Saturday, January 23, 2016

Amelia Dyer: Britain’s Baby Butcher, Part lV

Amelia Dyer
By 1890, Amelia seeking higher profits had started targeting the babies of the more affluent for this would increase her wealth. She now received £50-80 one-off fees. Some speculate that she took this additional risk for she felt that she would not be able to baby farm much longer without being caught.

In this year she arranged to take into her care the illegitimate baby of a governess. This young woman had fallen in love with the young master of the house she worked in—she became pregnant.

She saw one of Amelia’s adverts and moved in with the older woman to hide her condition, Amelia then was able to gain her trust. She convinced the governess to leave her baby in her care.

But the governess returned to visit her baby months later. She quickly became suspicious because the infant she was handed was not hers—it did not have a birthmark on its hip like her baby.

This young woman informed the authorities but Amelia managed to stall them by sending them on wild goose chases—she told the police the couple that adopted the baby moved here-- no they moved there.

Amelia moved to several towns after this but the governess continued to pursue her.

Feeling pressured and in a panic, she fell into another depression, she then drank two bottles of Mother’s Friend laudanum in a suicide attempt. But she survived. This overdose would have killed most people but her extended use of this opiate had given her a cushion.

She was placed in an asylum once more but when she was released she quickly went back to farming and murder.

Amelia had one last breakdown in 1893. She by this time was an expert at feigning insanity—after all she had watched her mother’s spiral into madness. She made repeated statements such as, “The birds were telling me to do it.”

All of her asylum placements were timed to avoid capture by the authorities.

When she was released from Wells Mental asylum in Somerset she quickly recovered. She then landed in a workhouse where she managed to lure an older widow, Jane Smith to a supposed better life—helping unwanted babies.

Workhouse in Somerset.

She told Jane to call her “Mother” and she called Jane “Granny Smith” in order to create an illusion of a mother-daughter relationship in front of prospective clients.

It wasn't long before Granny Smith realized she was just a servant who had to care for all the babies that Amelia brought to their home.

In fact, so many babies arrived and left that Granny Smith could not even learn their names. The neighbors began to notice 6 infants arriving every day.

It was during this period in 1896, that Eveline Marmon responded to Amelia’s advertisement for a nice home in the country.

White edging tape on corset.
After Amelia took possession of Doris she wrapped white edging tape around her neck, making a strangling knot. But the female baby did not die immediately.

Amelia admitted later that she enjoyed watching the tape around little Doris’ neck—but alas it was soon over with. She then took the clothes Eveline had given her and pawned them—she used the money to pay her rent.

The following day, April 1, 1896 Amelia accepted another baby, a one year old boy named Harry Simmons. She was out of tape so she retrieved the tape from Doris’ corpse to strangle Harry.

The next day she put both bodies in a carpetbag weighted with bricks and threw them into the River Thames at a secluded spot at Caversham Lock—but a witness passing by spotted her.

In Part V of Amelia Dyer:Britain’s Baby Butcher suspicions lead to Amelia’s downfall and her ghost is seen in an historic place.

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