Sunday, March 9, 2014

Acid Queens: Women Who Throw Acid


Acid throwing is in the news these days due to the prevalence of this crime in South Central Asia. Reported statistics show victims to be about 80% female. Statistics on the sex of the perpetrator are much harder to find (and have not been located by UHoM yet). The epidemic of acid attacks started, we are told, in the 1980s. These crimes are, every reasonable person would agree, are of the most cruel kind and are deserving of the most extreme condemnation. Yet the specialists who make an effort to publicize this horrible crime epidemic are classifying it as a :gender issue." The term "gender" when used in such a way universally connotes "women," specifically in the sense of "victimization of women by men." Perhaps this classification accurately represents the proportion of each sex in the victim category, but it does not accurately disclose the fact that a huge number of the perpetrators are women, women who choose to commit atrocious crimes on other individuals.

It is worth looking at acid attacks in the West. This was a common crime in the US and occurred in Europe as well. All of the cases listed her feature female perpetrators. This is not meant to suggest that men were less frequently the criminal. Yet since female criminality has been severely under-served by researchers ever since the beginning of criminology it is worthwhile to examine a sampling of such cases. The most overlooked category of criminal violence in terms of sex of perpetrator and sex of victim is, of course, female against female. The selection here will assist those who wish to understand what the historical record reveals about the veracity of VAWA architects and “our belief in the inherent non-violence of women.”

A large share of acid attacks by women involve what nowadays we call “stalking.”
 
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From Wikipedia: One of the earliest recorded acid assaults occurred in 17th century France during Louis XIV’s rule. The use of vitriol, or sulfuric acid, became so widespread throughout Europe in the late 1800s that the term La Vitrioleuse was coined. La Vitrioleuse described women, the majority poor, who perpetrated crimes of passion against unfaithful mates or their mistresses in order to grotesquely disfigure them and ruin future amorous activity.

SUMMARIES & LINKS

1865 – Margaret Boyle – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (stalker)

Mrs. Boyle pressured her daughter to marry the man of her choice. After the daughter divorced her mother-selected husband and remarried, Mrs. Boyle got even by throwing acid into the man’s face. She was arrested for assault and battery with intent to kill.

1879 – General article on female acid throwers (stalkers)

Satirical piece on the common crime committed by women who stalk and attack their victims with acid.

1879 – 3 cases: “Ellen,” Mary Chinnerny, Kate MacDonald – New York, New York 

“Ellen” was promised marriage and seduced by John McEnnerny, who then broke his promise. She sued him, won $500, but could not collect. McEnnerny, a wholly unsympathetic character apparently, then made fun of his victim. She got him back by dissolving his face and destroying one of his eyes with acid.

Mary Chinnerny attacked her fiancé, Bernard O’Neall, with acid, destroying one of his eyes and damaging the other.

Kate MacDonald got off with a light sentence for her attack on Joseph W. Taylor, by pretending to be insane, ending her act within seconds following her sentencing. MacDonald’s acid attack on Taylor, who had married another woman rather than Kate, was carefully premeditated and she was even assisted by an accomplice. (stalker)

1881 – Mrs. Clarkson – Chicago, Illinois

Mrs. Clarkson’s husband was more good-looking than her. So he had to die. But the murder attempt failed so destroying his face with acid became “plan B.” 

1884 – Amélie Sangle – France (stalker)

Amélie Sangle separated from her husband. When his friend, Delinon, refused to disclose the new residence of the estranged husband, Amélie dumped acid on his face rendering him deaf and blind. The chivalrous jury felt sorry for her and found her not guilty.

1885 – Mrs. Stadelman – Chicago, Illinois

Mrs. Stadelman was owed money by Mrs. Schneider. He was slow to pay – repeatedly. Mrs. Stadelman decided to make him pay with his eyesight.

