RMS OLYMPIC & THE PODERJAY CASE

On one winter sailing in 1933, Olympic departed from New York with a suspected murderer onboard, fleeing America for Europe. In a case never solved, nobody was charged with the murder of Miss Agnes Tufvertson because she disappeared without trace and her body was never found. What may be considered a final insult was the mere charge of bigamy that was successfully prosecuted, for the suspect served only a few years in prison.

Although the case has been mentioned on occasion, never before has it been looked it in detail from the perspective of its place in Olympic’s history. Murders at sea are hardly less heinous than those on shore, and there are other cases recorded – another involving the Queen Mary and a porthole. It appears far more likely that Olympic was the tool for the murderer’s escape and the body’s disposal, rather than the scene of the apparent murder itself. Strangely enough, the case appears little known to those who have studied Olympic and her history. This article is intended to go some way towards remedying that.

Originally appearing in the British Titanic Society’s Atlantic Daily Bulletin this year, by presenting it on this website there has been scope to include additional photographs and illustrations. Similarly, as a result of feedback and new leads I have been able to expand the text with more new information. I am particularly grateful to John (‘Jack’) D. Wetton – of the White Star Line Site (Historic Ocean Liner Web ring) – for so generously sharing his research and being willing to contribute to this article; by combining forces we all learn so much more than by working alone. We are both members of the Historic Ocean Liners list:

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The Poderjay Case

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