The Servant Girl Annihilator
Aliases The Austin Axe Murderer
Case status Unsolved
No. of victims Killed: 8
Injured: 5
Location of crimes Austin, Texas
First crime December 31, 1884
Last crime December 24, 1885
Method of murder Usually raped his victims before slashing them to death with an axe.

The Servant Girl Annihilator, also known as The Austin Axe Murderer, was a serial killer, or possibly killers, who terrorized Austin, Texas between 1884 and 1885.

It is thought that at least seven women, mostly servant girls, died at the hands of the killer, who typically dragged his victims from their beds and raped them before slashing or axing them to death. Several victims were stabbed by some sort of spike in the ears or the face. His first victim was Mollie Smith on New Year's Eve, 1884.

Many people were arrested for the crimes, but none were convicted. The last killings were a year after the first, ending with the murder of two wealthy white women, Eula Phillips and Sue Hancock, in downtown Austin on December 24, 1885.

The crimes represented an early example of serial killer in the United States, three years before the Jack the Ripper murders in London. Some have even attempted to prove that the Annihilator and Jack the Ripper were one and the same.

Almost exactly one year after the killings began, they ceased. The murders remain unsolved to this day.


  • Mollie Smith, 25 and her common-law husband Walter Spencer, New Year's Eve, 1884. Spencer survived.
  • Eliza Shelley, May 6, 1885.
  • Irene Cross, May 23, 1885.
  • Mary Ramey, 11, and her mother, Rebecca Ramey, August 1885. Rebecca survived.
  • Gracie Vance, Orange Washington, Lucinda Boddy, and Patsie Gibson, September 26, 1885. Boddy and Gibson survived.
  • Sue Hancock and husband and wife Eula Phillips and Jimmy Phillips in sperate attacks, Christmas Eve, 1885. Jimmy Phillips survived.