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Emily Nowell - 1884 Prostitute Murder

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  • Emily Nowell - 1884 Prostitute Murder

    Hello,

    I haven't seen this murder mentioned. Emily Nowell was found murdered in her bed with her dresses pulled up, a shilling under her, and beaten with fists to a bloody pulp. The cause of death was given as concussion and strangulation, although she still had life in her when discovered.

    The first and only suspect in the case was Frederick James Harris, a carman, who had cohabitated with the victim for 7 weeks and had dated her for 6 months. He discovered the body. He had blood on his clothes, but this could have come from him handling the victim and washing the blood off her face.

    Harris was eventually let go due to lack of evidence, and indeed he was probably innocent. A man in a long coat had last been seen entering the room with the victim while Harris was well away from the house. A row was heard and he was later seen or heard leaving.

    No knife used, but still a very violent, wanton murder of a prostitute.

    Yours truly,

    Tom Wescott

    P.S. I don't have the ability to copy and post long portions of newspaper text, but if you search 'Emily Nowell' and 'Emily Novell' in January 1884 you'll find plenty of articles.

  • #2
    Tom:
    When I get home today, I'll post all the ones I can find, if that's what you wanted.
    Looking into the Illustrated Police News, its surprising to find nothing on this case, considering its right up the IPN's alley.
    The murder, as you know, occurred on December 30th, 1883...

    Here's our publishin' pals at the PIP ( Penny Illustrated Paper ) for a threadstarter....more to follow this afternoon.

    Penny Illustrated Paper
    January 12, 1884
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    • #3
      Originally posted by Tom_Wescott View Post

      The first and only suspect in the case was Frederick James Harris, a carman, who had cohabitated with the victim for 7 weeks and had dated her for 6 months. He discovered the body. He had blood on his clothes, but this could have come from him handling the victim and washing the blood off her face.
      There was also a sailor named Crispin who came under suspicion but there was absolutley no evidence against him and the case was discharged.
      I don't remember this case being mentioned in lists of unsolved cases before -could someone have been convicted years later?

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      • #4
        Berrow's Worcester Journal
        January 12, 1884
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        • #5
          This one has its own thread....

          Belfast News Letter
          January 17, 1884
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          • #6
            Originally posted by Debra Arif View Post
            There was also a sailor named Crispin who came under suspicion but there was absolutley no evidence against him and the case was discharged.
            I don't remember this case being mentioned in lists of unsolved cases before -could someone have been convicted years later?
            Hi Debs. So you've heard of this case before? I only read a couple of the articles, so I don't recall Crispin. Actually, I was searching 'Georgina Smith' to see if Gorgeianna had made the press under that name, and a different woman of that name was a witness in the Nowell case.

            But try to imagine beating a person to death with your fists while (or before/after) strangling them. And he had already given her money. His hand would have been sausage the next morning. Makes you wonder what kind of work he was in, because most men in that area needed their hands to work. I wonder if there's any listing for a man with a broken/damaged hand visited the infirmaries or hospitals in the week following this murder.

            Yours truly,

            Tom Wescott

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            • #7
              Tom:
              If the killer wasn't in a line of work where the condition of his hands ( toughness and durability ) weren't important, it would be easier to believe his hands were damaged from a fatal assbeating....not to discourage you. A clerk, pencil pusher, or worthless intellectual would be very likely to damage his mitts...not a man like me, for instance, whose hands are like steel ingots.
              I think it would be a good thing to check into hospital records just the same.
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              • #8
                Hi Howard. Even tough handed guys have bony knuckles, and with the damage that Emily received, his hands would be bloodied and swollen, if not broken, regardless of his line of work. The reason I brought up his line of work is that even if he could withstand the pain of his injuries, an inability to earn income might have forced him to seek medical care.

                Yours truly,

                Tom Wescott

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                • #9
                  Tom:
                  I agree that there might be some gold in them thar hospital records....that's good thinking.
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                  • #10
                    No, I hadn't seen this case before,Tom.
                    Crispin was never a serious suspect,he was discharged by magistrates as there was no evidence against him at all apart from some gossip from a woman he'd had a conversation with about the case.
                    The problem with looking at hospital records is that we know where the crime occurred but not where the perpetrator lived. There were quite a few Infirmaries (where someone might go if they couldn't work) and hospitals in London and the records are un-indexed..

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                    • #11
                      Thanks, Howard.

                      Hi Debs. What do you want to bet it was the reward that made that woman tell on Crispin. As for the hospital records, I just meant the nearest hospital and infirmary from the area where Emily worked.

                      Yours truly,

                      Tom Wescott

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                      • #12
                        Birmingham Daily Post
                        January 19, 1884
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                        • #13

                          Morning Post

                          January 19, 1884
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                          • #14
                            Glasgow Herald
                            January 22, 1884
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                            • #15
                              Tom, Debs...
                              That's about all she wrote in Gale.
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