Thursday, October 17, 2013

Thriller Thursday - See Murder in Find of Woman's Torso


See Murder in Find of Woman's Torso

Police Declare She Was Killed, Dismembered and Thrown Into River.

Work Done By Expert

Pillow Offers Only Clue to Identity or Perpetrators of Crime.


The torso of a woman's body which was found Friday afternoon on the shore of the Hudson River at Shady Side, N. J., is the mute evidence of the murder of a woman, about 25 years old, who was slain within the last five days and then mutilated. This was established yesterday in the opinion of the Hudson county authorities.

An examination of the remains, from which the head, arms and legs had been cut, by County Physician George W. King revealed the fact that the woman had not been in the water more than four days: that she had not been drowned because of the absence of water in her lungs: that she was between the ages of twenty and thirty years, and that the severing of the limbs and head had been done by one expert in surgery. The nature of the cuts showed that a long blade had been used.

Three small birthmarks on the right shoulderblade and a plain pillow made from ordinary ticking, on which was a tag and the name of a Newark manufacturer, are the only clues to the identity of the victim. The torso was found in the pillow, which was stuffed with black feathers. Around the bundle was a rope and a fine wire used by milliners. This apparent care in wrapping the remains leads the North Bergen police to believe that a weight had been tied in, but had fallen out.

No Medical Student's Joke

The theory that the torso had been thrown into the river by medical students as a joke has been discarded by the police following the examination by the county physician. Had the torso been the property of medical students Dr. King said that the lungs and other internal organs would not have been left in the body. Besides, he pointed out, bodies for dissecting are so difficult to obtain that one would not be thrown away.

Coroner William Shlemm, after the revelations of yesterday, has decided to hold an inquest over the remains. He will begin a rigid investigation to-morrow, and says the inquest will be held Thursday night, provided the evidence obtained by that time warrants it.

Hopes Based on Pillow Clue.

The clue on which the police base their hope for an ultimate solution of the mystery is the pillow which was found with the body. On the pasteboard tag attached to it was written on one side, “99 cents,” and on the other “Manufactured by Robinson Roders, Newark, N. J.” On the pillow slip was stamped, “Restwell Brand, Chicago, 20x27.”

At the factory of the Robinson, Roders Company, 27 New Jersey Railroad avenue, Newark, N. J., a member of the firm said the “restwell” pillow slips are manufactured in Newark and are known to the trade as Chicago slips. He said the company sold them wholesale to jobbers and department stores, and that there would be no way in which the sale of this particular slip could be traced from the factory by its marking.
The police of North Bergen in an effort to find out who the woman was have inquired from different towns and cities as to those women, between the aged of 20 and 30, who have been reported missing recently. From Newark they received word that a Mary Macbeth, 25 years old, disappeared on August 23 last. The description of her tallies in a general way with that of the slain woman.

This fact, coupled with the pillow clue, has led the police to hope for a solution to the mystery in Newark. Acting on this belief, Prosecutor Hudspeth sent County detective William J. Charlock to Newark. The result of his mission is kept a secret, but it is believed that his trip was not altogether fruitless.

First Found by Children

The finding of the torso was peculiar. It was first seen by Albert Bann, 11 years old, who lives on the shore of the river at Shady Side. He noticed the odd looking bundle floating near the pier in front of his home about 8 o'clock Friday morning, and wondered what it was. When he started to get it his sister, Mary, 18 years old, told him to let it alone. He did. Several hours later he again saw the bundle. This time it was nearer the shore. Despite his sister's objections he use a long stick and pulled the curious bundle ashore.

Both start back in terror when they saw the grewsome [sic] thing they had pulled ashore. They at once told John Flannery, a saloon keeper who lived near by, of their find. He told the police of North Bergen.

See Murder in Find of Woman's Torso, The Sun, 7 September 1913, page 1, column 5.