Friday, October 31, 2014

Rachel Clark, Pennsylvania “Young Girl” Serial Killer - 1816

FULL TEXT: Baltimore, January 21, 1866. – A most singular coincidence in reference to the case of Mrs. Grinder, who was executed at Pittsburg, on Friday last, for murder by poisoning, is the fact that one of her victims, Mrs. Caruthers, is the same name of an entire family of Caruthers, including father, mother, sons, and daughters, who were poisoned about fifty years ago in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, by a young girl named Rachel Clark, a domestic in the house of Mr. Caruthers.

If we are not mistaken, two, three, or more of the family died. Andrew Caruthers, an eminent lawyer of Carlisle, who had a very large practice and died a few years ago, it may be recollected, was very lame and much deformed, the muscles and sinews of his arms, hands, and legs being contracted and drawn up to a painful degree. This was the result of the poisoning referred to, from which he never recovered. It was alleged that jealousy caused the youthful murderess, who was represented as very handsome, to perpetrate the crime.

I have often seen notices in the public prints since the execution of Mrs. Surratt, and now, in commenting on that of Mrs. Grinder, that only a certain number of women have been hung in this country. The case of Rachel Clark, how ever, was always overlooked. She was publicly executed in Carlisle some fifty years ago [1816]. Her body was got possession of by Dr. Geddis, of Newville, Pa., who had the bones put on wires and set up in a box in his office, where there remained for many years, and possibly may yet be seen in the same town.

The general outlines of what I have here narrated are true, and will be sustained by reference to the history of the court proceedings in Carlisle. The whole case was a most singular and romantic one.

[“Letter From Baltimore. - Singular Coincidence.” The Evening Telegraph (Philadelphia, Pa.), Jan. 22, 1866, p. 5]


More cases: Serial Killer Girls


For more cases of this category, see: Female Serial Killers of 19th Century America (as of January 20, 2014, the collection contains 61 cases)


More cases: Youthful Borgias: Girls Who Commit Murder


More cases: Female Serial Killers Executed


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