Monday, 1st October 1888
MORE TERRIBLE MURDERS
TWO WOMEN BUTCHERED
A GHASTLY PIECE OF MUTILATION
EXCITEMENT IN LONDON - THE POPULATION IN A STATE OF FEAR
THE POLICE AT THEIR WITS END
(PRESS ASSOCIATION TELEGRAM)
About half-past one o'clock this (Sunday) morning another murder of a most atrocious character, similar in detail to the recent tragedies in Whitechapel, was discovered by a City policeman in Mitre-square, Aldgate, near the junction of Leadenhall-street and Fenchurch-street. The murdered woman was apparently between thirty-five and forty years of age, and was lying in a corner of the square with the clothes thrown over her head, the body being completely disembowelled. There was a gash extending right up the body to the breast, besides injuries to the face and head. Great excitement prevailed as news of the shocking affair was circulated.
Another horrible murder in Whitechapel was found to have been committed about half an hour earlier, the victim in this case also being a woman. The body was found in the back yard of No 40 Berner's-street, Commercial-street, E, not many minutes walk from Hanbury-street. The premises were occupied by the International Workingmen's Club. The steward, Mr. Demship, on going into the yard discoved the body, with the throat cut and gashed, lying in a corner.
The excitement in Whitechapel and the City when the horrible facts became known was intense, and crowds hurried to the localities in which the tragedies were perpetrated.
The metropolis was this morning thrown into a state of renewed consternation by the announcement that the bodies of two more murdered women had been discovered in the East End. This report, the Press Association says, unhappily proved too true, and the terrible character of the crimes is intensified by the circumstances that the locality and manner in which the murders were committed point very strongly to the conclusion that the same miscreant who was responsible for at least two of the previous murders is also guilty of the present crimes. It will be remembered that the first of the series of murders was committed so far back as last Christmas, when a woman, whose identity was never discovered, was found murdered in or contiguous to the district known as Whitechapel. There were circumstances of peculiar barbarity about the mode in which the body was treated. This fact did not attract much attention at the time as it did when on August 7th last a woman named Martha Turner, aged 35, was fond dead on the first floor landing of some model dwellings in Spitalfields, with 39 bayonet or dagger wounds on the body. On the 31st of that same month the woman Nichols, an unfortunate, was found dead in Buck's row, Whitechapel. With this probably begins the series of crimes which have lately horrified and terrified the public, for the mutilation of the body was done with so much technical skill and audacity as to suggest a definite but extraordinary and at the same time unexplained purpose. What that object was the coroner recently suggested in the summing up at the inquest on the woman Chapman, who was murdered in the same district and under similar circumstances on September 8th. That crime created almost a panic, which had scarcely died away when it became known to-day that two more murders of apparently the same kind had been committed under circumstances detailed hereunder-
The scene of the first of last night's outrages is a narrow court in Berners-street, a quiet thoroughfare running from Commercial-road down to the London, Tilbury, and South End Railway. At the entrance to the court are a pair of large wooden gates, in one of which is a small wicket for use when the gates are closed. At the hour when the murderer accomplished his purpose these gates were open - indeed, according to the testimony of those living near the entrance to the court, is seldom closed. For a distance of eighteen or twenty feet from the street there is a dead wall on each side of the court, the effect of which is to enshroud the intervening space in absolute darkness after sunset. Further back, some light is thrown into the court from the windows of a workmen's club which occupies the whole length of the court on the right, and from a number of cottages occupied mainly by tailors and cigarette-makers on the left. At the time when the murder was committed, however, the lights in all of the dwellinghouses in question had been extinguished, whilst such illumination as came from the club, being from the upper storey, would fall on the cottages opposite, and would only serve to intensify the gloom in the rest of the court. From the position in which the body was found it is believed that the moment the murderer got his victim in the dark shadows near the entrance to the court he threw her to the ground and with one gash severed her throat from ear to ear. The hypothesis that the wound was inflicted after and not before the woman fell is supported by the fact that there are several bruises on her left temple and left cheek, thus showing that force must have been used to prostrate her, which would not have been necessary had her throat been already cut. When discovered the body was lying as if the woman had fallen forward, her feet being about a couple of yards from the street, and her head in a gutter which runs down the right-hand side of the court, close to the wall. The woman lay on her left side, face downwards, her position being such that although the court at the part is only nine feet wide, a person walking up the middle might have passed the recumbent body without notice. The condition of the corpse, however, and several other circumstances which have come to light during the day prove pretty conclusively that no considerable period elapsed between the committal of the murder and the discovery of the body. In fact, it is pretty generally conjectured that the assassin was disturbed while at his ghastly work, and made off before he had completed his design. All the features of the case go to connect the tragedy with that which took place three-quarters of an hour later a few streets distant. The obvious poverty of the woman, her total lack of jewellery or ornaments, and the soiled condition of her clothing, are entirely opposed to the theory that robbery could have been the motive, and the secrecy and despatch with which the crime was effected are equally good evidence that the murder was not the result of an ordinary street brawl.
