Men were the weakness and the undoing of Mary Wheeler, offspring of a family of notorious London criminals. At 16 she became a high-class prostitute, calling herself “Mrs. Pearcey” after a man she lived with, and living in a flat paid for by another boy friend.

Meantime she fell in love with yet another man, whose name was Hogg, and who was a regular client. When Mr. Hogg stopped calling on account of the fact that his wife Phoebe, 31, was pregnant, Mary decided to murder Mrs. Hogg.

She invited Phoebe and her 18-month old daughter, also called Phoebe, to her home at 2 Priory Street, Kentish Town, beat her over he head with a poker, and cut her throat, almost severing her head. Then she dumped the body on top of the pram where the baby Phoebe was sleeping, suffocating the child.

She pushed the pram with both bodies in it to Hampstead, a mile away, and threw them into the undergrowth.

She was convicted after a three-day trial at the Old Bailey and became deeply upset when Hogg refused to visit her in the death-cell. She was hanged on Tuesday, December 23rd, 1890, at Newgate Prison by James Berry, who described her as the prettiest of the five women he hanged.

Hogg capitalised on her situation when he sold furniture and other items from the murder scene to Madame Tussaud’s, where they remained on display for many years. Victorian murder stories from True Crime Library.

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