Monday, October 21, 2013

Mugshot Monday: The Servant Girl Annihilator

First off, can we talk about how this is the best name for a murderer EVER?? (oh, hi. It's been over a year since the last post!) And the origin of this name is pretty sweet, too, as the Servant Girl Annihilator was never called such a thing by the press, but by O. Henry himself in a series of letters and a bitchy essay about how boring Austin, Texas was (apart from the occasional gruesome slaughter of a maid here and there). O. Henry, what would you have cattily named me? Le sigh.

Anyway, if you were living in Austin, Texas in the mid-1880's, like O. was, you had an 8 in 17,000 chance of being awakened in the middle of the night, dragged from your bed, severely mutilated and murdered outdoors. Fun!!

The Servant Girl Annihilator killed six women (well, 5 women and 1 little girl) and two men in such a manner and injured several other folks who got in his way. Apparently all the women had "a sharp object" inserted into their ears. I'm gonna go out on a limb and suggest they also had tiny paper letters shoved under their fingernails. But even if the fingernail bit isn't true, the victims were all slashed, seemingly with an axe at times, but always with a knife as well.

While the killer was never brought to justice, it is widely suspected (I mean, widely-ish. Have you ever heard of this before just now? Where is this movie??) that a Malay cook who went by the name of Maurice (crazy old Maurice) was the killer.

Maurice was in Austin working as a cook at a hotel called Pearl House, conveniently located within a few blocks of all the murders, who arrived in Austin just before the murders began and departed a couple of weeks after the final two murders. The last two took place on Christmas Eve 1885, because YAY CHRISTMAS!

Why do we care? Maurice frequently worked on ships and traveled around the world from job to job. He was in Austin at the time of these icky slaughters, and then he moved to Whitechapel in 1888. Sounding familiar yet? No?


'sall I'm sayin'.

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