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El Universal (Mexico)
2 October 1900


Extract from a book called El Contagio de Asesinato - The Epidemic of Murder

I have here a list of the deeds of Jack the Rippers or of Jack the Ripper:

1) 17 July 1887 (sic), Alice Mackenzie, 40 years of age, throat cut and the abdomen open to the stomach.

2) 3 April 1888, Emma Smith, violated, killed and robbed by a gang of bandits among whom Jack was to be found.

3) Martha Tabram received on 7 August, thirty nine stab wounds.

4) Ann Nichols, 4 September, the head separated from the body and the abdomen opened along its length.

5) 5 September, the head half severed, the abdomen divided, the intestines pulled from the body and the heart and liver piled like a pillow under the head.

6) Jane Mary Kelly (sic), twenty two years old, the head ripped from the body, the nose and ears cut off and the breasts removed.

7) 30 September, Eidowes (sic) was killed and her body mutilated.

8) On the same date, Elizabeth Stride, neck severed but without mutilations.

9) 11 November, the liver and intestines torn from a woman, piled on a table and her limbs were torn to pieces with a knife.

10) 26 December, a woman was strangled with a cord.

11) 10 September 1889, a woman with head and arms cut off (which could not be found) showed the usual mutilations and was wrapped in a sack.

12) February 1892, Frances Coleman (sic), 25 years old, was found with the head cut off.

These twelve women belonged to the most abject class of prostitutes and in many of the bodies there was evident the removal of the uterus and the ovaries. It is said that an American editor needed many uteri to present to readers of a book that he was going to publish. Such a strange hypothesis would not detain us if a little known precedent did not give it a certain ring of truth.

In 1830 a band of murderers, headed by Burke and Hare, carried out fourteen or fifteen consecutive murders to collect the 200 francs which anatomy professors paid for each corpse they could obtain. At the same time, and later, that similar crimes were being committed in London and the whole world. Some such can be noted in the activity of Jack the Ripper. In Bradford a boy was murdered in December 1888, his lower limbs were cut off close to the trunk and his boots placed into the space occupied by his viscera. In Hamburg two murders were committed with mutilations and, moreover, a "mandaderito" (meaning unknown) was cut into pieces and sent to America.

During the month of March 1890, a Sister of Charity was cut into small pieces in Moscow and then placed in a sack. In Berne, in the same month of December (sic), Jack made an appearance. The year 1891 was no less abundant in criminal mutilations: in Liverpool and boy was dismembered and the pieces thrown into the docks. In Brussels an infant of thirteen months was ripped up. In Berlin, in October, a young woman met a similar fate; three days later Vaubourg killed and cut to pieces Bautry in the Rue de Charonne; in Madrid, a woman was mutilated and quartered and in Melbourne (another enterprise of Jack's) there were found beneath a concrete floor five bodies, a woman, two girls, one of twelve and one of seven, cut to pieces and mutilated in the style of the victims of the Ripper, and two boys, one of five and the other of twelve months. In July 1892, Mme. Leblan was dismembered and her remains thrown into the Meuse in Tilly-sur-Meuse; in October, a woman in the Rue de Boizaris was similar cut to pieces. But this is not all - in a similar vein, Corre has revealed other similar crimes. In Southampton, attempted mutilation of a boy; in Glasgow, a similar attempt on a young woman; in the United States, after the ripping of four negroes (Birmingham) there was carried out the mutilation of a colored woman (Milville, New Jersey) and, in Honduras, the mutilation and dismemberment of the wife and maid of the missionary Hobson by a colored man - all this without mentioning the false declarations of hysterical women who were counted as victims of Jack by some unknown source, Jack the Elusive.

Professor Lacassagne and his pupil Ravoux made in 1888 and very complete and interesting study on all aspects of criminal dismemberment. It is curious the comparison that can be made of what this kind of crime was when they wrote their admirable monograph with what it has since become. With great effort they managed to assemble forty instances of criminal dismemberment from 1721 to 1888, deriving them from various sources. This list of crimes is, by their own admission, very incomplete and need not be otherwise for their purposes, and on the other hand their critique could not be made except on precise observations, a precision which is not lacking for us and, however, our objective is to bring to view two series: one which begins with the murder committed by the butcher Avinain in 1867 and ends in 1888, or some twelve years later, ending with the affair of the jeweller Vetard and consisting of twenty four cases (including three infanticides) and the other which goes from 1887 to 1892 and includes in six years thirty six cases from those which we have just enumerated, which shows the influence of this epidemic in the extraordinary spread of a similar type of crimes in such a short space of time.