In history, serial killers have some common traits. Each killer has had an MO (modus operandi), or specific way that each victim was disposed of. Each one follows his own script. Each killer has his own reasoning for committing the act. Each killer, except 1, has been male.
From Jack the Ripper to Jeffrey Dahlmer, each serial killer has been a man. Ted Bundy, Son of Sam, BTK killer, and son on. There was one, whose bloody escapade is documented who was not a man.
Hattie Jackson was born in Massachusetts, just before the famous hunts. Hattie’s parents were very devout in their beliefs. They also believed most fervently in the principle of “spare the rod and spoil the child”.
Hattie was definitely not spoiled. Hattie’s father was a sailor and thus away from home much of the time. Rearing of the children fell to Maggie, Hattie’s mother. Hattie had two younger brothers, Aaron and Andrew. Though she was merely a child herself, she tried to protect them from the harsh disciplinary measures of their mother.
When Hattie was 9 years old, she was told that her father had been killed at sea. She was devastated. Even though her father was gone often, he was her refuge, her shelter from her mother.
Hattie withdrew. She seemed to lose all feeling. Her mother’s whippings drew no tears. She showed no emotions. Seemed as though she felt nothing. She seemed not to care about anything.
Hattie met some girls who had moved into the area and started school. She heard about the witch burnings and began to hatch a plot….. Hattie began to circulate the rumor that her mother might be practicing witchcraft. Naturally, the rumor spread like wildfire through to the “appropriate” ears…. The church and community had no tolerance for witchcraft. It was a small community and it was very strict. It didn’t take long for them to begin their investigation. Hattie “helped” the investigation in a number of ways…. Placing objects to be found which would point the way….. Insuring that certain practices did not escape scrutiny…. Bending the interpretation of certain appearances so that they looked suspect…..
Maggie Jackson was charged, tried, and convicted. One of the mainstays of the prosecution was the disappearance of her husband. She was burned at the stake and the three siblings were sent to stay with grandparents. Hattie was later to admit that seeing her mother burn gave her an indescribable feeling. She longed for that feeling….. That was where it all began….
Hattie’s next victim was a school mate. After being taunted and disgraced, the girl made her feel ashamed of herself and her looks, etc. She was vicious and Hattie wanted revenge…. She thought of how she had orchestrated the demise of her mother….. It was only a plan away….
One day, Hattie lured the girl into a field to pick some blackberries. The taunting had all been forgotten by everyone…. Except Hattie…… While she was picking berries, Hattie pulled out a can of lighter fluid, doused the girl and lit it. She watched the girl burn to death…… This was the ultimate thrill for Hattie. During the next 4 years, she burned another 5 victims……
When Hattie was 14, there was a farmer who asked Aaron to do some work in his field. Aaron, the weaker of the two boys, had not done that good a job. He was paid accordingly. Hattie plotted and carried out the killing and burning of the farmer in his own field.
Up until this time, each of Hattie’s victims had in some way wronged her or her brothers. After this time, it began to become an obsession.
Now 15 years old, Hattie became engaged to the son of a preacher…… As was the custom…. This not only raised her social standing but also provided her a cover for her obsession….. Hattie and her beau carried on an extensive and visible courtship. During their courtship, a girl moved into town who obviously caught the eye of her beau. Soon after, she disappeared, never to be seen again.
Occurrences like this happened all too frequently. There was no way to track this type of killing. There was no DNA test, no dental record, nor fingerprint….. None of that technology….. If a body was found, it was assumed dead…. If it had knife wounds or musket holes, it was murder by that weapon.
Hattie married her beau John Scandlishe and they settled in Massachusetts. They had a plot of land but, John was no farmer. He pursued a career in politics. At that time, it was closely related to the legal profession. Hattie, then, was above suspicion. She was seen as the dutiful wife, very involved in social and religious activities. Hattie and John had a daughter, born to them in their 4th year of marriage. In the following 2 years, they had 2 sons…. Their daughter Edna grew ever closer to her father… eventually, to Hattie’s chagrin…… Hattie could tell this was to be a good thing… She began to plot the demise of her own daughter.
One night, as Edna slept, John was away at the capital, Hattie took her from her bed and carried her deep into the wooded area. There she left her to her fate. Her charred body was found during a search….. After she was reported missing the day after… She was 5 years old at the time. After this murder, Hattie had the feeling of power like never before…. She had no fear. There were a couple of people from the surrounding townships who had disappeared… Never heard from….. Once a whole family disappeared leaving their home, cattle, land holdings, etc. to the church. The church that Hattie’s husband’s father ministered in……