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Thread: Morbid History - A thread for historical murders, unusual deaths, funerary practices etc & any other old creepy stuff

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    Senior Member blighted star's Avatar
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    Morbid History - A thread for historical murders, unusual deaths, funerary practices etc & any other old creepy stuff

    I'll start it off with a vindictive killer nanny from 1871

    Extraordinary Child Murder.
    On May 11 a shocking murder was committed at a beautiful farm residence on the summit of one of the Buckinghamshire hills, commanding a fine view of one of the beautiful sylvan landscapes for which the county is famous. The scene of the tragedy was a large handseme house at Steeple Claydon, a little hamlet on the Oxford and Bletchley Railway. At this quiet retreat a little
    fellow scarcely five years of age, whose parents are far away in India, was brutally murdered by his own nurse.

    From what transpired at the inquest, it appears that the deceased, whose name was Bruce Donald Logan, was the son of parents
    residing in India. He, with his younger brother and sister, had been under the care of Miss Macdonald since last autumn. He always
    enjoyed good health, and she saw him about half past nine o'clock on the night prior to the murder asleep in bed, to all appearances in his accustomed health. Catherine Muir, the nurse, had been more than three years in the service of the parents, having lived with them in Devonshire, and she seemed at first to be always kind and
    attached to the children. Mrs Logan, when she left her children in her charge, appeared to have every confidence in the nurse, and so far from giving any caution about her, she evidently had full confidence in her.

    Nevertheless, the nurse had once, in witness's opinion, unduly chastised the deceased for spilling some water, and Ethel Mary Logan, the little sister, had made complaints of being whipped, in consequence of which representations were made to the friends of the children, and it was arranged that the nurse should leave. Witness, however, told her that she was not discharged from Mr Logan's service, who would have to be communicated with in India, but simply that she could no longer remain in the house.

    On May 11 she directed a servant to go up to the nursery and tell nurse to send the two little boys down to prayers, the little girl having already made her appearance, The servant returned with the information that the nurse was not in the nursery, and that the little boys were both in bed. Witness herself then went up, when she found little 'Rossy,' the brother of the deceased, sitting up in bed. He said "Nanny," meaning the nurse, "is very sick, and so is Brucy."
    Glancing at the bed in which deceased slept, she saw him lying with the pillow stained with blood, while the nurse was crouched down on the floor behind the washandstand. She immediately ran
    to the stairs, and called out, "For God's sake, Charles, come up !" appealing to the Rev. C. Plumtre, who was on a visit at her house, and who immediately obeyed the summons.

    Ann Ladiman stated that she was employed at Miss MacDonald's as a day servant to attend to the nursery On the morning in question, about half past seven o'clock, she took up hot water as usual, and found nurse sleeping with the youngest boy and the little girl. Bruce was asleep in another bed. She returned downstairs, swept the nursery and went back to the bedroom. She found the little girl sitting on the floor, but neither nurse nor boys were up.

    Nurse asked if Bruce was up. She looked and saw that he was, when nurse asked for a knife and witness offered her a penknife, when she said, "No, not that, a large one," and witness went downstairs again and fetched a table knife. Nurse then directed her to take Ethel, the little girl, down and to comb her hair, but to be careful not to make a noise in shutting the door, as she wanted Rossy to sleep a little longer. She had occasionally fetched brandy for nurse. On may 9 she bought 1s worth for her, and on the next day a bottle, for which she paid 6d.

    Mr Benjamin Shephard, superintendant in the Bucks constabulary, spoke to being called to the house, when he found Mr. Plumtre in the room, and the woman crouching down. He went to her
    and saw that her hands and feet were smeared with blood. She had only her chemise on, which was also stained with blood. He raised her and found under her the table knife produced wet with blood. In the room he found also a half consumed bottle of brandy and a penknife. The woman repeated several times that Miss Macdonald had been kind to her, but Miss Fanny Macdonald had not.

    The coroner having briefly summed up, remarking that there could be no doubt the nurse inflicted the injury which caused death, the jury at once and without a moment's deliberation returned a
    verdict of "Wilful murder against Catherine Muir." The prisoner has undergone an examination before the magistrates at Steeple Claydon and has been committed for trial on the capital

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    Senior Member blighted star's Avatar
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    WARNING : This is a really graphic account of a brutal infanticide from 1882

    Mount Alexander Mail (Vic. : 1854 - 1917) Mon 30 Jan 1882


    One of the most deliberate and at the same time brutal cases of child murder which have come under the notice of the authorities for some time past was discovered at Toolamba, near Shepparton, in the North-Eastern district. The circumstances surrounding the case are of a desscription which points to the conclusion that the person who committed the crime must have been of a thoroughly debased nature. The district, which is usually a quiet one, was shocked by the details of the murder.

    On the morning of the 23rd December last, a labourer, residing at Toolamba, discovered the body of a recently born female infant in a paddock, near the house of a farmer named M'Sweeney, at that place. The body when found was lying on its back and appeared to have been subjected to fiendish treatment. There were 'twenty-two stabs on the back and chest and face, evidently made with some sharp instrunent like a knife, and a number of contusions on the skin, which appeared to have been caused by someone deliberately jumping on the body.

    The liver was bruised and lacerated and the stomach burst. In one place the mark of a sharp heel of a boot was noticeable. In addition to this the branch of a tree had been forced down the mouth of the child with the evident intention of preventing it from screaming. This alone was sufficient to have caused death, the end of the bough having lacerated the organs of the throat and mouth in a frightful manner. So tightly in fact was the branch forced into the mouth of the little one that when it was pulled for the purpose of extricating it, the body was raised with it and it was only taken out after some considerable trouble.

    A post-mortern examination of the body by the resident surgeon, showed that the infant had breathed, but had been deliberately murdered with violence in the manner described. Suspicion at once fastened upon a girl named Annie Gilford, who was employed at M'Sweeney's house some time before and was noticed to be enceinte. She only left that day for another part of the country, and it was surmised that she had gone up the line to Shepparton. The police at that place were communicated with, and Constable M'Gie, who was stationed at Mooroopna, kept watch at the railway station at that place, and saw the girl get out of the train. He immediately arrested her and charged her with, having given birth to a child.

    She at first did not answer, but afterwards said, "Yes, I heard of it, people at Toolamba say it is my child." She then walked to her sister's house, and the constable retired to the barracks to change his uniform. A few minutes afterwards he walked in plain clothes to the house occupied by the girl's sister. After some delay he was admitted, and when the girl saw him coming again, she burst into
    tears, and after some time finally confessed that it was her child and she had killed it. She was lodged in the local watchhouse, and owing to her weak condition has been on remand until last week, when she was finally brought before the Bench and committed to take her trial for infanticide at the Sandhurst Assizes, to which place she was conveyed on Friday.

    The particulars of the affair are most horrible, and the girl appears to have been confined in the paddock, and a few minutes after the child was born destroyed it in the brutal manner described. All attempts to elicit from her any information concerning the circumstances of the case other than she owns it was her child have failed. The police have also failed to discover who the father of the child was, although suspicion is attached to a local individual. Constable M'Gie has been most assiduous in his efforts to unearth all particulars of the case, and his conduct in so quickly effecting an arrest before the girl succeeded in getting away is praiseworthy, particularly as he is almost a stranger in the district, he having only recently been sent to that place from Melbourne at his own request.

    The affair has created no small sensation in Toolamba, the girl being well known in the district and always respected as a decent young woman. She is of extremely prepossessing appearance,
    good education and address, and is only sixteen years of ago. As an instance of youthful depravity, the case is one of the worst which has ever come under the notice of the authorities in that quiet part of the colony.

  3. #3
    Senior Member blighted star's Avatar
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    Tales from the original MDS - our people have always been around

    I hope these are real. I'll get around to checking them on Ancestry one day ...,00.html
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    Senior Member blighted star's Avatar
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    I'll probably die doing something like the snail guy
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    Unusual suicides from 1927 (& probably one failure to understand that auto-erotic asphyxiation existed)


    Fascination for the Bizarre.

    Morbid Ingenuity.

    An epidemic of queer suicides, sug-
    gesting the spread of a morbid fasci-
    nation for the bizarre, is attracting
    the attention of mental specialists.
    Several cases of suicide have occur-
    red, where strange and ingenious de-
    vices have been employed to bring
    about death. Their cause is remote but
    they are believed to have their origin
    in the chaotic conditions of modern

    Tired of life, a Warsaw electrician
    built an electric chair from pictures
    of the apparatus in use in the United
    States. When it was finished, he calm-
    ly connected it up with an 800- volt.
    current, and seated himself in it.
    He was killed instantly.

    His bizarre method of taking his
    life has a parallel in the morbid in-
    genuity of Richard John Webb, a but-
    cher, of Lrnham-road. Sutton, who a
    few days ago was found dead with his
    neck tied to the top of a deck chair.
    Round the man's knees was a piece
    of wire, one end of which was tied to
    the bottom of the chair, and the other
    end to the stay of the vhair. A doctor
    stated that his impression was that
    Webb threw away the end of the wire
    attached to the stay, and, having his
    knees and legs fastened, put himself
    on the stretch."

    "What he really did was to manu-
    facture a machine to strangle him-
    self," commented the Coroner.

    Watched Himself Die.

