Monday, October 17, 2016

Mrs. Isaac Hendricks, Child Torturer – 1885, New York

FULL TEXT: Isaac Hendricks and his wife live in New Brunswick, N. J. The pair have no children, and as far as can be ascertained, Hendricks is a hard-working blacksmith. The couple some time since adopted child from from the Union School, Philadelphia. For some time past the neighbors have heard sounds as it some one was being beaten. The matter was finally brought to the attention of Justice Lefferts, who in company with the chief of police and a reporter visited the house. In a small bedroom in the rear of the house, which was handsomely furnished, lying in bed, with her head swathed in bandages, was an eight-year-old girl. When the chief of police bent over the bed to ask the child questions, it was found that her right eye was blackened and badly swollen. The child’s clothes were removed, and her stomach and legs were found to be covered with bruises, all of them in various stages of discoloration. The head was also bruised and discolored. To the questions of the chief she said:

“I beat my head because I was tied.”

The child went on to say that on Monday night she was tied all night to the door-handle of the room. Altogether, she thought, from twelve to thirteen hours were passed in this manner.

The woman was then interrogated and admitted having beaten her, declaring that the child was vicious.

Dr. Van Marter, who was called in attendance upon the child, said: “This is one of the most inhuman cases of brutality I have ever seen. There is great danger of the child dying. The top of the child’s head is a literal palp, and she is covered with bruises from head to foot. The woman Hendricks admitted to me that she beat the child.”

The injured child was sent to the city hospital by Dr. Williamson, who says she is likely to die, as her head has been beaten in.

Dr. Rice, County Physician, made a further examination of the child at City Hospital and finds that an unmentionable outrage has been committed on her with a hot poker. The woman Hendricks has been committed to jail.

[“Horrible Inhumanity – An Eight-Year-Old Girl Almost Beaten to Death by Her Adopted Mother.” The National Police Gazette (New York, N. Y.), May 30, 1885, pp. 4 & 7]




For more cases, see: Women Who Like to Torture


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