At the International Workmen's Educational Club, which is the rendezvous of a number of foreign residents, chiefly Russians, Poles and Continental Jews, it is customary on Saturday nights to have friendly discussions on topics of mutual interest, and to wind up the evenings entertainment with songs, etc. The proceedings commenced on Saturday about 8.30. The usual concert at the end was not concluded when the intelligence was brought in by the steward of the club that a woman had been done to death within a few yards of them, and within earshot of their jovial songs. The people residing in the cottages on the other side of the court say they heard nothing in the nature of a scream or cry of a woman. It was Lews Demship, the steward of the club, who, coming home, found the body. Without waiting to see whether the woman whose body he saw was drunk or dead, Demship entered the club and informed them in the concert room upstairs that something had happened in the yard. A member of the club named Kozebrodski, - familiarly known as "Isaacs" - returned with Demship into the court, and the former struck a match while the latter lifted the body up. It was at once apparent that the woman was dead. The body was still warm, and the clothes enveloping it were wet from the recent rain, but the heart had ceased to beat. There was a stream of blood in the gutter terminating in a hideous pool near the club door. Both men ran off without delay to find a policeman. A constable was found in Commercial road, and with the aid of the policeman's whistle more constables were quickly on the spot, and the gates at the entrance to the court having been closed, and a guard set at all the exits of the club and the cottages, the superintendent of the district and the divisional surgeon were sent for. In a few minutes Dr. Phillips was at the scene of the murder, and a brief examination sufficed to show that life had been extinct some minutes. Careful note having been taken of the position of the body, it was removed to the parish mortuary of St. George's in the East, Cable street, to await identification.
A representative of the Press Association who has seen the corpse states that the woman appears to be about 30 years of age. Her hair is very dark, with a tendency to curl, and her complexion is also dark. Her features are sharp and somewhat pinched, as though she had endured considerable privations recently, and impression confirmed by the entire absence of the kind of ornaments commonly affected by women of her station. She wore a rusty black dress of a cheap kind of satteen, with a velveteen bodice, over which was a black diagonal worsted jacket with fur trimming. Her bonnet, which had fallen from her head when she was found in the yard was of black crepe, and inside, apparently with the object of making the article fit closer to the head, was folded a copy of the Star newspaper. In her right hand were tightly clasped some grapes, and in her left she held a number of sweetmeats. Both the jacket and the bodice were open towards the top, but in other respects her clothes were not disarranged. The linen was clean and in tolerably good repair, but some articles were missing. The cut in the woman's throat, which was the cause of death, was evidently effected with a very sharp instrument, and was made with one rapid incision. The weapon was apparently drawn across the throat rather obliquely from left to right, the gash being about three inches long and nearly the same in depth. In the pocket of the woman's dress were discovered two pocket handkerchiefs, a gentleman's and a lady's, a brass thimble, and a skein of black darning worsted. In addition to Dr Phillips the body was examined both before and after removal to the mortuary by Dr. Kaye and Dr. Blackwell, both of whom reside in the vicinity of Berner street. On the arrival of the sergeant from Leman street Police Station, which took place almost simultaneously with that of the Divisional Surgeon, steps were immediately taken to ascertain whether the members of the club were in any way connected with the murder. The names and addresses of all the men present were taken, and a rigorous search of persons and premises was instituted, much to the annoyance of the members. The residents in the court had to submit to a similar scrutiny. In neither case, however, was any incriminating evidence discovered. It was five o'clock before the police had finished their investigations at the club, for in addition to the search referred to above, inquiries were made which resulted in a number of written statements which had to be signed by members.
