Latest news from the BBC’s investigation into the murder of Elsie Frost.
I was eleven years old and at school in Wakefield when fourteen year old Elsie Frost was murdered in that city in 1965.
In recent months, as the fiftieth anniversary of Elsie’s murder approaches, BBC reporter Jon Manel has been helping Elsie’s brother and sister, Colin and Anne, try to discover more about this unsolved case.
In previous articles – the links are at the bottom of the page – it was explained that five official documents were sealed and that Colin and Anne had no access to them. But with Jon’s help, they have received more information about what happened on that October afternoon.
This at last is giving them some comfort that may lead towards closure.
Although a man was arrested and tried for Elsie’s murder, the courts decided that there was no case to answer and he walked free. The evidence against him was slender to say the least. It was merely a case of conflicting reports about the timing of his whereabouts at the time Elsie was killed.
Now, with Jon’s help, Colin and Anne have had access to the official inquest report and have discovered more than the sketchy details they possessed. It was recorded at the inquest that there was no discernible motive for the attack on Elsie and that there were three people who had been seen in the area but not identified.
Freedom of information
At first, it seemed that there was a cover-up taking place. Why were Colin and Anne denied access to Elsie’s files and why were they sealed until 2040? Jon Manel discovered that this is common in murder cases,often the reason was to protect the families of victims from additional distress.
At first, Colin and Anne applied to have access to these files. Over the months that the BBC have been investigating, they realised that once the files were declared open, anyone had access to them. The prospect of photographs of the discovery of the body – if they were included in the files – could have been used by anyone on the internet or in the media for sensationalist purposes. Colin and Anne decided that they would prefer not to have the files opened in order to maintain Elsie’s dignity.
On Jon’s latest report, broadcast on June 27th, 2015, they were still undecided as to whether they should request the opening of the files. But there’s one thing that they have decided on and that it that on the anniversary, October 9th, they will hold a memorial service for Elsie. As Anne explained, there are still many people in Wakefield who would be gratified to attend.
Although the details are yet to be finalised, Colin and Anne suggested that fourteen white doves may be released in Elsie’s memory.
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