home | about | text only | newsletter | contact | legal stuff spacer
serial killer news | crimeline | forensic glossary | books | vhs | dvd | links spacer
Serial Killer Index Short List
a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z
Serial Killer Index
serial killers by name [k] amazon
  KLOSOWSKI Severin Antoniovitch 1865 1903/04/07 UK ... ... ... 3
George CHAPMAN 1897 1902 JdR suspect
 : ... ... ... ...
Born in Poland on December 14, 1865, Klosovski was apprenticed to a surgeon at age fifteen. He studied for six years without obtaining a degree, later traveling the country as a barber-surgeon. Married in Prague, he was briefly employed at a hospital there, before spending a year and a half in the Russian army. Klosovski left his wife behind and moved to London in the early part of 1888, settling in the East End's dismal Whitechapel district. Setting up shop as a hairdresser, Klosovski became a suspect in Scotland Yard's search for "Jack the Ripper" after police informants reported his attempts to purchase poison . Based upon that testimony, and the evidence presented at his murder trial fourteen years later, it seems improbable that Klosovski, a consistent poisoner, would change his modus operandi by slashing streetwalkers to death. In London, Klosovski "married" a Polish immigrant, but their honeymoon was disrupted by his lawful wife's arrival on the scene. The women shared Klosovski for a time, living under the same roof, but his first wife soon grew tired of the threesome and vanished. Klosovski and his second "wife" moved to the United States in 1890; she returned to London without him in 1891, and Klosovski followed a year later, calling himself "George Chapman." Thereafter, "Chapman's" true name would remain a closely guarded secret, the diversion helping to obscure his past. Klosovski/Chapman met his first known murder victim during 1895. An alcoholic matron of independent means, Mary Spinks lived with her new paramour for two years before moving to Hastings, where Klosovski used her money to open a hairdresser's shop in 1897. He sold out after only six months, returning to London and there leasing a tavern. Mary was taken ill a short time later, racked with convulsions and vomiting. When she died, on Christmas Day, the death certificate attributed her passing to "consumption." In need of help, Klosovski advertised for a barmaid, selecting Bessie Taylor from the crop of applicants. They later "married," and Klosovski grew increasingly abusive over time, his violence making matters worse as Bessie's health began to fail. She died on February 13, 1901, of what Physicians called "exhaustion from vomiting and diarrhea." Maud Marsh was Bessie's new replacement in the bar and in Klosovski's bed. She became his "wife" in 1902, and soon displayed the familiar symptoms of her predecessors. The attending physician suspected poison, his questions prompting Klosovski to finish the job with a hefty dose on October 22, 1902. An unauthorized autopsy turned up lethal traces of antimony, and Klosovski was charged with murder on October 25. Receiving word that "Chapman" was in custody, retired Inspector Frederick Abberline declared, "You've caught Jack the Ripper at last!" In fact, Klosovski never went to trial for any of the Ripper slayings, and the final number of his victims is unknown. Charged only in the murder of Maud Marsh, he was convicted on March 16, 1903, and sentenced to hang. He stepped through the trap three weeks later, on April 7.
Copyright 1995-2005 by Elisabeth Wetsch
spacer spacer spacer