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The Spanish Ripper (1895)

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  • The Spanish Ripper (1895)

    The Murder Of Rosa Fernandez, April 1895. Jack The Ripper In Spain. (

    Attempted to follow up on this. I managed to find some original Spanish accounts of this crime, with a bit more detail,such as the perpetrator's name, etc. Now,I don't read Spanish very well; but showing the articles to some friends I think I have some decent translations. Both are from the Madrid-based newspaper El Imparcial.

    This first account appeared on April 5, 1895:
    In the last hours of the afternoon of Saturday 30th of last month occurred a crime similar in all circumstances to those perpetrated by the famous London Ripper. There was a twenty-three-year-old girl named Rosa Fernández, a woman of the town of Muñón Cimero, herding a flock of sheep, when she was the victim of the attack. What happened nobody knows exactly. As the cattle returned alone to the stable, Rosa's father, her mother and a young brother went out to the mountain in search of her, each taking different directions; The little boy was the first to trip over her sister, lying close to the road, with her head almost severed from the trunk and several puncture wounds on her chest. The municipal court was informed of such a criminal act and the following day it went to pick up the corpse. Then it was observed, according to El Correo de Asturias, that in addition to the injuries mentioned, the woman was missing a piece of the lower abdomen, which the criminal is supposed to have taken. A few hours earlier, the alleged perpetrator of the act attacked another woman who was working in a field. It seems that he took her and tried to hold her head to kill her too, but the woman cried out and a man came to her aid, managing to drive away the murderer, who according to those who saw him, is a man of regular height and blond miner's appearance. This crime terrifies the residents of the Lena council, particularly the women, who do not dare to leave their homes. The perpetrator is supposed to be a madman, and if he cannot be arrested soon, it is feared that he will continue to commit such horrific crimes.

    A follow-up appeared the next day:
    To the details that we published yesterday regarding the terrible crime committed in Muñón Cimero (Pola de Lena), El Correo de Asturias adds the following:

    "Without a doubt, taking into account the signs that the criminal has given, public feeling is that it is probable that a native of Riosa in Muniellos, called Demetrio Sánchez Villoría, has committed the very serious crime that caused such a deep sensation everywhere. In the month of January, three or four years ago, he hacked to death a sister of his named Concepción, and seriously wounded his brother-in-law and his father-in-law.

    "He was convicted of it. He was imprisoned for life in the prison of Ceuta, from where he managed to escape. Later, and thanks to the active investigations of the head of the sworn guards of the mines of D. Florencio Villalta, it was possible to arrest him in Portugal (Bilbao). Mr. Villalta left Asturias in pursuit of Demetrio on behalf of the then jealous judge of Pola de Lena, D. Mariano Laliga y Alfaro.

    "As we have said, the information provided to the authorities coincides with those of this infamous criminal, more generally known by the nickname Metro, and who is feared to have managed to escape from the prison again.

    "It is also assured that the incisions made to carry a large piece of the lower part of the trunk of the corpse of the unfortunate Rosa, are made with great cleanliness by an expert.

    "Despite the investigations carried out, no said piece of meat has yet been found, which the murderer undoubtedly took.

    "The only thing that was found near the site of the event was a stocking of the victim. The woman's hair and clothes were so in disorder that it is believed that she fought desperately with her killer, whom it is probable that she scratched or wounded.

    "After committing the murder and trying to kill also an old woman, who, as we said yesterday, was saved by a neighbor of his, whom the criminal also pursued; he went to Muñón Cimero and entered a tavern, where he drank a bottle of wine.

    "He asked various individuals the way to Riosa, and when he reached the city limits, he showed the desire to go to Langreo. Both the municipal court of Pola de Lena, as well as that of Oviedo work with zeal and activity, and are hopeful the madman will soon fall into the power of the justice.

    "The civil guard of various posts have also been telegraphed, and investigations are extremely active."

    I couldn't find a Spanish equivalent of the final article about the arrest.

    I'm not sure though exactly what they mean by the one part as Bilbao isn't in Portugal?

  • #2
    Thanks for that, Andrew.

    The killer was named Francisco Martinez Ignacio, a.k.a 'El Botas' ( The Boots)
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    • #3
      Ahh. So these articles are from when they were still looking into the wrong guy.