Widow Killed Near Radcliffe Dorm; Police Cite Britton Case Similarities
A 50-year-old Cambridge widow was found bludgeoned to death in her apartment at 41 Linnaean St. yesterday morning, a quarter-mile from the scene of the unsolved murder of Harvard graduate student Jane Britton '67, 23, a month ago.
The body of Mrs. Ada Bean was found on her bed by her employer and the janitor of the apartment building, James Edwards.
Police said last night that they had found no suspects but an investigation is being undertaken under the direction of Cambridge Detective Lt. John Norton.
The circumstances surrounding the two deaths are remarkably similar. Police said Mrs. Bean was discovered with her night clothes pulled up around her shoulders and a blanket over her head, which had been bashed in with a blunt, heavy instrument. Miss Britton was also found with her head covered.
Police speculate that in both cases the victim was asleep at the time of the murder, and that the killer was well known to the victim. Both women lived alone.
Medical Examiner David C. Dow said blood was spattered everywhere, even on the ceiling, but nothing in the apartment appeared to be disarranged.
The employer told police he was worried when Mrs. Bean did not report to work on Wednesday. He came to her apartment a half-block from Comstock Hall at 10:15 yesterday morning. He and the janitor entered the third-floor apartment with a passkey.
The woman reportedly at one time worked as a research secretary at Harvard and in a similar capacity for other concerns in the Boston area.
Police speculate that the murder took place sometime Tuesday night. Police dogs were sent to the area to see if they could pick up a scent. Officers went through the building talking to residents in an attempt to learn if anyone had heard unusual noises or seen a stranger on the premises.
Neighbors described Mrs. Bean as a petite, attractive woman, quiet and pleasant.
Residents said the vestibule door to the building was always locked and could be opened only by a buzzer outside.