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Meet Tottie Fay

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  • Dan Norder
    replied
    It's important to not lose sight of the fact that the alleged 1887 victim was not called Fairy Fay in any account until more than 60 years after the murders. Prior to that it was just a supposed first Whitechapel murder with no name attached. The details of this unnamed victim, as reported in 1888 press reports, mimic the details of the Emma Elizabeth Smith murder. Notably, these same press reports did not include Smith in their lists of Whitechapel victims. The reports seem to have been merely the result of journalists thinking of the Smith case but forgetting the name and getting the date wrong.

    The first mention of a "Fairy Fay" as a victim was by Terence Robertson in a Reynold's News article in 1950. When he discusses this victim he says he would call her that "for want of a better name." This indicates that he was not simply copying a name he had heard earlier but that he was making one up on the spot. Considering that he was trying to name an unknown woman whose existence couldn't otherwise be found, "Fairy Fay" would be a perfectly reasonable name to pull out of a hat.

    There doesn't seem to be any reason to link Tottie Fay with Fairy Fay other than a somewhat similar sounding name. So, while interesting as a slice of life of the Victorian era, these reports on Tottie Fay would not seem to have any relevance to any alleged Ripper victim.

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  • j.r-ahde
    replied
    Hello you all!

    And some months ago I was wondering about the appearance of Fairy Fay!

    Now I know about it, thanks to Jake L!

    All the best
    Jukka

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  • Gideon Fell
    replied
    'Tottie Fay' was first connected with 'Fairy Fay' by the authors of the A to Z in 1994, page 138.

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  • Cap'n Jack
    replied
    Yes I find her a fascinating character, and have read all the reports about her for many years now. I always like to think that her and Thomas Cutbush broke billiard cues over their heads at Broadmoor.
    Just a damn shame she wasn't murdered in 1887 or 1888 eh?

    Leave a comment:


  • Mitch Rowe
    replied
    I searched press reports for Tottie Fay and this is what I came up with:
    http://www.casebook.org/press_reports/sun/18940216.html

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  • Wolf Vanderlinden
    replied
    Interesting articles. Stewart Evans and Nick Connell first connected "Tot Fay" with the mythical "Fairy Fay" in their book The Man Who Hunted Jack the Ripper (Rupert Books, 2000). See pages 14 to 19.

    Wolf.

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  • Suzi
    replied
    I refute that wholeheartedly!!.....I most certainly did NOT have flowers on my 'at as shown in that appallingly inaccurate sketch!

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  • George Hutchinson
    replied
    Jake - that's just scenes of Suzi at the WS1888 Xmas bash.

    PHILIP

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  • Doctor X
    replied
    Good find!

    --J.D.

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  • Jake L
    started a topic Meet Tottie Fay

    Meet Tottie Fay

    Hullo.

    I believe there have been several theories as to the origins of the apochrypal (and utterly fictititious) "Fairy, a.k.a Tottie Fay" story and the name of this "victim".

    The attached IPN press clippings give us an interesting picture of a good candidate - and a colourful character it seems.

    Click image for larger version

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    It seems that ol' Tottie was a regular bit of news in her day. Even the 1st clipping from 1889 is titled "Tottie Fay again".
    Click image for larger version

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    And the Christmas Eve IPN issue has one last snippet of our Tottie:
    Click image for larger version

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    Of course, I'm not suggesting that there's any truth in the "JtR victim Fay" story - just that the Name was frequently reported in the INPs of the day.

    /jake
    Last edited by Jake L; 04-03-2008, 11:19 PM.
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