New York, USA
23 May 1892
Frederick Bayley Deeming has paid the penalties for his crimes and the world breathes easier. He was a robber, swindler and a murderer of women and helpless children. The record of his crimes for the last ten years is startling. It begins with a petty theft, for which he served a sentence of six weeks, and ends with the murder of his young bride and the preparations for the killing of a girl whom he was about to marry. Here are some of the things that he did: After the theft he went in business in Sidney (sic), Australia, and made a fraudulent assignment, swindling his creditors out of a large sum; he swindled two brothers out of £60 and fled to Cape Town; obtained £4,000 on the strength of bogus deeds for South African property and went to England; obtained jewelry at Hull under false pretences; escaped to South America, but was caught and sentenced to nine months' imprisonment; rented a villa in the suburbs of Liverpool, and took to it the wife he married in 1881, with her four children, and murdered them and buried the bodies beneath the hearthstone; soon after he married Miss Emily Mather, a Liverpool girl, and took her to Australia, where he killed her also and buried her under the floor of his house. On the eve of his marriage to Miss Kate Rouncesvell at Perth, West Australia, he was arrested for his last crime. This was in March. As soon as the prosecuting officers in Melbourne had obtained the evidence necessary to convict him he was brought to trial and found guilty. He declared himself innocent of any wrong doing and made an appeal. There was no delay, for the English law, which applies to the mother country as well as the colonies, requires that a sentence of death must be executed within twenty one days from the time that it is pronounced.
The Victorian Executive and the British privy council refused to interfere and the man went to his death. Before the execution he confessed that the had murdered Miss Mather, the last woman whom he had married, but he said that he was not guilty of the other crimes with which he was charged. He wrote the story of this life while in the Melbourne jail and bequeathed to Miss Rouncesvell one tenth of the profits from its publication.
All the atrocious and mysterious crimes committed in England, Australia and Southern Africa during the last few years have been ascribed to Deeming since his arrest. This was but natural, for the police need some excuse for their inefficiency and the public makes a hero of every great criminal. Yet it is not improbable that he was guilty of many undetected murders. One theory is that he was Jack the Ripper which filled the Whitechapel district of London with terror. There is no doubt that he was capable of Jack the Ripper's butchery, for a man who did not hesitate to slay his wife and his own small children would not hesitate when the life of an outcast was in question. He seems to have been possessed of a thirst for the blood of women. None of his victims were men. Until the Whitechapel outlaw is arrested there will be people who believe that they have found in him ever brutal murderer. It is a fact to be regretted, however, that savage passion is not confined to the breast of one man who has frequented the slums of London inetrmittently for the last four years. It is in every heart awaiting favorable conditions for its development. What those conditions were in the case of Deeming has not yet been disclosed.