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Mansfield News
Ohio, U.S.A.
11 April 1922

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 hall 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 checked gingham dress, a black underskirt and a pair of black shoes, lay piled on the floor a few feet from the body.

Found by Lodgers

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 canvas of the neighborhood was then made. Finally Frank McGowan, 20 years old, identified the body and explained that Miss Tracy had lived with his grandmother for almost ten years. He was, however, unable to furnish any information as to her associates, or to throw any light on the death mystery.

Other residents of 16 1-2 Hamilton street, the McGowan domicile, could add nothing further to the youth's story. Then a policeman 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.

Man Is Held

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 that they found a deep, eight inch gash cut in 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.

The police say that Miss Tracy, who was a comely woman and youthful in appearance, evidently battled hard to save her life.

It is believed that she was either protecting her honor from some half mad moron or else was attacked by a maniac with a lust for blood.

Related pages:
  Helen Tracy
       Press Reports: Indiana Evening Gazette - 11 April 1922