Predator called “The Monster” that stabbed women during the two-year reign of terror in London in 1780
A historian has shed new light on a little known predator that terrorized London a century before Jack the Ripper by luring them with flowers and stabbing them in the buttocks.
Dr. Jan Bondeson, an advising physician at the University of Cardiff, has raised serious doubts as to whether the man who has been convicted of nasty crimes was responsible.
The perpetrator, named The Monster, aimed at well-dressed young women in his two-year reign of terror in the city between 1788 and 1790.
Women were kicked from behind with nails tied to his knees, while some were stabbed in the nose by a barb hidden in a bouquet of flowers that they were allowed to smell.
The Welsh ballet dancer, Rhynwick Williams (photo), 23, who was fired from a theater for theft, was identified as The Monster
A cartoon published at the height of the Monster mania with a woman wearing a copper shield while being rescued from the mysterious attacker’s rapier
By the time The Monster was finally arrested, his number of traumatized victims exceeded 50, although no fatalities had occurred.
Some speculated that The Monster was an insane nobleman who wanted to injure every beautiful woman in the capital, or even a supernatural being who could make himself invisible to evade detection.
But on June 13, 1790, an ugly ballet dancer from Wales, Rhynwick Williams, 23, who was fired from a theater for theft, was identified as The Monster.
A poster with the monster attacking the Porter sisters outside Pero’s Bagnio, London (left). The Monster Detected: A satirical print of him as the devil (right)
Victim Anne Porter (photo left) Williams pointed to civilian guard John Coleman who arrested him in Green Park, central London. Miss Anne Porter’s home (right) in Pero’s Bagnio, London
Victim Anne Porter reminded Williams of civilian guard John Coleman who arrested him in Green Park, central London.
Williams, whose fall from grace had seen him descend into the filthy London underworld, was almost lynched by a crowd.
He lived in a dirty, crowded public house where he shared a bed with another man – making prosecutors believe he was on an “anti-women crusade.”
Williams went to court and was found guilty of his “crimes” at the Old Bailey, but he was spared the death penalty.
One of the wounded women reveals everything to the magistrates on Bow Street, with Sir Sampson Wright closer
He was imprisoned in Newgate Gaol for six years, but the years after his imprisonment remain a mystery.
In the months prior to the conquest of The Monster, hysteria grabbed the capital when newspapers set up posters with his sloppy crimes with a reward of £ 100, today equivalent to £ 7,700, placed on his head.
Vigilant “Monster Hunters” beat up innocent men who aroused suspicion, while women wore brass underskirts to protect themselves.
Dr. Bondeson, who wrote “The London Monster: Terror on the Streets,” the police said forced victims to identify Williams at identity parades, and he was charged even when women did not pick him.
Premier Minster William Pitt, aka The Monster, stabs Britannia with his rapier and throws his diabolical nose in her face while rival politician Charles James Fox, The Guardian, looks bewildered
Two old girls dream that the Monster will show their attention to prove that they are still attractive when the devil suddenly appears
London businessman John Julius Angerstein promised a £ 100 reward for the capture of the perpetrator (left). A monster poster from Mr. Angerstein (right)
Although Williams was an “unpleasant” character, he believes he may have been used as a scapegoat for the crimes in an attempt to end the street panic.
After in-depth research, Dr. Bondeson that it is more likely that they were committed by a large number of miscreants who surrendered to the first known “copycat” crime.
Dr. Bondeson said: “In 1790, almost a century before Jack the Ripper chased the streets of London, another predator prevailed.
“The Monster, as this mysterious mischief was quickly dubbed, ran to a beautiful, well-dressed lady, insulted her with crude and earthy language, and then stabbed her in the thigh or buttocks.
Dr. Jan Bondeson (photo), a medical adviser at the University of Cardiff, has raised serious doubts about whether the man who was convicted of the filthy crimes was responsible
Cartoon suggesting that Rhynwick Williams disguisedly attacks the Porter sisters should be hanged for his crimes
“He struck the streets of London at regular intervals and injured young and attractive women.
“Because this kind of sadistic behavior was unheard of at the time, there was general outrage among Londoners and the female world of the capital was in turmoil.
“In the first half of 1790, the newspapers were full of the latest outrage from The Monster.
“Anne Porter, the monster victim who pointed to Williams in Green Park, was convinced that he was the man who cut her.
“She was seconded by her three sisters, all of whom testified that the Welshman had been in the habit of stalking them in the street, using the most horrible and offensive language.
The monster cuts a lady in front of Mr. Angerstein’s front door (left) and another potential victim is equipped with protective equipment (right)
A satirical print of courtier George Hanger as the Monster chasing a court lady (photo). Women were kicked from behind with spikes on his knees confirmed by The Monster
“Other Monster victims, however, could not pick Williams, and some said they were convinced that he was not the man who cut them.
“There are also indications that the police deliberately coached at least one victim of The Monster to choose Williams as the man who attacked them.
“The Welshman was probably a pervert who liked to insult women and one of the misogyinistic characters roaming the streets, but in my opinion it has not been proven that he stabbed someone.
“So it is quite possible that the Welshman was just a scapegoat, bad enough to fall into the hands of the authorities when they needed someone to pay for the crimes of The Monster.
“It is clear that there were multiple copycat monsters that imitated the original attacker – and this is in fact the earliest known example of copycat crime.”
The infamous Jack the Ripper, whose identity was never revealed, killed five women in Whitechapel in 1888.