Division 47 Forgotten in Time
By Joanna E Sears
© The Monster Zoo
Authors Warning: Some of the Narrative of this chapter is a little graphic.
Doctor Baines came to check on Tony just as the midday meal was cleared away. His blood count had stabilized but it would be another couple of days before he was released. Only Rhys saw the look of horror pass across Jon's face and he knew immediately what was going through the other man's mind. If Tony was discharged he'd be alone and friendless again. Rhys made a mental note to continue visiting the crippled man. Tony heaved a sigh of relief when Baines finally left as the double doors closed behind the doctor he grinned then confided
"Thank heaven for that I was beginning to think he'd taken root." The others laughed.
"Jon's seems a trifle forced," Rhys mused to himself. He kept his thoughts private and began re-distributing the photocopied files. Tony decided to lay aside the questions surrounding Montague Druitt and focus on the New Orleans murderer, they could return to the main suspect later.
The Slasher as he was called had been very prolific in a very short space of time in under two weeks he attacked five women, one of whom survived and recovered enough to describe her assailant. Tony decided they leave her until last. Instead he began by reading a statement made by the Chief of New Orleans Police at the time.
"As the killer's epithet implies, the victims were attacked with an either a sharp knife or razor, which often belonged to the victims themselves. The common thread connecting each proposed Slasher murder, is the manner by which the crimes were committed. In most cases, the back door of a home was forced open, followed by an attack on one or more of the residents. In two instances the females were dragged into the street before being assaulted.
The crimes are evidently not conducted as robberies, as the criminal never removes items from his victims' homes or bodies. I believe these crimes were sexually motivated as in all cases the females were despoiled in the most horrendous and unseemly manner."
Tony raised his eyes from the paper and looked at his comrades.
"I don't think I need to go into detail here as the murders themselves are graphic enough," Rhys had the first history case to hand. He passed one copy to John and a second to Tony keeping the third for himself.
Joseph Maglio was an Italian grocer who was attacked on May 23, while sleeping alongside his wife, Catherine, at their home on the corner of Upperline and Magnolia Streets, where they conducted a bar room and grocery. The killer broke into the home, and then proceeded to cut the couple's throats with a straight razor. Joseph died minutes after being discovered by his brothers Jake and Andrew Maglio who had been playing cards in a neighbouring apartment and hearing cries had run to investigate arriving only in time to see a shadow fleeing the scene. Catherine died prior to the brothers' arrival, her throat having been cut so deep that her head was nearly severed from her shoulders. In the apartment, law enforcement agents found the bloody clothes of the murderer, as he had obviously changed into a clean set of clothes before fleeing the scene. A complete search of the premises was not completed by police after the bodies were removed, yet later the bloody razor, which had been used to conduct the murders, was found in the lawn of a neighbouring property. Police ruled out robbery as motivation for the attacks, as money and valuables left in plain sight were not stolen by the intruder. The first policeman on the scene found the distraught brothers the elder of the two had clearly tried to preserve his sister-in-law's modesty by covering her half naked and mutilated body with a blanket.
The coroner stated at the inquest that her torso had sustained a repeated and frenzied attack that
Included thirty three separate stab wounds and slashings. The husband Joseph had only the single wound to his throat.
Tony inhaled and laid his copy of the report to one side.
"The MO is identical to the Cassie White case apart from the murder of the husband," Rhys said.
"Do you think the Murderer expected the woman to be alone?" John asked "The husband may have been a complication."
"It's strange you should say that as according to a neighbour Joseph had earlier that day departed for a business meeting he was not expected to return until the following morning."
"So he could have come home early and surprised the Ripper?" Rhys suggested
"He may not have been sleeping at all and the sounds the brothers heard was him trying to protect his wife?" Tony nodded
"That is my assessment too." They moved on to the next murder. This time the body was found
just after four am on May 23 less than three hours after the murders of the Maglios.
Hannah Lowel was discovered lying dead in a yard behind a bakery in La Harpe Street.
One Robert Paul was walking across the yard to report for work when he tripped over what he thought was a drunken women. He called for his master one Nathaniel Besumer The owner came with a lamp and has he raised it the two men beheld a grisly scene. The woman Paul had thought a drunk was in fact a corpse. She lay in a pool of blood but that wasn't the only thing that shocked them. The unfortunate lady's throat had clearly been cut and even more abhorrant to the men was the fact that her clothing had been ripped asunder exposing her belly and unmentionables. Four deep and bloody slashes marred the flesh and a long knife still protruded from her heart. Visibly shaken Robert Paul began crying out loud for a deputy as one was known to patrol the street regularly. Luckily his cries were soon picked up by the patrolman. A young Deputy appeared but Besumer noting he was less than twenty years of age shielded the youth from the sight of the ravaged woman, sending him instead to fetch a superior.
"Sounds extremely like one of the Whitechapel murders," Jon instantly said as Tony finished
reading. "Was there any indication the woman was a prostitute?"
"The coroner who attended the scene actually suggested she might have been," Rhys continued reading the report the Coroner of the time had written.
"It is my belief the victim was plying a somewhat nefarious trade as no modest and upright young lady would be walking the streets at such an ungodly hour."
"So," Tony paused to take a sip of water from a glass on his bedside table then finished. "Here we have a very specific case that matches in nearly every detail the murder of Mary Anne Nichols in Bucks Row Whitechapel England three years previously." That was his only comment
and they moved onto the third New Orleans murder. This one had taken place just outside the city limit in a small rural community and again featured more than one victim. No children were involved but it was a young couple that were targeted. Reading the Sheriff's report Tony quickly noted the husband had been despatched first and his body had minimal wounds beyond the death blow which in this case had been a machete strike across the back of his neck. His wife Caroline Singer was found just inside the porch. Clearly she had tried to escape her attacker as there were blood streaks across the floor indicating the body had been moved, as with the previous attacks the unfortunate woman had been despoiled in a very degrading manner. Her garments had clearly been torn from her body and they lay discarded about the kitchen. The attending Sheriff and his deputy were visibly shaken by the gruesome scene that met their eyes. The local pastor had in an attempt to preserve the lady's dignity had covered her with a curtain but beyond that the crime scene was undisturbed.
The small community was shocked by the hideous murder. The young couple had grown up in the area and were well liked. Mrs Singer was also known to be a great lover of wildlife and cared for many orphan creatures as many as were considered old enough to survive were set free
Among the animals listed were two cougars, a wolf and a half grown bear. The rest were taken in by surrounding families to be raised in honour of the slain couple.
Rhys heard Tony blow out a long sigh and noted he was pale, his eyes ringed with dark shadows.
"Maybe we should take a break for a while," the astute Welshman said. "There's a good movie about to start I think we could all do with something different to think about for a while."
He was inwardly relieved when the other two agreed. They didn't do any more work until the following morning.