    Another remarkable suicide affording
    a queer glimpse of the workings of
    morbid ingenuity was that of Raphael
    de la Chapelle, the brilliant head of
    a department in the French Ministry
    of Agriculture. Dressed as a woman
    he was found dead, with his feet tied
    together, hanging from a hook in the
    ceiling of his bedroom in Paris.

    The body was dangling in front of a mirror
    and evidently the man watched his
    reflection in the glass as he died. His
    clothes included fine silk stockings,
    with elaborate garters. There was nothing
    to account for his bizarre deed. Up to the
    time of the tragic discovery he had always
    appeared to his friends as perfectly nor-
    mal. What psychological causes im-
    pelled him to stage such a gruesome
    tragedy is one of the mysteries of hu-
    man nature.

    A Weird Fact.

    New York has recently been the
    scene of several bizarre suicides, the
    victims being medical students who
    appear to have imitated each other in
    choosing the manner of their end.
    In the latest tragedy, the third since
    Christmas, Cassels W. Note, a youth
    of 20, shot himself with his father's
    revolver to "learn what is beyond
    the grave."

    With a group of students he entered
    into a weird pact having for its pur-
    pose inter-communication with the
    living and the dead. To his father, a
    well-to-do dentist, he left a note ask-
    ing him to tell Norton, another stu-
    dent, "to watch for a message."
    Two other students, Joseph Moore
    and Rigbv Wile, committed suicide on
    New Year's Day, after writing letters
    giving "convincing" reasons for
    their act.

    "There is no doubt that bizarre sui-
    cides of this kind tend to increase
    under the strain of modern life," a
    well-known mental specialist told the
    London "Sunday Chronicle."
    "The mind is a delicate instrument
    and is very easily unbalanced. When
    the break does come, and a suicidal
    intention is formed, what more natural
    than that the present craze for me-
    chanical devices should be utilised in
    this morbid way to snap the life

    "Very few of us are absolutely nor-
    mal. There are far more people walk-
    ing about to-day who ought to be
    under the care of a mental specialist
    than anybody imagines.
    "In some the abnormal kink mani-
    fests itself in a revolting crime. Often
    it leads to these bizarre suicides."

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    Senior Member blighted star's Avatar
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    I've only got access to Australian archives so far, so I'll try not to fill this with Australian stories. Luckily even 19th century Aus papers did a fair bit of international news

    This one's a lot more recent, the 1954 murder of a New York novelist, reknowned for titles such as "Naked On Rollerskates"

    A bizarre novelist met death violently

    Mail New York Office

    Most of the bars in Greenwich Village have been
    collecting money for the burial of a former best-selling
    poet-novelist who was more or less banned from their
    counters as a sodden down-and-out.

    To get money for liquor he would make a pest of
    himself trying to sell customers manuscripts of his
    poems for 50 cents apiece (about 4/6).
    A hundred New York detectives hunted for the
    murderer who had pumped bullets into the
    body of gaunt, unkempt Maxwell Bodenheim, 62,
    in a tenement bedroom.

    Sprawled over a bed nearby was the body of
    former magazine writer Ruth Pagan, 35, believed
    to be his third wife. Her once-handsome
    face was battered. She had been stabbed in half
    a dozen places.

    Madly jealous

    The poet, although an exponent of free love, was
    known to be madly jealous.
    She as as jealous of him as he was of her.
    Police in their hunt held Harold Weinberg,
    28, a scar-faced ex-convict who had been seen
    round the village pubs lately with Ruth Fagan.
    The crime was committed in Weinberg's
    cheap room. The door had been locked on the
    outside afterwards.

    After a wild scene in court, when Weinberg
    was charged with the murders, he was sent to
    a psychiatric ward. It was all a far cry from
    the roaring twenties when Bodenheim led a
    literary group which included Carl Sandburg,
    Edgar Lee Masters, and
    Ben Hecht. Novels full of realism
    and frank discussions of sex brought him a big in-
    come, and he gave some of Greenwich Village's
    most famous parties.

    Scented rain

    In one poem Bodenheim wrote that death
    would come to him like the kisses of scented rain
    on his feet. He used to wear long
    hair and a red beard. His novel, "Replenish-
    ing Jessica," about a millionaire's promiscuous
    daughter, had boom sales after Bodenheim and his
    publishers were charged with selling obscene and
    indecent literature. All were acquitted on
    the ground that it was art. His next popular triumph
    was "Naked on Roller Skates," about a girl's infatuation
    with a tough man.

    The day after Bodenheim criticised her writing
    as sentimental slush, the body of Virginia
    Drew. 22, was found in the Hudson River.
    Gladys Loeb, 18, daughter of a doctor, turned on
    the gas in her flat after Bodenheim called her
    work trash. She was clutching a picture of the
    handsome Max when police broke in and saved her.
    Aimee Cortez, so-called mayoress of Greenwich
    Village, was staring with sightless eyes at Boden-
    heim's picture when she was found in her gas-
    filled room, too late to save her life.

    People whispered of strange rites Bodenheim
    practised at weird village parties.
    In recent years he had stormed drunkenly
    through the streets shouting imprecations.
    "Yet Max was the greatest of us all," said
    Milton Roberts, who wears a long white beard
    and is called the Prince of Bohemia.
    Police are not sure whether his death part-
    ner, Ruth Fagan, married Bodenheim.
    They were often homeless, sleeping on subway
    stations or getting a room for the night
    where they could

    Picture : BODENHEIM . . . literary derelict
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    Senior Member blighted star's Avatar
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    Not sure if this was a sad case of insanity so severe it was visible at autopsy (as claimed in the article), or these guys were having an affair & the pastor was threatened with exposure

    1909, March 13. The Maitland Weekly Mercury


    From a small town near the city of Detroit
    (state of Michigan) comes the story of a remark-
    able crime. The Rev. John J. Carmichael, 51
    years old, was the pastor of three small Metho-
    dist churches. One of these was in Columbus.
    He resided with his wife and three children in
    the neghbouring village of Adair, and was in
    good repute. On the morning of January 5, he
    left his home, saying he was about to make
    arrangements for revival services in Columbus.

    By chance, on the following day, a parishioner
    entered the little church at Columbus, and was
    horrified to see much blood on the furniture and
    floor. Search revealed the prescence in two
    stoves of partly consumed portions of a human
    body. There were signs of a desperate and
    bloody struggle. As parts of the pastor's cloth-
    ing were in the stoves, everybody at first be-
    lieved that Mr. Carmichael had been murdered,
    He must have made a good fight, people said,
    for he had been 6ft 2in tall, and a very strong

    Two days later a careful examination
    of the contents of the stoves proved that the
    human fragments were not parts of the pastor's
    body, but were the remains of one Gideon Brow-
    ning, a carpenter and village ne'er-do-well of
    Adair, who had recently been seen in company
    with the clergyman many times, although it
    seemed that they could have no tasks in com-

    Browning had abused and deserted his
    wife. He had boasted that the pastor was
    about to procure a good position for him. It
    was seen that the murderer was the Rev. Mr.
    Carmichael. He could not be found, although
    there were signs that he had gone to Chicago.

    In fact, he had concealed himself in a boarding
    house at Carthage, state of Illinois. There, on
    the 11th, he committed suicide by cutting his
    throat, leaving a long and carefully-written
    confession. What he said about his motive was
    not the least remarkable part of the record of
    this strange case.

    Browning, he asserted hadcontrolled
    him by hypnotic power, and he had
    killed the man to gain freedom. The idle,
    ignorant, and vicious carpenter had compelled
    the educated and upright clergyman to associate
    with him and do his bidding. Many instances
    were cited in the confession. Browning had
    governed him by "a queer look, like the look of
    a snake's eye." He had boasted of this power,
    but only to Carmichael. He had drawn Car-
    michael to the little church, in order that the
    power might be tested and shown there.

    A fight ensued. The clergyman killed the
    hypnotist, cut up his body, and tried to burn the
    parts in the stoves. Then Carmichael fled to
    Chicago, with his overcoat covering the bloody
    clothing under it. This was his confession, but
    an examination of Carmichael's brain revealed
    unmistakable proof of insanity existing for some
    time before the murder. He had recently sub-
    mitted to publishers the manuscripts of two
    novels written in a morbid strain.

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    Senior Member blighted star's Avatar
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    Also, I didn't know there was once another Koresh cult with beliefs centred on "flame & smoke", who were involved in a police shootout

    The Maitland Weekly Mercury (NSW : 1894 - 1931) Sat 13 Mar 1909

    Religious Game in America.

    Dr Teed, who called himself Koresh I ,
    is dead (writes the Melbourne, ' Argus'
    correspondent at New York), and his fol-
    lowers have waited in vain for his promised
    resurrection in the flesh. Spangler has fled
    from his converts, who gathered on a hill
    in white robes to ascend with him when the
    world would vanish with flame and smoke.
    James Sharp, who took the name of Adam
    God, is in prison for murder, and police
    bullets have sent his high priest to the
    grave The population of the late John
    Alexander Dowie's Zion City has fallen
    from 8000 to 4400, and these people have
    two quarrelling leaders, each asserting that
    he wears "Elijah's" mantle. How remark-
    able are the successes of such charlatans ,
    how pathetic the vagaries and sacrifices of
    their dupes !

