Post Number: 463
|Posted on Monday, September 08, 2003 - 11:21 am: ||
I have seen repeated brief mentions of an attack on a girl working in a cafe/resturant in Bermondsey at the time of the Ripper killings but had not found any details about this incident. Today I have come across an article in El Tiempo (Mexico) from 12 January 1889 which gives details of the crime, names the girl involved and the presumed killer. If I find out any more about this I will post
El Tiempo (Mexican)
12 January 1889
IMITATORS OF JACK THE RIPPER
The famous Ripper of women who has taken as his theatre of operations a district of London, and who with his bloody deeds has stirred public opinion in all countries of the world where there is a daily press, is decidedly founding a school.
The London newspapers which arrive at our office are full of accounts which indicate this: in that great city for some time past strange murders have been committed solely for the pleasure of killing, without any motive being discovered which could expalin the motive of the crimes.
The most recent accounts of this type to which we are referring today tell of of boy of eight years old and a waitress in a cafe who met an evil death.
The first was found with throat cut in the middle of the street; at first, because of certain indications, there was detained a boy, a friend from school of the murdered boy; but investigations showed that the murderer is a man who, a short time before, had tried to commit the same sinister deed in the Portsmouth area.
The facts relating to the murder of the waitress are related in this way in the English newspapers:-
"On that day - that of the crime - London was wrapped in a very thick fog which, as often happen, barely allowed the passer-by to find his way across the most frequented and well known streets. Between four and five in the afternoon a man entered a cafe and asked for a cup of tea. The waitress who was at the counter, called Lucrecia Pembroke, fifteen years of age, although she appeared older, offered the customer bread and butter while the tea was being served. The man refused the offer and when the young girl turned her back to him to return to the counter the customer rose from his seat and closed from the inside the door of the cafe of which at that moment Lucrecia and he were the sole occupants.
He followed the girl stealthily and, stabbing her in the back, he then cut the carotid artery so violently that as a result of the cut a portion of the right ear was also cut off.
The girl who wa attacked was able to call for help; to her help came the woman who owned the establishment who was in the back rooms, then a policeman and various neighbors, who took the young girl, who was almost dead, to the nearest hospital.
The house was carefully examined in vain; the murderer had disappeared. But the victim, some hours later, was able to give his description and his name. He is one Bill Atkins, a decorator by trade, who had been working a few days before in the house where the cafe was situated.
The police quickly took him. Atkins neither denies nor confesses to his crime. The police agents who captured him found in his pockets no weapon other than a penknife which had no trace of blood on its blades.
Lucrecia Pembroke was able to state, however, that she saw him take from his pocket a knife of great size.
The people of London are wondering if this Atkins will turn out to be that same Jack the Ripper, so fruitlessly sought by all the means available to the English police.
For the moment, public attention is fixed on the fact that the perpetarator of this crime, believing that his victim was alone in the building, closed the door, taking precautions so as not to be interrupted.
It is clear that Bermondsey, site of this new attempt, is not in the Whitechapel district; but it could well be that Jack the Ripper had left the first location of his deeds because of the extraordinary vigilance which is currently being exercised there.
Note that I have translated the girl's name exactly as it appears in the Spanish article - Lucrecia. Presumably in English this would be Lucy, Lucrezia or some such similar name.
Post Number: 464
|Posted on Monday, September 08, 2003 - 11:25 am: ||
Here is the relevant part of the above article describing the attack on Pembroke. It is not clear from the article if she ultimately survived the attack or not or what happened to Atkins.
Post Number: 11
|Posted on Thursday, November 06, 2003 - 3:19 pm: ||
The only record of Lucy Pembroke on the BMD site relates to a marriage in Chelsea, 1898.
Christopher T George
Post Number: 411
|Posted on Friday, November 07, 2003 - 9:53 am: ||
I was initially curious about the description of Bill Atkins as "papelista de oficio" thinking that this might be at last the confirmation that the Vatican was behind the crimes... but I see you have translated it to mean "decorator by trade."
The way I interpret the article, it sounds as if Miss Pembroke survived the attack, so perhaps she is the same Lucy Pembroke who was married in Chelsea in 1898.
All the best
Post Number: 688
|Posted on Friday, November 07, 2003 - 7:45 pm: ||
It looks very much as if you are right in supposing that Lucy Pembroke survived the attack. There is only one of her name listed in the 1891 census, aged 18 (which would fit if she was about 15 in early 1889) and her details are as follows:
16 Lime Grove
Lucy Pembroke aged 18
General Domestic Servant
Born: Bucklebury, Berkshire.
Her employer was Henry Ervestaff aged 60, living on own means. This unlikely sounding surname may be meant to be Everstaff.
Of course I could not resist looking for Bill Atkins!
There were three William Atkins entries for Bermondsey:
1) aged 58 - a commercial clerk
2) aged 24 - a labourer in the furnishing trade
3) aged 66 - a butcher
If course it's possible that the Atkins who attacked Lucy had moved or even been put away. there are 95 matches for the London area on that name and I will see if any show decorator. painter or allied trade.
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