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Casebook: Jack the Ripper - Message Boards » Shades of Whitechapel » Mary Ann Wood « Previous Next »

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AP Wolf
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Apwolf

Post Number: 2144
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Wednesday, June 01, 2005 - 5:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I just love cases that throw all our preconceived perceptions and theories straight out of the window.
In September of 1885, Mary Ann Wood took her seven year old daughter into a field, stripped her naked and then slit her throat with a knife, leaving her for dead, but she didnít die.
Now I would like to know why she did that.
Mary Ann Wood was tried for Ďcutting and wounding with intent to murderí.
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Maria Giordano
Inspector
Username: Mariag

Post Number: 403
Registered: 4-2004
Posted on Saturday, June 04, 2005 - 1:52 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I suppose they let her have the child back?

I wonder if she was suffering from severe depression and delusions such as the American case a couple of years ago in which a mother drowned her 4 children in the bathtub?

For me, a mother killing her children is the most heinious act imaginable.
Mags
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AP Wolf
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Apwolf

Post Number: 2155
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Saturday, June 04, 2005 - 2:35 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Actually, Maria, I must go back and read more, as I seem to remember that the case had a somewhat sensational ending.
I'll get back with the result.
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Dan Norder
Chief Inspector
Username: Dannorder

Post Number: 696
Registered: 4-2004
Posted on Sunday, June 05, 2005 - 3:49 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi AP,

Which preconceived perceptions and theories are you referring to in this case? It's not obvious, to me at least, what you mean.
Dan Norder, Editor
Ripper Notes: The International Journal for Ripper Studies
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AP Wolf
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Apwolf

Post Number: 2158
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Sunday, June 05, 2005 - 11:13 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Oh nothing complicated, Dan, just that if we didnít know it was the girlís mother who stripped her naked and cut her throat, then we would naturally assume that the crime was of a sexual nature and had thus been committed by a man with a sexual motive or purpose behind the crime.
I think a good lesson to those eager to label crimes as sexual, when the fact of the matter is we donít know the motivation most of the time.
In this case the motive was madness, but it could so easily have been identified as a sexual crime.
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Dan Norder
Chief Inspector
Username: Dannorder

Post Number: 697
Registered: 4-2004
Posted on Sunday, June 05, 2005 - 3:06 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi AP,

Well, the cut throat by itself probably wouldn't have caused anyone to think it was automatically sexual, but the nudity is something most investigators would zero in on. Of course if her body wasn't interfered with (other than the neck) the presumption that it was a sex crime wouldn't be guaranteed. Based upon other Victorian crimes and not knowing the details of this one, I would have probably guessed that the clothes were removed so blood would not hurt their resale value.

On the other hand, again not knowing the details other than what you gave above the fact that it was a relative who did the deed, or even a female, in and of itself does not rule out a sex-based motive. Mothers have been known to be convicted of a variety of particularly twisted sex abuse cases on their own daughters, sad to say.

But, you are certainly right that one instance of a murder with a cut throat and exposed parts by itself doesn't necessarily mean a sex crime.
Dan Norder, Editor
Ripper Notes: The International Journal for Ripper Studies
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AP Wolf
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Apwolf

Post Number: 2160
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Sunday, June 05, 2005 - 3:32 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks Dan
I tracked down a bit more about the case of Mary Ann Wood in the meantime.
Quite sad really, her daughter was born out of wedlock when she disappeared out of the London scene for 18 months, and she spent the next nine years - the girl was nine not seven - palming the poor kid off on people while she worked in an ale-house and living that sort of gay life. Trouble was the poor kid was born with defective toes and fingers - described as looking like 'clubs' by the police surgeon - and her mother was obviously ashamed of the poor child, and perhaps where the child came from - for I suspect incest here, which is probably why she 'disappeared' - so she attempted to 'dispose' of the defective 'love' child she never wanted.
I have been unable to find the eventual fate of Mary Ann Wood, or her unwanted child.
So no sexual motive here I'm afraid.

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