January 8, 1937 – Pamela Werner

Pamela Werner was last seen on her bicycle, riding away from a skating rink in Peking, now Beijing, at about 7:30 p.m. on the evening of Jan. 7, 1937. Werner, a 19-year-old British citizen, had spent an hour and a half skating at the rink with two friends but had to get home for dinner. She never made it. By 8 p.m., her father arrived home to find his daughter missing. At 10:30 p.m., he sent the family’s servant to the ice rink to look for his daughter. When the man arrived, he found workers cleaning up, as the rink was closed. No one would know what happened to the girl until 8 a.m., when two rickshaw drivers noticed a suspicious-looking bundle near the Fox Tower. When the men got closer, they discovered the bundle was Werner’s body. She had been beaten and stabbed to death.

Werner’s father happened upon the scene and identified his daughter’s corpse. There was little for investigators to go on in the case. Werner died from a brain hemorrhage caused by blows to her head. Pathologists said they believe she was struck by a smooth-surfaced piece of wood or a rock. They also concluded she was attacked by someone she knew. Werner had two cuts in her abdomen that allowed her killer to remove most of her internal organs. Her blood also had been drained from her body. She had not been robbed, as her jewelry was still on her body. Her skirt was loose and her underwear missing, but all her other clothes remained on.

Police arrested a man for the murder but let him go. Werner’s father funded his own investigation and identified American dentist Wentworth Prentice as the perpetrator. However, due to the outbreak of World War II, he was unable to pursue his theory and the case remains unsolved.

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