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The Bush Advocate
New Zealand

20 December 1888

A FRENCH WHITECHAPEL HORROR

A correspondent of The Times writes:- "For weeks I have been expecting that someone would draw attention to the fact that precisely the same crimes were many years ago committed in Paris, and were ultimately found to be the acts of a monomaniac. last summer, while travelling in France, I picked up and glanced over a French work resembling "Home's Every Day Book", which gave an account of a remarkable criminal who must have strongly resembled the fiend who has created such consternation in the east End of London. For months women of the lowest class of "unfortunates" were found murdered and mutilated in a shocking manner. In the poorest districts of the city a "reign of terror" prevailed. The police seemed powerless to afford any help or protection, and, in spite of all their watchfulness, fresh cases were from time to time reported, all the victims belonging to the same class, and all having been mutilated in the same fiendish way. At last a girl one night was accosted in the street by a workman, who asked her to take a walk with him. When, by the light of the lamp, she saw his face, it inspired her with a strange feeling of fear and aversion; and it instantly flashed upon her that he must be the murderer. She therefore gave him in charge to the police, who, on inquiry, found that her woman's instinct had accomplished what had baffled the skill and the exertions of all their detectives. The long sought criminal had at last been found. It subsequently came to light that he had been impelled to commit these crimes by a brutal form of homicidal monomania. He had sense enough to know that from this class of women being out late at night, and being friendless and unprotected, he could indulge his horrible craze on them with comparative safety and impunity, and he therefore avoided selecting his victims from a more respectable class. He was convicted and executed, to the great relief of the public; and if any persons were afterwards tempted to imitate him, his prompt punishment effectually deterred them. This notorious case must be well known to the Parisian police, and to thousands of persons in France, and if inquiry is made its history can be easily procured."