiries. Everything is very secretive in homosexual circles.”

That’s what Inspector Robert Tapp told Westminster Coroner’s Court. Inspector Tapp also claimed: “The evidence clearly shows a homosexual tendency, and it is not unusual for these persons to be involved in fights.”

Open Verdict

The eight-man jury at the court returned an open verdict on Fransisco, who was found dead in South Kensington in the room of his waiter friend Juan. He had a white chiffon scarf and a yellow vest tied round his neck with a red workman’s lamp hooked over the ligature.

The Inspector said that for nearly 24 hours Fransisco’s body had remained undiscovered.

Through an interpreter, Juan told the court that Fransisco had spent the night with him the night before he is thought to have died.

Secretive Circles

The Inspector said: “Had he been in some other area that we know he frequented at times, we would have found some person who saw him going off with somebody.

“From 7.30 on the Saturday until his discovery (about 6 pm) the next day, we have found no person at all who saw him.”

For this he blamed “the very secretive homosexual circles”.

Suicide Suspected

The pathologist. Dr Michael Crompton, showed the jury the grubby and bloodstained ligature and showed how it had been tied.

He said it was possible that Fransisco had tied it himself.

End of the Affair

Juan, who said that his affair with Fransisco had ended in September, said £15 in cash, a rosary, and a mug were missing from his room. He added that Fransisco had been very depressed and had said he’d wished he were dead.

A police constable said broken beads, a broken paintbrush, a broken mirror and blood were found on the bed.

Dr Crompton said Fransisco’s face was bruised as if he’d been punched. His nose was broken and his face was slashed.

It was that that prompted Inspector Trapp to say: “It is not unusual for these persons to be involved in fights.”

Insufficient Evidence

Coroner Mr Gavin Thurston said: “This is a case in which we would not be justified in saying further than that there is insufficient evidence.”

The police are still investigating the case as a possible murder. Inspector Tapp told the Kensington Post.

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