    Cyrus R. Teed was a kind of Howie, but
    the founder of Zion City was not guilty of
    such immorality as made Teed a nuisance.
    Teed's practices resembled those of Smyth
    Piggott, whose colony was mobbed in Lon-
    don, and who was convicted last week, I
    notice, in Somersetshire, where he was
    leader of a band of Agapemonites. Some
    years, ago Teed's followers lived with him
    in Chicago. He claimed to be divine and
    immortal. Converts brought to him money,
    until he had accumulated more than 500,000

    He taught that we are living on
    the inner surface of a hollow sphere, the
    sun being suspended in the centre. This
    curious doctrine he defined by complicated
    charts and with much ingenuity. I remem-
    ber that two men who accepted it were
    commissioned by him to make measure-
    ments and take observations on the ocean
    beach in Florida, their purpose being to
    prove that we are not living on the outer
    surface of a globe. For six months they
    were engaged in this work, and the results
    of it were quite satisfactory to Koresh.

    He narrowly escaped being lynched in Chicago,
    where many homes had been wrecked by the
    desertion of wives, who accepted his creed
    and joined his colony. Therefore, he bought
    a large tract of land in Florida, and estab-
    lished there the communistic settlement
    called Estero, being himself the head of a
    company called the Koreshan Unity Corpor-
    ation. He died there on December 21, at
    the age of 70, and his deluded followers
    waited two days for him to rise in the
    flesh. But his high priestess, known as
    Victoria Gratia, returning to Estero from
    Washington, dashed their hopes by order-
    ing burial. It remains to be seen whether
    this is the end of what Teed called Kor-
    eshanity. The newspapers say that he
    had 500 followers in Washington, our capi-

    James Sharp's mission was ended abrupt-
    ly by a battle with the police, in which five
    persons were killed. This fight took place
    a few weeks ago in Kansas City, a town of
    200,000 people, in the State of Missouri.
    Sharp was a farmer in Oklahoma, when, a
    few years ago, his wife says, the spirit of
    God commanded him to preach. In a short
    time he had gathered an Adam and Eve
    colony, which won the disapproval of the au-
    thorities. Selling out, he travelled through
    our north-western States, and in the newly
    settled parts of Canada, asserting that he
    was a second Messiah.

    He was supported by gifts, several farmers
    selling their property, and turning the proceeds
    into his fund. In Dakota, last August, he bought a
    houseboat, and in it he made his way slowly
    down the Missouri River, accompanied by
    Louis Pratt, Mrs. Pratt, and their five young
    children. Pratt was "Elijah II.." At several places
    along the river they preached and collected money.
    Sharp and Pratt were preaching in the streets at
    Kansas City on December 8, when a court officer
    named Holt began to inquire about Pratt's chil-
    dren, who were with him. Whereupon Sharp,
    patriarchal in appearance, with long white
    hair and beard, struck Holt on the head
    with a revolver and pursued him to the
    police station.

    When the police came out there was a battle.
    Two policemen were killed by the fanatics,
    a bystander got a mortal wound, and Pratt
    received injuries,Bof which he died two days later,
    expressing regret that he could not recover to do
    more killing. Mrs. Pratt ran to the house-
    boat, from, which she attempted to escape in
    a skiff. Pursuing her, the police fired and
    killed Lulu Pratt, a girl 13 years old.
    Sharp escaped for a time, but was found,
    three days later hiding under a haystack on
    a neighbouring farm. In prison he has since
    admitted that his faith was wrong. "The Lord either
    was not with us or was on a vacation,' he says ;
    "I have murdered innocent men, but I believed we
    were doing God's will"

    Lee J. Spangler gave notice a few weeks ago
    that the world would be destroyed on Sunday,
    December 27. All of this fellow's dupes are
    women. Just before sunrise on the fated day
    they put on robes of thin white muslim and
    climbed a hill near the little city of Nyack,
    which is in the Hudson River, 30 miles from
    New York. There they waited in the rain to
    ascend with Spangler, and were ridiculed by a
    crowd of scoffers. The prophet himself took the
    precaution to run away leaving word for his
    followers that he had made an early ascension,
    and would meet them in Mars. When he was
    found in Pennsylvania he explained that the
    destruction of the world had been postponed,
    owing to the prayers of clergymen who had been
    alarmed by his prophecy.

    Edit : sorry about the formatting on this when it's viewed via desktop.. It looks fine on mobile & in edit so I can't fix it
    Last edited by blighted star; 11-25-2018 at 02:58 PM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Jumaki15's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blighted star View Post
    Also, I didn't know there was once another Koresh cult with beliefs centred on "flame & smoke", who were involved in a police shootout

    Edit : sorry about the formatting on this when it's viewed via desktop.. It looks fine on mobile & in edit so I can't fix it
    Can we burn him to death, too?

  10. #10
    Senior Member blighted star's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jumaki15 View Post
    Can we burn him to death, too?

    Only if he was right about his resurrection & dug his way back out some time in the last 110 years😉

    I'm kind of wondering if David Koresh knew about this guy though

  11. #11
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    The Colac Herald (Vic. : 1875 - 1918) Fri 9 Apr 1897 Page 8


    A remarkable case of alleged child murder by a little girl was investigated by Mr Curtis Bennett (says "Lloyd's" of 7th February), at the Marylebone Police Court. The accused is Mary Jane Scull, aged 13, a shrewd and intelligent child, the pet of her aunt and
    uncle, with whom she lives, at 16 Fernhead road, Paddington. She stands charged on her own confession with the wilful murder of her cousin. Sidney James Mark Scull, aged six months, on or about 2nd July, 1896, by administering poison to him.
    During the whole of the hearing of the case, the girl presented a stolid and indifferent demeanor, and seemed absolutely unaffected by the serious nature of the charge preferred against her. Upon the girl being led into the dock, the aunt, who had been sitting in the rear of the Court, swooned, and had to be carried out. Detective-inspector Nash, X division, who had charge of the case, informed the magistrate that the girl had made a confession in the presence of her aunt, a young woman, and a doctor. He proposed to call only sufficient evidence to justify a remand.

    Louisa Scull, aunt of the girl, was the first witness called. She was attired in mourning, and gave her evidence with much difficulty and feeling. She said she was the wife of Mark Scull, a coachman, and resided at 16 Fernhead road, Paddington. The accused was her niece, and was 13 years of age last April. She had lived with her for the last ten years, her father being dead. The deceased child (her first-born), was born in January, 1896. It had delicate health, but under medical treatment became strong and healthy. In June last she was very ill, and had to go into a hospital. That was the last time she saw her baby alive. She remained in the hospital two or three weeks, and afterwards went into the country for a
    similar period. During that period her infant died. From that time until now nothing of any moment had occurred. She had occasion that day to scold the accused for shutting her cat in the kitchen of one of the lodgers in the house for the purpose of its eating the lodger's rabbit. The lodger, it appeared, had evidently offended her, and she did this to spite her.

    Mr Curtis Bennett: You don't know that of your own knowledge? Witness : Well, she took the lady's chop out of the safe. Mr Curtis Bennett : Did you see that? Witness : No, but she admitted doing it. She said she shut the cat in the kitchen to eat the rabbit so that the lady would think that the cat had eaten the chop. The Magistrate : Did she say what had become of the chop ? ?Witness : Yes, she said she had put it down the w.c. She did it because she thought that the lady would think that I had done it. Continuing, the witness said : When I scolded her she said. "I done the baby." I said, "Done what?" She replied, "I put poison in baby's bottle." I said, "What poison?" She said, "The poison I got for the toothache." I asked her where she got it from, and she replied. "From Mr Linny's." That was the name of a chemist a few doors away. I said, "What did you do it for ?" to which she answered, "Because you thought more of the baby than you did of me." I then said, "Did you know you were going to do this before I went into the hospital ?" She said, "Yes, I had made up my mind to do it." (Sensation.) I said, "How much did you get ?" and she made answer. "Two penny-worth of camphorated chloroform, and I put the whole lot into the baby's feeding bottle." (Sensation.)

    ?The Magistrate: And then you sent for the doctor? ?Witness: Yes: but I did not intend to give her into custody.?In reply to a question suggested by Inspector Nash, the witness said that when she returned home from the hospital she noticed a bottle on the dresser marked "Camphorated Chloroform?Poison."?Asked what she had had poison for the girl replied that she had had it for the toothache.?Witness asked to see the troublesome tooth, and the girl pointed one out, but it was not decayed. There was one, however, grown through the gum, and the girl remarked that it caused her great pain. ?The Magistrate: Is that all??Witness: Yes: the bottle as thrown away.?The accused, when asked if she had any questions to put to the witness, replied in the negtive.

    Dr. William Whittaker. M.D.. of Chippenham House, Chippenham road said he was called to see Mrs Scull's child, aged six months, on the 1st of July, and found it suffering from acute diarrh?a. He made inquiries as to the cause, and found everything satisfactory. There was nothing to account for it but the atmospheric conditions prevailing at the time. The weather was very hot, and there was an epidemic of diarrh?a amongst the chlildren. He prescribed for the infant, and questioned what it had been fed on. He was informed it had been receiving the usual food, milk, etc. On the following day the child died from exhaustion, and he certified the cause of death as exhaustion from diarrh?a. He had no reason to suspect foul play.? By the Magistrate : It was not unusual at that time of the year for children to die from that cause.