1887 – Maggie Lloyd – Reading, Pennsylvania

When Howard Potter learned that his fiancée, Maggie Lloyd, had a reputation for having an explosive temper, he set up a meeting so that he could, in the gentlest and most diplomatic manner, retract his proposal. The news prompted Maggie to take action. While seated in her parlor, the young man was offered a drink, which he declined. Maggie then shouted “Then take it this way,” and dashed the contents, acid, into his face. Potter was permanently disfigured. The left side of his face was made black and was “indented like a cancerous infection.”

1892 – Catherine Merkle – Akron, Ohio (stalker)

A middle aged woman was left by her much younger lover. She stalked him and springing from her hiding place shouted “I’ve got you now, take that,” threw a bottle of vitriol in his face. One of his eyes was dissolved and extreme damage was done to his face and neck.

1895 – Bridget Little – New York, New York

Widower George D. Smith, had a mother-in-law who loved him. But he did not to marry her, so she threw carbolic acid in his face when he decided one evening not to walk her home. He was not seriously injured, however.

1896 – Sarah Harris – New York, New York (stalker)

Stalker Sarah Harris threw a bottle of carbolic acid over John Schuss, at his home, and also over his mother, because Schuss refused to marry her. Fortunately for Mr. and Mrs. Schuss, the acid was diluted, but it was strong enough to burn their faces painfully.

1896 – Mrs. Heinebach – Butte, Montana (stalker)

“Because she thought her husband had been too attentive to another woman, Mrs. Edward Heinebach, wife of the manager of the Huston and Montana Mining Company, threw a pint of vitriol in the face of Mrs. Thomas Snelling last night. The fluid burned almost every shred of clothing off the woman’s body; her face and body were burned in a most frightful manner, and the sight of both eyes probably destroyed. Mrs. Heinebach and her sister, who accompanied her, are in jail. The condition of the victim is serious, and it is said there is no foundation for Mrs. Heinebach’s jealousy.”

1896 – George H. McCluskey – Chicago Illinois (stalker)

A man who left his wife leaves St. Paul, Minnesota for Chicago and is tracked down by his wife who then attacks him with acid.

1896 – Mrs. Otens – New York, New York (stalker)

Mrs. Otens had planned to shoot William R. Denman after he lost interest in her and began paying attention to another woman. Having failed to pull the trigger of her revolver when she confronted him, she tried another tack. She sprang from behind a bush and threw acid into the face of William R. Denman. William had blocked the attack with his arm, causing some of the vitriol to splash on his attacker. William was badly injured and blinded in one eye.

1897 – Edna Hitchens – Marietta, Ohio

William Beatty died from the acid attack of Edna Hitchens.

1898 – Martha Place – New York, New York

Martha Place murdered her young step-daughter, throwing acid in her face and then smothering her. After this she stabbed husband. The murder became a notorious case. The murderess was executed in 1899.


1899 – Mrs. McVean (victim) – St. Louis, Missouri (stalker)

A widow is stalked by a strange woman who throws acid in her face causing critical injuries.

1900 – Flora Worth – Fort Wayne, Indiana

Flora Worth, a prostitute, got drunk and threw muriatic acid (hydrochloric acid) on Ida McNaughton, a landlady who had previously made some remarks about another drunken female, a fiend of Flora’s. When Flora threw the acid toward Ida’s face, the victim dodged the spray, receiving only a slight burn and damage to her clothing.

1901 – Nellie Clark – St. Louis, Missouri

Nellie Clark: “I had the acid put in a small jar, such as is used for salves. As I was talking to Cole I unscrewed the lid, and, thinking I had a good chance, dashed the acid at his lace. He threw up his arm, and this caused most of the fluid to rebound in my face. The pain was fearful. I followed him across the street and ran into a woman, knocking her down, as I entered the Chemical building. If Cole got anything he deserved it. I am not sorry.”

1901 – “Detroit Girl” – Chicago, Illinois (stalker)

A Detroit girl travels to Chicago to stalk the young man who had dated her but had rejected her and attacks him with acid. The Chicago judge find her innocent because, in his judicial view, he deserved the assault because he decided against marriage.

