20th April 1946

Inquiry opens into naked, burned motorist

News of a curious death in Jersey quickly spread to the mainland papers. George Dreux had been found naked and seriously burned close to St Mary’s Lane. His car, which was close by, was still on fire when police arrived and a petrol cap, but not the accompanying can, was later found in his house.

Dreux, who was 31 and unmarried, died on his way to hospital, but an examination of the scene of the burning – and his position when he was found – suggested to police that he had been trying to reach a nearby stream, indicating that this was not a suicide case.

There were very few clues for them to go on, aside from a petrol-soaked singlet at his house and a note on which someone – presumably Dreux – had written three names.

The coroner recorded an open verdict at the subsequent inquest, declaring that the victim had died of shock following burns, but the significance of the three names was never revealed.


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