The detectives concluded that Mr. Kent Reeks body had been shot somewhere else and brought to the location where they had found it. The tire tracks had suggested that there were two suspects who had walked the body a short distance to the small trench and tossed the body there. Before leaving they had tossed the spent shell casings beside the body but the revolver had never been found. Detectives would retrace the steps of Mr. Reeks back to the Empress of Ireland where he had been a passenger.  The detectives found the Empress of Ireland in the Brocklebank dry dock undergoing repairs when they met with several of the crew members who had been in contact with Mr. Reeks during the last voyage with the Empress of Ireland.

At 8 am two young girls were walking in the direction of Wright’s Foundry, passing near an eight foot wall they saw what they believed to be a drunken man covered in a blanket sleeping in a two foot trench but continued on as they had seen many drunks before.

 

It wasn’t until two workmen discovered that the drunken man wearing a blue plaid naval style overcoat turned him over and discovered the horror of what had been done to this young man. His face had been shot three times once through the side of his head, another through the center of his skull and the last bullet through his left eye.

 

The police were called in immediately, Chief Constable Colonel the Hon. G. A. Anson, regarded the case as a nightmare and admitted that his detectives, experienced as they were, could not figure out why this had happened as there were not many clues left behind!

 

The detectives concluded that Mr. Kent Reeks body had been shot somewhere else and brought to the location where they had found it. The tire tracks had suggested that there were two suspects who had walked the body a short distance to the small trench and tossed the body there. Before leaving they had tossed the spent shell casings beside the body but the revolver had never been found. Detectives would retrace the steps of Mr. Reeks back to the Empress of Ireland where he had been a passenger.  The detectives found the Empress of Ireland in the Brocklebank dry dock undergoing repairs when they met with several of the crew members who had been in contact with Mr. Reeks during the last voyage with the Empress of Ireland.

 

It was discovered that the theft of an automatic pistol from the wireless room aboard the Empress occured during Mr. Reek’s voyage. The pistol was similar to that with which Mr. Reeks had been killed by. The theft had only been discovered on Saturday when the Empress of Ireland was put into the Brocklebank Dry Dock in Liverpool.

 

The detective had discovered that Mr. Reeks seemed to have an indication of wealth about him. The way he had been dressed was elegant, neat and costly, he wore a well fitted blue serge suit, his underwear was expensive and of high quality. His blue plaid overcoat was in a naval style, and his scarf, collar and tie were all in good taste.

 

It didn’t appear that the motive had been robbery as the detectives had found £9 2s 3d in his pant pocket and a letter from his aunt. Reeks gold pocket watch and silver chain had not been touched. Detectives spoke with his aunt but she was not able to provide any useful information. Their inquiries began to spread all over England, Europe and eventually back to Reeks home country of Australia but this case was hitting dead ends at every turn. The threat of war with Germany loomed on the horizon but detectives continued their search for clues. The problem was that they never found the weapon, it didn’t seem like anyone knew Mr. Reeks, nor did the detectives discover what Mr. Reeks had done for a living; was he married or not; whether he had any girlfriends or any friends at all.

 

Mr. Kent Reeks was a name and nothing more!

 

Eventually Col. Anson was succeeded by 30 year Col. Sir Herbert Hunter who studied the Kent Reeks Case. Although he had several theories he could never successfully bring the case to a close and the man hours that had been spent on the case were huge. Eventually the public interest in the case faded away with World War One raging in Europe and the police had to close their inquiries.

 

Almost 100 years after the mysterious death of Kent Reeks this cold case has never been solved!

The Empress of Ireland  is on her 92nd east bound voyage under the command of John Turnbull and would arrive in Liverpool on January 17th, 1914. On board is a young engineer who goes by the name of Kent Reeks from Australia. On this voyage Reeks would meet several people including a young lady, the purser aboard the Empress of Ireland and a solicitor that Reeks swore an affidavit to that he had a connection with the boot trade papers. He had also stated that when the Empress of Ireland arrived in Liverpool he was planning to take a trip to visit Wolver Hampton. Kent had mentioned to his lady friend that he had intended to visit friends in Bournemouth.

 

The purser who had taken down Kent’s information just before the ship left Halifax Nova Scotia had safely placed Kent’s money into the purser safe. When the Empress docked in Liverpool the purser handed the money over to Kent. The purser had no problem counting out the money in front of the other passengers who were waiting patiently to disembark from the Empress of Ireland. Then Kent and his lady friend left the Empress and went to shore.

At 8 am two young girls were walking in the direction of Wright’s Foundry, passing near an eight foot wall they saw what they believed to be a drunken man covered in a blanket sleeping in a two foot trench but continued on as they had seen many drunks before.

 

It wasn’t until two workmen discovered that the drunken man wearing a blue plaid naval style overcoat turned him over and discovered the horror of what had been done to this young man. His face had been shot three times once through the side of his head, another through the center of his skull and the last bullet through his left eye.

 

The police were called in immediately, Chief Constable Colonel the Hon. G. A. Anson, regarded the case as a nightmare and admitted that his detectives, experienced as they were, could not figure out why this had happened as there were not many clues left behind!

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Mr. Kent Reeks

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Cold Case Mystery