1901 – 3 cases: Kate Hayden, Mamie Sheehan, Amelia Fleming – New York City

“Made desperate by the complaint of her neglected daughter, Mrs. Kate Hayden, whose address is unknown, went to the home of Mrs. Ruth Murphy, at No. 615 East Eighty-first street, and attempted to destroy her beauty by throwing acid upon her face and neck.”

“Mamie Sheehan, of No. 206 Baltic street, Brooklyn, and Patrick Lane, of No. 55 Van Brunt street, were at a dance last night in the Brooklyn Dancing Academy, in Fulton street, opposite the Borough Hall. They has formerly been sweethearts, but during the evening Lane did not dance with her. After midnight, when the dance broke up, Lane went out on the street and met the girl, who then threw acid in his face. Then she ran away.”

“After being foiled in an attempt to rob her aunt for the benefit, the police say, of her lover, and after disfiguring herself for life with carbolic acid in trying to bolster up a false story of robbery, pretty Amelia Fleming, of No. 642 Evergreen avenue, Williamsburg, has left her home for parts unknown after making a full confession of her duplicity to the police.”

1901– Elizabeth L’Etoile – Lowell, Massachusetts

“John Bouchard, the alleged victim of [Mrs. Elizabeth L’Etoile’s] jealousy, was a sorry sight. He was brought over from St. John’s hospital in a carriage, and was accompanied by his wife, to whom he was married Sept. 26, and Dr. Robert W. Foster, of the hospital staff. He was led into the court room by Detective Laflamme and given a seat near the witness stand. The man is totally blind, his face is disfigured and his left arm burned. His face and head were swathed in bandages.”

1901 – Mamie Lee – Trenton, New Jersey

She threw acid, a material used in her workplace, at a fellow worker, causing life-threatening injury.

1901 – Anthony Myers (victim) – Newburg, New York (stalker)

An unknown woman attempts to blind a 16-year-old walking to school, but his quick reflexes save his sight.

1901 – Emily Weeks – Albany, New York

Emily Weeks, “to prevent her mother discovering forgeries amounting to $2,900 which she had perpetrated by the use of her mother's name, she threw carbolic acid into her face, almost blinding her.”

1902 – Pearl Aukers – Greensburg, Pennsylvania (stalker)

George Loughner return home from his honeymoon was attacked by his former sweetheart, who, although carrying a pistol, decided tot to kill him but instead to disfigure him by throwing acid in his face.

1902 – “Jennie Smith” (alias) – New York, New York (stalker)

A married woman with a 13-year-old daughter stalks a man for two years, demanding that he marry her (in spite of the fact that she had a husband). Finally, she attacks him with acid, saying, telling a policeman “If he had kissed me it would have been all right.”

1903 – Amelia Cooper – Boston, Massachusetts

“When John Mulvaney, aged 22 years, a stock clerk, of 276 West 118th st, told his sweetheart, 18-year-old Amelia Cooper of 1755 3d av, yesterday, that he did not want to have anything further to do with her, she threw two ounces of carbolic acid in his face from a tumbler she held in her hand. He was removed to the Harlem hospital, and will lose the sight of his right eye. He also was badly burned about the face and hands. The girl escaped.”

1904 – Mrs. Guinan – New York, New York

She threw acid in husband’s eyes and rubbed it in, causing permanent blindness in the right eye and probably also in the left.

1904 – Jennie L. Kleimenhagen – San Francisco, California (stalker)

After her live-in boyfriend left her, Miss Kleimenhagen demanded money from him and afterwards stalked him, attacking him with acid. Having failed to disfigure his face, she stalked him again and attempted to shoot him.

1904 – Hollet Snow – Springfield, Missouri

“Mrs. Hollet Snow dashed a glassful of carbolic acid into the face of Mrs. Mary Bunel. Mrs. Bunel’s face, neck and chest were badly burned and she probably will lose her eyesight. Mrs. Snow was arrested.”

1905 – Esther Hacken – Chicago, Illinois

Daughter blinds 70-year-old father with carbolic acid over disagreements.

1905 – Elizabeth Saferian – Fresno, California

A woman attempts to poison another woman with lye in the presence of a small boy. The target of the attempt gets her revenge by destroying the sight of the 3-year-old with the lye.


