Some believe the ax murderer in Austin, Texas was Jack the Ripper
Have you ever heard of The Servant Girl Annihilator? It’s a pretty intense nickname. And some think that Texas serial killer has become Jack the Ripper.
This “annihilator” has also been dubbed Austin Ax’s murderer, which is a bit more eye-catching, but not nearly as shocking. Some people believe this un-caught killer was a man named Nathan Elgin, while others believe the unknown killer sailed overseas to become Jack the Ripper.
The Annihilator had a very clear pattern of murdering women. Each of the eight women he murdered suffered ax wounds to the head while they slept, then were moved from their beds in their backyard and sexually assaulted. This series of murders took place in 1885.
The killer left bare footprints at the scene of the crime. This would prove to be an important clue in an era of criminal investigation that lacked many forensic methods that we take for granted today; fingerprints wouldn’t be invented for seven years.
The city of Austin was plunged into panic and many of the capital’s most sowing elements were eliminated with near-authoritarian force. From The Servant Girl Murders website:
In the month since the last murders in December 1885, the city’s police force had tripled. A curfew had been decreed and individuals had organized themselves into patrols to guard the neighborhoods at nightfall. Foreigners have been forced to identify themselves or to be expelled from the city. Saloons and other noisy downtown establishments, usually open around the clock, were forced to close at midnight. A new era of policing has begun.
While we never know for sure that Nathan Elgin was the killer, we do know that he was shot by police in 1886 following an incident in which he caught a woman in a saloon in a fit of rage and beat her as she screamed. . His screams caught the attention of people nearby, including police, who attempted to handcuff Elgin but were forced to shoot him when he could not be overpowered.
In the death, police discovered that Elgin was missing a toe on his right foot, which matched the bloody footprints left by the Annihilator. In addition, no further murders of maids were committed after Elgin’s death in 1885.
It seems rather open and closed, doesn’t it? However, people at the time speculated that the Annihilator could have been another man, a cook named Maurice who left Austin in January 1886, which would also have ended the murders.
Maurice was suspected because he was working near where all the murders took place. Did this Maurice spend the next three years perfecting his “craft” to become Jack the Ripper in 1888?
From Texas Hill Country:
In November 1888, according to the Daily Earth Globe Atchison, the Austin American-statesman has reported a possible American connection to the Ripper: A Malaysian cook on an ocean-going ship was suspected in the White Chapel murders. The article went on to report that a Malaysian cook worked at a small Austin hotel called Pearl House “near the foot of Congress Avenue.” The Austin reporter learned that a Malaysian cook named Maurice had worked there in 1885 before leaving in January 1886. The last murders took place just before Maurice left Austin. “A strong presumption that the Malaysian was the murderer of the Austin women was created by the fact that all but two or three resided in the immediate vicinity of the Pearl House.
Sadly, it’s unlikely that we will ever know for sure who Jack the Ripper was. The Annihilator was brutal and “over-killed” its victims, the work of a very unbalanced man. Jack the Ripper also brutalized his victims, who were prostitutes, not servants, but always close in class to each other.
I think “Maurice” is an outlier assumption for who Jack the Ripper is, but it’s interesting to think that the world’s most legendary killer could be from Texas.
Top Theories About DB Cooper And 30 Other Unsolved Mysteries
Thanks to America’s fascination with the confusion of unsolved cases, the mystery is among the most popular genres of books, films, and television. From heists and capers to murders and robberies, the world’s biggest unsolved mysteries are sparking media frenzies that grab headlines around the world. Some cases force the audience to intrigue so much that the facts and theories around them become the basis for books, films, plays, and documentaries decades, if not centuries, after business has cooled down.