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Ireland's first serial killer? Maybe?

The Evolution7

We are once again going to talk about serial killers. Because why not?


This time we are going back to 18th century Ireland. 
We are talking about Dorcas Kelly, perhaps Ireland's first serial killer.


Also known as Darkey Kelly, Dorcas Kelly was an Irish brothel owner and alleged serial killer who was burned at the stake in Dublin in 1761.


Darkey Kelly, was sentenced to death in 1760 for the murder of shoemaker John Dowling on St. Patrick's Day. Kelly was executed in 1761 on Gallows Road where she was both hanged and burned at the stake. (I won't go into great detail as this is a cruel way to be executed!)

After her execution, several of the prostitutes from Kelly's brothel chose to hold a wake for her, 13 of them were arrested for disorderly conduct! - There must have been someone who thought she didn't deserve them mourning her death.

In 1788, a newspaper announced that Kelly's brothel had been searched by authorities and that the investigators had found the bodies of 5 different men. However, this has had no bearing on her sentence, as this was a discovery after her execution.

But not only that, there were also rumors that Kelly had become pregnant with the sheriff's child. When she demanded financial support, the sheriff accused her of witchcraft and having killed their child in a satanic ritual.

Since no body was ever found and Kelly had been burned at the stake, this rumor has never been confirmed.

If you are just as keen to hear about other serial killers, then please write a comment about who you would like us to talk about next time.

If you would like to try your hand at being an investigator, we have several mysteries from the 1900s.

You can find all our mysteries here:

True Crime Geek