1906 – Jennie Cosgrove – Warrensburg, New York

An estranged wife, who had not seen her husband for two years, used the claim she wanted to see their 9-year-old daughter, to set him up for a vicious acid attack in which she broke a bottle of vitriol over his head and shoulders causing serious injury.

1908 – Kate Phipps – Lexington, Kentucky (stalker)

Mrs. Kate Phipps said to Miss Mary Ryan: “If I can't have rosy cheeks, you can’t. Everybody likes you: nobody likes me.” She then threw carbolic acid in her face and cut her with a knife on the cheeks and hands.


1909 – Mlle. Ducosset – Paris France (stalker)

Mlle. Ducosset stalked M. Verdier for a year. She threw acid on him and in spite of the severe burns managed to shoot her to death.

1909 – “Parisian Acid Stalker” – Paris, France (stalker)

A woman threw vitriol in the face of a man whom she did not know but had mistaken for her recreant lover. The victim lost the sight of one eye, but a Paris jury acquitted the woman. Afterward she and her lover were reconciled.
1910 – Eugenie Baujean – Paris, France (stalker)

Jilted lover Eugenie Baujean flung the contents of a bottle of vitriol in the face of her beau, a retired sergeant major of gendarmerie named Sarrasin. The corrosive liquid burned him about the face, arms and throat, inflicting such injuries as to bring about his death two months later. She was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

1910 – Mrs. Thompson – Eugene, Oregon (stalker)

An unknown “woman who entered the room of Mrs. W. S. Thompson in the Hall building and attempted to throw carbolic Acid in Mrs. Thompson’s face. The woman was masked. As she hurled the burning fluid at her victim, the stranger shouted: ‘Now I’ve got you where I want you.’”

1910 – Barbara Walton – Wilkesbarre, Pennsylvania (stalker)

“Ten men were burned by carbolic acid when Miss Barbara Walton of Plymouth near here, made an effort to destroy the features of Thomas Price, a handsome young mine worker, of whom she was jealous, because he had, after paying attention to her, transferred his attention to another girl.”

1911 – Rose Abels – Pittsburg, Pennsylvania (stalker)

Rose Abels threw the contents of a bottle of carbolic acid into the face of the woman whom she claims ruined her life and stole her husband’s love.

1911 – Susan Childs – Goldfield, New York

“Susan Childs, a pretty domestic, aged 21, is suffering from severe burns on the face and breast today, sustained when an unidentified woman, believed to have been prompted by jealousy, hurled a quantity of carbolic acid at her head. Miss Childs will be disfigured for life.”

1912 – Annie Raffleson – Chicago, Illinois (stalker)

“Annie Raffleson, the pretty Jewish girl, whose face has been described as that of the Madonna, is free today, through the humanitarianism of Judge Hines of the charge which might have sent her to the penitentiary. She recently came here from her country home to throw acid in the face of her lover who had given his love to another girl.”

1912 – Ann Heil – Buffalo, New York

“After throwing acid in the face of her chauffeur, Arthur C. Ferris, 34 years old, Mrs. Anna Heil, 29 years old, a widow with two small children, fired a wild shot at the man and then turned the revolver on herself, indicting n trifling wound in her right temple. The affair occurred as Ferris opened the door of his employer's motor car for her to enter.”

1913 – Mrs. Jones – Wheeling, West Virginia

A jealous wife attacks another woman with carbolic acid, splashing some of it on another woman, but missing her baby.

1914 – Mrs. Seamon – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

“Little Ralph Seamon, 1 year old, may pay with a scarred face and the sight of his right eye because his father danced the tango with a girl his mother doesn't like. Mrs. Seamon threw acid at her husband after the dance and it hit the child.”

1915 – Annie Cten – Pittsburg, Pennsylvania (stalker)

A stalking woman who uses cayenne pepper, then carbolic acid and then a pistol.

