Episode 522: The Mysterious Death of Christina Kettlewell

Morbid

Dec 21 2023 • 1 hr 24 mins

On May 20, 1947, decorated army veteran Jack Kettlewell and his friend Ronald Barrie barely escaped a devastating housefire at Ronald’s cabin along the Severen River in rural Ontario, Canada. One day later, Jack’s twenty-two-year-old wife, Christina Kettlewell, was discovered dead a short distance from the cabin, lying face down in a pool of shallow water and still wearing the pajamas she had on the night of the fire. During the autopsy, it was discovered that Christina’s lungs were clear of smoke and her body was free of any burns or other signs of violence; rather, as unbelievable as it seemed, the cause of death was drowning.

Christina and Jack had married in a secret ceremony held just eight days before the fire, leading many to wonder whether her new husband had something to do with her death. Was it a crime of passion? A calculated murder to cash-in on a life insurance policy? Or was it truly just a tragedy? And what of Ronald Barrie’s presence on the trip? If it was indeed a honeymoon of sorts, why had the young newlyweds brought along a friend?

In the months that followed, Christina Kettlewell’s mysterious death captivated the residents of eastern Canada. With each new day, a piece of the puzzle seemed to fall into place, indicating that the mystery might soon be solved. Yet by mid-summer, a police investigation and the coroner’s inquest had failed to provide an explanation for Christina’s death or a satisfactory conclusion to the case. Today, more than seventy-five years later, the death of Christina Kettlewell remains one of Ontario’s most enduring mysteries.

Thank you to the wonderful David White, of the Bring Me the Axe Podcast, for research assistance!


References

Isai, Vjosa. 2017. What happened to Toronto's 'eight-day bride?'. July 4. Accessed November 27, 2023. https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/what-happened-to-toronto-s-eight-day-bride/article_1a09012b-13fa-5931-b512-7cc331d56ed4.html.

Kingston Whig-Standard. 1947. "Coroner's jury to view place bride died." Kingston Whig-Standard, June 25: 1.

North Bay Nugget. 1947. "Open verdict is returned in Kettlewell case." North Bay Nugget, June 26: 1.

Owen Sound Daily Sun-Times. 1947. "Possibility of suicide in drowning of bride investigated by police." Owen Sound Daily Sun-Times, mAY 23: 1.

Sun Times. 1947. "Open verdict is returned by Kettlewell case jury as no decision reached." Sun Times, June 26: 1.

—. 1947. "Open verdict is returned by Kettlewell case jury as no decision reached." Sun Times, June 26: 1.

Toronto Daily Star. 1947. "Police report distrubance before Christina married." Toronto Daily Star, May 28: 2.

—. 1947. "Suicide notes bride's expert tells inquest." Toronto Daily Star, June 20: 1.

Windsor Star. 1947. "Police hint at foul play in mystery." Windsor Star, May 22: 1.

—. 1947. "Probe for missing cash in honeymoon mystery." Windsor Star, May 26: 1.

—. 1947. "Statement of Ronald Barrie reveals some strange events." Windsor Star, June 21: 8.


See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

You Might Like

Rotten Mango
Rotten Mango
Stephanie Soo & Ramble
Crime Junkie
Crime Junkie
audiochuck
Rahasya Romancha
Rahasya Romancha
Storytelling Studio
Morbid
Morbid
Morbid Network | Wondery
RUN, FOOL!
RUN, FOOL!
Ballen Studios
RedHanded
RedHanded
Wondery | RedHanded
Casefile True Crime
Casefile True Crime
Casefile Presents
Bedtime Stories
Bedtime Stories
Ballen Studios
Dateline NBC
Dateline NBC
NBC News
3AM Fear
3AM Fear
Nikita Ferrao