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-   -   Press Reports Of Fay's "Murder" (http://forum.casebook.org/showthread.php?t=1906)

Uncle Jack 12-16-2008 06:15 PM

Press Reports Of Fay's "Murder"
 
I've been trying to find some of the press reports that speak of the so-called Fairy Fay murder that took place during Christmas week of 1887 but cannot seem to find anything. Can anyone point me in the right direction?

All the best,

Adam

Wolf Vanderlinden 12-16-2008 07:12 PM

There are no press reports of "Fairy Fay's" murder because she didn't exist.

At the time of the Whitechapel murders a nameless victim was described as being murdered around Christmas, 1887. The nature of the wounds inflicted in this supposed murder closely matched those of Emma Elizabeth Smith's, who was attacked in April, 1888. In 1950 this nameless victim was named "Fairy Fay" by journalist Terence Robertson in a series of articles that appeared in Reynold's News. Stewart Evans has shown, very convincingly I think, that the "murder" of the nameless victim was in fact a garbling of an attack on Margaret Hames which occurred around Christmas, 1887. As Hames was a witness at the Smith inquest and as she had described the Christmas attack on her "by men under circumstances of a similar nature," it is likely that this was the genesis of the whole nameless victim story.

Wolf.

Uncle Jack 12-16-2008 07:54 PM

Hi Wolf, thanks for replying. I completely understand that Fay never existed but I was just reading her page in the victims section which mentioned reports of the Christmas 1887 murder and referred specifically to the Western Mail.

QUOTE - there are several newspaper reports which refer to women being killed in Christmas week of 1887 near Osborne and Wentworth Streets in Whitechapel (see Western Mail, Cardiff, November 10, 1888).

Even though I don't believe in Fairy Fay or the 1887 murder I wanted to read these articles purely out of interest and can't seem to locate the Western Mail article anywhere.

The best Wolf,

Adam

Uncle Jack 10-15-2009 04:23 PM

The above quote has now seemed to have vanished from Fay's victims page.

Chris Scott 04-21-2010 03:19 PM

Hi Adam
The Fairy Fay story is not a simple one. There were no contemporary reports (i.e. around Christmas 1887) of an unnamed woman being murdered and mutilated in Whitechapel. But quite early into the main series of Whitechapel murders (certainly by late September 1888) papers had started printing lists of previous murders attributed to the same hand. It was in these lists that there started to appear the alleged case of a woman murdered in late 1887. The accounts vary but there are some fairly consistent features:
1) The woman was said to be unidentified
2) The murder allegedly occurred on the corner of Osborn and Wentworth Streets
3) Some accounts speak of an object being inserted into the woman's body
4) The incident allegedly elicited little or no notice in the press at the time

As Wolf said, I personally think all indications are that this is a garbled version of the murder of Emma Smith in April 1888.
The alleged date of the 1887 murder varies considerably. Most accounts say it happened in Christmas Week, some are more specific and say Boxing Day, but I have seen accounts that place it in October 1887 and even August 1887.
It is also interesting that some listings of previous murders include BOTH the alleged 1887 murder and the murder of Emma Smith.

The actual name Fairy Fay is a much later accretion to the story and is entirely invented.
Chris

Monty 04-21-2010 03:35 PM

Sung to me by a well known Ripperologist whose name shall remain with me.

Oh, I went down South for to see my Sal
singing Polly wolly doodle all the day
my Sal, she am a spunky gal
sing Polly wolly doodle all the day
Fare thee well, fare thee well,
fare thee well my fairy Fay
for
I'm off to Lou'siana for to see my Susyanna
sing Polly wolly doodle all the day
Oh, my Sal, she is a maiden fair
sing Polly wolly doodle all the day
with curly eyes and laughing hair
sing Polly wolly doodle all the day
Fare thee well, fare thee well,
fare thee well my fairy Fay

for I'm off to Lou'siana for to see my Susyanna
sing Polly wolly doodle all the day
Oh I like watermelon and I have for years
sing Polly wolly doodle all the day
I eat watermelon because it gets upon my ears
sing Polly wolly doodle all the day
Fare thee well, fare thee well,
fare thee well my fairy Fay

for I'm off to Lou'siana for to see my Susyanna
sing Polly wolly doodle all the day
Oh, a grasshopper sittin' on a railroad track
sing Polly wolly doodle all the day
a pickin' his teeth with a carpet tack
sing Polly wolly doodle all the day
Fare thee well, fare thee well,
fare thee well my fairy Fay

I'm going to Lou'siana for to see my Susyanna
sing Polly wolly doodle all the day
Behind the barn, down on my knees
sing Polly wolly doodle all the day
I thought I heard a chicken sneeze
sing Polly wolly doodle all the day
Oh he sneezed so hard with the whooping cough
sing Polly wolly doodle all the day
he sneezed his head and his tail right off
sing Polly wolly doodle all the day
Fare thee well, fare thee well,
fare thee well my fairy Fay

for I'm off to Lou'siana for to see my Susyanna
sing Polly Wolly Doodle
sing Polly Wolly Doodle
sing Polly Wolly Doodle all the day


This, I believe, is the base for the name of Fairy Fay.

Popular, Ive been told, from the late 19th Century to the 1960s. Then again I could be wrong as Im too young to recall it. However it would tie in with the date of the Reynolds Report.

Cheers
Monty
:)

caz 04-21-2010 04:05 PM

I suppose further confusion might have been caused in the wake of Martha Tabram's murder if someone had made reference to "the previous Bank Holiday" atrocity (meaning the murder of Emma Smith), and this was taken to mean Boxing Day - and given credence by the real Christmas time attack on Margaret Hames.

Love,

Caz (whose mum used to call her Fairy Fay)
X

The Good Michael 04-21-2010 04:15 PM

It sucks that I know that song. Someone shoot me.

Distraught Mike

Chris Scott 04-21-2010 11:56 PM

My grandmother (born 1893) used to use the name "Fairy Fay" for any woman (usually a young(ish) woman) who was delicate, slim, very feminine looking.
She used a variety of names like this for generic types. The only other one I can remember is the name she would use for a woman who was "no better than she should be," i.e. a woman who was fast or forward. Such a woman would be described as a "right Mary Ann."
Also interesting to note that the name "Fairy Fay" is a double name in that "fay" (also spelt fey) means fairylike, or otherworldy.

caz 04-22-2010 11:04 AM

Hi Chris,

My mum was born in 1917 (when your grandmother was in her twenties) and I got the impression that she used the name Fairy Fay in a similar way. I was very young when she gave me the nickname and I was always tiny for my age as a child, like she was. I'm currently using a photo of my mum for my profile pic.

I had no idea until about ten years ago that the ripper case began with its very own mythical Fairy Fay, and ended with Carrotty Nell, who died on my birthday.

Love,

Caz
X


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