Jesse Pomeroy: "The Young Demon"
Jesse Pomeroy woke up and opened his eyes on March 18, 1874 with no idea of the abominable act he would commit that morning. His good eye looked out upon his methodically neat room. It was Wednesday that meant it was his turn and not his older brother's turn to open his mother's store. Jesse dressed and left the family home. He had not gone back into school since he returned from the Massachusetts House of Reformation instead like many other his age, Jesse was to work as part of his parole.
Jesse crossed the street and met Rudolph Kohr, a boy from the neighborhood that helped out at Jesse's mother's store in return for some pocket money. Jesse opened the shop and he and Rudolph walked inside. Jesse began to sweep. Then she walked in. She was much younger then Jesse, maybe ten or eleven. Jesse felt himself change as he had so many times before but this time it was different, it was so much stronger. All his urges had built up when he was away. Jesse's cold ingenious mind formulated a plan. Jesse asked Rudolph if he could run an errand for him. Rudolph, completely unaware of what was about to happen, happily agreed.
Now Jesse Pomeroy, the boy torturer, and Katie Curran were alone. She asked Jesse if they had any notebooks. Jesse said that he would show them to her. He led her towards the back of the store, near the door to the empty cellar. "They are in the store downstairs," said Jesse. Jesse followed her down the stairs. When they were alone in thebasement, Jesse took the final step in his transformation into America's youngest serial killer at the age of fourteen.
Jesse Pomeroy was born in 1860 in Boston. His mother and father divorced when Jesse was twelve. His father was an abusive drunk. Jesse's right eye had a milky white film over it. All who saw it were utterly unnerved by it. Jesse also had a hare lip adding to his grotesque appearance.
Katie Curran's murder was not Jesse's first act of destruction. He already had a long list of evildoings. Since he was very young he killed animals and was cruel to the other children. But that was nothing compared to what happened roughly two years prior to the killing of Katie Curran, Boston had been terrorized by the infamous Boy Fiend. Pomeroy started off not as a killer but as a torturer. Eight boys between the ages of three and seven were viciously attacked by an unknown man. Each fit a strict ritual that can be clearly seen as signs of a psychopathic mind.
The first known victim of Jesse Pomeroy was Billy Paine. Paine was three years old at the time of the attack. He was found on December 26,1871 by two men tied to a roof beam in an remote outhouse. Paine was stripped naked and then was badly beaten with a stick. Paine barley able to survive the assault. Pomeroy was yet to kill but he left Billy Paine in a near death state. Once Pomeroy was done with him he did not care what happened. Pomeroy's ritual can clearly be seen, he lures the boys to a remote area usually and outhouse, then ties them to a beam and strips them naked, and finally beats them. Pomeroy derived sexual gratification from these acts as is typical with psychopaths.
Jesse Pomeroy waited nearly two months before he choose his next victim. Tracy Hadyen was seven. The basic details are the same as with Billy Paine. Tracy
Hayden was taken to another remote outhouse by Pomeroy. Pomeroy tied his hands to a beam and badly beat him. Then Pomeroy threatened that he would castrate Hayden.
The idea of castration was fascinating to Pomeroy. Pomeroy then left him there still tied. Haden then escaped and went home, where his parents called the police. Despite Pomeroy's ghastly white bad eye, Hayden was unable to give a description of Jesse Pomeroy.
On May 20, 1872, Robert Maier became the third boy to experience Pomeroy's torment. Robert Maier was taken to an outhouse, stripped naked and then beaten by Pomeroy with a stick. Then Pomeroy ordered Robert Maier to use profanities for him threating his life, this made Pomeroy very excited. Pomeroy then began to moan and Pomeroy touched himself. Pomeroy fled leaving Robert Maier alone in the outhouse to be found later. Robert Maier was unable to describe Pomeroy to the police. Pomeroy's ritual evolved with each attack. He was experimenting with new ways to torture them and increase his own pleasure.
Johnny Blanch became the fourth victim of the boy torturer on July 22, 1872. This was the last to take place in an outhouse. The next attacks either were near water or near railroad attacks. All the other major details as the others were the same as with Pomeroy's previous victims.
The next attack was only three weeks later and one of the most brutal. Pomeroy needed to do it more and more. Seven year old, George Pratt was led to an abandoned boat house by a stranger who offered him money to run an errand, there the stranger, Jesse Pomeroy, struck Pratt in the head, tied him, and stripped him naked. "You have told three lies," Pomeroy said to Pratt, " I am going to lick you three times." Pomeroy began to pant. Then he removed his belt and whipped Pratt with it. Next he dug his fingernails into Pratt's chest. Jesse Pomeroy then bit of a piece of his cheek. Then Pomeroy took a large sowing needle he had and stabbed Pratt in the arm with it. Then he spread apart Pratt's legs and stabbed him with it in the groin. Finally Pomeroy bit off a piece of Pratt's right buttocks cheek. Pomeroy was now also a cannibal.
