About the Crimes

 A brief introduction to the mysterious events of 1885.

may 7


Locations of the Murders

300 East Cedar


About The Victims

The lives, families and legacies of Mollie Smith, Eliza Shelley, Irene Cross, Mary Ramey, Gracie Vance, Orange Washington, Susan Hancock, Eula Phillips.

Unidentified African American Woman Austin

The Servant Girl Annihilator

A Case of Rage, Evidence, Questions Left Unanswered.



Citizens, Scoundrels, Lawmen

Familiar names, ordinary folks, strangers, noted personalities, troublemakers, drunks, damsels, vagabonds, the lost and forgotten, residing in and around 19th century Austin.



Violet Crown Chronicles

Assorted events, anecdotes, customs, complaints, peculiarities, and commentary as documented by the daily newspapers in 1880s Austin.

cigar reading


Miscellanea & Ephemera
Postmortem Print
Read the Book


Police Calls 1885 Volume, AR.P.01, Laws Collection, Austin History Center, Austin Public Library.

Residence of Valentine O. Weed, 300 E. Cedar Street.  PICH 00103.  Austin History Center, Austin Public Library.

Unidentified Albumen Print. George Schuwirth.  Austin, Texas.

Servant Girl Annihilator.  Photo Illustration.

19th century Austin faces illustration.  All unidentified except H. G. Lee second from left.  H. R. Marks, photographer, 1 and 5.

Man Reading Newspaper.  Albumen Print.  Photographer unknown.