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Worse Than Jack the Ripper

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Worse Than Jack the Ripper

Post by Karen on Thu 29 Jul 2010 - 19:30

AN UNPARALLELED CRIME.

Jack the Ripper Outdone by a Fiend in Chicago -- A Woman Slashed to Pieces by Her Unnatural Nephew -- A Full Confession Made by the Villain After Arrest -- Sixty-Five Gashes Found on the Woman's Body.

A murder, the shocking details of which savor more of uncivilized butchery than has been known for years in Chicago, was committed between 5 and 6 o'clock on the evening of the 3rd inst., in the home of Michael Walsh, at No. 344 Washburne Avenue. His wife, Bridget Elizabeth Walsh, met death in a manner that rivals for cruelty and horror the fates of numerous victims in the London Whitechapel district. Her slayer succeeded in covering his crime long enough to make his escape. At the usual time yesterday morning Walsh left home to go to work. He is a teamster in the employ of J.V. Farwell & Co., and usually went out early in order to have his team in readiness. As he passed through the kitchen where his wife was washing dishes he bade her good-by, in accordance with a custom he had for a long time followed. In the same kitchen where he had bidden her a happy good-by, but a few hours before, he beheld the terrible evidence of her death, and in an adjoining bedroom found her remains mutilated and torn as though that fiend of fiends, Jack the Ripper, had changed his scene of operations from London to Chicago. The remains were hidden beneath a pile of rags. Contrary to his expectations Walsh returned home a few minutes after six o'clock. He tried the front door but found it locked. He went around the house to a rear door leading to the kitchen. There was a fire burning in the stove, the evening meal had been partially prepared and the cooking utensils were in the accustomed place. But scattered over the floor were little scraps of paper, and Walsh stopped to examine them. They were pieces of newspaper, and without giving the matter a second thought he started in search of his wife, going to the front of the house where he expected to find her. For fifteen minutes he had searched for his wife in vain, and he began to fear that some harm had befallen her. Suddenly it occurred to him that there was no reason for such a strong and disagreeable odor in the bedroom. Not satisfied with what he had seen there, he returned only to be horrified at discovering what he had not seen when he was in the place the first time.
The room was partially darkened and the window curtains had been lowered. He raised them and examined the first object that met his gaze when he entered a quarter of an hour before - the pile of rags. The first piece of cloth he lifted was stained with blood, and it was then that suspicions of his wife's death crept into his mind. With one hand he threw the pile aside and there on the blood-stained carpet was the body of his wife. Sixty-five gashes, varying in length from a half an inch to a foot, told the story of a death that had come on after a violent struggle, as shown by the disarrangement of furniture and the spattering of blood. Were there not evidences of human skill in the mutilation of the remains, it would be difficult to believe that the crime was the work of man. Not satisfied with killing his victim, the slayer had so horribly disfigured the corpse that even Walsh himself could hardly realize at first that he was gazing on the dead body of his own wife. From the crown of the woman's head to her feet there were cuts in every conceivable direction. The wounds were most numerous on her breast and lower limbs where the flesh was ripped in places and hacked until the skin hung in threads. Along the upper part of her right leg was a gash over a foot in length from which the blood oozed in little streams. Along either side of this wound was a row of smaller gashes, that had been made with an idea of regularity. They were of uniform length and evenly arranged, as if to give a horribly artistic finish to the work. Over each eye was a deep cut, another beneath the right ear, another along the left cheek, and still another on the neck under the chin. In the left breast immediately over the heart was a pair of long-bladed scissors that had been driven into the flesh. Immediately under them was a small round hole resembling very closely such a one as would have been made by a bullet, but there was no trace of powder burns. A broom that had been carried from the kitchen into the bedroom had been broken and the handle was thrust through the entire length of the woman's trunk from the lower portion to the throat. Pieces of vital organs had been torn off and carried along by the blunt end of the wood and the mouth was filled with a mass of blood and flesh. The broom handle had been thrust up with terrible force for the woman's body was fearfully torn and portions of organs were left lying on the floor.
All of the wounds, it was evident, had been inflicted by the use of the scissors. The edges of the gashes were rough and notched and as if the body had been cut by forward strokes. At the lower part of the trunk was this especially manifested where the flesh was cut and torn. For a moment the sight of his wife's body so unnerved Walsh that he was unable to act. Recovering himself he notified the police. In the room where the remains were was a narrow bed, and on this there were three pillows covered with blood. On the wall, too, were great splotches and the bed clothing was stained. The rags that had covered Mrs. Walsh, among which was the clothing she had worn in the morning, for her body was nude when found, were also dripping with blood. The police made a hasty survey of the situation.
Within four hours after the murder Mrs. Walsh's self-convicted murderer was arrested. He was Thomas Walsh, of No. 143 Washburne Avenue, the dead woman's nephew. When he was taken to the station house he acknowledged that he was the guilty party. He said that they had been drinking beer, and that he had made an improper proposal to Mrs. Walsh, whereupon she slapped his face. He drew a knife and stabbed her, and the sight of blood suddenly drove him insane, with the result that he mangled and tore the poor woman as related above.

Source: Daily Anglo-American, Tuesday Afternoon, May 10, 1892.

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