The Victorian era played host to a number of unusual figures, not to forget brutal murders. It is said that during this time period, crime and mortality rates saw a spike, making the streets of Britain unsafe to say the least.
So, just in time for Halloween, we will be taking you through three of the most notorious Victorian killers.
William Thomas worked as a farmer however, is said to have suffered from acute headaches on a regular basis. The headaches started from a very young age. Worried and concerned, his mother made the decision to authorise his admission to a mental institution. Little did she know her plans would not sit well with her son. Soon after she revealed her decision, he murdered her with a kitchen knife and attempted to bury her corpse in the back yard. Before he could conceal the dismembered remains of his mother, a neighbour noticed his suspicion and got in touch with the police.
After he was arrested, he was sent to Broadmoor where we would work as a cook. He passed away in 1908.
Before this killer carried out his horrific doings, he spent the majority of his time painting and was soon recognised for his portrayal of mythical creatures. Though it may sound innocent, in 1882, the painter experienced an acute breakdown and became increasingly violent.
Perhaps the scariest part of his story is the fact that soon after his personality change, he was convinced that the Egyptian God, Osiris, was controlling him.
When he returned home, his condition worsened and he murdered his father as he believed him to be a reincarnation of the devil. Not too long after, he tried to run away to another country. On his way, he killed a tourist and was arrested for his crimes. Even after his imprisonment, he continued to paint. In fact, his work is displayed at the Tate Gallery, situated in London.
Jack the Ripper
Our final Victorian killer is possibly the most famous on this list. Renowned for his mysterious killings, Jack the Ripper was never caught for his crimes. At the time of his murders, he left behind nothing, not even a slither of a trace which, coupled with a lack of today’s technology, made it increasingly difficult for the police to pinpoint the culprit. During his reign, he murdered at least five prostitutes, known as the canonical five, but it is thought more than this figure fell victim to his hand.
The murders were gruesome to say the least, with some of the victims being horrifically mutilated.
You can learn more about this notorious figure on one of our Jack the Ripper tours; booking details are available on our website.
Find out more about London’s most famous serial killer.