On October 30, 1931, chemist Arthur Blomfield was found bashed and bleeding at the back of Mackay’s Pharmacy in Wellesley Street, Auckland.
It appeared that at about 5pm someone had repeatedly hit the 75-year-old over the head and left him to die.
Shortly after 5pm, a customer walked into the dispensary and was told by a man he thought worked at the pharmacy that Blomfield would be there any minute.
The man then left - disappearing into the crowds on the street.
A few minutes later a shop assistant returned from his dinner break and went to the back of the store. He found Blomfield bleeding and blood spattered around the room.
The till was on the floor and £6 were missing.
Blomfield had 16 wounds to his head and died shortly after being found.
One of the few clues to the murderer's identity was a fish and chip wrapper left in the pharmacy on top of the safe.
There was a nearby fish and chip shop and a woman who worked there said she had sold a pack of fish and chips to a young man not long before the attack on Blomfield.
Both the customer at the pharmacy and the fish and chip shop employee remembered a young man, but a possible identification of Oswald Coulton as the mystery man was made only after he was shot and killed during a bank robbery. (see our previous post).
In fact, the witnesses were taken to the mortuary to view Coutlon's body. Both were unsure but admitted a general resemblance.
Later the woman was shown a picture from the Papakura Football club of Coulton and felt more sure it was him.
But it doesn’t match Blomfield’s final words, which were: “Go away George, don’t do it.” Who was George? No one knows.
No drugs were taken and the description of the killer was of a man aged about 22 to 23 years - about 1.8 metres tall, with short, wavy, dark hair, which could have fit a lot of men - including Coulton. The witnesses also described a blue coat but there was none found among Coulton’s effects.
Despite the best efforts of the police, including offering a reward, no one has ever been charged with Blomfield’s murder.
Blomfield is buried in Purewa Cemetery.