When Linda Gatto was growing up in Chesterfield in the 1950s, she was warned off rag and bone men by her mother.
Her mum’s advice was spurred by a family story that a member of the Windle family by marriage (her mother’s maiden name) had been abducted and killed by such a person.
Linda’s passion for historical research led to the publication of her illustrated book Rags To Bones six years after she embarked on the project.
The book is a tragic, true story about the murder of six-year-old Eleanor Windle in Brimington in 1881.
Former St Helena School student Linda said: “I had to find out more and when I did the floodgates of information opened. The story is amazing but there are for me some pieces missing from the tale.“
She would like to hear from any descendants of the arresting officer in the murder case, Supt Elijah Carline. Linda said: “Elijah had a scar on his head from an earlier case he had tackled.
“Equally, if any Windles out there have photos of Eleanor with her parents William and Harriet and the siblings Walter, Fred, Francis, Ernest, Henry, Alice, Albert and baby Alfred that would be amazing.
“The Brimington Windles seemed to have dropped off the radar from the Newbold Windles which is my side of the family but if the descendants have their own family story of this event I would love to make contact with them. It could all be completely confidential.”
Linda, who is in her 60s, works as a court usher and lives in Oxfordshire, with her husband, Martin, who is also an author.
She can be contacted by email on firstname.lastname@example.org or call her on 0141 874308