Twenty-three-year-old Jane S. Britton '67, a second-year graduate student and the daughter of Radcliffe Administrative Vice President J. Boyd Britton, was found, murdered yesterday afternoon in her apartment at 6 University Road.
The body was discovered by James Humphries, a graduate student and a friend of Miss Britton, after he stopped by to find out how she had done on the general examinations in anthropology she had been scheduled to take yesterday morning.
Police said that she was found lying on her bed in her nightgown with massive lacerations of the head. Detective Lieutenant Leo Davenport speculated that the injury was effected by a hatchet or cleaver. There was no sign of forcible entry, but the door and window were unlocked and indications were that an intruder had entered by climbing the fire escape to the fourth floor apartment. Miss Britton lived alone.
There are as yet no suspects, but police are continuing their investigation.
6 University Road is an entry in a block-square building behind the Treadway Motor House and across from the Bennett St. MBTA yards. The property of the University, the building was the scene of a still-unsolved crime in 1963, when Boston University student Beverly Samans was murdered in her apartment.
Littered and dingy, the building has no locks on the front doors. Donald and Jill Mitchell, graduate students in anthropology and Miss Britton's nextdoor neighbors, said last night that the door of Miss Briton's apartment was almost impossible to lock.
Residents of the building, many of whom are members of the Mt. Auburn Tenants Union, have complained in the past that the building was unsafe.
Jessie Gill, chairman of the Union, said last night that tenants have complained numerous times in the past two years about security. She said residents had asked Henry H. Cutler, the University's Manager for Taxes, Insurance and Real Estate, to have a buzzer system installed and locks put on the doors. She said he promised two years ago to investigate the situation but that nothing has ever been done.
Contacted last night, Cutler denied that complaints had been made and said the building was not unsafe.
Described by friends as "attractive and extremely talented," Miss Britton was studying Near Eastern archaeology and had done field work in France and Iran. Her generals would have been her last exams before she would write a doctoral thesis. She planned to leave her apartment in a few months