On October 24, 1890 a clerk finds a dead woman in the middle of the road, her arms lacerated, her face bloodied, her windpipe and ligaments cut clean through. Later that night, a Constable finds a bloody bassinet 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 bassinette and the baby, and later to a 24-year-old woman named Mary Eleanor Pearcey (nee Wheeler), and so begins the story of the Hampstead Tragedy. Woman at the Devil’s Door is the meticulously researched and expertly retold story of one of England’s most sensational fin de siècle 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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Upcoming Events

Author Sarah Beth Hopton to speak at 2016 Ripper Conference in Baltimore April 8-10.

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About Dr. Sarah Beth Hopton

Dr. Sarah Beth Hopton is an Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and Technical Communication at Appalachian State University. 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 UK, and a Ph.D. from the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida. “Woman” is her first full-length work of nonfiction. Presently, she is working on a second work of historical nonfiction chronicling a series of crimes committed by women after the civil war in the Victorian South.
Dr. Hopton lives in Boone, North Carolina.

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