It's one of five notorious killings that took place in an infamous area of Glasgow known as the Square Mile of Murder.

Madeleine Smith was cleared of murdering her lover in 1857, Dr Edward Pritchard hanged for killing his wife and her mother in 1865 and Oscar Slater convicted - then cleared - of murdering elderly spinster Marion Gilchrist in 1908.

However, the brutal murder of 35-year-old housemaid Jess McPherson in July 1862, is possibly the biggest mystery of them all and greatest miscarriage of justice.

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Jess worked as a servant for three generations of the Fleming family in Sandyford Place near Charing Cross.

She was brutally murdered, stabbed to death 40 times with a meat cleaver in her bedroom.

Jess was found two days later by a Fleming family member half-naked and in a pool of her own blood.

Her injuries included one to the back of her head, which had cut through the bone. A piece of carpet had been used to cover part of her body.

There was blood all over the bedroom, nearby lobby and kitchen.

Some of the victim’s clothing as well as valuable silverware from the house had been stolen.

The kitchen and bedroom floors had been washed, as had the face, chest and neck of the victim in a bid by the killer to cover his or her tracks.

Glasgow Times:

The blood-stained murder weapon was found in a drawer of the kitchen dresser.

A chest that had contained Jess McPherson’s clothes had been left open—the few remaining contents all stained with blood.

All her best ones had disappeared, and the dress she normally wore each day was also missing.

In a chest of drawers in a dressing room belonging to a male member of the Fleming family police found two shirts with spots of blood.

On the wooden floor of Jess' bedroom next to the window, there were three blood stained prints of a small foot. The killer hadn't made such a good job of covering up their tracks after all.

It was one of the most brutal murders that Glasgow had ever seen.

It's savagery shocked a city that had become all to used to violence.

The case would later change the way murders were investigated by the City of Glasgow Police.

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It was the first Scottish case in which forensic photography was used to solve the crime and the first handled by the force's newly formed detective branch.

The head of the house was John Fleming an accountant and landlord in the city.

He lived there with his son and elderly father James, known as Old Fleming.

The Flemings agreed to vacate their luxury home to allow a full forensic search to take place.

At first police suspected that the killer was a thief who had been disturbed by Jess and had then killed her.

However they thought that a normal housebreaker would have stolen more than was taken and not left anything of value behind.

Six silver ladles, a silver fish slice, a silver soup dispenser, and a sauce spoon were all missing but the killer had ignored a solid silver stand which was in itself of great value.

Glasgow Times:

The first suspect was James Fleming, an 87 year old grandfather.

It was his room where the bloodstained shirts had been found.

Fleming was staying alone in the house at the time of the murder, and it was thought that he may have murdered Jess after she refused his sexual advances.

He was also said to have once gotten a servant girl pregnant, as a young man in his late 20s.

However, the attention of the police detectives would later turn to another Jessie, after the three footprints discovery.

Detective compared their length by putting a measuring stick against the soles of the dead woman’s feet who was still in the house. The victims' feet were shorter than the prints left.

Glasgow Times:

The footprints clearly hadn't been left by Jess McPherson. but detectives thought they were those of a woman. A pawnbroker, who had read about her murder in a newspaper, said he had received the missing silverware several days later from a woman called Mary McDonald – a name sometimes used by Jessie McLachlan, a former servant at Sandyford Place, and best friend of the victim.

She had been given around seventeen pounds by the pawnbroker - around £900 in today's money.

McLachlan was arrested and gave a statement to police denying any involvement in the murder.

However the further discovery of blood-stained clothing in her own home - including the victims coat - made the suspect seem even more guilty.

Police asked McLachlan to place her foot in a bucket of cows blood and then step on a plank of wood. They then matched this bloody footprint to a photograph of one at the murder scene.

It was a perfect match.

The trial of Jessie McLachlan was heard at the High Court in Glasgow over four days in September 1862.

It was one of the most sensational trials of the time.

The 28-year-old accused was married with a three year old daughter and she and her husband James, who was away at sea at the time of the murder, lived in the Broomielaw area of Glasgow, around a mile away.

Jessie worked hard to provide for her child, but there was never enough to make ends meet.

She enjoyed the company of best friend Jess McPherson and both had forged a strong bond over the years.

That had been torn apart by her murder.

McLachlan's lawyers argued that she was nowhere near the scene of the crime at the time.

On the weekend of the murder John Fleming, his sister and son had spent the weekend at their holiday retreat in Dunoon.

Jess had her own bedroom in the basement of Sandyford Place.

When John returned on the Monday he asked his dad about her whereabouts.

Old Fleming said he hadn't seen her since the Friday.

When John went down to her room on the Monday evening he found her bloodstained body after unlocking the door. She had been lying there since the previous Friday.

Police were called and Old Fleming was arrested and charged with her murder.

He could not explain why Jess had lain there for two days and he had not thought to check on her whereabouts.

The blood stains on his shirts also pointed to him being the killer.

It also emerged that a milk boy had called at the family home on the Saturday morning and Old Fleming had answered - a task that would normally have been the job of a maidservant.

However the footprint evidence against McLachlan, the testimony of the pawnbroker and the clothing found in her house was damning.

The summing-up for the jury, delivered by the trial judge Lord Deas, lasted for more than four hours.

However the 15 jurors took less than 20 minutes to return a unanimous guilty verdict.

Before sentence was passed, a final statement was read on behalf of McLachlan, giving a different more detailed account of what had happened on the night of the murder.

She insisted she was innocent, and accused Old Fleming of having committed the crime.

She also said she had been present when he carried out the murder, after he and the two women had shared a few drinks.

McLachlan insisted he had slain Jess after she previously refused his sexual advances, fearing she would tell his son.

He had then told McLachlan that he would blame her for the murder and made her agree to pawn the valuables and take away Jess' clothing to make it look as if there had been a robbery.

McLachlan further claimed he had also offered to set her up in business if she went along with the plan.

However the trial judge denounced the lengthy statement as a "tissue of wicked falsehoods" and sentenced her to death, which was to be carried out by hanging on October 11, 1862.

However, due to a public outcry, in an unprecedented movie, a commission was appointed by the Home Office to review all the evidence in the case.

They did not clear McLachlan of the murder, but instead commuted her death sentence to life imprisonment.

McLachlan served 15 years in Perth Prison before being released on parole on October 5 1877.

She emigrated to the United States and married again. She died in Port Huron, Michigan, on New Year's Day in 1899 at the age of 72 still loudly protesting her innocence.

Almost 160 years later one question remains unanswered.

If Jessie McLachlan and Old Fleming didn't murder Jess McPherson, then who did?