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South London Mystery

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South London Mystery

Post by Karen on Sat 27 Feb 2010 - 20:14

The following incident could possibly be the reason why Melville MacNaghten kept photographs of the Ripper's victims; in order to make comparisons as to the nature of the wounds, to see if there were any similarites between the Ripper's crimes and this particular crime. It is more than possible that Jack the Ripper may still have been on the loose in 1908. If he was not loose at this time, it may have been the work of a copycat; or totally unrelated.



Seven hundred detectives have for the past two days been searching (says a London paper dated June 1) for the murderer of a little girl who was brutally slain in London either on Friday night or early on Saturday morning. The circumstances point to the probability that the murderer was a madman, possibly an epileptic. The victim was a pretty little schoolgirl, named Marie Elle Bailes, aged six and a half years, who lived with her parents at Islington. On Friday afternoon she attended the St. John's Roman Catholic school, Duncan-terrace, Islington, but did not return home. On Saturday morning her mutilated body was found in a public lavatory at St. George's-road, near the Elephant and Castle, tied up in a brown paper parcel. About nine o'clock that morning, a man who was carrying a large brown paper parcel entered the lavatory. Later the attendant, George Goosetrey, found that the parcel had been left behind and took it to his office. Then, struck by its peculiar appearance, he made a rent in the paper, and was horrified to discover a child's head. A constable was fetched and the parcel was opened. It was then seen that it contained the body of a little girl wrapped up in a blanket. The throat had been so savagely cut that the head was almost severed, and there was a long cut extending from the throat to the abdomen. A piece of rag had been stuffed into the mouth. In a further examination at the mortuary it was noted that there was some sandy earth about the body. Fortunately the attendant had his attention especially drawn to the man who carried the parcel, because he seemed in a nervous and excited state. When the child did not return home after school in the afternoon her parents naturally became alarmed, enquiries were made in the neighbourhood, and Mr. Bailes, who is a guttapercha worker, gave information to the police. Mr. Bailes, speaking with tears in his eyes, stated - "Marie was a fine child, almost too big for her age. The last time I saw her alive was yesterday as she was going to school with her brother. As she went out I gave her a penny. She was a happy child, and went off in the best of spirits. On arriving home from my work that evening I was told that Marie was lost. I at once went to the Upper-street police-station and informed the police. Then I searched the neighbourhood and made enquiries of her little friends, but no one had seen her since shortly after she left the school. Then I went to Highbury Fields and other places where children play, and walked about almost the whole night. My wife and several neighbours also joined in the search.
"This morning I received notice from the police of the finding of the body, and on going to the Southwark Mortuary I saw my little Marie."
Scotland Yard has put forth its full strength in the effort to find the murderer. Sir Melville MacNaghten, the Chief of the Criminal Investigation Department and Superintendent Froest are directing the operations of a small army of officers. On Saturday all detective leave was stopped, and every one of the 18,000 uniformed officers has been supplied with a description of the wanted man, and enjoined to keep a strict watch while on his beat.

Source: The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA: 1889-1931), Tuesday 7 July 1908, Page 9

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