Today’s Horrible, Vile, Indecent, Yet Truly Morbid Fact!
A news article from 1807 as recounted in the book The Chronicle of Crime:
Nineteen-year-old Ann Webb, who came to London from the country a few years ago, found – as country girls since Hogarth’s “Moll Hackabout” have done – that the streets of Covent Garden are paved with bawds waiting to entice would-be servants into a life of shame.
Ann was so enticed, and changing her name to Elizabeth Winterflood [Great Name! – DeSpair] came under the protection of carpenter Thomas Greenaway.
This wretch, under the assumed name of “Weeping Billy” White, lives off women in Southwark. His cruelty and infidelities have driven one of his charges to suicide, and in August this year Miss Winterflood decided to dispense with his protection.
Dressed in virginal white, she stood at her “beat” on the corner of Higglers’ Lane and Dirty Lane, where she was seen quarreling with Greenaway shortly before midnight. At 2:00 a.m. she was found lying on the ground, her legs indecently exposed and parted. She was dead, and her external genitals had been chopped off and thrown under a cart. This horrible mutilation is so extraordinary that the doctor summoned to examine the body failed to observe it until the mangled organs were handed to him.
Greenaway was charged with her murder, but Miss Winterflood’s landlady and other women friends were so vehemently hostile to this vile procurer that the judge warned the jury against their prejudice.
In consequence “Weeping Billy” has been acquitted, though it is hard to see who else could have performed this horrible, vile and indecent crime.
Culled from: The Chronicle of Crime