AX MURDERER AND JACK THE RIPPER THE SAME FIEND?

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AX MURDERER AND JACK THE RIPPER THE SAME FIEND?

[From December 1884 to September 1885, an ax-wielding killer took the lives of five women in an unprecedented spree that terrified the citizens of Austin and left police at a loss for clues and suspects. Worst of all, the monster O. Henry called “The Servant Girl Annihilator” was not done yet.]

As the trickle of departing inhabitants turned into a torrent and visitors cancelled trips to the capital, local officialdom, especially the mayor, and business leaders feared the unsolved slayings would wreck their grand plans for the city’s glorious future.

The University of Texas, which Austin had stolen from Tyler, the rightful winner of a statewide plebiscite, had been open for two years and boasted an enrollment of 250 students. Cornerstones were laid for the new capitol in March 1885 and for the magnificent Driskill Hotel four months later. Everything was coming along quite nicely until the anonymous assassin began chopping up innocent women and children.

Nine months into his sham investigation, Police Chief Grooms Lee had nothing whatsoever to show for his woeful effort. Even his influential father, who had ramrodded his appointment, conceded the time had come to replace him.

 

 

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