Six year old, Harry Austian was second to last victim before Pomeroy was caught for the first time. The attack occurred beneath a railroad bridge. Pomeroy tied the boy and stripped him naked. This was the first attack in which Pomeroy used a knife. He beat Austian. Then he stabbed him in the arm, between the shoulder blades and then he attempted to cut off Austian's penis but failed to do so. It was left half attached and required a terribly painful surgery to repair the damage done to it by Pomeroy.
The final attack before Pomeroy was first caught occurred six days after the attack of Austian. Robert Gould was lead to a set of railroad tracks. He was tied and Pomeroy removed Gould's clothing. Pomeroy wielded two knives. He slashed him across the back of the scalp and behind the ear. Then finally under the eye permanently scaring him. Then Pomeroy said that he would kill him, but before the had the opportunity to carry out his threat Pomeroy was frightened off by an approaching group of railroad workers.
Gould was able to give a description of him and a school to school search was launched. Police officers would escort Gould to each school in the city in hopes of him picking out his attacker. When Gould came to Pomeroy's class, Pomeroy looked down so that Gould could not see his milky white eye. Pomeroy managed to escape detection yet again. As Pomeroy was walking home that very day, Pomeroy passed by the police station. Unable to control himself, he entered into the station. Once inside Gould saw him and was then able to identify him. The boy torturer was caught.
Jesse Pomeroy was sentenced to spend six years at the Massachusetts House of Reformation. Pomeroy understood that if he was well behaved he would get out sooner. He was a model prisoner. He was released just after seventeen months. The public was unaware that he once again prowled the streets.
In the weeks following the disappearance of Katie Curran many young men were approached by a teen who offered them candy or money in return for doing the teen a favor. All were warned by their parents to stay away from strangers and resisted going with him. Many lives were saved and much pain were avoided, for Pomeroy would certainly have tortured and killed them.
Horace Millen was not as lucky as the other children. Millen went out on the morning of April 22, 1874 were he was quickly selected by Pomeroy as his final victim. Pomeroy promised to take him to the bakery for some cake. Millen agreed and the two went to the bakery and purchased the cake. Pomeroy suggested that they should go down to the bay for some fun. Millen agreed and the two went down to an isolated wharf.
Pomeroy followed his usual practice with Millen. Pomeroy removed Millen's clothing. He tied his hands and began to torture Millen. He continued to beat him as he had so many times before the only difference is that this time he killed his victim. Pomeroy slashed him twice in the throat exposing the four year old's wind pipe. He stabbed him numerous times in the chest and across the hands. Pomeroy then stabbed him in the right eye over and over again. Pomeroy had a taste for blood. Pomeroy fled leaving Millen's body behind. When it was discovered it was so similar to the scenes of his earlier crimes that the police went to him immediately.
The police knew it was Pomeroy but they demanded that he confess. They took him to the undertaker where Millen's body was being held. They asked him if he killed him he respond calmly "I guess I did." Pomeroy was convicted of killing Millen. There was debate was over weather or not to execute him. As the discussion went on, the basement of his mother's former shop was under renovations, when the body of Katie Curran was found.
Curran's body was badly mutilated. Her head was separated from her body. Most of the details were not able to be determined because the top half of her body was extremely decayed by the time of discovery. The lower half of the body was able to tell some of the tale of the attack. There was evidence of her being hit with a blunt object numerous times in the genitals. Jesse Pomeroy admitted to this brutal crime. This was all that was needed to sway opinion to an execution.
Pomeroy was sentenced to death but Gov. William Gaston felt it was not right to kill a boy so young, so he ordered that Pomeroy would be sentenced to life in solitary confinement. Pomeroy spent over forty years completely alone in his cell. For a person like him this must have been a fate far worse then death. He was unable to experience other's pain. Pomeroy never showed any remorse for the things he did. He died in 1932.
Jesse Pomeroy is a classic serial killer. A textbook case that fits all of the characteristics of a true psychopath. From the abuse of animals, to an abusive father, to a high IQ Jesse met them all. Had Pomeroy not been such a young age when he started killing he would have caused much more carnage. He did not have the life experience to hide his crimes properly. Anyone studying Jesse Pomeroy's life will come away with what an awful monster he truly was.