The Doomsday Book: FREDERICK Bailey Deeming was a multiple killer who showed no remorse for his innocent victims.
Deeming was hanged in May 1892 after being convicted of the murder of his wife, Emily.
Six months earlier the gasfitter had also killed his wife and their four children half a world away in England. Frederick Deeming's notoriety has earned him a special place in the Doomsday Book, the macabre journal kept by jail authorities of deaths behind bars.
Was Frederick Bailey Deeming mad or just plain evil?
Like many serial killers before and after him, the true scale of Deeming's murderous rampages will never be known, especially during his extensive visits overseas.
What is known about the British-born Deeming - widely called the Windsor Murderer - is that he killed his first wife, Marie, and their four children at Rainhill, England, in late July 1891.
He was a very cruel man. He killed his own children, and you don't get anything crueller than that.
|Emily Mather was bludgeoned to death by husband |
Frederick Deeming on Christmas Eve, 1891.
He finds himself in the Doomsday book.
|An illustration of the murder of Emily Mather. |
Emily Mather Deeming's body was found buried under the hearthstone in one of the bedrooms. She'd been battered around the head and had her throat cut before being covered in cement.
After the gruesome discovery, British police were alerted and a search of the Rainhill house revealed the bodies of Marie and children Bertha, Marie, Martha and Sidney.
Deeming, 38, was both a fraudster and a murderer. While living in England, South Africa and Australia he lived his life under different names. He also did time for dishonesty.
In February, 1890 he married Helen Matheson in England and was convicted of fraud, but not bigamy.
By the following September, under the name of Williams, he had married the unfortunate Emily Lydia Mather and the two travelled to Melbourne, where they set up house in Windsor.
The marriage would not last the year. On Christmas Eve, Deeming killed Emily, hiding her remains in the scond bedroom.
Three months later, Deeming's evil double life was beginning to unravel when noxious odours filled the house. The owner of the house spoke to neighbours, who told her of Emily's strange disappearance.
Police were called in and the floorboards immediately lifted.
Soon after, the bodies of Marie and the four children were also located - all with their throats cut.
Within weeks, Deeming was picked up in Perth, in the company of another woman he'd met in Melbourne and planned to marry. He'd changed his identity to Baron Swanston, but detectives nailed him when they found some of Emily Mather's belongings, including her prayer book.
Newspaper stories of the time linked Deeming to Jack the Ripper, suggesting that he could be the notorious East London mass killer. Articles were published detailing how he had bought knives in the area.
Deeming, himself, allegedly told fellow prisoners while sitting it out on death row awaiting his execution. The link between Deeming's gruesome work and the Whitechapel killer was his insanity - he had a brain disorder caused by venerael disease - and the use of knives as a murder weapon.
Deeming was executed at the Old Melbourne Gaol. His death mask is on display there and also at the Black Museum at New Scotland Yard.
Deeming's home still 'haunted'
One hundred and twenty years later, the name of Frederick Deeming still sends shockwaves through law-abiding communities.
Sebastian Gurciullo, who curated the Deeming exhibition at the Public Archive of Victoria, told True Crime of the strange phenomena he uncovered while researching the killer's history.
The Windsor house might be haunted.
Mr Gurciullo said he had spoken to the previous owners who told him of the "strange feelings" coming from the house.
"They told me it was quite strange living there. They felt a strange presence. Once they found out the history of the place they felt quite uncomfortable and moved out," he said.
"It's one of the most bizarre and at the same time, disturbing cases I've come across.
"When I contacted them they were really spooked out that all this has happened in their house.
"They were considering leaving at the time.
Ronald Ryan is another of the
condemned faces in The Doomsday Book.
"He was really the serial killer of the age. He's up there with Jack the Ripper.
"He was an international killer, South Africa and South America (where he is suspected of involvement in a number of murders), England and Australia.
"If he'd been willing to do it in England, and if he'd been willing to do it is Australia...who knows?"
But Mr Gurciullo doubts Deeming and Jack the Ripper were one and the same.
"There are similarities in the killings and psycho pathological condition of the two murderers, such as the focus on women. But the killing of the children was out of the character of Jack the Ripper," he said.
"Also, Deeming was doing time when the Ripper killed one of his victims.
"At the time it was an interesting connection. There was a fair degree of public hysteria back then."
|Emily Mather's headstone is also a warning to other young women. |
"He was extremely devious, but he was also sloppy in the way he approached his crimes," he said.
"A master of disguises, he seemed to be able to easily slip around and change his appearances and personalities, his back story and whatever. He could create a whole new character seemingly without much effort.
"He was a very cruel man. He killed his own children, and you don't get anything crueller than that."
But even after all this time, the unanswered question remains: "Was it a mental condition or was he just so evil. Was he mad...or just bad?"