Neither were ever caught or punished for their crimes.
Servant Girl Annihilator
With a nickname like this, you would expect the “Servant Girl Annihilator” to be pretty shocking... and you’d be right. During the years 1884 and 1885 this serial killer clocked up a total of eight murders, with seven more people seriously injured. These killings occurred in Austin, Texas, with the New York Times reporting that they were committed by “some cunning madman, who is insane on the subject of killing women.”
His modus operandi was that he would sneak into a girls room while she was sleeping, and in five out of eight times, would drag the victim outside, performing the grisly murder outdoors. The victims were generally found with a sharp implement – like an ice pick, inserted into their ears, and four of the victims had been hideously mutilated.
News reports stated that more than 400 men were arrested during the investigation, but nobody ever held accountable.
These murders occurred three years before the famous “Jack the Ripper” murders in London, and it has been theorised that the killer could be one and the same. Many believe it’s possible that James Maybrick, a Liverpool cotton merchant who divided his time between England and America, could possibly have been both the Servant Girl Annihilator and Jack the Ripper.
An example of the type of violence with these killings: Mollie Smith, the first victim, was killed behind her house of employment, and was left lying in the snow. She had been raped, her face badly beaten, her dress torn and her head showed wounds which appeared to have come from an axe.
During his murderous rampage there were several eye witness accounts which described the ‘murderer’, but all descriptions of him were totally contradictory. Although the murders did stop, the killer was never caught.
As well as there being similarities between this killer and Jack the Ripper, there are also some eerie similarities between the Servant Girl Annihilator and the Axeman of New Orleans who went on his killing spree in 1918-1919.
The Zodiac Killer named himself. He was a madman who would kill people execution style and then write to the media and some private citizens, boasting of his deeds, taunting, threatening and leaving cryptic ciphers, most of which have not been cracked to this day.
Accountable for at least seven murders, but some believe to have killed at least 37, the Zodiac killer roamed the San Francisco area of California. He would normally target young couples who were making out in secluded areas. He killed with both guns and knives, and on two occasions telephoned the police after the murder to report them.
Apart from the poor victims of murder, the Zodiac Killer is mainly remembered for the maniacal letters and ciphers he would send to the newspapers, with threats that if his letter was not published on the front page, more people would die. The letters began on 29 November 1964, with the first speaking of the murder of a young, beautiful girl, and warning that everyone should keep their sisters, daughters and wives off the street.
The letters continued until 1974. Four of them included the cipher, which promised to identify the killer himself. The first communication with code was a three part cipher which was sent in parts to the San Francisco Chronicle, the San Francisco Examiner and the Valley Times Herald. It did not take long for the code to be deciphered. In fact, it was solved by a History teacher and his wife.
“I LIKE KILLING PEOPLE BECAUSE IT IS SO MUCH FUN IT IS MORE FUN THAN KILLING WILD GAME IN THE FORREST BECAUSE MAN IS THE MOST DANGEROUE ANIMAL OF ALL TO KILL SOMETHING GIVES ME THE MOST THRILLING EXPERENCE IT IS EVEN BETTER THAN GETTING YOUR ROCKS OFF WITH A GIRL THE BEST PART IS THAE WHEN I DIE I WILL BE REBORN IN PARADICE AND ALL THE I HAVE KILLED WILL BECOME MY SLAVES I WILL NOT GIVE YOU MY NAME BECAUSE YOU WILL TRY TO SLOI DOWN OR STOP MY COLLECTING OF SLAVES FOR MY AFTERLIFE”
To this day the other three ciphers have not been cracked.
The most likely suspect was a school teacher by the name of Arthur Leigh Allen. He has been placed in the city of several of the murders, a type-writer of the same make and model as one used to send anonymous letters was confiscated from his home, and he wore a watch which was a gift from his mother, and featured a cross in a circle – and was branded Zodiac.
Allen was also apparently writing a book. He told his friend Don Cheney all about this book in January 1969, stating that in it couples would be killed at random, the police would be taunted with letters from the killer giving details of the murders, the symbol on his watch, the cross-circle, would be how the killer in the book signed himself, the killer would also name himself Zodiac, he would use make-up to disguise himself and many, many other things which hold almost exact similarities to the Zodiac killings.
Although the evidence that Arthur Leigh Allen was the Zodiac killer is quite strong, partial DNA was retrieved from the back of a stamp in 2002 and Allen was not a match. It is always possible that the killer used a sponge and water to stick the stamps on or had someone else stamp the letters, but it does rule Allen out a little.
Put tpgether by Ashley Hall 2014