    The next he heard of he matter was being called to the house by Mrs Scull. In consequence of what she said he asked the accused what she had done. She made no answer. Mrs Scull then spoke and said, "Did you not put something into the baby's bottle?" The girl replied, "Yes: camphorated chloroform, which I got from the chemist." He said to the girl. "Do you know you have committed murder. Why did you do it?"?Mr Curtis Bennett: Did you caution her before asking the question ??Witness: No.? The Magistrate: Then I don't think I ought to allow you to go any further. (To the accused) : Have you any question to ask witness??The Prisoner: No. ?The Magistrate: Is what the doctor says all right.?The Prisoner (clearly): Yes, sir. The doctor, recalled, in reply to Mr Curtis Bennett, said the effect of two-pennyworth of chloroform would be to produce gastritis.? The Magistrate : That would account for what you found ??Witness: Yes. Inspector Nash: That is as far as I can go to-day. I may add that I am informed that this is not the first occasion upon which the accused has committed an act of this description. Mr Curtis Bennett having remanded the accused, the aunt begged to be allowed to take charge of her.? Mr Curtis Bennett said he could not allow that. The child would go to the workhouse and be taken great care of. It is understood that the matter referred to by inspector Nash occurred about three years ago. when it was alleged the girl put some poison?carbolic acid?into some soup. The family partook of it, and as a consequence became very ill. No proceedings, however, were taken.


    A representative of "Lloyd's" paid a visit to 16 Fernhead road, Paddington, and was enabled to interview Mrs Scull, although that lady is exceedingly ill in consequence of what has transpired. Mrs Scull, who is a pre-possessing young woman, evidently in
    very ill-health, say's she has had her niece living with her since she was four-years old, she being now 14 years of age. From the first the child has always shown a peculiarly perverse and stubborn disposition, being very jealous and quick to resent punishment. If corrected for an offence she would find some means of annoying those who corrected her. She has been a source of great trouble to her uncle and aunt, who have done all they could to bring her up properly, and who, despite her disposition, have a great affection for her. Naturally quick, and usually well-behaved before strangers, they wished to take good care of her education, and so tried to give her a good schooling. Some of their first difficulties with her arising in consequence.

    At the school she was sent to her jealous temperament soon became apparent, and for displaying her spite upon her companions she had to be removed from several institutions. Advised to put her to a boarding school, her guardians did so, sending her to one in the neighborhood of Westbourne Park, where she was kept all day, being taken in the morning and fetched home at night. Here they had a great deal of trouble with her, she attempting to run away, as often as possible resenting by every means in her power the idea of restraint. The opinion of her aunt is that she is mentally deficient, having an unrestrainable temper and exhibiting a peculiar cunning in obtaining her ends. Some little time before the baby's death her mother, who is living, though her father died soon after she went to live with Mrs Scull, came from the country upon a visit because of some tales sent her by Mary Jane. It was proposed that she should leave her aunt and uncle, but the child would not hear of it, threatening to give her mother the slip and run away if she attempted to take her. Knowing her peculiar disposition, the point of her going away was not further urged, to Mrs Scull's poignant regret to-day.

    Mrs Scull has had several childlren, but none of them to live until the baby boy was born, with causing whose death little Mary Jane Scull is charged. The child was a beautiful little fellow of six months old when the fatal occurrence took place. His mother had never been able to nurse him, but he thrived wonderfully on his bottle, being fed on "humanised" milk. In consequence of Mrs Scull's bad state of health, and the knowledge that she would have to enter a hospital to undergo a serious operation for tumour, a woman was employed to look after the baby, who, on the mother leaving home, was placed in her charge. Though never dreaming that Mary would hurt the baby, yet she had noticed how jealous she was of attention that had been paid to some other nieces. <<snipped>>

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    Senior Member blighted star's Avatar
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    continued ...

    Mrs Scull, before going to the hospital, told the baby's nurse never to allow "Polly" to be, alone too long with him, and to keep his food in her entire charge. This was faithfully promised. "I had only been in hospital a short time," said the poor mother, "when my husband came to see me. I recollect. It was on a Thursday. and my first words to him were: "Oh, dear, how is it you have not brought baby to see me?'" He could not speak for a moment or two. and then he told me baby was gone. I felt as though I should die. My lovely boy, whom I had left in perfect health, to die so suddenly and without me seeing him. I couldn't bear the thought of it, and the shock made me very ill, much worse than I should have been. A photograph was taken of him as he lay dead, and that is all I have to remind me of what he was." The photograph was seen by "Lloyd's" representative, and is that of a remarkably fine baby. Continuing her story, Mrs Scull went on: "I had no suspicion of anything being wrong. There was an epidemic of diarrhœa at the time, and my poor baby was said by the doctor to have died of diarrhœa and convulsions. His sufferings were terrible. I have been told, and that is what makes my grief so bitter now."

    Asked as to the way in which the present discovery was made,
    Mrs Scull said, " Polly wished to annoy me because I was cross with her, and said to me, 'I done baby.' I said. ' What do you mean?' She said again. 'I done him. I put poison in his bottle.' I was so
    shocked I fainted away, but on coming to questioned her further. She then told me what I told the magistrate, how she had put the toothache mixture in his milk. I said, 'Whatever made you do it? Was he cross or troublesome?' She said, 'No, he was playing and laughing at the table when I gave it to him.' I said. 'Oh, Polly, what made you do it?' and her reply was, 'Because you cared for baby more than me.' Then I fainted away again, and the doctor was sent
    for by somebody who saw how ill I was. It was while I was senseless he asked what had caused me to faint in such a way, and then Polly told him what she had told me. At night the police came when Polly was gone to bed: they said they must see her and take her to to doctor, and she got up and went with him. I do not think for a moment she thought of the consequences of her act or of her confession." Such is the story of this peculiarly pathetic case, as told by Mrs Scull, whose condition is most

    The historical parallel of a child being killed by a girl's jealousy, is that of Constance Kent. On the night of June 29th-30th, 1860, Francis Savile Kent, four years-old, was murdered, and his body hid in a garden water-closet at Road, a place near Frome, in Somerset.
    His sister, Constance Kent, aged 16, and the nurse, Elizabeth Gough—who was at first suspected of the crime— were discharged for lack of evidence. The Coroner was severely blamed for
    charging the jury improperly, but the Court of Queen's Bench in January, 1861, refused to issue a writ for a fresh inquiry. On 25th April, 1865, however, before Sir Thomas Henry at Bow street, and at her trial at Salisbury on 21st July following, Constance confessed herself to be guilty. Her punishment was commuted to penal servitude for life. She was let out on ticket-of leave on 18th July, 1885.

    Can't help but wonder what happened to this girl after she left the courtroom & how much more death & despair she was responsible for over the course of her life

    FROM ALL QUARTERS. (1897, April 3). Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners' Advocate (NSW : 1876 - 1954), p. 11.

    Mary Jane Scull, the little girl charged on
    her own confession with having killed her
    six-months-old cousin by administering
    poison to it, was brought before the magis-
    trate at the Marylebone Police Court, when
    it was decided not to proceed further in the
    matter, but to send her to a home.

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    Senior Member Jumaki15's Avatar
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    What a terrifying child. Little girls creep me out sometimes lol

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    Senior Member blighted star's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jumaki15 View Post

    What a terrifying child. Little girls creep me out sometimes lol
    Wasn't she.

    I"d love to know where she ended up living as an adult. There's no way those behaviours magically fixed themselves & she could've lived right up until the 1970s or 1980s.

    That earlier case they referenced was the subject of a book called "The Suspicions of Mr Whicher".

    Basically there's a family with several children. The parents hire a nanny/governess. The father & the governess start an affair while the mother is sick. When she dies, the governess quickly marries the newly widowed father & has a baby with him. The older children are (according to them) mistreated while the governess's own child is spoiled. The governess basically switches everyone's roles - she goes from employee to lady of the house & she treats her former rival's children as servants. Their father couldn't care less & takes hs new wife's side over his still grieving children.

    It's your standard wicked stepmother story until one of the kids takes revenge.

    Resentful of the disrespect to their mother, & because of their own treatment following her death, one night the older sister, possibly with the assistance of the brother closest to her in age, takes the new baby, cuts his throat with a razor & throws his body down the home's pit toilet.

    There were 2 "sensational" trials, she walked the first time but was convicted the second. I can't remember all the details now but I was pretty shocked when I finally reached the end of the book, because Constance Kent changed her name & started a new life where no-one recognised her ...

    When Ruth Kaye celebrated her 100th birthday on February 6, 1944, she received congratulations from the King and Queen, a magnificent floral arrangement from the mayor of Strathfield and a personal blessing from the Archbishop of Sydney.

    The Bulletin wrote at the time: ?Surely on the honour roll of Australian citizens the name of Ruth Emilie Kaye should hold a high place.?

    The Maitland Mercury also paid tribute to her.

    Ruth Kaye immigrated to Australia early in 1886 and joined her brother William in Tasmania.

    She trained as a nurse at The Alfred Hospital at Prahan before being appointed as sister-in-charge of the Female Lazaret (infectious diseases) at the Coast Hospital, Little Bay in Sydney.

