Posts Tagged ‘Serial Killer’

Annie was a wander of Spitalfields, a 45 year old, short and plimp lady who had been living at Crossingham’s lodging, 35 Dorest Street where it cost 8 pence a night for a double bed. Annie was a person that lept some fairly cordial relationships, was not so offensive but had a weakness for drink. She did crochet work, made and sold artificial flowers and made up further money where she could with her work as a prostitute.

Harry the Hawker and Ted Stanley where both her regular clients. Stanley would often spend Saturdays to Mondays at Crossingham’s. He said Annie was told to turn other men away for him, he in turn denied this fact saying that he had only visited her once or twice. It was the only time trouble for Annie was with the “pensioner” Stanley. It also transpires he was a brick layer and not a pensioner.

There was another incident reported, though the details are sketchy so perhaps little can be placed on it but a woman named Eliza Cooper said she had loaned Annie a bar of soap, Annie gave it to Ted and when she kept asking for it back was thrown a ha’penny to go and buy some more. Apparently this carried on, a few days later Annie slapped Eliza and a fight broke out, Annie apparently the worse off for this as the bruises were evident in the post mortem.

Annie’s last days were spent in pain, her health was on the decline and when asked by a friend Annie reponded with opening her dress to show bruising on her chest. A few days later Amelia (the same friend) saw her and commended on being very pale and Annie agreed saying she felt no better and planned to go to the casual ward for a few days, she had also only had a cup of tea that day, Amelia gave her two pence and warned her not to spend it on rum.

Three days later she was even worse and was still standing there ten minutes later when Amelia Palmer walked past. She told her she had to earn the money for her lodgings. 7th September 1888 Annie turned up at the Lodging House and asked for a stet, she was allowed to the kitchen and sat there till the early hours. She was too ill to work and had been in the infirmary when she was rejected from the lodging house having had some potatoes and seemingly worse for wear due to drink. He told her if she could find money for beer she could find the money for rent.

She headed off tipsy and off towards Spitalfield’s Church saying she would be back for the bed with the money. Later that day a woman fitting her description came in to the Ten Bell’s Pub, a man in a “little skull cap” came to call her out.

Regardless of the movements and trying to fill in missing hours it is assured that by 5.30am she was on her way around Hanbury Street not far from the Ten Bells. There were houses there with backyards, hallways and landings used for illicit purposes of the prostitute’s trade. Number 29 was typical of this and John Richardson enters the situation at this time.

Some months prior to this particular even the padlock from the cellar door into the backyard had been broken, this meant a more regular check had to be done on the premises to make sure all was well. That morning one of his boots pinched on a toe and so he sat down to trim the leather off with a knife. From where he was sitting he saw the padlock was in place and saw nothing suspicious.

Between 5.15am to 5.32am Albert Cadoche, local carpenter, said he heard a woman’s voice saying no but could no be sure which property though it was between 27/29. He said it sounded like something suddenly touched the fence but he carried on along his way instead of looking over. This doesn’t seem so out of place, remember the time and the rough nature of the area.

Just after 5.30 a woman called Elizabeth Long spotted a woman talking on the right hand pavement near the door to Number 29. She didn’t see his face but said he looked foreign with a dark complexion. He was of a shabby genteel look and around five foot in height. She said that she was sure the woman was Annie Chapman when she identified her at the morgue later on. She said that as it was common place she had not thought anything suspicious of it.

Just before 6am it was John Davis, elderly resident of Number 29 Hanbury Street, who came along through to the back door and was left reeling in horror. The man called over two workmen and they were witness to the mutilated corpse of Annie Chapman, the second of the Ripper Victims. She was lying on the ground between the steps and wooden fence.

Her head was turned towards the house, her clothes pull up above her waist to expose her red and white stockings. A handkerchief was around her throat, which she had been wearing before, and her hands and face were covered in blood. She had put up a struggle and tried to fight to hold her slit throat. The men set to action to get the police and the horror of the whole thing set in with one of them, James Kent who had to abandon the search and get a brandy.

