POLICE have revealed the murder of a female taxi driver nearly 90 years ago remains one of Northumbria's oldest unsolved cases.

To mark the 88th anniversary, Northumbria Police revealed details of the death of Evelyn Foster, whose badly burned body was discovered on moorland in Otterburn, on January 6, 1931.

The early January morning started off as normal for taxi driver Evelyn. But unbeknown to her, she would never return home after sustaining horrific injuries from being pushed into the back of her taxi, covered in a rug and set on fire.

Officers were alerted to the incident after the 27-year-old somehow managed to struggle out of the burning car, which was pushed down a bank, on rural land in between Kirkwhelpington and Otterburn. However, she died from her injuries. 

Tony Stevens, Major Investigation Team Supervisor for Northumbria Police's crime department, said: “With a force as large as ours, you can imagine we have very detailed archives and, periodically, we go back through and take a look at our old cases.

“This particular murder was horrific and it’s no surprise a book was written about it. At the time, there were a number of theories as to who might have committed the crime.

“We never close our murder investigations until they are solved and in some cases we can look to see if there are any new scientific or technological methods we can use to help identify DNA and follow leads which were previously impossible."

He added that there is a potential twist in the tale when, a few years later, a man who was sentenced to death for the murder of his boss in Yorkshire was asked to confess his sins before his execution and is reported to have whispered the words ‘Otterburn’ before he died.

The story of Evelyn Foster is told in detail by author Robert Dixon in his work 'Evelyn Foster: Murder or fraud on the Northumberland Moors.'