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Winifred Adams: Who Killed Her

On the morning of Wednesday, October 26, 1955, Kenneth Adams, 44, returned to his Indianapolis, Indiana apartment after completing his nightly shift as a millwright at the Chrysler Corporation Plant. Kenneth and his five-month-old wife, 42-year-old Winifred Adams, occupied the second-floor, one-bedroom apartment located on North Park Avenue.

Pic: Imgur

Winifred Adams Was Dead

Kenneth found the front door unlocked and slightly ajar when he approached it. Concerned, he entered the flat and shouted Winifred’s name, but received no response. As Kenneth entered the couple’s bedroom, he encountered a nightmare: Winifred was dead on the floor, her stockings tightly wrapped around her neck. Kenneth instantly dialed 911.

Winifred was discovered laying face down on the floor of the bedroom. She was wearing a blue checkered dress and had no shoes on. However, it was observed that she was not wearing a bra. Winifred’s spectacles and wristwatch were discovered close to her body. The authorities had to use fingernail clippers to remove a pair of nylon stockings that were tied and double-knotted so securely around her neck.

The autopsy determined that Winifred’s eventual cause of death was asphyxiation, but she also had a laceration above one eye, a bloody nose, multiple cuts on her lower lip, “tooth marks” on her upper lip, and bruises on her jaw, shoulder, and chest. Winifred had “recently been sexually active,” according to the autopsy, but it was not specified whether she had been assaulted. Her death was estimated to have occurred between 11 and 12 p.m. the evening before.

The Three Room

The three-room apartment of the couple was discovered in near-perfect condition. The television was on and turned to the local news station in the living room. However, investigators discovered a little amount of new blood on the edge of the comforter. Winifred’s handbag was located untouched in the bedroom, and the bed was properly made. There were no indications of a forced entry, and nothing was missing.

The police were able to rapidly establish a timeline detailing Winifred’s final movements. On Tuesday morning, Winifred reported to her job as a secretary at Beveridge Paper Company. Kenneth picked up Winifred and a female coworker after her shift finished that evening. He dropped off the female coworker at the bus station, and the couple headed to The Mandarin Inn for supper. After dinner, they returned to their flat, where Kenneth watched some television and Winifred walked downstairs to speak with a neighbor.

At approximately 9:45 p.m., Kenneth left for work. Along the way, he stopped at a truck stop for a cup of coffee. He got at the Chrysler Plant around 11 p.m., half an hour before the start of his shift. Coworkers reported that Kenneth appeared to be his “usual self.” His shift finished at 7:30 a.m., and he returned home, where he made the dreadful discovery at 8 a.m. Kenneth told detectives that he and Winifred were happy and that he had no idea who would wish her harm.

Neighbor

Leona Hauser, a neighbor who lived directly underneath the Adams, told police she was Winfred’s best friend. Leona said that Winifred had borrowed a hair dryer around 7:00 p.m. After around 20 minutes of conversation, Winifred bid her evening and returned to her flat on the second floor. She confirmed that she saw Kenneth departing for work just before 10 p.m.

Although Leona was unable to offer any potential suspects, she informed detectives she would have heard a struggle if it had occurred upstairs. Leona explained that the apartment’s walls were made of “paper” and that she had been awake until far after midnight. According to her, the only sound emanating from the Adams’ flat was the television’s soft hum.

Flat

Two detectives were dispatched to the Adams flat, while a third remained in Leona’s apartment to listen for suspicious sounds. According to the cop below, despite the efforts of the officers above to maintain silence, he could hear every single footstep. The sound traveled so well that, despite the television’s modest volume, the officer below could determine if the Adams’ television was on or off.

It was discovered that Kenneth was the fourth of Winifred’s four husbands. She was born in England and married her first husband there, but their union did not last long. Edward Long, an American soldier and casket salesman who was stationed in England, became her second husband. Together, the couple immigrated to the United States but divorced a few years later.

In 1950, Winifred married her third husband, James Lindsey. He was 34 years old; however, they divorced two and a half years later. James, a local, rushed to the police station to “clean his name” when he learned they wanted to talk with him. James denied knowledge of the murder and told authorities that he had spent the entire evening in a pub with his girlfriend, who was a waitress there. He told detectives that her “continuous nagging and excessive cleaning” caused him to leave the home.

Rounds

After multiple rounds of interrogation, two polygraph examinations, and confirmation of Kenneth’s timeline and James’ alibi, the police confirmed that neither suspect was responsible for Winfred’s death. The police also examined rumors of an ex-boyfriend named “Pat,” but they were unable to find the man.

Despite the clear potential of foul play and the absence of suspects or motives, the police announced that Winifred may have committed suicide. After conducting a “sound test” in the flat, detectives were sure that a struggle could not have occurred, and since nothing was stolen, a robbery was ruled out. Unfortunately, after the announcement, Winfred’s case was, so to say, thrown on the back burner before disappearing totally from the news.

Winfred was laid to rest in Fishers, Indiana’s Oaklawn Memorial Gardens. What actually occurred to her will likely remain a mystery forever.

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