On December 30, 1957, 17-year-old Ann Noblett was seen getting off the bus that was returning her home from a dancing lesson. She had only a short journey on foot to reach her house, but she never made it. A month later, her body was found … frozen to the core, despite England’s mild winter that year.
The February 5, 1958 Sydney Morning Herald noted that Ann’s body turned up seven miles from her home north of London. It was discovered by an RAF pilot and his teenage brother who were out walking the family dog. She still had her purse, and was wearing her glasses. And there was something distressingly odd about her corpse:
A police officer said today the body was “fantastically cold” when it was discovered — so cold that a thermometer could not register its temperature.
One theory is that the killer panicked after reading in newspapers last week that buildings in the area near her home were to be searched, and that he dumped the body, which he had kept in a state of deep freeze.
Police are interviewing the drivers of dozens of companies with refrigerated vans, and checking on farms with deep-freeze apparatus.
The pathologist on the case was responsible for the deep-freeze theory; the nickname “Deep Freeze Murder” was likely given as part of media coverage of the intriguing case. The woods where she was found had been previously been meticulously searched, which gave further credence to the idea.
Despite the seemingly huge clues that Ann’s killer — who was also believed to have sexually assaulted her — was probably a local with easy and private access to a deep freezer, he was never captured. His reasons for keeping Ann’s body on ice remain a mystery.