The murder of Julia Thomas, also known as the “Richmond Murder,” may have been the most scandalous crime of the Victorian era.
It may also have been the most representative of the day, since the murderous Kate Webster only strengthened the bourgeoisie’s distrust of the lower class. Imagine all the monocles that cracked when Victorians learned that a wealthy woman was killed by her own maid.
The twice-widowed Julia Martha Thomas amassed some wealth from her late husbands and then hired a maid by the name of Kate Webster. Webster was once married with four children, but when they all died, she agreed to work for the elderly woman.
This almost looks like an 1879 poster for a pay-per-view boxing match.
Thomas had a violent temper and she would often berate Webster harshly. Webster started to come to work drunk so she could deal with the yelling.
Classic odd-couple behavior.
On Webster’s last day, the miserable maid went out and got drunk. Thomas was furious and the subsequent insults sent Webster into a drunken rage. She then went ahead and threw Thomas down the stairs before choking her to death.
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