The fact that a murder had been committed soon became known in the neighbourhood, and long before daybreak the usually quiet thoroughfare was the scene of great excitement. Extra police had to be posted right along the street, and even with this precaution locomotion from an early hour was a matter of extreme difficulty. A large crowd followed the body to the mortuary, and here again it was found necessary to take unusual precautions to keep back the crowd. As he news circulated further afield immense numbers of people flocked to Whitechapel, and before noon the neighbourhood of Aldgate and Commercial road was literarily invaded by persons curious to see the spots selected for this and other murders of the series.
During the day there have been many persons at the mortuary, but up to three o'clock, none had succeeded in identifying the body. Several policemen on duty in the district declare that they have seen the deceased about the locality, and it is believed that she belonged to the "unfortunate" class, but although the visitors to the mortuary have been drawn mainly from the same class, all have up to now failed to identify the deceased as one of their associates. Mr. Wynne Baxter, the coroner of the district, was communicated with as soon as the details were ascertained, and he has fixed the inquest for to-morrow at eleven o'clock at the Vestry Hall, Cable-street.
It is believed in police circles that the murderer was disturbed at his work by the arrival of Demship, and that he made off as soon as he heard the cart at the top of the street. Sir Chas Warren and Major Smith of the City Police visited the scene of the murder in the course of the morning.
The following description has been circulated by the policeman of a man said to have been seen in the company of deceased during Saturday -
Age 28; slight; height 5 feet 9 inches; complexion dark; no whiskers; black diagonal coat; hard felt hat; collar.
Mrs Mortimer, living at 36 Berner street, four doors from the scene of the tragedy, says - I was standing at the door of my house nearly the whole time between half-past 12 and 1 o'clock this (Sunday) morning, and did not notice anything unusual. I had just gone indoors, and was preparing to go to bed when I heard a commotion outside and immediately ran out, thinking that there was another row at the Socialists Club close by. I went to see what was the matter, and was informed that another dreadful murder had been committed in the yard adjoining the clubhouse, and on going inside the yard saw the body of a woman lying huddled up just inside the gates with her throat cut from ear to ear. A man touched her face and said it was quite warm, so that the deed must have been done while I was standing at the door of my house. There was certainly no noise made, and I didn't observe anyone entering the gates. It was just after one o'clock when I went out, and the only man whom I had seen pass through the street previously was a young man carrying a black shiny bag, who walked very fast down the street from the Commercial road. He looked up at the club and then went round the corner by the board school. I was told that the manager or steward of the club had discovered the woman on his return home in his pony cart. He drove through the gates, and my opinion is that he interrupted the murderer, who must have made his escape immediately under cover of the cart. If a man had come out of the yard before one o'clock I must have seen him. It was almost incredible to me that the thing could have been done without the steward's wife hearing a noise, for she was sitting in the kitchen, from which a window opens four yards from the spot where the woman was found. A young man and his sweetheart were standing at the corner of the street about 20 yards away before and after the time the woman must have been murdered, but they told me they did not hear a sound."
In an interview with a representative of the Press Dr. Blackwell made a statement in which he said that about ten minutes past one he was called by a policeman to 40 Berners street where he found the body of the murdered woman. Her head had been almost severed from her body, the body was perfectly war, and life could not have been extinct more than twenty minutes. From her appearance he should say she belonged to the unfortunate class. He had no doubt that the same man committed both murders. In his opinion the man is a maniac, but one at least who is accustomed to use a heavy knife.
Late this evening a large number of persons visited the mortuary for the purpose of seeing whether they could identify the woman, but only a few were allowed to see the body. One of the Scotland Yard officials upon finding two reporters in the yard admonished the constable on duty at the gate, and addressing a person who had been imparting some information said, "I thought it was understood that no information was to be given to the Press," afterwards requesting the reporters to retire.
The Coroner has fixed the Berners street inquest for 11 o'clock to-morrow. Up to the present time no arrest has been made.
At a late hour the Press Association learned that the woman murdered in Berners street had been identified as Annie Morris, an unfortunate of no residence, but in the habit of sleeping at common lodginghouses.
