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Unmasking Jack the Ripper
"Perhaps the best Jack the Ripper documentary produced in recent years." North American and European DVD formats both available.
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Trenton Times
New Jersey, USA
23 May 1892

DEEMING IS DEAD

Rainhills's Inhuman Monster Pays the Death Penalty

HE TOTTERS TO HIS DOOM

Like A Craven The Fiend Faces the Scaffold

Melbourne, May 23.
Frederick Bayley Deeming was hanged at 10:01 a.m. Monday. Seventy reporters and physicians witnessed the execution and outside the prison thousands waited for hours to watch the black flag, the signal that all was over.

When Deeming was led into the yard and up to the gallows, everybody was surprised to see that he was not chained, as had been expected. He walked unsteadily between the guards and several times tottered as if about to fall. His face was ashen and he shook like a man with the palsy. Several times when the chaplain spoke to him encouragingly in an undertone, Deeming parted his lips to reply, but he uttered no sound. He seemed to be stupefied by his approaching death. When his arms were pinioned he wavered and would have fallen had he not been caught by the warden. At first he shook his head when his last opportunity to speak was given him. Then he rallied from his stupor and with a strong effort called out: "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit."

His Knees Knocked Together

He tried to say more and stood with his mouth half open, but no words came. As the noose was adjusted his knees knocked together and he would have collapsed had he not been supported until he was swung into midair. He died without a struggle and almost instantly. The body, after being cut down, was taken in charge by the prison physician who will superintend the post-mortem examination into the structure of the skull and brain. Deeming's conduct at the last was surprise to all who have been near him since he was sentenced. Sunday evening he seemed to realize for the first time that all hope was gone. Before then, despite occasional fits of despondency, he had told the prison officials that he would get out yet and "make it hot for his persecutors." Shortly after supper Sunday evening he called to the keeper and asked anxiously: "Do you think it is all up with me?" "This is your last night, Deeming," was the reply, "and you had better talk to your God instead of me."

Deeming was silent for several minutes and then inquired brokenly for the chaplain. "I have been a wild fellow," he said, "and have sins enough to be pardoned, God knows, but I am not so bad as they have made me out. Only to think that poor, crazy Fred should die on the gallows" When the chaplain came Deeming was crying. He said he wished to review the sins of his past life and to have the chaplain pray with him for forgiveness. He said he had been a good-for-nothing fellow and had injured most of the persons he had met in life. "But the only murder I ever committed," he protested, "was when I killed Emily Mather, if I did kill her. I was crazy when I did it, and the men who swore away my life at the trial have more to answer for than I."

Sorry For Miss Rouncesvell

The chaplain read prayers with Deeming and Deeming took down his bible and read several chapters aloud. Then he grew calmer and was talking about his affection for Miss Rouncesvell when the chaplain left. He wrote a letter to Miss Rouncesvell and another to Mr. Lyle, his lawyer. He told the keeper that the heaviest burden on his conscience was that he had ruined the young woman's life by the notoriety he had brought upon her. Deeming went to bed at 10 o'clock and went to sleep almost immediately. He did not awake until 5 o'clock.

He took out his Bible and read in Revelations, then ate heartily and drank six or seven cups of coffee. At 7 o'clock he began to be nervous and called the keeper, saying he wished to free his mind. It was then thought that the long expected confession was coming. Instead, however, Deeming began reiterating the story of his irresponsibility at the time of the murder of Miss Mather. "The people of Melbourne are hanging me," he said. "The judge and the jury and even those perjured doctors are not the guilty ones. The people wished to lynch me and they raised such a clamor that nobody dared tell the truth. I have not been a good man, but I have never committed a crime in a sane moment."

Deeming then wandered off incoherently into contradictory statements as regards his relations to Miss Mather, at one time saying she was still living in Australia and at another that he might have killed her in a fit of forgetfulness.

He Cried Like a Child

While preparations were making (sic) to take him out to the scaffold he became a pitiable figure. He cringed and cowered in a corner of his cell, first taking down his Bible, then throwing it from him, muttering to himself, and then speaking loudly and incoherently to the chaplain. As the door opened to let him out he burst into tears and begged for a few moments' respite. When this was refused his mind apparently sunk into a stupor. He made one or two attempts to speak and then relaxed from all effort, allowing himself to be led, half carried from the building. The chaplain said subsequently that in all his experience he had not seen a more broken creature.

