On October 24, 1890 a clerk finds a dead woman in the middle of the road, her arms lacerated, her face bloodied, windpipe and ligaments cut clean through. Later that night, a constable finds a bloody pram leaning against a residential gate, and the following morning, a hawker finds a dead baby hidden underneath a nettle bush. Eventually the police connect the corpse to the pram and the baby, and, shockingly arrest a 24-year-old courtesean named Mary Eleanor Pearcey. Thus begins the story of the Hampstead Tragedy. Woman at the Devil’s Door is the meticulously researched and expertly told story of one of England’s most sensational crimes and first-rate murderesses.



Bloody Mary’s airs on Investigation Discover Channel, October 31, 2014

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Hear an audio recording of the author featured on Rippercast (No. 17)

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Read a recent article about the Pearcey case from Ripperologist.

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About Sarah Beth Hopton, Ph.D.

Sarah Beth Hopton is an Assistant Professor of Technical & Professional Writing at Appalachian State University. Presently, she is working on her second book of nonfiction, Deadfall, which offers the first full account of the events that lead to the ambush massacre of the Ira Mullins gang in 1892, and the sensational trial and hanging of M. B. ‘Doc’ Taylor, better known as ‘The Red Fox of the Cumberlands.’
A former reporter, Dr. Hopton covered courts, cops, and crime for a Florida newspaper, and later worked as a Communication Director for multiple elected officials. She holds an M.A. in Creative Writing from Lancaster University in the United Kingdom, and a Ph.D. from the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida. She lives on a sustainable farm in a renovated 1982 Jayco RV with her partner, Dr. Nolan Belk and their two dashingly handsome dogs, Otis and Knuckles.

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