The Atlanta Ripper was an unidentified serial killer[1] who is suspected of killing at least fifteen Atlanta women between 1909 and 1914.[2]

Atlanta Ripper
Date1909 and 1914
CountryUnited States

Background edit

On May 28, 1911, the body of Belle Walker, a cook, was found 25 yards from her home on Garibaldi Street in Atlanta by her sister after she failed to return home from work the previous night. Her throat had been cut by an unknown person, and the crime was reported in the Atlanta Constitution under the headline "Negro Woman Killed; No Clue to Slayer."[3]

As news of the murders continued to spread, the black population of Atlanta were filled with terror. On July 3, after the eighth consecutive killing, The Baltimore Sun reported that news of the murders caused few black women to be on the streets at night and black service workers were refusing to go to work after dark.[4]

News reports also noted the similarities of the victims in the case. By the end of 1911, fifteen women, all black or dark-skinned, all in their early 20s, had been murdered in the same manner.[5] The victims were all described as "good looking" and "neatly dressed", with many of them having received an education.[4] The murders were all described as having been committed with a knife or other sharp object, with their gruesomeness being of particular note. The murderer would rip, tear and mutilate the bodies of the victims after death.[4] One victim, Lena Sharpe, was described as having had her head almost severed.[4]

Search for suspects edit

The search for the serial killer, named "the Atlanta Ripper" by the press, found six different suspects but no convictions were ever made, nor was the crime ever solved.[5] The "Ripper" may have had as many as 21 victims, but there is no conclusive proof that the murders were carried out by one person.[6]

It was reported that the daughter of one of the victims, who was also attacked by an assailant and recovered, caught sight of the attacker.[4] She described him as a large, black man who was powerfully built and neatly dressed. [4]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ Johnston, Lori (September 11, 2020). "The Unsolved Atlanta Ripper Case". Medium. Retrieved November 18, 2020.
  2. ^ Merryweather, Cheish (October 2, 2020). "8 Deadliest Serial Killers (By Kill Count) Who Were Never Caught". Crime Viral. Retrieved November 18, 2020.
  3. ^ Fennessy, Steve (October 26, 2005). "Atlanta's Jack the Ripper". CL Atlanta: Creative Loafing. Retrieved April 3, 2012.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "The Atlanta Ripper 8 Victims". The Baltimore Sun. July 4, 1911. p. 1. Retrieved May 5, 2021.
  5. ^ a b "EIGHT VICTIMS NOW OF ATLANTA RIPPER; Mulatto Women Slain and Mutilated on Eight Consecutive Saturday Nights". The New York Times. July 2, 1911. Retrieved May 12, 2018.
  6. ^ Wells, Jeffrey (2011). The Atlanta Ripper: The Unsolved Story of the Gate City's Most Infamous Murders. The History Press. p. 72. ISBN 9781609493813.