    She worked for a decade at the Parramatta Industrial School for Girls and between 1911 and 1936, was matron of the Pierce Memorial Nurses Home in Elgin Street, West Maitland.

    She retired at the age of 92.

    Ruth Kaye was an enigma, a woman whose apparent life of service was contradicted by a dark and shaded past.

    Her real name was Constance Kent.

    Sometime during the night of June 29 and the morning of June 30, 1860, Francis Saville Kent, almost four years old, disappeared from his home, Road Hill House, in the village of Rode in Wiltshire, England.

    His body was found in the vault of an outhouse on the property.

    The child, still dressed in his nightshirt and wrapped in a blanket, had knife wounds to his chest and hands, and his throat was slashed so deeply that the head was almost decapitated.

    The boy?s nursemaid, Elizabeth, was initially arrested, but was released when suspicions moved to the boy?s 16-year-old half-sister, Constance.

    She was arrested on July 16, but released without trial owing to public opinion that objected to the accusations of a working-class detective against a young lady of breeding.

    Five years later in 1865, Constance was prosecuted for the murder after confessing to an Anglican clergyman although, even then, it was speculated that the confession was false.

    Many supposed that her father, Samuel Saville-Kent, a known adulterer, was having an affair with the toddler?s nursemaid and, in a fit of rage, murdered the child after coitus interruptus.

    Constance?s brother, William Saville-Kent, was also suspected but never charged.

    The investigating detective?s view was that if Saville-Kent was not the culprit solely responsible for Francis Saville Kent?s death, he was at the very least, an accomplice to Constance.

    Constance Kent was sentenced to death, but this was commuted to life in prison owing to her youth at the time and her confession.

    She served 20 years in prison and was released in 1885, at the age of 41, changed her name and emigrated ? the rest is history.

    Do you really know who lives next door?

    There's an amazing old b&w photo of her & her brother with their pet tawny frogmouths.

    I can't find a copy of it anywhere but it's probably the one thing I remember most from the book because it might be the only photo of pet tawny frogmouths ever taken. It's been illegal to keep them as pets for decades

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    Senior Member blighted star's Avatar
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    Ummm, so I just stumbled on this.

    It happened in 1883, five years before the first "official" Ripper murder.

    The assailant abducted a 5 yr old girl, telling her to come with him because he was her "Uncle Jack". He led her away from her home which was about 12 mins from Whitechapel.

    He took her some distance away to a dark alley where he "hacked at her" with a knife after failing to sexually assault her.

    Of course it could all be coincidental but the "Uncle Jack" detail kind of jumped off the page at me

    Newspapers: Browse Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931) Sat 24 Mar 1883 Page 6 SHOCKING

    A very shocking outrage upon a little girl was
    lately reported to the Southwark police. It seems.
    that one night, about 8 p.m., the child in question,
    Annie Fordham, aged five years, and residing with,
    her parents in Bawcott-street, New Kent-road,.
    London, was missed from the gateway of the house,
    and could not be found. The patents gave informa-
    tion at all the neighbouring police stations.

    At 1, a.m. a publican in the Walworth-road heard the
    feeble cries of a child outside his premises, and, on
    going to see what was the matter, found a little girl
    lying on the doorstey in an exhausted condition, and
    with blood marks about her. He took her indoors, where
    his wife examined her, and found that her person had
    been cut about as with a knife.

    In answer to questions put to her, it was elicited
    that a man had come up to her outside her house,
    took her by the hand, and saying he was "her uncle Jack,"
    got her to go for a walk with him. After wandering about
    a long while, she was taken up a dark turning, when, after
    trying to assault her, he commenced hacking her about
    with a knife. Eventually he left her, and then she man-
    aged to crawl to the doorstep of the public house.

    A medical man was at once sent for, and the wounds
    were bound up. The police at Rodney-road, Wal-
    worth, were made acquainted with the occurrence,
    and it was then found that the girl answered the de-
    scription of the missing one. - She was seen by Dr.
    Evans, the divisional surgeon, who found the cuts
    were very severe, though not enough to endanger
    life, and consequently she was removed home.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Jumaki15's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blighted star View Post
    Ummm, so I just stumbled on this.

    It happened in 1883, five years before the first "official" Ripper murder.

    The assailant abducted a 5 yr old girl, telling her to come with him because he was her "Uncle Jack". He led her away from her home which was about 12 mins from Whitechapel.

    He took her some distance away to a dark alley where he "hacked at her" with a knife after failing to sexually assault her.

    Of course it could all be coincidental but the "Uncle Jack" detail kind of jumped off the page at me
    God damn. First the ancient Egypt stuff, then Jack the Ripper shit. Some of my favorite things ever lol

  17. #17
    Senior Member blighted star's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jumaki15 View Post
    God damn. First the ancient Egypt stuff, then Jack the Ripper shit. Some of my favorite things ever lol

    Consider it a trade for that ocean sub

    I'm still kind of stunned by this. It never occurred to me that he might've attacked kids, but Bundy & a few others did, so I guess it makes sense that he might have

    I'm trying to find more details on this little girl - like where he took her, how he cut her etc but I'm not finding anything, so presumably her attack went unsolved too. Most of the coverage usually comes from inquests & trials so there probably wasn't any follow up for her.

    Which means someone might have to physically search through old London police archives to have any hope of finding more info. I haven't got a clue how to access online UK archives for this kind of stuff - or if they even exist

    I'm looking for other child attacks in the general area too but there are so many "Child Outraged" articles that it's pretty slow going. Which is pretty messed up really

  18. #18
    Senior Member blighted star's Avatar
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    While we're talking Ripper stuff (& because I want a break from "Outrage" articles), I'm going to post something on the Thames Torso Murders. I read so many books on The Ripper when I was a teenager. I have no idea how I missed these for so long.

    Everyone seems certain these were 2 different killers, but isn't it kind of rare to have 2 serial killers with very similar mutilation fetishes working within the same general time frame & within the same limited geographical area?

    Maybe Jack got his surgical skills & knowledge of human anatomy by practicing on the Thames Torso victims in the 1870s?

    In the Shadow of Jack the Ripper: The Thames Torso Murders
    FEBRUARY 17, 2017 / MAI

    Perhaps it isn?t a surprise that many other unsolved cases in Victorian London are little more than an afterthought. After all, in comparison to Jack the Ripper, these were all pretty tame, right?

    Perhaps not.

    There may have been another serial killer terrorizing the London area at the time, with his method of disposal being just as, if not more, morbid than the Ripper?s. While the true body count of the so-called Thames Torso Killer may never be known- not much information is available for some of these murders- he certainly left behind a terrifying legacy.

    The Murders

    The first murder possibly committed by the Thames Torso Killer dates all the way back to 1873, when a woman?s dismembered body was found scattered across the Battersea area in London. First thought to be a prank by a medical student involving a stolen cadaver (the crimes of Burke and Hare were a few decades in the past, but not forgotten), it turned out to be something much more sinister. The woman had been murdered, sustaining blunt force trauma to the back of the neck before having her throat fatally slit. She had been scalped, her nose had been cut off, and part of her chin and one cheek had been carefully cut out. Most curious of all was the manner in which the limbs were removed, which occurred shortly after the woman?s death. Her limbs were opened at the joints and removed intact with almost surgical precision, with only larger bones being sawed through. The victim was never identified and the case went on to be known as the ?Battersea Mystery?.

    Another woman was found dismembered in the River Thames a year later, yet not much is available on this murder. The remains consisted of a torso and one leg; the rest of the body was never found. Her spinal cord had been opened, although no information has been found on how she was dismembered or if a degree of anatomical or medical knowledge was necessary. Her remains had been covered in lime to advance decomposition; her cause of death could not be determined. While there is not enough information (aside from the location and that they were both dismembered) to link them, either one of the women could have been the first victim of the Thames Torso Killer.

    1873 newspaper illustration detailing the discovery of the first Battersea victim.

    The murders subsided for a decade- either the person(s) behind the Battersea murders went dormant or a new killer emerged. Either way, in 1884 a woman?s torso showed up behind a near constantly patrolled armoury; the killer had apparently disposed of the remains during a changing of the guards. More body parts belonging to the same woman were found were found across the Tottenham Court area, including a skull and an arm with a tattoo on it, which suggested the victim was a prostitute. According to the coroner, she had been dismembered with precision.

    Not much on the so-called ?Tottenham Court Road Mystery? is available today, another murder was connected at the time to this case. In December of the same year, an arm and the feet of a woman were discovered wrapped in a parcel. According to a Dr. Jenkins, a surgeon who had conducted a review of the remains, she had been ?skillfully dissected?. He also determined that they belonged to a different woman than the one that had been found mutilated earlier in the year.

    Yet again, the killer went dormant. Unlike Jack the Ripper, whose spree was over in a matter of months, the Thames Torso Killer was more methodical. Not only did he take longer periods between kills, he took victims who were already on the fringes of society (as evidenced by the Tottenham Court victim) and made them even harder to identify. He also killed his victims at a secondary location before taking daring approaches to disposing them.