Shortly before two o'clock this morning, or about three quarters of an hour after the crime described above, it was discovered that a second woman had been horribly murdered and mutilated, this being in Mitre square, Aldgate, within the city boundaries, but on the confines of the now notorious district. It appears that Police Constable Watkins (No 881), of the city police, was going round his beat when, turning his lantern upon the darkest corner of Mitre square, he saw the body of a woman, apparently lifeless, in a pool of blood. He at once blew his whistle, and several persons being attracted to the spot he despatched messengers for medical and police aid. Inspector Collard, who was in command at the time at Bishopsgate Station, but a short distance off, quickly arrived, followed a few moments afterwards by Mr. G W Sequiera, surgeon, of 34 Jewry street, and Doctor Gordon Brown, the divisional police doctor, of Finsbury Circus. The scene then disclosed was a most horrible one. The woman, who was apparently about forty years of age, was lying on her back quite dead, although the body was still warm. Her head was inclined to the left side, her left leg being extended, whilst the right was flex. Both arms were extended, the throat cut half way round, revealing a dreadful wound, from which blood flowed in great quantity, staining the pavement for some distance round. Across the right cheek to the nose was another gash, and a part of the right ear had been cut off. Following the plan in the Whitechapel murders, the miscreant was not content with merely killing his victim. The poor woman's clothes had been pulled up over her chest, the abdomen ripped completely open, and part of the intestines laid on her neck. After careful notice had been taken of the position of the body when found it was conveyed to the city mortuary at Golden lane. Here a more extended examination was made. The murdered woman was apparently about forty years of age, about 5 feet in height, and evidently belonged to that unfortuante class of which the women done to death in Whitechapel were members. Indeed one of the policemen who saw the body expressed his confident opinion that he had seen the woman several times walking in the neighbourhood of Aldgate High street. She was of dark complexion, with auburn hair and hazel eyes, and was dressed in shabby dark clothes. She wore a black cloth jacket, with imitation fur collar, and three large metal buttons. Her dress was made of green chintz, the pattern consisting of Michaelmas daisies. In addition she had on a thin white vest, light drab, lindsey skirt, a very old dark green alpaca petticoat, white chemise, brown ribbed stockings (mended at the feet with white material), black straw bonnet, trimmed with black beads and green and black velvet, and a large white handkerchief round the neck. In the pockets of the dress a peculiar collection of articles was found. Besides a small pocket containing tea, and other articles which people who frequent the common lodginghouses are accustomed to carry, the police found upon the body a white pocket handkerchief, a blunt bone-handled table knife, a short clay pipe, and a red cigarette case with white metal fittings. The knife bore no traces of blood, so could have no connection with the crime.
When the news of this additional murder became known the excitement in the crowded district of Aldgate was intense. Usually a busy place on a Sunday morning, Houndsditch and the connecting thoroughfare presented a particularly animated appearance. Crowds flocked to the entrance to the square where the body had been discovered, but the police refused admittance to all but a privileged few. Sir Charles Warren visited the spot at a particularly early hour, and made himself thoroughly conversant with the neighbourhood and the details of the affair. Major Smith (acting superintendent of the City police), Superintendent Foster, Detective Inspector McWilliams (Chief of the City Detective Department), Detective Sergeants Downs and Outram also attended during the morning. A little while after the finding of the body all traces of blood had been washed away by directions of the authorities, and there was little to indicate the terrible crime which had taken place.
Before proceeding further it may be convenient to describe the scene of the murder. Mitre square is an enclosed space in the rere of St Katherine's Church, Leadenhall street. It has three entrances. The principle one, and the only one having a carriageway, is at the southern end leading to Mitre street, and turning out of Aldgate High street. There is a narrow court in the north-east corner leading into Duke street, and one at the north-west, by which foot passengers can reach St James's square, otherwise known as the Orange Market. Mitre square contains but two dwellinghouses, in one of which, singularly enough, a city policeman lives, whilst the other is uninhabited. The other buildings, of which there are only three, are large warehouses. In the south-east corner and near to the entrance from Mitre street is the back yard of some premises with railings; but these are closely boarded. It was just under these that the woman was found quite hidden from sight by the shadow cast by the corner of the adjoining house. The officer who found the body is positive that it could not have been there more than a quarter of an hour before he discovered it. He is timed to "work his beat," as it is called, in from ten to fifteen minutes, and is spoken of by his superior officers as a most trustworthy man. The police theory is that the man and woman who had met in Aldgate watched the policeman pass round this square and then they entered it for immoral purposes. Whilst the woman, it is conjectured, was lying on the ground her throat was cut as described above. Death, it is believed, as instantaneous. The murderer then hurriedly proceeded to mutilate the body, for the wounds, though so ghastly, do not appear to have been caused so skilfully and deliberately as is the case of the murder of Annie Chapman in Hanbury street. Five minutes, some of the doctors think, would have sufficed for the completion of the murderers work, and he was then enabled to leave the ground before the return of the policeman on duty.
