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Maybe if the Ripper had Married his Victims, All Would have been Forgiven?

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  • Maybe if the Ripper had Married his Victims, All Would have been Forgiven?

    The following incident occurred in Rotherhithe in August 1888. It describes an act of domestic violence, so be warned that some might find the account disturbing.


    Healey Part 1.GIF

    Healey Part 2.GIF
    Healey Part 3.GIF





  • #2
    Despite the open verdict at the inquest, Thomas Healey was arrested and charged with manslaughter. His trial was held at the Old Bailey on October 22, 1888. Outside those famous walls, the Metropolitan Police were desperately searching London for a sadistic murderer of women, yet here they seemed to have one in their grasp!

    Here's the verdict in Healey's case, from the archives of the Central Criminal Court.


    Old Bailey.GIF

    What was Sir Robert Anderson saying about undiscovered murders in London?



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    • #3
      I wonder if there is a press report of the trial somewhere that would explain why the judge made that "suggestion". Obviously people have been convicted of murder and executed on much less evidence than that.

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      • #4
        It appears that Healey's legal team was able to cast doubt on the medical evidence, arguing that the wife had sustained her injuries by falling down the stairs. How she could have received a deep abdominal injury from such a fall escapes me. And, of course, she was found in her bedsit, not at the foot of the stairs.

        Some time back, I was studying a Scottish case where a man quite obviously chased down his common law wife in the dead of night, beat and kicked her into insensibility, stuffed dirt in her mouth, and then left her to die from either her injuries or from hypothermia.

        The man was acquitted and the courtroom erupted in applause. Six or seven years later the same man was again arrested--for viciously beating his second wife into unconsciousness with a fireplace poker.

        It's not as stark as it was in the 18th Century, but it seems to me that property crimes were being prosecuted with more vigor in the Victorian age than 'crimes against the person'--and specifically the female and the adolescent person--presumably because the upper classes owned most of the property.

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        • #5
          but it seems to me that property crimes were being prosecuted with more vigor in the Victorian age than 'crimes against the person'--and specifically the female and the adolescent person--presumably because the upper classes owned most of the property.
          -R.J.-


          We could write a book...or two...filled with stories where courts issued unwarranted and at times, inhumane, sentences for the most paltry of offenses.

          Thank you for sharing the story, Rajah....I definitely overlooked this 'gem' and would probably have never known of it.
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