    He resurfaced yet again in 1887. The lower torso of a woman was pulled from the Thames in the village of Rainham, wrapped in some sort of paper or fabric. Eventually more of the woman?s remains were found across London. Only her head and upper torso remained undiscovered. The police surgeon who examined the body, Dr. Thomas Bond, determined that while some medical knowledge was likely required to perform such a dismemberment, but it was not done for anatomical purposes. Despite the grisly disposal of the body, no signs of antemortem violence was discovered on the woman, and there was not enough to prove she was murdered. Because of this, the case was never investigated further.

    Could this alleged victim actually be a prank by a medical student, as the first Battersea victim was originally thought to be? Possibly. As previously stated, her head and upper torso were never found. If she sustained trauma to the these areas (keep in mind that the 1873 victim, the only thus far whose cause of death had been proven, sustained trauma to her neck before having her throat slit), it would not be visible from the remains that were discovered.

    The next year was the infamous year of Jack the Ripper?s killings, and it seemed the Torso Killer took some inspiration from him. The frenzy that the Ripper conjured up and the amount of press dedicated to him, compared to the minimal coverage dedicated to his crimes, perhaps motivated the Thames Torso Killer. Likely in September 1888, in the midst of the Ripper?s murders, the Torso Killer struck again, planting a woman?s torso, wrapped in paper, where part of the now famous Scotland Yard was under construction (perhaps in lieu of the Tottenham Court victim, who was discovered in a heavily patrolled armoury). Her arms were later found in the River Thames. Dr. Thomas Bond, the same surgeon who conducted the autopsy of the Rainham victim, concluded that she had indeed been murdered, likely due to some sort of blood loss. He noted ?several incisions? around the woman?s shoulders to remove the arms, and, like the other victims, she had been dismembered with a degree of precision. A second doctor concluded that the killer likely had some sort of medical knowledge.

    On June 4th, 1889, a woman?s body parts, wrapped in cloth, were found in the Thames. Unlike the other victims, her stomach was cut open, with her internal organs removed and her genitals mutilated. Some of the remains were found in Battersea Park, eerily close to the first victim.

    The mutilation suggested that the woman had undergone an illegal abortion, with whoever performed it hiding what he had done after the woman died of complications. However, this theory was disproven. It also pointed that she may have been a Ripper victim- a letter signed ?Jack the Ripper? was delivered to the press. However, since there had definitely been some forged Ripper letters in the past, it didn?t carry much merit.

    The woman was identified as a prostitute named Elizabeth Jackson. With the abortion theory unlikely and the disposal and dismemberment different from the Ripper?s, the motive or the cause of her death was never known.

    But the Torso Killer was active in Battersea. His victims of choice were prostitutes. He wrapped his victims? remains in paper or fabric and disposed many of them in the Thames. While the abdominal mutilation stands out in this case, the Torso Killer mutilated the face of the first Battersea victim. There is no information on Jackson?s cause of death or the level of skill necessary to perform her dismemberment, but there is enough evidence to tentatively label her as a Torso Killer victim.


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    Senior Member blighted star's Avatar
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    continued ...

    In September of 1889, he struck again. London residents were finally moving on from the Ripper?s crimes, and the discovery of a woman?s torso, with arms attached, under a railway arch struck fear that he may have resurfaced. However, everything about this murder seems to show that there was still another serial killer on the loose.

    Newspaper illustration on the discovery of the ?Pinchin Street Torso?.

    Dubbed the ?Pinchin Street Torso? from the road she was found on, she is the only Torso Killer victim included in the Whitechapel muders (a series of women, including Jack the Ripper?s victims, murdered between 1888 and 1891 and considered as being Ripper victims at the time). However, as the case was investigated, it was determined that she was more than likely not a Ripper victim and similarities between this case and the Torso Killer?s victims were quickly pointed out. She was discovered by a patrolling constable, and was apparently placed at the scene when the constable was out of sight. No other parts of the woman?s body were found.

    What is particularly odd about the case is that the coroner did not believe the killer had any anatomical knowledge, which contradicts the other torso cases. She was not wrapped in fabric or paper; instead a chemise was thrown over the body. The arms were also still attached to the body, as opposed to the other murders, where they had all been carefully removed. It could be that the killer had less time with this victim and therefore dismembered her more quickly. Or this murder could have been isolated, committed by someone trying to cover their tracks by emulating the Ripper or Torso Killer. Overall there are still enough similarities between the Pinchin Street Torso and the other Torso Killer victims to consider her a likely victim.

    With this victim the Torso Killer?s reign of terror seemed to finally end. He may have been institutionalized or imprisoned for an unrelated crime. He may have skipped town. He may have passed away. Even if his spree spanned over two decades and he took the lives of up to eight women, there is still not enough information to draw conclusions on who the killer might have been. His medical knowledge suggested that he may have attended medical school or he learned the craft from someone else, possibly a family member. He could have attended public anatomy lectures where cadavers were dissected.

    Yet we may never know what drove this man to kill. All but one of his alleged victims remain unidentified, and with the police and press dedicated to Jack the Ripper, important information on the killer may have been passed up or looked over. It seems a case that is now impossible to solve, yet it is an interesting and surprisingly little-known mystery.

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    Also, I've said it before & I'll say it again, but anyone who likes extremely dark humour & seedy Victorian crime should check out the browser game "Fallen London" - it even has a Jack (with a twist - but everything in Fallen London has a twist )

    If anyone does sign up to play, pm me your username & I'll add you

    Right now is a good time to sign up because it's that time of year

  21. #21
    Senior Member blighted star's Avatar
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    Crime, & people in general are so much worse today. It's good to occasionally read something from more innocent times, when nobody locked their doors & people went to church & had respect for each other

    1871 :


    On April 26 a shocking outrage was brought to light at Eltham, Kent. It would appear that between the hours of three and four o'clock a policeman was passing along his beat at Eltham, and heard faint cries, apparently those of a female. He at once proceeded down a narrow passage, situated between two market gardens, and behind some green bushes he discovered a young woman, respectably dressed, lying upon her back. She was enveloped in blood, and was in a dying condition. The officer at once sent off for proper assistance, and as soon as possible the young woman was raised. It was then found that her cheek was cut right through. She had a fearful wound near the right eye, and her head was battered about in a most dreadful manner. A medical man having been sent for, advised the constable to convey her to the hospital. Without any delay a light trap was procured, and she was brought to Guy's Hospital. She was undressed and put to bed.

    Dr Durham, the house physician, and Mr Harris, the house surgeon, were soon in attendance, and extracted small pieces of broken bone from the skull. The unfortunate creature was not able to say anything as to who inflicted the terrible injuries The medical opinion is that she had been struck over the head and face with a chopper, or some other sharp, heavy instrument. The police constable states that he went past the spot at 2 o'clock and she was not there then. The place where she was found has been visited by the police, and there is every appearance of a struggle having occurred. The young woman was seventeen years old and remarkably good looking. The occurrence has created intense excitement.

    When first found she was lying, moaning, weltering in blood, on her hands and knees. She appeared to be in a half conscious state, sometimes shrieking out and crying, " Oh, Emily, don't beat me so cruelly; don't kill me outright." At apparently lucid intervals she was asked who so ill-used her, and she seemed to breathe the word " Emily." One circumstanie occurred which for some time gave rise to a conjecture that possibly she might have been brutally attacked by another female through jealousy. This was the discovery of the body of another young female in a pond at Lee, not far from Eltham, and in her pockets a number of letters were found--some, it was stated, addressed to a person named Emily The police have made enquiries to see if there was likely to have any companionship between the two young women, but nothing satisfactory has been elicited,

    From letters found on the one found, it appeared she had relatives named Surridge residing both in Peckham and Camberwell New Road. With reference to the poor girl so murderously assailed in Kidbrook Lane, footmarks have been found leading from the spot to the brook at about 100 yards distance, where there are marks of someone having washed blood off hands or garments in the brook. At an inquest on May 28, the evidence went to show that the name of the girl found in a pond at Lee was Ann Surridge, aged 27, a domestic servant in the employ of Mrs Furtell, 41 Freeland Road, Bromley. From letters found it appeared that she had been carrying on a courtship with a young man whose name it was not considered necessary to mention, and that in consequence of some disagreement she had become so desponding that her mistress wrote to her mother to fetch her home, but two hours before the letter reached its destination the deceased had drowned herself in the pool. The jury returned a verdict that the deceased drowned herself while in a state of temporary insanity.

    The scene of the tragedy at Elthan was visited on April 30 by a large crowd of curious persons. The unfortunate young woman died at Guy's Hospital the same evening. Since then a young man named Pook has been arrested on the charge of the murder. He was brought up before the Greenwich magistrate on May 6, and remanded. It appears that although he has exhibited a calm and rather reserved demeanor, he has on all occasions, when the subject has been mentioned, asserted in the most earnest manner his entire innocence of the dreadful crime imputed to him; and it appears that he also denies that any improper intercourse ever took place between him and the deceased.

    The scene of the murder has been visited by thousands of persons, they pilgrimage from London, or from a longer distance, to gratify their curiosity with a sight of the spot. All traces of the crime itself have now disappeared; but the swarm of excursionists have marked the spot by stripping the hedges of their foliage for relics, and carrying twigs, brambles, tufts of grass, and the blood stained soil itself. Some of the cottagers near put a rough wooden cross to show where the poor girl fell ; but that has been carried off likewise, probably as a memento of great value <<snipped>

  22. #22
    Senior Member blighted star's Avatar
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    Ohhhhh fuuuuck nooooo. The third one is a total fucking horror scene .