1915 – Thomas Potts (victim) – Holtville, California (stalker)

“Authorities are looking for the mysterious woman who rode on horseback last night to the in of Thomas Potts, a local druggist, and hurled a phial of nitric acid in his face as lie slept. Potts’ eyesight is totally destroyed and his shoulders and arms are badly burned. He could think of no enemies or no reason for such an attack.”


1915 – Lottie Ribichka – Vienna, Austria

An aristocrat fails to secure permission from the royal family to marry his mistress. He tries to console her by offering to give her a large sum of money so that she might live well. She finds this unacceptable and destroys his face with acid and shoots him four times, then kills herself. After eight months of agony he finally dies.

1916 – Margaret Daig – New York, New York

Mrs. Margaret Daig was arraigned on the charge of throwing carbolic acid into the face of William Knudsen. She not only said she did it, but said she was glad she did it.

1916 – Jennie Lodwick – Youngstown, Ohio

Mrs. Lodwick, according to her husband’s divorce filings, employed carbolic acid along with a dizzying array of devices to make him miserable.

1919 – Mayme McConnel – Elkhart, Indiana (stalker)

Unknown woman rings door bell and when Mrs. McConnel answers Carbolic Acid is thrown in her face, scarring her for life and blinding her, probably permanently.

1920 – Alexandria Sokolowsky – New York, New York

“Mrs. Alexandria A. Sokolowsky, twenty-eight, widow of Frank Sokolowsky, representative of the American Federation of Labor, who died of carbolic acid poisoning in their home at New Haven June 20, was arrested last night and locked up in police headquarters and charged with murder. The detectives say she confessed she threw acid on her husband as he slept, because she had found love letters in his clothing and wanted to spoil his good looks.”

1921 – Jesse Hassel – Dallas, Texas (stalker)

Mrs. Hassel stalked husband and woman and attacked them with acid, seriously burning her about the face, arms, and shoulders.

1921 – Anna Irene Hopkins – Prescott, Arizona (stalker)

Mrs. Anna Irene Hopkins was charged with haling thrown acid into the face of Miss Lucille Gallagher, a school teacher. Mrs. Hopkins denied that she had tried to rub the acid into the eyes of Miss Gallagher as a witnesses to the affair charged.

1921 – Grace Jackson – New York, New York

When Alexander Hirsh, eighteen years old, a law student, employed as a clerk by the firm of Weis & Ottenberg, went to the apartment of Mrs. Grace Jackson, an actress, to serve a subpoena in a civil suit, the actress emptied a bottle of carbolic acid in his face.

1922 – Mollie Cantor – Atlantic City, New Jersey (stalker)

“Six people were burned, one woman seriously, a near panic occurred, and a play in Hebrew, ‘An Eye for an Eye,’ was brought to a stop at the Globe Theatre on the Boardwalk last night, when Mrs. Mollie Cantor,  thirty-six years old, … scattered the contents of a bottle of carbolic acid broadcast in an effort to injure Mrs. Mary Kolmetsky, thirty-five, … of whom she is said to be extremely jealous.”

1922 – Noelie Fayolle – Nimes, France

“Noelie Fayolle was angry. She threw vitriol at the man she had loved. But she was so angry her aim was bad. The vitriol burned 28 curious bystanders. Now Noelie must spend two years in jail.”

1924 – Grace Dolby – Columbus, Ohio (stalker)

“Three little children were made orphans tonight when a woman known to police as ‘Grace’ [Dolby] dashed a bottle of acid in their father's face while he was sitting in a downtown theater, causing his death before he could be rushed to a hospital. The victim was George B. Hackney 30, who according to Rose, aged 9 his eldest daughter, had been keeping company with the woman but had refused her repeated requests to marry her. ‘Grace kept asking papa to marry her, but papa wouldn't do it, so Grace got mad,’ the little girl sobbed night when told of the tragedy. Her mother died a few years ago.”

1925 – Grace Bernice Day – Los Angeles, California

Grace Bernice Day was one of the most notorious American acid queens. In her first marriage she gave her husband a black eye. In her second she poured acid on her husband. She was convicted of the crime and sent to prison. The photos of Mr. Day’s injury show grotesque scarring. Yet the acid was not a strong variety and did not penetrate to the deepest layer off the skin so it was possible, through a series of skin grafts, to restore his face. The victim decided to forgive his violent wife and worked hard to get her released from prison.

