|Mary Ashford killed 1817 (Source)|
So...there are two victims in this case, and their stories are eerily similar.
20-year-old Mary Ashford was murdered in May of 1817. Her body was found in a flooded sandpit 5 miles outside of Birmingham, England, in a small village called Erdington. She'd been raped and strangled.
Then there was Barbara Forrest, also 20 years old. Her body was found in the long grass, roughly 300 yards from where Mary's body was discovered. She, too, had been raped and strangled.
Mary Ashford was a well-liked local girl who delivered dairy products. The day before her murder, May 26th, was Whit Monday, a local English holiday. Mary had made plans to celebrate it and attend a dance with friends.
Barbara Forrest also died on the eve of Whit Monday, though it fell on May 27th that year. She, too, attended festivities.
On the day of her murder, Mary Ashford visited her best friend, Hannah Cox, to change from her day clothes into a dress. They then attended the dance together, where they spent the evening with two local boys.
Barbara Forrest also visited a friend's house to change for the festivities, and then spent the evening at the Whit Monday dance.
Both women were killed around the same time of night and dumped in the same place.
A local man by the name of Michael Thornton was arrested in the case of Barbara Forest. He, too, was tried vigorously, but ultimately acquitted.
Neither case has ever been solved. The two women even have similar physical features.
These cases are obviously very similar. Does it sound like they're related? Perhaps a serial killer or copy cat at work? Well, normally, that would probably be the theory. There's just one problem: these cases happened 157 years apart, to the day. Barbara Forest was killed in 1975.
|Killed 1975 (Source)|
And just one more similarity: A week before her death, Mary Ashford told Hannah Cox's mother that she had "bad feelings about the week to come" though she couldn't say why she felt that way, or about what specifically.
Ten days before Barbara Forrest died, she told a colleague, "This is going to be my unlucky month. I just know it. Don't ask me why."
Was it coincidence? Related somehow? An evil spirit setting these things up? What do you think?