Martha Ruffian, at one time a maid in the employ of Mrs. Daisy Opie Grace and a witness in the famous trial of Mrs. Grace for the attempted murder of her husband, was found dead Sunday morning at 7 o’clock in the rear of 59 Ponce de Leon avenue.
The woman had been living for the last month in an alley just off Ponce de Leon avenue, having separated from her husband, J.C. Ruffian, who was also a state’s witness in the Grace trial and a former butler in the Grace home. She had evidently been killed in her home and then dragged through a large pea patch for a distance of 50 feet, as a trail of blood was discovered leading from the house to the clump of bushes in which the body was found.
Her death was due to a single knife wound in the throat, which severed the jugular vein. The crime is a mystery to the police, who can assign no motive for the murder of the negress unless it can be shown that Alex Smith, a negro lately intimate with her, killed her in a jealous rage. The murder was committed in the regular “Jack the Ripper” style and is the eighteenth crime of the same nature perpetrated in Atlanta within the past three years. The police are searching for Alex Smith, a negro, who they believe may be able to tell something about the crime.
The Atlanta Constitution,
March 8, 1914
ULTIMATUM ISSUED BY JACK THE RIPPER
Threatens Pawnbrokers and
Women Vagrants in Card
Pinned on Fire Box.
Jack the Ripper, notorious for his murders of negro women, has issued an ultimatum to pawn brokers, negro women, women of the streets, and late night idlers.
He declares that he will begin his work in the city of Atlanta again and gives public notice of it. Fire Station House No. 2 received three false alarms last night between 12 o clock and 1 o clock all of which were on the south side of the city and from fire boxes that are very near to each other. First the alarm was from Washington and Love streets then box 86 at Washington and Jefferson streets was pulled and then the third and last box 334 at the corner of Whitehall terrace and Richardson streets was pulled.
Chief Courtney on investigation of box 334 found Jack the Ripper’s bloody ultimatum written on a card and signed in bold letters. He threatened to cut the throats of all negro women found out on the streets after a certain hour of the night, gave a warning to all pawnbrokers, women of the streets including white women and advised all idiots to beware.
It is the belief of the fire chief that the bold Ripper called by many, Gyp the Blood, had pinned his ultimatum to the first two fire boxes but that the wind had probably blown them off before the arrival of the firemen.
Chief Courtney gave the card to a policeman and the police have taken the matter in hand intending to give it a thorough investigation. During the summer of 1911 it will be remembered that nearly twenty murders were attributed to the Ripper.
The Atlanta Constitution,
July 22, 1914
“JACK THE RIPPER”
IS ONCE MORE BUSY
Another Negro Woman Found
Jack the Ripper is beginning operations in Atlanta again among negro women. A second victim of this week was found murdered Tuesday shortly afternoon in a niche of woods near the end of Hill street, lying half submerged in a small stream of water.
A bullet hole pierced the negro woman’s head, and around her body on the bank were the prints of a man’s feet and signs that a struggle had preceded her death.
The discovery of the negro woman’s body forms a mystery to the police. An unknown party telephoned police headquarters that a dead woman’s body had been found, giving the location. When Officer Charles Maddox arrived at the specified place no one was there to direct him to the place where the body was said to be. The policeman went by the directions given in the telephone message and found the body.
After an absence of months Jack the Ripper that will o wisp murderer, whose midnight activities have baffled the city in years gone by again made his appearance in Atlanta Saturday night.
Police officers early Sunday morning found the body of a negro woman which had been slashed in several places with a razor or a very sharp knife. The body was lying in a ditch alongside the road at Sixteenth and Cherry streets. The negress so far is unidentified.
City detectives have been put to work on the murder. Police Captain W M Mayo Sunday said that the murder has every aspect of the old Jack the Ripper murders of several years ago.
The Atlanta Constitution,
August 16, 1915
“Ripper” Busy Again;
Another Negro Woman
Victim of the Slasher
Discovery near the corner of Ponce de Leon and Penn avenues of the body of Lucy Farr, a negro woman employed at 207 Bedford place, at 7 o’clock Sunday morning, leads the police to believe that another “Jack the Ripper” crime has been committed in Atlanta.
Police headquarters was notified early Sunday morning by a negro that he had found the body of the woman, and that she had evidently been stabbed in the head several times.
Call Officers Austin and McWilliams answered the call, and had the body removed to Howard’s undertaking establishment, where a coroner’s inquest will be held.
The body of an unidentified negro woman, thought to be a victim of the mysterious “Jack the Ripper,” was found in a hog pen of the Virginia avenue convict camp at 9 o’clock Sunday morning. The woman was found by one of the guards at the camp.
There were no marks on her body to show that she had died from violence, but Sergeant Jordon, of the county police force, states that in his opinion her neck was broken with some heavy instrument. A coroner’s inquest will be held over the body.