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Ten Year Old Girl Murdered

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Ten Year Old Girl Murdered

Post by Karen on Sat 20 Nov 2010 - 23:43

A girl, aged ten years, was murdered on Wednesday at Yeobridge, near South Petherton. She was a daughter of George Davey, who works for Major Blake, and had been in the habit of fetching milk every morning from Bridge House for the use of the family. On the morning in question she left home about eight o'clock and went in the direction of Bridge House. Between twelve and one her body was found in a ditch with the head nearly severed from it and otherwise mutilated. Apparently, the murderer had been interrupted in the middle of his work. And a woman who passed that way speaks of seeing a man crossing the fields and acting in a suspicious way. On Thursday a tramp, who gave the name of Hillier, was arrested on suspicion at Gillingham, in Dorset, about twenty miles from South Petherton. However, the man arrested was able to give a satisfactory account of himself.

Source: The Guardian, January 9, 1889, Page 38

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Karen Trenouth
Author of: "Epiphany of the Whitechapel Murders"
Author of: "Jack the Ripper: The Satanic Team"
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Found Mutilated in a Ditch

Post by Karen on Sun 6 Feb 2011 - 18:37

What is interesting about this particular incident is the fact that it happened around the same time that John Gill was murdered in Bradford. Although this murder was committed in Somerset, the time that was fixed for the murder is quite interesting, as it was half-past nine! My readers will remember that a note was left in a house in Bradford from Jack the Ripper, in which he stated the time half-past nine and the clock in the house was stopped at half-past nine. The following story was found on the same page of the same issue of Lloyd's dated January 6, 1889.

TERRIBLE MURDER OF A CHILD.
OUTRAGED AND MUTILATED.

A horrible murder of a little girl took place at Yeobridge, South Petherton, Somerset, on Wednesday. The ten year old daughter of George Davey, a man in the employment of Major Blake, was in the habit of fetching milk every morning from Bridge-house for the use of the family. On Wednesday morning she left the cottage about eight o'clock, and went in the direction of Bridge house. As she did not return when expected the mother became anxious, and went in search of her. Between 12 and one o'clock the remains of the girl were found in a ditch in a field adjoining the road, her clothes disordered, and her dress over her head, which on examination was found to have been nearly severed from the body. Blood was lying about the field, and it was evident that the little girl was taken from the road to this more secluded spot and there butchered. There were footprints of a man in the field. Supt. Self was telegraphed for and speedily attended. The body was taken possession of by the police.
Dr. Walter, who was immediately called to the spot, and examined the body, states that the ditch was 3ft. wide, but there was very little water in it. The clothes of the girl were disarranged, and covered with mud and water. Her legs were in the air, and her body in a recumbent position, and partially underneath the water. Her head was covered with blood, mud, and dirt. About 10 yards from the body there was a sign of someone having slipped into the ditch, and as if a slight struggle had taken place. The body was removed to the parents' house, and there Dr. Walter made a careful examination. Around the throat, which was fearfully cut, was a piece of cord, fastened by a slip-knot, clumsily made, and there were three cuts over the throat, one of which went through the cartilage of the larynx, and there was a deep cut in the tissues of the neck just below. Four deep gashes were found at the back of the neck, and one on the left side, extending almost completely round. There was a superficial longitudinal cut on the lower part of the body, as if the murderer was anxious to imitate the exploits of the Whitechapel murderer. Dr. Walter expressed an opinion that the cause of death was strangulation.
A Mrs. Chant, who lives at Stratton, has stated that on Wednesday morning she went to Stoke with some gloving work, and had to take the road to Bridge house. When she was nearing Bridge house she was startled at seeing a man lying down in the hedge by the side of the road. She looked at him, but he concealed his face. He was a short man, dressed in a dark coat, but she could not estimate his exact height. His efforts to conceal himself created suspicion, and on her walking a few steps she turned round to look at him again. To her surprise he had got up, and she saw him running away up the very field where the child's body was found. The father of the murdered girl states that on Wednesday he went to work in the morning and was returning home to dinner, when he was informed by some school lads that a murder had been committed near his house. A little nearer home he met a police-officer, who told him that the body of a child had been found, but he did not know it was that of his daughter until he arrived at the field.
There is a real touch of pathos in the manner in which the child's body was found. When the child was missed the roads by which she would have to pass on her way to the farm were carefully searched, but all in vain. The party were about to give up the search when one of the brothers of the murdered girl saw what he thought to be two stumps in a ditch in a field. He entered the field for the purpose of making a closer examination, when to his horror, he discovered that the supposed stumps were the legs of his murdered sister. The little fellow was afterwards taken care of by a Mrs. Keech, a kind neighbour, who has a family of her own. He apparently realises the awful nature of the tragedy that has been enacted. He has willingly and readily answered the questions that have been put to him. He states that on the morning of the murder he went straight home from school. That, he said, would be about 12 o'clock. He had seen his sister start for the milk at the usual time. She was home for her Christmas holiday. On hearing, on his return from school, that his sister was missing, he went to his uncle's to look for her, but he could gain no tidings of her. Then the mother thought she might have gone to Mrs. Maltravers's, a neighbour's, but she was not there. There is something very pathetic in the statement of the lad that he tried to eat his dinner, but could not. The mother, he said, went out again to look for the child, and he followed her. He and his mother went up the lane, and the mother sent him round one side of the field to look into the ditch. There he found his dead sister. He screamed, and his mother, on knowing the cause, became frantic. The poor little fellow acted bravely. He went alone into South Petherton, his mother having gone to a house near, and there he saw the serjeant of police, who went to the spot indicated, and took charge of the murdered child's body.
An incident which would fix approximately the time of the murder is the fact that, at eight o'clock on Wednesday morning, Major Blake's men went into the field in which the murder was committed to feed some cattle; but they saw nothing unusual. On returning, about half-past nine, they found the entrance-gate open; but nothing else attracted their notice. The girl was served with the milk at half-past eight, so that between that hour and half-past nine the crime must have been committed. A large number of persons on Thursday visited the scene; plaster-casts of the footprints found there having been previously taken.

Source: Lloyd's Weekly London Newspaper, January 6, 1889, Page 3

This will direct you to the post on the Bradford case:

http://victorianripper.niceboard.org/t1032-murder-of-john-gill

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Author of: "Epiphany of the Whitechapel Murders"
Author of: "Jack the Ripper: The Satanic Team"
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Re: Ten Year Old Girl Murdered

Post by Karen on Sat 26 Feb 2011 - 15:00

HORRIBLE MURDERS.

A Mania in Great Britain to Imitate "Jack the Ripper."

LONDON, Jan. 3. - Yesterday at South Perchton, in Somerset, a girl 10 years of age, named Davy, was outraged and then murdered. Her mother found the girl's dead body in a ditch with the head almost severed from the trunk and the body shockingly mutilated after the style of "Jack the Ripper's" methods. The deed is supposed to have been committed by a tramp. No one has yet been arrested for the crime.
At Glasgow, early this morning, John Stevenson, a young fellow about 19 years of age, enticed a prostitute named Mary McKenzie, into a dark court and stabbed her in the neck and abdomen. There was apparently no motive whatever for the deed, but an insane freak. Stevenson was arrested and a bloody knife was found in his possession.
The only motive one can suggest for the commission of such atrocities is that the persons responsible for them have been inflamed by reading about the Whitechapel fiend and attempt to imitate him.

Source: The Bradford Era, Friday Morning, January 4, 1889

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Karen Trenouth
Author of: "Epiphany of the Whitechapel Murders"
Author of: "Jack the Ripper: The Satanic Team"
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