    NSFL - read with caution if you're pregnant

    Also, relevant info for anyone who reads the whole thing, in Australian newspapers of this era a "labour cruise" = an Australian slave ship/blackbirding expedition.

    Wed 5 Jun 1872 Page 4 GENERAL NEWS.


    THE suicide of a gentleman at Dawes Point is thus reported in last Thursday's Empire :- Yesterday morning, as a man, whose name we are not in possession of, was passing along the road near Dawes' Point Battery, his attention was attracted to a well-dressed individual leaning against the fence which runs along the edge of the water. The peculiar position in which the gentleman was standing, induced the man to watch him, and seeing no movement made, he approached the spot where the other stood, and found his neck and both hands covered with blood. On closer examination he found that the man's throat was cut nearly from ear to ear, and that he was quite dead. The limbs of the body were rigid, and the fence supported him ; near by there was a razor case. Information was immediately given to the police and by them the body was shortly afterwards removed to the dead-house, where it now lies awaiting identification. Dr. Hamilton examined the body, and found it to be that of a healthy, strong man. about fifty years old, and of highly respectable appearance. On his person were found papers and bills, which lead to the belief that his name is Crawley, and that he has only lately arrived from Melbourne. About ?1400 in gold, silver, and notes were found in his pockets, also a razor, closed, but stained with blood.

    THE father of the boy Jackson under sentence of death, in Melbourne, for rape on an old woman named Miss Rule, has summoned the woman for committing perjury in the case. It is believed that the charge will be sustained by good evidence.

    "ON Wednesday last," says the Spectator, "Mr. Alexander Learmonth, district coroner, held an inquest at Byaduck on the body of a woman named Margaret Tompkins, the wife of John Tompkins, farmer, who died on the
    previous day from injuries received during her confinement. The evidence disclosed one of the most horrible affairs we have ever heard of, and affords a painful illustration of what may happen in certain cases from the want of proper medical assistance. It appears that a midwife named Charlotte Ward undertook to attend the deceased, and finding the case presented some difficulty, assumed the responsibility of cutting off the infants arm with a shoemaker's knife. The child was shockingly mutilated, in the belief--whether well founded or not is not stated--that it was dead, and amongst other injuries a large wound cutting internally into the abdomen was inflicted on the mother. Dr. Jenkins was sent for, and succeeded in delivering the mutilated child, but found it impossible to save life, the mother dying a few hours afterwards from the maltreatment experienced at the hands of the midwife.

    After hearing the evidence the jury at first wished to bring in a verdict equivalent to "accidental death," which the coroner, with the medical evidence before him, was unable to accept. After deliberating for an hour, they eventually handed in the following verdict : 'That the deceased, Margaret Tompkins, died at Byambynee, on the 21st May, from the maltreatment of Charlotte Ward,' with the following rider : 'That the wound to the said Margaret Tompkins was inflicted by accident while cutting off the child's arm.' After the usual caution from the coroner. Charlotte Ward, the accused, said, I am certain the knife never touched the woman.' She was then committed under the coroner's warrant to the next General Sessions, at Belfast."

    THE Fiji Times of the 1st May gives the following particulars of the murder of Mr. Muir: - " About 12 o'clock on Monday night, April 29, a murder was committed on board the Marion Renny, which had a few hours previously anchored in our harbour, having only arrived from a labour cruise at about 6 o'clock the same evening. The victim is Mr. Muir, who has been well known as one of our most steady and honest carriers in the group, and who has won the universally good opinion of all who knew him. Our readers will recollect him better as the owner of the cutter Alacrity, trading for a long time between here and Taviuni. It appears from the evidence given at the inquest that deceased went on board the vessel within abont an hour of her arrival, and remained on board. The prisoner, who is said to be a Cuban half-caste, about two hours after deceased came on board, had words with him, when a fight ensued. The combatants were, however, separated after a few minutes' fighting, when the deceased went down to the forecastle, and the murderer went down into the cabin. In about three minutes' time prisoner came up on deck, armed with an ordinary white-handled table-knife, which had the point ground down to something like a dagger-point, and asked where the man was who had insulted him. Deceased said from below, ' Here I am,' and prisoner then came down, and saying to deceased, 'That's the last you'll speak ; I'll cut your throat,' stabbed him three times-once about two inches just below the left nipple, then a little lower down, and again in the upper part of the abdomen. Immediately on being stabbed, deceased cried out. ' Jack ! I'm stabbed ; I'm dying; everything I have I leave to you and fell over on to the bunk and immediately expired."


    Two unhappy creatures are thus described by the Bendigo Advertiser" On Friday afternoon a miserable-looking woman, apparently demented, and certainly intoxicated, was noticed about Back Creek. She was gesticulating violently, and threatening the world at large with upraised hand and voice ; pointing the while to a miserable child of about ten years of age who followed her. The child seemed almost an idiot-a poor, small, sadly-clad little girl, pitiable to look at. This was the wretched creature, the victim of a recent scandalous outrage, and this half-mad woman was her mother. It was the old story-the story of the results of drink and crime. The mother had been a drunkard for years, and the poor little girl is of course ruined for life. Had the mother of this creature been the best of women, she might well lose her balance on thinking over the terrible circumstances that have happened, but drink, and those circumstances combined, seem to have converted the woman into fury. As for the child, it seems that for her there is poor hope, with such a mother and such remembrances."

    A BOY named Wall, who escaped from the Ararat gaol on Tuesday last, was arrested and lodged in the gaol. About two hours afterwards he was found dead, having hung himself with a strip of blanket.

  23. #23
    Senior Member blighted star's Avatar
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    I wish it was possible to re-do this case with modern investigative techniques because I have so many questions about the circumstances

    Shocking Death of a Girl


    A MAGISTERIAL inquiry into tho death of Veronica Florence O'Neil, daughter of Frederick O'Neill, Kelvin Grove, who died suddenly on the 4th instant, was commisioned at the Brisbane Police Court
    on Tuesday, before Mr. A. M. Francis,

    P.M. (Sandgate). Sergeant Taylor conducted the inquiry, and elicited the following evidence :-

    Senior-constable Healy, stationed at Kelvin Grove, deposed to going to the residence of Frederick O'Neil, John-street, Kelvin Grove, on September 4, in consequence of a report made to the police. On arriving there he saw the dead body of a female child. The body was quite cold. Mr. O'Neil, Mrs. O'Neil, and a little girl named Eleanor O'Neil, aged 9 years, were present. On examining the body the constable found a black mark above the right knee; the back was black, apparently from the result of bruises. Similar marks were present on the abdomen. On the back of the head there was a cut, which appeared to be freshly done. The father of deceased said, "The deceased and Eleanor had a fight in the morning." Witness then said to Eleanor, "Did you beat your sister ?" and she replied, "Yes, I struck her on the legs and body. Mr. O'Neil handed him a piece of broom handle, at the same time remarking. "This is what Eleanor struck the deceased with."

    The following day witness removed the body to the morgue, and was present when Dr. Tilston made a post-mortem examination. Deceased's age was 6 years. Frederick O'Neil, father of the deceased, said that he returned home after being away a few days on the morning of September 4. When he came home he found his wife giving deceased a bath. About half-past one he gavedeceased a banana. The child choked in eating it, but was relieved when her mother succeeded in pulling a piece of the banana out of her throat. Deceased was exhausted and lay down and slept till three o'clock, when she had some tea. About 6 o'clock he found the child in convulsions, and while he was getting a hot bath ready, the child died.

    His wife said in the presence of Eleanor. "Nelly has confessed all. Nelly said at about half-past 5 o'clock when her mother was away I told Veronica to do something, she refused. We commenced monkey fighting, I would not let her pull my hair so I went for a strap. I beat her on the bottom only with the strap. We fell over the bed several times. In falling she knocked out a tooth. I put the strap down. I found that was not hard enough. I got part of a broom handle and beat her everywhere.'' I did not care where I hit her, body, legs, or head. I hit her three times on the head if not more. The last blow stunned her and split her head open. She dropped, and lay stunned. I called her, but she could not speak. I left her and went to get some water. I returned in a few minutes. She spoke to me. I then washed her head and hands. I washed the blood off the floor. I washed the stick, as it was covered with blood. I also washed her pinafore to hide all. I then washed myself. I told her if she told mother of it the next time I would give her more; I would kill her. I am not sorry I did it, I never liked her, if I have killed her. She was always getting me into trouble. She was your pet (meaning witness), and you used to give her things before us." She said this in the presence of Senior Constable Healy.

    Dr. Tilston deposed to making a postmortem examination of deceased's body on September 6. The body was poorly nourished, and the head somewhat deformed. He described the bruises, already mentioned by Senior-constable Healy. There were scores on the child's hands and legs.He found five bruises on the head and one scalp wound at the back of the head. There was no fracture of the skull. On removing the skull he found a hemorrhage on the upper surface of the brain, and also on the right side of the little brain. The other organs were healthy. In his opinion the cause of death was concussion of the brain, caused by the bruises. The hemorrhage did not, in his opinion cause death.

