Victims and Locations
“Mollie Smith, Eliza Shelly, Irene Cross, Mary Ramey, Grace Vance and Mrs. Hancock, were all dragged out into the yard or back premises. All these murders occurred about midnight, in a majority of instances on moonlight nights, and the same mysterious and utterly impenetrable silence, unbroken by sound or cry, reigned while the assassin was at his terrible work.” — Austin Daily Statesman May 30, 1886.
901 West Pecan Street. Residence of W.K. Hall. One block west of Shoal Creek.
Mollie Smith, “about twenty-five years of age”, attacked with an axe in her sleep, dragged into the backyard, raped and murdered. Walter Spencer, 30 yrs. old, also attacked and wounded. December 30, 1884.
302 East Cypress Street. Residence of Lucien B. Johnson. “…a neat cottage on the corner of San Jacinto and Cypress streets, in the southern part of the city, the Central railroad track being immediately in front of the house.”
Eliza Shelley, approximately 30 years of age, mother of three small children, attacked and killed with an axe in her sleep. May 7, 1885.
302 East Linden Street. Rear building, residence of Sophia Witman. Scholz Biergarten is pictured across the street to the left.
Irene Cross, 33 yrs. old, attacked with a knife in bed, died of her wounds. May 23, 1885.
300 East Cedar Street. Residence of Valentine O. Weed. Exactly one block north of location where Eliza Shelley was killed. The Driskill Hotel is located two blocks northwest.
Mary Ramey, 11 years of age, raped and murdered. Mary’s mother Rebecca Ramey, 50 yrs. old was also attacked and wounded. August 30, 1885.
2408 Guadalupe (San Marcos) Street.* Residence of William B. Dunham. Servant’s quarters located in rear yard. The Old Main Building of The University of Texas was located just to the southeast as seen in the illustration. “On a brilliant moonlight night, on one of the principal avenues of the city, and a hundred yards from the university grounds, open and almost public wholesale murder has been done.”
Orange Washington, 25 years of age, killed with an axe while asleep. Gracie Vance, 20 yrs. old, also struck in the head with an axe while sleeping, carried into backyard, raped and murdered. Lucinda Boddy and Patsy Gibson,17 yrs. old, also attacked and wounded. September 28, 1885.
203 East Water Street. Residence of Moses H. Hancock.
Susan Hancock, 41 years of age, wife of Moses Hancock, 55 yrs. old, mother of Lena 15 yrs. and Ida 10 yrs., struck with an axe while sleeping, dragged into the backyard. She died from her wounds on December 28, 1885.
302 West Hickory Street. Family residence of James Phillips Sr.
Eula Phillips. 17 years of age, mother of Thomas 1 yrs, wife of James Phillips Jr. Struck with an axe while sleeping, carried into the backyard, raped and murdered. James Phillips Jr., 24 yrs. old, also attacked and wounded. December 24, 1885.
All images are based on the 1887 Bird’s-Eye View map of Austin, Texas by Augustus Koch. All locations are verified by Sanford Insurance maps.
*The Statesman reports the address as 2310 San Marcos Street, but the City Directory lists William B. Dunham residence as 2408 Guadalupe and this is confirmed by Sanford Insurance maps, which also confirms the location of his neighbor Harry Duff at 2407 Guadalupe directly across the street. However Dunham himself gives his address as San Marcos Street when interviewed by a reporter. The 1887 map also shows the street name as San Marcos Street (not to be confused with a different San Marcos Street in the southeastern part of the city).