Was England’s Elward Medhurst an “English Jesse Pomeroy”?

In the September 6, 1894 edition of the Journal Times (Racine, WI) a short paragraph appears on page 2 announcing that England has its own Jesse Pomeroy.

Jesse Pomeroy, America's "boy fiend"

Jesse Pomeroy has a permanent place in the American history books of crime. From 1871 to 1872, Charleston, Massachusetts boys reported being lured to a remote area by an older boy, then beaten and sexually assaulted. The brutality of the crime made the reports particularly notable. While there were no arrests, Jesse’s mother moved twelve-year-old Jesse and his brother to Boston. Jesse attacked more children and was caught and sentenced to a reformatory. On parole at fourteen, Jesse lured a ten-year-old girl away from the public, beat her, mutilated the corpse, and hid the body. Pomeroy was arrested, tried, and sentenced to hang; the sentence was overturned to life in prison in solitary confinement. Jesse Pomeroy spent over fifty years in State Prison at Charlestown. He was deemed to be highly intelligent, attempted escape several times, and died in the Bridgewater State Hospital for the Criminally Insane in 1932.


“A case of juvenile depravity”


In 1894, five-year-old Elward Medhurst of London was reported to have stabbed six children in one month. The victims were around five years old. One of these children died. Other children “escaped his attacks.” Elward’s path seemed to be mirroring that of Jesse Pomeroy, except he was caught before the crimes escalated. 

“A case of juvenile depravity” an unknown author reports, and Elward was examined by a “medical commission” that determined the boy was “incurably afflicted with homicidal mania.” 

While Pomeroy was the stuff of headlines and bylines throughout his life, Elward Medhurst appears in

Journal Times (Racine, WI), 09-06-1894

only a few newspapers in the same short paragraph. After that- nothing. 

Did Elward Medhust’s older years parallel that of his American counterpart? The files are long gone, tucked away in history, survived only by a small news story. 

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