I just recently read about this, i find it interesting.
A serial killer, popularly known as the Servant Girl Annihilator, preyed upon the city of Austin (1885 population approximately 17,000) during the years 1884 and 1885. The series of murders was referred to by contemporary sources as "The Servant Girl Murders." The December 26, 1885 issue of The New York Times reported that the "murders were committed by some cunning madman, who is insane on the subject of killing women."
According to Texas Monthly, seven females (five black, two white), and one black male were murdered. Additionally, six women and two men were seriously injured. All of the victims were attacked indoors while asleep in their beds. Five of the female victims were then dragged, unconscious but still alive, and killed outdoors. Three of the female victims were severely mutilated while outdoors. Only one of the murdered male victims was mutilated indoors. All of the victims were posed in a similar manner. Six of the murdered female victims had a "sharp object" inserted into their ears. The series of murders ended with the killing of two white women, Eula Phillips, age 17, and Susan Hancock, who was attacked while sleeping in the bed of her sixteen year-old daughter, on the night of 24 December 1885.
According to a page one article in the New York Times of December 26, 1885, four hundred men were arrested during the course of the year. According to Texas Monthly, powerful elected officials refused to believe that one man or one group of men was responsible for all of the murders. Only one of those arrested, James Phillips, was convicted of the murder of his wife. The conviction was later overturned.
Please pardon this long involved exegesis (hope that is the right term).
Under the section on this website's Message Boards, regarding Police Officials, I caught up with a two year old thread dealing with Inspector Moore, and a visit to see him by the American newspaper reporter Richard Harding Davis. The visit was in August 1889, and was reported by Davis when he returned to the U.S. It was noted and discussed at length in William T. Stead's Pall Mall Gazette for November 4, 1889 (which happens to be in this website's collection of newspaper clippings. My initial reason for dealing with this matter was that I had a biography on Richard Harding Davis entitled, "The Reporter Who Would Be King" by Arthur Lubow, published in 1992 by Charles Scribner's Sons, and that it referred somewhat to why Davis went to England in August 1889 (austensibly to cover a local Philadelphia Cricket team).
Naturally I read the entire Pall Mall Gazette article, most of which is based on an original article by Davis about how he interviewed Inspector Moore, and was taken by him to Whitechapel to see the locations of the murders. But in the course of the article, Moore mentioned to Davis a visit he got from the Chief of Police from Austin, Texas. The actual reason for this visit is never given, but one might assume the Austin Police Chief was comparing notes about the serial killings in 1885 in Austin with the 1888 Whitechapel murders.
This has always been the case that keeps me up at night, so thank for bringing it to my attention again :P
Everybody has something that wigs them out more than anything else. For my aunt, it's mucus, for my sister it's those halos they put on people who break their necks, boils get me, for my mom it's mid limb amputation, my dad can't even watch someone put contacts in he is so eye shy.
But nothing gives me cold shivers and makes my skin crawl more than sharp object ears I can't even type it without trying to cover my ears. I can't stand it. I want to throw my laptop across the room so I don't have to think about it anymore.
But that is a SUPER specific thing. That's not something people just do and don't care so much about it. That is up there with always taking a left eyeball, or carving Whitman poetry into a corpse. Super specific. If that one thing doesn't show up elsewhere, it means that killer doesn't kill elsewhere.
The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
William Sydney Porter, better known as the short story writer O. Henry, was living in Austin at the time of the murders. Porter coined the term "Servant Girl Annihilators" in a May 10, 1885, letter addressed to his friend Dave Hall and later included in his anthology Rolling Stones: "Town is fearfully dull", wrote Porter, "except for the frequent raids of the Servant Girl Annihilators, who make things lively in the dull hours of the night...." However, no contemporary newspaper or published source referred to the murderer(s) as "The Servant Girl Annihilator."
In 2000, Steven Saylor published the novel A Twist at the End, which closely reconstructs the murders and the ensuing trials, with young William Sydney Porter playing a fictional role. The novel was published in the U.K. (as Honour the Dead) and has been translated into Portuguese and Hungarian.
I have the fictional account, "A Twist at the End" but haven't read it yet.
I found out about this case quite by accident.Austin is just up the road from me about 65 miles or so. The writer O.Henry also lived in San Antonio at one time. Whoever was the killer may have done the same thing in other places. Never have heard of any similar killings here in San Antonio.
Though i supposed if i went to the San Antonio Public Library and dug through the old newspaper files might turn something up.