1926 – Ethel Millard (victim) – Dallas, Texas (stalker)

An anonymous woman hurls a pot of lye at an 18-year-old girl.

1927 – Mary Waite – London, England

“A [London] coroner’s jury today decided that Louis Fisher, refrigerating engineer of the United States Shipping Board steamer, American Trader, died from “natural causes” and that Mary Waite, 24-year old stewardess, did not intend to do him “any previous harm” in pouring acid over him while he slept.”

1931 – Anna Galloway – Spokane, Washington (stalker)

Miss Galloway found her love rival in the presence of the man she wanted for herself, so she poured acid on her. Newspapers reported that “the girl was seriously burned, and probably will be disfigured for life.”

1933 – Mariam Thompson – Maryville, Missouri

“Right into Mabel’s bright eyes, wide with surprise, Mrs. Miriam Thompson swished the acid as she cried: ‘You’ll never see my husband again, Mabel!’”

1938 – Betty King – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

In a fit of jealousy, Betty King showered a man and his dancer-companion with acid last night in a Pittsburgh cafe.

1963 – Edith Nadine Beals – Corpus Christi, Texas image

Mr. Beals said he was inside his ex-wife’s car on Colonial Street and was writing her a check for a utility bill when she flung the acid at his eyes, permanently disfiguring him. “I knew it would keep him from raping me,” said the attacker. The victim said the accusation of rape was false.

1977 – Stacey Tinberg – Lynwood, Kansas

A schoolgirl attacked her schoolmate, Stacey Tinberg, 14, with acid because she was envious of her “Farah Fawcett” hair.

1985 – Jennetta Barnes – Lumberton, North Carolina

Threw acid on her boyfriend’s sister following an argument.

1995 – Salina Jones Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Jones threw sulfuric acid on four people.

2005 – Rihab Hagelkhider – Albany, New York (stalker)

Rihab Hagelkhider attacked a group of people at a wedding reception with acid so powerful it melted the gloves of the Fire Department responders who provided first aid to the victims.

2008 – Soni Devi – Malsalami, Patna, India

A wife and her extra-marital “love interest” pour acid on the husband.


Two women, related by marriage and having an affair with the same man arranged for three teenaged girls to attack the woman who had won the affections of thee man who left them. The victim had sulfuric acid poured on her and was hit by a baseball bat and is severely disfigured despite a long series of surgeries.

2010 – Charlis Harris Chicago, Illinois (stalker)

Harris was accused of following another woman in her car, tossing acid on the victim, shooting her and then taking a hammer to the car.

2011 – Tikia Shauntice Anderson & Tamara ChrystalJackson – Oxon Hill,  Maryland (stalker)

Jealous Tikia Shauntice Anderson coaxed her friend to attack a woman with drain cleaner, injuring their target along with the 3-year-old daughter. 

2011 – Aarti Dikshit – Anand Vihar, Delhiu, India

Aarti Dikshit carried a bottle of acid in her purse which she used to punish her boyfriend for breaking off their engagement.

2011 – Angela Paterson Indianapolis, Indiana

The acid attack followed the victim’s having refusing to accede to Paterson’s demand that she give her half her pain medication following a visit to the doctor as payment for living in her home.

2012 – Erma Jean Broyles – Forrest City, Arkansas (stalker)

Erma stalked her ex-boyfriend and threw acid in his face.

2012 – Rith Savan (victim) – Phnom Penh, Cambodia (stalker)

It was the first acid attack in Cambodia since a new, harsher, law against the crime had gone into effect only six weeks earlier. A jealous wife was motivated, it is believed, by an imagined relationship between the victim and the stalker’s husband.
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1 comment:

  1. Damn... this is a really impressive database. This is news I think that would forever be swept under the rug if not for fastidious researchers like yourself.

    ReplyDelete