Mr. Lyle, Deeming's lawyer, says he has not decided what to do with Deeming's autobiography. He has not yet had time to read much of the manuscript and what he has read has led him to think that it has few claims to being a true narrative. The spelling and writing are bad, he says, and there is evidently so much incoherent philosophizing in the work that he fears nobody will be willing to undertake the financial risk of publishing it. The result of the post mortem examination of Deeming's brain will not be known probably for several days.

Frederick Bayley Deeming was one of the most versatile and bloodthirsty wretches in the history of the world's crime. That part of his career which led immediately to his arrest, trial and death at Melbourne, began in Rainhill, a suburb of Liverpool, on July 21, 1891. He then took lodgings under the name of Williams at the Commercial hotel in that village and shortly began paying court to Miss Emily Mather, whom he subsequently married. He rented Dinham villa, on the outskirts of the village, during his courtship, and there received a woman and four young children, who disappeared shortly before his marriage to Miss Mather.

After the wedding on Sept. 22 he and his wife took a short wedding journey and Oct. 17 they sailed for Australia. They went to live in a house in Windior (sic), a suburb of Melbourne. There on Dec. 24, nine days after their arrival, he killed his young wife and buried her under the floor. He then disappeared. About ten weeks later, when new tenants were about to take the house, a peculiar odor was noticed, the floor was taken up and the body of Mrs. Deeming was found. Marks on her head and neck showed that she had been killed by blows.

When this news reached Rainhill the police tore up the floor of Dinham villa to satisfy their suspicion that the woman and four children who had been seen there with Deeming might have suffered the same fate as did Emily Mather. They found under the floors, which Deeming himself had cemented, the bodies of the woman and children. The woman was his wife, nee Marie James, whom he married in England in 1881, and the children were his own. Deeming was caught near Perth in Australia late in March after he had advertised through a matrimonial agency, and had made arrangements to marry Miss Rouncesvell in Perth.

After his arrest and incarceration in Melbourne awaiting trial more or less evidence was found tending to connect Deeming with dozens of heinous crimes, including those of Jack the Ripper, and a man who knew Deeming in Halifax came forward with proof that Deeming while there had written to the Eddowes woman, one of the Whitechapel victims. The exact truth of the charges was not and never will be ascertained, as Deeming was tried, convicted, sentenced and hanged for the killing of Emily Mather only. An idea of the number of crimes attributed to him, as well as his whole remarkable career since 1881, may be gathered from this condensed statement:

As Frederick Bayley Deeming

1881: Feb - Married Miss Marie James at St. Paul's Church, Higher Transmere. Went alone to Australia.
1882: - Joined by his wife. Sent to jail for six months for theft.
1884: Numerous bank robberies took place in Sydney, the perpetrators not being detected.
1885: More robberies, burglaries, mysterious disappearances and tragedies.
1886: Sets up shop in a large way, perpetrates a fraudulent bankruptcy and absconds from Sydney.
1887: Flies from Adelaide to Cape Town after robbing two brothers of 60.
1888: Nothing known of him. During this year six of the Whitechapel murders were perpetrated.
1889: Poses in Durban as a mining engineer and obtains 680 by fraud.
June: Has 1,500 advanced to him in Durban on bogus deeds, obtains 420 worth of jewelry and decamps. Aboutthe same time two murders were committed in the Transvaal, the murderer escaping. July 17: the eighth Whitechapel murder.
Sept.10: the ninth Whitechapel murder.
September: Turned up unexpectedly in Birkenhead, where his wife was living.
October: Is traced by a private detective, who wants him for the Transvaal robberies.
November: Sails for Australia. Leaving the vessel at Port Said, he doubles on his pursuers and returns to Birkenhead.

