Astounding Story of 70 Years Old Recluse
BROTHER OF WOODHALL SPA RESIDENT
Remarkable new details of the mysterious death of Mr, Arthur Rockford Manby, the 70-years-old English recluse, whose headless body was found in his mansion at Taos, New Mexico, guarded by a great Alsatian wolfhound, have recently come to light, The dead man is a brother of Major Eardley Manby, of Carisbrook Woodhall Spa.
Mr. Arthur Manby possessed half a share in the Mystic Gold Mine, New Mexico, which has brought nothing but death to its owners, been owners, four other, men having been murdered in the same fashion, says “The Daily News.” His skull was found behind a trunk in an adjoining room. The police had to shoot the dog before they could approach the body, which was carefully covered by a quilt.
An astounding verdict of “Death from natural causes” was returned at the inquest, the jury believing that the dog had severed his master’s head, although there was no evidence to support the theory.
Major Manby wrote to the Governor of New Mexico, demanding an exhumation of the body, and a full inquiry. This was at first refused, and Major Manby communicated with the Foreign Office, which instructed the British Consul at Galvaston to make further representations.
A further post-mortem examination revealed that the head had been severed with a sharp instrument, and that although the body had been riddled with small shot, the pellets had been skilfully extracted.
“I am certain that my brother must have been murdered either by, or at the instigation of, somebody who was well known to him and his dog,” Major Manby told the “Daily News.’ “I saw my brother in New Mexico 25 years ago. I knew the dog would not allow anybody to go near my brother unless it knew them as an old friend or was ‘introduced’ to a stranger entering the house.
“Although I am not particularly well informed about my brother’s affairs, I know that the ‘Secret Service Society,’ of which there was so much talk in America, was formed for my brother’s protection and not for his destruction.”
Mr. Manby, the son of a Morecambe clergyman, went to New York in the ‘eighties, Miss Terisita Fergusson, a Spanish beauty, who was at one. time confidential secretary to Mr Manby, inherited the other half-share in the mine from her father, who died in an asylum after seeing a terrible vision of “a body with a head floating above it”.
Source: Skegness Standard 1929