|Jack the Ripper: A Suspect Guide|
|This text is from the E-book Jack the Ripper: A Suspect Guide by Christopher J. Morley (2005). Click here to return to the table of contents. The text is unedited, and any errors or omissions rest with the author. Our thanks go out to Christopher J. Morley for his permission to publish his E-book.|
Elizabeth 'Lizzie' Halliday
According to the Ohio newspaper the Marion Daily Star 19 December 1893, 'Recent investigation shows that Mrs Halliday is in all probability connected to the whitechapel murders, for it has been proved that she was in Europe at the time of the murders, and often refers to the murders when she is in possession of her mental faculties, and when she is raving .
Sheriff Beecher, who is in charge of the Sullivan County jail at Montticello, New York, where Mrs Halliday, the murderess, is held, said to Mrs Halliday, 'You are accused of the Whitechapel murders, are you guilty', to which she replied, 'Do they think I am an Elephant, that was done by a man'. Mrs Halliday constantly speaks of the murders.
Born Lizzie Brown, of Irish descent, she worked as a housekeeper for Mr Paul Halliday, a widower, whom she would later marry, despite the fact that she was 40 years his junior. It was said he married her purely to save paying her wages. She unfortunately suffered from a mania, and when seized by this mania committed a succession of crimes. First she burnt down the house of Mr Halliday, then the barn, finally the old mill. killing Mr Halliday's half witted son in the process. She then went on to kill and mutilate Mr Halliday in exactly the same way as she had killed her first husband. She then shot and killed two women, Margaret J. McQuillan and her daughter Sarah J. McQuillan, on 30 August and 2 September. The murders occurred in the Shawangunk Mountains, in the hamlet of Burlingham in Walker Valley.
Halliday gave an interview in the 'World' on 5 November, in which she revealed that she was 28 years old, had been married six times and had been drugged by a gang of people she knew, but could not identify in fear for her life. Also, that they had forced her to witness the killings of her husband and the McQuillan women. The reporter was able to confirm all six of Halliday's marriages. Several of her husbands had died in suspicious circumstances, most, like Mr Paul Halliday, were much older men, with some sort of pension. While in prison, she began to fail in health and refused to take solid food. Convicted of first degree murder, her sentence to death by electrocution appears never to have been carried out. While Halliday was clearly insane and had mutilated two of her victims, and judging from the newspaper picture of her, was quite masculine in appearance, there is no evidence to connect her to the Whitechapel murders.
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