    Eleanor O'Neil, sister to deceased, said that on the morning of the 4th instant she was left in the house with her sister (deceased)
    and the baby ; while sweeping out the room in the morning she asked Florry (deceased) to shift a pair of boots, but she would
    not. Witness thumped her with her hand, and they began monkey fighting. She slapped deceased, and finding that did not hurt her got part of a broom handle and hit her with it on the legs, head, and body. Then they began jumping over the bed, and deceased got a tooth knooked out. Witness described further fighting until deceased dropped. Afterwards she washed her and the things which had blood on. She told her if she told her mother she would give her some more. She always hated deceased as she used to get everything first that came into the house. She was always getting her into trouble. Every little thing witness got used to be taken from her and given to deceased.

    Maud O'Neil, mother of deceased, deposed to leaving her home to come to town on the morning of the 4th instant, and when she returned at about five minutes past 11; she noticed that Nelly had a sore face, and on inquiry she learned that Florry did it. Florry was standing in witness's bedroom, looking very pale, She had a fresh cut on her mouth. No remarks were made at the time, and as her husband was expected home, she proceeded to straighten up and bath deceased and baby. When witness spoke about bathing the children Nelly said to her, " Ma, I have washed Florry." On proceeding to bath deceased, witness noticed deceased
    trembling violently. Witness asked what was the matter, and deceased replied, " I am cold, Ma." Witness then took her out of the bath and dried her, and inquired about the wound on her head. Deceased explained, " I tumbled down, Ma." Witness noticed a spot of blood on the child's chemise, and on inquiring about the bruises deceased said, " Nelly hit me." The father came home and they were talking together.

    About two hours afterwards witness went into the bedroom to give deceased a banana, and when she went into the room the child appeared to be gasping. The father had given her a banana previously. After some trouble witness extracted a portion of banana and skin from the child's throat. Afterwards the child was sick, and vomited a quantity of blood and saliva, and a lot of water, and at the same time complained that her head ached. After bathing the child's head witness laid her on the bed and she went to sleep. At about 3.30 witness took her a cup of tea, but she only tasted a little, and seemed drowsy. About half-past 5 witness took in some corn flour, but deceased refused it, and in reply to the question had she any pain, pointed to her stomach.

    At 6 o'clock witness put a piece of flannel on the child's stomach, and noticed that one side of her face was twitching slightly. Convulsive motions of the arms followed. The father went to get hot water for a bath, and had hardly gone out when witness said " Oh, Fred, come in," as the deceased appeared to be much worse. Witness lifted the child's head on her arm, and she said " Oh, Ma I want to be sick," and then gasped for breath and died. Witness was stepmother to deceased, and also to Eleanor. The two girls were always quarrelsome. On August 31st, witness had to chastise Nelly because she noticed on Florrie's body some bruises and marks, which she said Nelly had made. Deceased at the same time said to witness "Don't tell Nelly I told you." Nelly said to the deceased after witness beat her " I will give her more for this." Deceased was a child of delicate constitution.

    "'The evidence was concluded on Thursday. Senior-constable Healy deposed that when the piece of broom-handle and the leather strap were handed to him, the girl Eleanor told him she had beaten the deceased with them. The stick had a dark stain on the end. He noticedvspots of blood on the child's clothes that were handed to him.

    The police-magistrate ordered that the girl Eleanor O'Neil should be charged with the wilful murder of her sister. She was then arrested and brought before the court, and was remanded for seven days, She will be kept in the lockup in the meanwhile.
    Last edited by blighted star; 01-02-2019 at 02:13 PM.

  24. #24
    Senior Member blighted star's Avatar
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    The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864) Fri 27 Nov 1857 Page 2


    A shocking case of self destruction took
    place yesterday forenoon about half-past
    eleven o'clock, at the Homeward Bound
    Claim, Golden Point Lead. It appears that
    the unfortunate man, whose name is George
    Wright, had only been about three or four
    months in the colony, and had found great
    difficulty in obtaining employment. A few
    weeks ago he had been engaged as a
    shepherd somewhere in this neighborhood
    at one pound per week wages, but after the
    first or second week his services were
    dispensed with for some reason or other.
    He then returned to Ballarat, and being
    acquainted with the engineer of the
    Homeward Bound claim, was in the habit
    of visiting him now and then; on one
    occasion he worked a shift in the claim
    for one of the shareholders who was absent;
    he was, however, unable to procure
    permanent employment, or so far as we can
    learn, even sufficient to maintain his family,
    which consists of a wife and child. He
    became very desponding in spirit, and
    yesterday forenoon, when he visited the
    Homeward Bound claim, he was
    even more so than usual. Sitting himself
    down on a bench in the engine room,
    and resting his head between his hands he
    complained bitterly of his misfortune and
    cried for about half an hour. The engineer
    endeavored to cheer him up, but without

    About half-past eleven o'clock the up
    unfortunate man, who was also an
    engineer by trade, got up and requested
    the engineer of the claim to bring him
    some hot lime; the latter, concluding from
    his manner, and the strangeness of the
    request, that the deceased was becoming
    deranged, went out of the engine room
    for the purpose of getting some of the
    other men belonging to the claim to take
    him away. He had hardly left the engine
    house, when the miserable man went
    quickly up to the regulating handle of
    the engine, which was then fixed at less
    than a quarter speed, pulled it quickly to
    full speed, sending the engine flying at a ter-
    rible pace ; he then stepped quickly
    along the platform, and deliberately placed
    his neck between the spur wheel and
    the pinion wheel, and in an instant his head
    fell into the pit in which the fly wheel re-
    volves, while his body lay quivering on the

    Owing to the closeness with which the spur
    and pinion wheels are fitted together, the
    intervention of the neck of the wretched
    man cracked the larger of the two wheels,
    to such an extent as to crack it in two
    places, while the jarring shock of the
    mutilation wasfelt through all the machinery,
    even to the pump rods that were working in
    the shaft. There were two men belonging to
    the claim in the engine room at the time the
    unfortunate occurrence took place, but
    before they had the slightest idea of the
    object of the movements of the poor fellow,
    his body lay mutilated before them. They
    quickly pulled it away from the wheels,
    and the engineer returning immediately,
    stopped the engine, when the head was
    lifted out of the pit ofthe fly-wheel. On
    examination it was found that the head
    was uninjured, except at the point of
    severance, which was a Iine running
    from under the chin to the lower part
    of thehead or the top of the neck. No
    part of thetrunk was mangled, except
    immediately above the shoulders, though
    the collar of the waistcoat and the top of
    the dress was jagged and cut by the teeth
    of the wheels. A few slight bruises were
    observable in the back of the fingers, as if
    in the falling of the body they had come
    slightly in contact with the wheels, or
    violently with the floor.

    From the breadth of the teeth of the two
    wheels (3 or 4 inches), between which
    theunfortunate man placed his neck,
    theyseemed just to have covered his
    neck, for none of that part of the body
    was attached either to the head or the trunk,
    having beenapparently crushed to atoms by
    the immense force of the wheels The
    remains were soon after conveyed to
    the Pacific Hotel, where an inquest was
    held in the afternoon. Deceased was a
    tall powerful man, of aboutsix feet, and
    was only about 26 years of age. He was,
    we believe, a native ot Northumberland
    or Durham, and a steady sober man.
    The following is the evidence taken at the
    inquest -

    Jacob Carr, sworn-The deceased was a
    shipmate of mine, and he has been about
    four months in the colony ; and about eight
    o'clock this morning, the deceased came
    into the engine house of the Homeward
    Bound Company's Claim, where I was
    driving the engine, he told me he had been
    looking for a situation, but had not got one
    and he then said he would go down to Mr
    Foster, at the camp, for some object, and he
    returned in about an hour, and said that
    " he had not got one," he then sat
    down in the engine house for about an hour.
    He was all that time in very low spirits, and
    appeared to be crying. He got up several
    times and walked about the engine house,
    and sat down again, and some time after
    he became excited, and I thought he was
    out of his mind, as he shoved me about the
    engine house, and ordered me to go out for
    some hot lime and other things of the same
    kind. The engine was going all the time
    pumping water. I went down the ladder
    for the purpose of getting assistance,
    and as soon as I did so the deceased
    opened the valve to put the engine to
    its full power, and he then put his head
    between the pinion and spur wheel, and
    his head was immediately severed from
    his body. I then stopped the engine, which
    was going about one hundred and fifty in
    the minute, and found his body at one side
    of the wheel and his head on the other. He
    was an engineer himself.

    David Jones sworn, deposed-I was out
    for some oil for the engine, and came into
    the engine house about eleven o'clock this
    morning, and saw the deceased standing
    at the steam valve and opening it, and
    immediately after ran over to the pinion
    and spur wheels, and put his neck in
    between them, and immediately after I saw
    his body without his head. As I was going up
    into the engine room the engineer, Jacob
    Carr, was going down the ladder. I then
    went out and called in other men I never
    saw the deceased before. He was not a
    shareholder in the claim.
    Last edited by blighted star; 01-02-2019 at 01:28 PM.

  25. #25
    Senior Member MrBoddy2005's Avatar
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    A Cousin Of Mine Was Possibly Wrongly Convicted/Executed For Murder:
    Oh God, Stop The Voices *SCREAM*

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