12 January 1889
The famous Ripper of women who has taken as his theatre of operations a district of London, and who with his bloody deeds has stirred public opinion in all countries of the world where there is a daily press, is decidedly founding a school.
The London newspapers which arrive at our office are full of accounts which indicate this: in that great city for some time past strange murders have been committed solely for the pleasure of killing, without any motive being discovered which could explain the motive of the crimes.
The most recent accounts of this type to which we are referring today tell of a boy of eight years old and a waitress in a cafe who met an evil death.
The first was found with throat cut in the middle of the street; at first, because of certain indications, there was detained a boy, a friend from school of the murdered boy; but investigations showed that the murderer is a man who, a short time before, had tried to commit the same sinister deed in the Portsmouth area.
The facts relating to the murder of the waitress are related in this way in the English newspapers:-
"On that day - that of the crime - London was wrapped in a very thick fog which, as often happen, barely allowed the passer-by to find his way across the most frequented and well known streets. Between four and five in the afternoon a man entered a cafe and asked for a cup of tea. The waitress who was at the counter, called Lucrecia Pembroke, fifteen years of age, although she appeared older, offered the customer bread and butter while the tea was being served. The man refused the offer and when the young girl turned her back to him to return to the counter the customer rose from his seat and closed from the inside the door of the cafe of which at that moment Lucrecia and he were the sole occupants.
He followed the girl stealthily and, stabbing her in the back, he then cut the carotid artery so violently that as a result of the cut a portion of the right ear was also cut off.
The girl who was attacked was able to call for help; to her help came the woman who owned the establishment who was in the back rooms, then a policeman and various neighbors, who took the young girl, who was almost dead, to the nearest hospital.
The house was carefully examined in vain; the murderer had disappeared. But the victim, some hours later, was able to give his description and his name. He is one Bill Atkins, a decorator by trade, who had been working a few days before in the house where the cafe was situated.
The police quickly took him. Atkins neither denies nor confesses to his crime. The police agents who captured him found in his pockets no weapon other than a penknife which had no trace of blood on its blades.
Lucrecia Pembroke was able to state, however, that she saw him take from his pocket a knife of great size.
The people of London are wondering if this Atkins will turn out to be that same Jack the Ripper, so fruitlessly sought by all the means available to the English police.
For the moment, public attention is fixed on the fact that the perpetrator of this crime, believing that his victim was alone in the building, closed the door, taking precautions so as not to be interrupted.
It is clear that Bermondsey, site of this new attempt, is not in the Whitechapel district; but it could well be that Jack the Ripper had left the first location of his deeds because of the extraordinary vigilance which is currently being exercised there.