An officer who was approached said he would not abandon his post (what a jobsworth!) but fortunately they got someone via demanding a senior officer at the station. Inspector Joseph Chandler hurried to the place and past the gathering crowd, he had the place cleared and then had Dr Goerge Bagster Phillips, Divisional Police Surgeon, make his way over. The body was covered until his arrival and by then several hundred people were gathered, she was beyond help and he pronounced her dead sending her to the Whitechapel Workhouse Infirmary.

They ordered no one touch the corpse until Phillips could do his post mortem, which revealed a ghastly story. This was partially ignored and then Chandler placed PC Barnes in charge of the watch. Both he and Dr Phillips were utterly furious when they later found only two hours after they left two nurses ignored this, and under the instructions of the Clerk of the Workhouse Guardians they stripped and washed the body.

Regardless of this the post mortem revealed a ghastly story. The poor woman’s face was swollen along with her tongue; she had again suffered the terrible throat slash, the blood of which had covered the fence behind. Later on that day in the post mortem it was found that she had been further mutilated when her womb was removed, placing her with a similar scenario to the first victim, Mary Nichols.

August 31st 1888 was an unlucky day for a carter named Charles Cross, it was an even worse day for the person he found, Mary Nichols. 3.40am he was making his way along Buck’s Row in Whitechapel London, he came towards the 1876 Board School (still dominating the street today) and spotted a dark bundle lying in a gateway on the left side of the street.

Mr Cross was hoping the bundles might be useful materials for his work, when he got closer he found it to be the prone figure of a woman. He wasn’t sure if she was dead or drunk and asked another carter to come and see her, the other carter was Robert Paul. She was laying on her back with her legs out, and skirts raised over her waist. Cross felt her face which was warm but her hands were cold and limp. They were running late for work and unable to tell if she was near death or dead they pulled her skirt down and then headed off. They aimed to let a policeman know if they saw one.

Had the light been better, or they had been there at a later time, they might well have noticed the woman had been subjected to a murder most foul. Nichol’s had had her throat cut so callously and brutally that it nearly severed her head. This discovery was made by the beat officer, Police Constable John Neil, shortly after the carters had left and there was no one else around.

He flagged down PC John Thain who was passing at the end of the street by waving his lantern, Thain hurried off to get Dr Llewellyn and PC Mizen arrived having been approached by the carters. They got reinforcements and the police ambulance. At 4am the Doctor arrived and pronounced her dead, noting the severity of the wounds. He found her legs were still warm and told the police she had likely been there no longer than a half an hour.

Three slaughterers at the yard opposite saw and heard nothing; the first they heard was when PC Thain passed by to get the doctor. The three men were under suspicion but eliminated by the police later. Patrick Mulshaw, the night watchman working at the nearby sewer works heard nothing either. By now Dr Llewellyn was concerned by the number of spectators and the body was removed to the mortuary. As she was lifted up in the cart Thain spotted that the back of the woman’s clothing was soaked with her blood. This was presumably from the large cut across her throat.

With the details of little blood on the scene it led to the speculation that she had been murdered elsewhere and then dumped. The Times reported this as such but the coroner dismissed this notion. The wound to her throat and abdomen had bled out and been soaked up by her clothing, the wound to her abdomen was not noticed until the inspection at the mortuary. When the inspector came to the scene the residents were washing the blood up.

They set to trying to identify her as well only to find themselves being told about Polly, Inspector Spratling then noticed that her petticoats had the Lambeth Workhouse label on them. A resident of the workhouse was brought to see the body and was able to identify Mary Nichols, 43 who had been worse for wear and drank her doss money away more than once. Due to her wearing a “jolly bonnet” she felt she would easily make the money needed.

She had been killed with ruthless and silent efficiency, she had been left out to be found and with a budy place like Whitechapel the murderer could be lost in the movement pretty quickly. It was also a murder close to a slaughterhouse so blood on the hands of the murderer may well be dismissed by potential witnesses because of the local business.

The saddest part comes from her husbands last words when he saw her body. John Nichols and Mary Nichols may well have had a rocky marriage but he found the sight so distressing he whispered to her “I forgive you, as you are, for what you have been to me.”

