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Indiana Evening Gazette
Indiana, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
11 April 1922

Police Searching for Fiend Following Finding of Slashed, Nude Body of Miss Helen Tracy, Aged 40 PROBE STARTED

By International News Service

New York, April 11.
Slashed to death by a Jack the Ripper, the nude body of a woman later identified as Miss Helen Tracy, 40 years old, was found lying face downward in the ground floor hallway of the big double deck tenement house at 17 Catherine street, early today. A crimson trail leading out into the street showed that the body had been dragged into the house from the outside.

The woman's clothing consisting of a cheap checker gingham dress, a black underskirt and a pair of black shoes, lay piled on the floor a few feet from the body.

The victim's body was found by lodgers who stumbled over it when they started out to a bakery to get their breakfast rolls. Detectives were summoned immediately and members of the 32 families occupying the building were questioned but none could recall ever having seen the murdered woman.

Women from adjoining houses were equally unable to throw any light on the mystery. A house to house canvass of the neighborhood was then made, Finally Frank McGawan, 20 years old, identified the body and explained that Miss Tracy had lived with his grandmother for almost ten years. He was unable, however, to furnish any information as to her associates or to throw any light on the death mystery.

Other residents near the McGowan home could add nothing to the story. The police remembered that two hours before the body had been discovered, a man, apparently in a mental haze, had been arrested while shuffling along East Broadway a few blocks from where the woman's body was found.

The man's hands and coat sleeves were covered with blood when he was arrested. He had given his name as Michael Marxdereter, 37 years old. He was taken to the scene of the murder and police said that a more serious charge might be preferred against him later in the day.

Physicians who examined the body said they found a deep, eight inch cut into the lower part of the torso, besides many minor cuts and bruises.

The police theory is that the murder took place in a room in the vicinity and that the body was carried by the slayer through the deserted streets to the Catherine street building, where it was discovered.

No trace of the death knife has been found.

Related pages:
  Helen Tracy
       Press Reports: Mansfield News - 11 April 1922