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Atlanta Constitution
Georgia, U.S.A.
13 July 1911

Todd Henderson, In Many Ways, Answers to the Description of the Man.
Chamber of Commerce Adopts Resolution Introduced by John E. Murphy Calling in Mayor and Governor to Take Action Looking to Arrest of the Fiend

The state of mind of the serving population throughout the city, especially of the negro women who act as cooks in Atlanta homes, was shown last night when half a dozen were thrown into panic and hysterics by a negro man on the outskirts of the city.

The women were frightened half to death, and the people for hundreds of yards around were aroused by their screams and shrieks. They fled before anyone could reach them, and a Mrs. McAdams of 704 DeKalb Avenue, reported the matter to the police.

Spirited action was promptly taken at the station house, and Assistant Chief Jett, with Captain Mayo, set out for the scene of the trouble, while two call officers on motorcycles were dispatched on the same errand.

On DeKalb avenue, between Pearl and Waddell streets, the officers found that six negro women, homeward bound, had been paralyzed by the sudden appearance of a negro man in a gloomy field, He was tall, and wore a black hat, but was in shirt sleeves. Their minds filled with terrors of the past weeks, they fled precipitately, and the man also disappeared.

The incident, so far as "Jack" is concerned, is regarded as a joke, but it shows the point to which the fear of the darkies has come.

Two "Jack the Rippers", both suspected of the same murder, are confined in the police station. The latest arrest is Todd Henderson, 35 years old, who was last night identified by Emma Lou Sharpe, who, on Hanover street, was badly cut some weeks ago, and who saw her mother murdered by her side.

The other man was arrested Tuesday and there is much circumstantial evidence against him. His name is Henry Huff, and he is a thick set young negro, 27 years old.

The case against Henderson seems very strong. He has been wanted since the first discovery of the murder, but had successfully eluded the officers in spite of the efforts to locate him until yesterday afternoon, when he was found in a Decatur street near beet saloon by Decetctive George Bullard, who is working on the case with Detectives Black and Harper.

Identification Not Positive.

Emma Lou Sharpe was notified, and appeared at the station house last night. She viewed Henderson and another negro; she saw him in full light and in the dark; she heard him speak, and her verdict was that he was the man to the best of her knowledge. Her identification was not positive, however, stated Chief Jennings, who was an interested observer.

"How you gittin' 'long?" Henderson was told to say, and as he spoke the girl shrank back, as if she recognized the voice that had threatened her at the time of her mother's murder.

The partial identification of the Sharpe woman is greatly strengthened by that of a clerk in a grocery store near 24 Hanover street, where the crime was committed, who saw Henderson on the night of the murder. His identification was practically the same as that of Emma Lou Sharpe. Jim Patton, a negro, was in Cone's drug store, corner of Pryor and Decatur streets, Monday night, when Henderson went in accompanied by the Holley woman and made a small purchase. This was after 11 0'clock, and is a strong link in the evidence. The negro's statements are verified by Dr. Cone and one of the clerks.

Evidence Is Strong.

The circumstantial evidence against Henderson is most strong, declared the detectives last night. He was positively seen with the Holley woman after 11 o'clock Monday night, but has denied even knowing her. They say he has involved himself in a network of lies regarding his movements on the night of the crime and subsequent to it.

A significant fact is that Henderson's shoe fits to the fraction of an inch the tracks left in the soft mud at the scene of the murder.

"Mr. Bullard, you ain't 'rested me for nothin', but I live out there where this woman was killed," asserted Todd as he was taken from his cell last night by the detectives to be carried upstairs for identification.

"If that was the case, Todd," answered Mr. Bullard, "I would have gotten you long ago. Half a dozen negroes have been killed within half a mile of where you live."

Henderson lives at the West Point belt line crossing of Hill street, near where Sadie Holley was found with her throat cut and her head crushed with a coupling pin, not far from the woods beyond Grant Park, where an unknown was murdered, and some little distance from the negro section where two others met their fates.

Cut Up His Wife.

"Well sir, you know if I was goin' to kill anybody I would long ago have killed my wife," continued the prisoner.

Henderson has been in a great deal of trouble on account of his wofe, whom he is said to have cut up two or three times. When he was arrested he was in a beer saloon spying on her while she paid a visit to a friend in the police station.

Henderson fills very well the description given weeks ago by the Sharpe girl - a tall and powerful negro - but his clothes, of course, are different. He works for various persons in town, sodding grass and such jobs, and makes good wages.

Henry Huff, who was the first negro locked up, was arrested at his home, rear of 81 Brotherton street, and the damaging fact against him was his blood-soaked and dirty trousers. He had a wound on the head, the result of a pool room fight, which he claimed caused the blood.

Last night Detectives Coker and McGill found on his right arm, in the crook of his elbow, a group of marks that are seemingly finger nail scratches. He claims they are old marks. Circumstantial evidence has also been secured against him.

The coroner's inquest over the body of Sadie Holley will be held this morning at 9 o'clock.


Spurred to action by the ruthless slaughter of seventeen negro women in Atlanta and vicinity, whose murderers have gone unwhipped of justice, a large number of citizens, both white and colored, yesterday petitioned Governor Smith to offer rewards for the apprehension of the perpetrators of these crimes.

The petition was circulated by Rev. H H Proctor and several other negro ministers of the city.

Related pages:
  Atlanta Ripper
       Press Reports: Alaska Citizen - 22 January 1912 
       Press Reports: Atlanta Constitution - 12 July 1911 
       Press Reports: Frederick Evening Post - 12 January 1912 
       Press Reports: Sheboygan Press - 27 June 1911 
       Press Reports: Williamsport Sunday Grit - 21 April 1912