Norfolk Headless Body
Sex Female
Race White
Location Swaffham, Norfolk, England
Found 27 August, 1974
Unidentified for 46 years
Postmortem interval Weeks
Body condition Decomposed
Age approximation 23-35
Height approximation 5-5'2
Weight approximation N/A
Cause of death Homicide

This case contains graphic content that may not be suitable for all readers.

The decapitated body of an unknown female murder victim was found in Swaffham, Norfolk on 27 August 1974 by a passer-by near a track leading to Brake Hill Farm. Her head was never found.


The victim's body was wrapped in a plastic sheet embossed with the words "National Cash Registers". Her hands and legs were bound to her body with that rope that was made of four strands, rather than the more common three or five strands. Her only clothing was a pink 1969 Marks & Spencer nightdress.

In 2008, Norfolk Police exhumed the woman's body under Operation Monton and took a DNA sample but they were unable to identify the woman.  It was established that she was right-handed, had given birth and lived, had consumed water found in Scotland and ate mostly fish and crabs during her life.


It's possible that the woman is a prostitute called "The Duchess" who disappeared in the middle of 1974 and left all of her possessions behind. Most of her clients were truck drivers.

Recent developments

Isotopic analysis indicated that she was probably from central Europe, which includes Denmark, Germany, Austria and northern Italy. She had lived for four or five months in the dockers' hut at the Ocean terminal and possibly spent some time in custody. All the contemporary records from this era have been destroyed and her real name is still unknown.


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