As Harry Lawson:

1890: Feb. 18: Arrives at Beverley and marries Miss Matheson a fortnight afterward.
March 15: Obtains by false pretences at Hull.
March 16: Sails from Southampton for South America.
April 7: Arrested at Montevideo.
Oct. 16: Tried at Hull assizes and sentenced to nine months' imprisonment.
1891: July 16: liberated from Hull jail.
July 19: Miss Langley was murdered at Preston, near Hull, the murderer escaping.
July 21: Makes his first appearance at Rainhill.
July 22: Has tea at the Commercial hotel with a dark lady, who turns out to be his wife, Mrs. Deeming of Birkenhead.
July 23: Lunches at the hotel with his wife. Is afterward accompanied to Huyton by Miss Mather and signs the agreement of tenancy.
July 25: Mrs. Deeming and four children arrive in Dinham villa.
July 26-27: The fivefold murder is committed.
Sept. 22: Marries Miss Emily Mather at Rainhill.
Oct. 17: Sails with his wife from London to Australia.
Nov. 27: Miss Mather's last letter posted on the way out at Colombo.
Dec. 21: Miss Mather murdered.

As Swanston.

1892: Jan: Applied for another wife in a Melbourne matrimonial agency. Proposes to and is accepted by Miss Rouncesvell at Perth, Western Australia.
Feb: Wrote to Miss Matheson at Beverley, repeating a previously made request that she should join him.
March 8: Arrested on the eve of his marriage to Miss Rouncesvell.

Deeming's defense at his trial was insanity, but in their verdict the jury found expressly that he was sane. Subsequently Deeming confessed to the prison clergyman that he killed Mrs. Mather-Deeming, but he did not remember any of the circumstances. Deeming was about forty five years of age and of respectable English family. The story of his life, written by him in prison, he left with his other effects to his lawyer, Mr. Lyle, with instructions that one tenth of the proceeds of the sale of his autobiography should be given to Miss Rouncesvell.


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       Press Reports: Evening News - 12 October 1888 
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       Press Reports: Evening News - 5 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Evening News - 6 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Evening News - 9 October 1888 
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       Press Reports: Illustrated Police News - 20 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Illustrated Police News - 6 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Irish Times - 1 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Irish Times - 12 October 1888 
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       Press Reports: Irish Times - 3 October 1888 
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       Press Reports: Irish Times - 5 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Irish Times - 6 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Irish Times - 8 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Lloyds Weekly News - 30 September 1888 
       Press Reports: London Evening News - 1 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Macclesfield Courier and Herald - 6 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Manchester Guardian - 12 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Manitoba Daily Free Press - 1 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Montreal Daily Star - 1 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Montreal Daily Star - 3 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Morning Advertiser - 1 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Morning Advertiser - 11 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Morning Advertiser - 12 October 1888 
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       Press Reports: Morning Advertiser - 8 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Morning Advertiser - 9 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Munster News - 6 October 1888 
       Press Reports: New York Times - 1 October 1888 
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       Press Reports: Pall Mall Gazette - 01 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Pall Mall Gazette - 03 October 1888 
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       Press Reports: People - 14 October 1888 
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       Press Reports: Police Gazette - 19 October 1888 
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       Press Reports: Woodford Times - 12 October 1888 
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       Ripper Media: Catherine Eddowes: Jack the Ripper Victim 
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       Witnesses: Dr. Frederick Gordon Brown 
       Witnesses: Emily Birrell 
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       Message Boards: Frederick Deeming 
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       Press Reports: Morning World Herald - 6 April 1892 
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       Press Reports: New York Times - 29 April 1892 
       Press Reports: Newark Daily Advocate - 13 April 1893 
       Press Reports: Ogden Standard - 17 March 1892 
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       Press Reports: St. Louis Republic - 8 April 1892 
       Press Reports: Statesville Landmark - 5 May 1892 
       Press Reports: Times - 4 April 1892 
       Press Reports: Times [London] - 13 April 1892 
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       Press Reports: Times [London] - 28 March 1892 
       Press Reports: Times [London] - 30 March 1892 
       Press Reports: Trenton Times - 29 April 1892 
       Press Reports: Trenton Times - 9 May 1892 
       Press Reports: Williamsport Sunday Grit - 24 April 1892 
       Press Reports: Williamsport Sunday Grit - 8 May 1892 
       Press Reports: Woodland Democrat - 26 March 1892 
       Ripper Media: Jack the Ripper: A Suspect Guide - Frederick Bailey Deemi... 
       Suspects: Frederick Bailey Deeming