Oh yes he’s probably one of the most famous killers in history and there is no way I could do this justice in one post but I have decided to at least get a little down on paper for now.

1888 London, Whitechapel was by no means a nice place. In fact a hovel of debauchery, poverty and crime the one thing it has done is raise the profile of how awful it was to be poor during the period. With lavish inventions, curious contraptions and plays that sparkle in the eyes of the rich, just like many cities London was not exempt of the darker side. Indeed London’s underground scenes and rough streets make some of the most lucrative aspects of art and film in the modern ages. Not least of those subjects is Jack the Ripper, depicted by many famous parties in film, games and literature… the serial killers past is so clouded with mystery and intrigue that it’s hard to pass him by.

The name comes from a letter, widely regarded as a hoax, which was signed Jack the Ripper admitting to the hideous crimes but another name for Jack is Leather Apron. Both of which relate to the crimes of prostitutes that were viciously attacked and murdered with abdominal mutilations being the part that really sticks out as his signature. He has never been identified as a specific person and so the theories continue to be debated, perhaps this is the true essence of why he is so fascinating, we truly have the opportunity to play armchair detectives as there’s plenty of theories to test.

Whitechapel itself leads to a brilliant backdrop for the crime and it’s subsequent mystery of exactly who Jack the Ripper is, after all with an estimated 1200 prostitutes and 62 brothels in the area Jackie-boy had a brilliant selection and plenty of opportunities to plan his escapades. And there wasn’t just a problem with the ladies of the night, there was a terrible element of racism, class division and those of higher station merely regarded it all as immorality.

Five of many victims of the time are listed as his canon murders, due to the way in which they were found and mutilated though the true number could be far more and there are at least seven listed as part of the Whitechapel murders. Those considered canon (canonical) are Mary Ann Nichols, Anne Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes and Mary Jane Kelly. I’ll be focusing on them in other posts as they really deserve more focus than a summary paragraph in my view.

What is interesting about each one is that whilst there was no identified sexual assault in terms of the murder being met with rape he had penetrated them with the knife and left them on display, suggesting the act perpetrated on females was still perhaps sexual in nature. It’s hard to disagree with it having some form of sexual motivation when considering their professions.

There have been numerous adaptations of this theme but I am going to comment on the ones I enjoy most. Certainly I enjoyed “From Hell” the name of which was a letter received by George Lusk at the time, the letter was signed From Hell. Johnny Depp plays the aspiring detective Aberline and it is dark enough to be interesting without turning into a terrible slasher like so many seem too. Another take comes from Kuroshitsuji (Black Butler) a manga which has been adapted into anime, in which the murderer is a grim reaper working on behalf of a woman who can no longer bear children. A modern retelling came to the British TV in the form of a mini-series, a Jack the Ripper in the modern night replicating the details of the murders is hunted down.

Jerome “Jerry” Brudos could be listed as a rather disturbing fellow to say the least,  he was a sexual deviant and necrophiliac (please don’t let me explain that one). His signature was to remove a foot or breast off the victim. He froze one of the feet from a victim and would remove it to dress it up in high-heeled shoes. The severity of his psychopathic tendencies has led him to be cited by forensic psychiatrists in those cases where the killer is motivated by lust.

At five he discovered his shoe fetish, he found a pair of black patent leather, open-toe high-heels. His mother found him dressed in them and burnt them. His hatred for her most likely set in at this point.

He continued with what seems to have been the harmless fetish but it escalated when the family moved to Oregan. At 17 he held a woman at knife point and ordered her to remove her clothes whilst he photographed her, he was then arrested and committed to Oregan State’s Hospital mental ward, disagnosed with “early personality disorder” but he went on to collage and then to the military in 1959. Seven months later he was medically discharged.

His habits of hit and run attacks on women continued, he would pull off their shoes. Despite the strange and violent life he did get work as an electrician and married a 17 year old girl that he got pregnant. He would persuade her to walk round the house nude with high-heels on as he paraded around in her underwear.  They had two children and settled in a Portland suburb.

She was unaware of the continued hidden life, 1967 he started to break into homes and a woman found him rooting through her clothes. She was choked until unconscious, raped and then he fled. Not long after this his habits turned fatal, he killed a 19 year old girl, Linda Slawson who knocked on the door as a saleswoman. He killed her and froze one of her feet, he weighted her  body and then dumped it in the nearby river. She was reported missing by her parents and her car was found two weeks later but as there were no records of her calls the police had little to go by.

The second killing was 16 year old Stephanie Vikko, her remains were found in a wooded area nine months later. Jan Whitney was the third victim, her car had broken down and he got her in the car, strangled her and then drove her back to his garage where he had necrophiliac sex with the corpse and cut off her right breast. She was kept in the garage for a couple of days before dumping her in the same river as he had previously.  The fourth victim was Karen Sprinkler who went missing in 1968, her mother alerted the police when she failed to show up and her car was found. He had abducted her, raped her, strangled her and cut off both breasts. He had taken photo’s of her dressed up and then performed necrophilia on her before dumping her in the river.

The fifth and final kill was a month later, he posed as a Police officer and lured in 22 year old Linda Salee from a shopping mall to his car. She had gone to get a birthday present for her boyfriend and failed to show. Three weeks after she was reported missing, a fisherman in the Long Tom River in western Oregon hooked onto something large. They fished up her body that had been weighted down with a transmission box from a car. The autopsy showed the cause of death as strangulation. A few days later they found Karen Sprinkler and then in 1969 Sharon Wood was in her company basement car park, a man tried to hold her up at gun point and told her not to scream. She did as ordered and gave him the high-heels.

Because of the age of all of the women targeted the police looked to the students for leads, one told them she had dated a man with a very keen interest in the case. It was Jerry Brudos. He was put under surveillance and then take in only to be released a few days later. After a woman identified him as trying to drag her into his car they again brought him in. When they did a body search showed him to be wearing women’s under clothing. When he was questioned he immediately confessed. One of the photo’s used for evidence also had his reflection in the mirror. After it became clear an insanity plea was not going to work he pleased guilty, at this time Oregon had no death penalty.

His wife was pulled in for investigations but after an acquittal she changed her name and moved with her two children. The Oregon court had turned down his appeals and finally after 37 years in prison he was found dead from natural causes on 28th March 2006. The only explanation ever provided for kills, “letting off steam.”

Personally I prefer gaming…

Sometimes the oldies are the best, here goes!

John Smith was an only child and he loved scary things, such was his love of these things that he pranked and scared other people on the net where he could. John lived in Plainfield, Wisconsin and come November 2007 he got an e-mail from two girls, the Smith Sisters, Lisa and Sarah.

They claimed to be his older sisters and said they used to live in the house. He replied saying he had no sisters and to be left alone. The reply had a photo of them both, it said they had been murdered anonymously. An article about the two sisters was provided from 1993, saying they had been found in the closet skinned alive.

“In 1993, two sisters were brutally murdered in the small-town community of Plainfield, Wisconsin. Lisa Smith, 19 and her sister, Sarah Smith, 15 were attacked in their parent’s home on the night of November 17th, around 1:30AM. The Smith Sisters were lying in bed when a crazed killer broke into the house. No-one heard them scream. In the morning, their parents found the dead bodies of the Smith Sisters hidden in the bedroom closet. They had been skinned alive. The killer was long gone and no trace of him could be found. They had been murdered anonymously. Police conducted an extensive investigation, but to no avail. The motives for the attack were never discovered, nor was the attacker ever found. The only lead athorities had was a series of strange emails found in Lisa’s computer. The case was closed in October of 2000.”

The sisters were angry at being forgotten, that their parents had replaced them with the new baby, John. John told them to go to hell but five minutes later on an e-mail came to tell him to check the closet and that was the last e-mail he got, it was also the last time he was known to be alive. On the floor of his closet the police found a message carved in wood, “Lisa and Sarah – 1993” and under it “John 2007”.

No one knows what happened but John’s parents woke up to find him missing and in the closet was John. He had been skinned alive!

So does the story have any roots from reality? Ed Gein was an American Serial Killer who murdered people and decorated his house with body parts. He has a far more frightening tale, because he was real.

(picture from scaryforkids.com)