None of the policemen on duty this morning appeared to have had particular attention drawn to the man and woman together, and this appears strange at first, when it is remarked that within the last few weeks the police have been keeping a particularly keen watch upon suspicious couples. The murderer probably avoided much blood staining on account of the woman lying on her back at the time of the outrage; and leaving the square by either of the courts he would be able to pass quickly away through the narrow thoroughfare without exciting observation. But one of the most extraordinary incidents in connection with the crime is that not the slightest scream or noise was heard. A watchman is employed at one of the warehouses in the square, and in a direct line, but a few yards away on the other side of the square, a city policeman was sleeping. Many people would be about in the immediate neighbourhood even at this early hour making preparations for the market which takes place every Sunday in Middlesex (formerly Petticoat lane) and the adjacent thoroughfares. Taking everything into account, therefore, the murder must be pronounced one of extraordinary daring and brutality.
The effect it has had upon the residents in the east of London is extraordinary. All day crowds thronged the streets leading to Mitre square, discussing the crime, and the police in the neighbourhood of the square, under Inspector Izzard and Sergeants Dudman and Phelps, and other officers were fully occupied in keeping back the excited and curious people.
The woman up to the time of writing had not been identified, and the police admit that they have no information which can possibly be termed a clue.
Morris, the night watchman in Mitre square, has made a statement in which he says - About a quarter to two o'clock the policeman upon the beat knocked at the door of the warehouse. When he replied the constable said, "For God's sake, man, come out and assist me; another woman has been ripped open." He said, "All right; keep yourself cool while I light a lamp." Having done so he accompanied the constable to the south-west corner of the square, where he saw a woman lying butchered upon the pavement with her throat cut and horribly mutilated. He then left the constable and proceeded into Aldgate where he blew his whistle. Other police officers soon made their appearance. The whole shape of the woman was marked out in blood upon the pavement. In addition to her throat being cut there were two slashes across the face, one of the cuts almost completely severing her nose. The woman's face was so mutilated that he could not describe what she was like. She wore a dark skirt and a black bonnet, and her appearance was exceedingly shabby. The strangest part of the whole thing was that he did not hear the slightest sound. As a rule he could hear the footsteps of the policeman as he passed on his beat every quarter of an hour , so that it appeared impossible that the woman could have uttered any sound without his detecting it.
The Press Association, on making inquiries at a late hour, ascertained that the woman found murdered in Mitre square had not been identified. The post-mortem examination of the body, which took place at the mortuary, Golden lane, and was conducted by Dr. Phillips, Dr. Gordon Brown, and Mr G. W. Sequiera, occupied nearly four hours, but as to its results the doctors declined to speak. The inquest has not been fixed, but it will probably take place on Tuesday.
(next section the newspaper torn)
The Press Association says, in a later telegram - Further particulars to the atrocious …Mitre square show that the deceased … respectably dressed and of well devel… The whole of the inside of the murdered… with the heart and lungs, appeared to have been wrenched from the body, and lay scattered about the head and neck on the pavement. Blood flowed freely from the body, and the ground was quite saturated. Parts of the entrails which had been torn out were twisted around the neck of the victim. The weapon had apparently been stabbed into the upper part of the abdomen and out completely down. The tops of both thighs were cut across.
The Central News, referring to the Berners street murder, says - The bodice of the woman was open, exposing her chest, and the theory built upon this circumstance is that the assassin was intending to hack her stomach, but could not carry out his purpose. The police have no clue to the murderer, nor do they profess any hope of discovering one. He had disappeared without leaving a trace of the faintest kind, and there is nothing whatever upon which the detectives can work. A woman's apron was found in Goulston street, which is believed to have belonged to the deceased woman. It is suggested, therefore, that the murderer travelled to Mitre square, the scene of the second murder, by way of Goulston street, and took away the apron for the purpose of cleaning his weapon upon it. In the case of both of the murders committed yesterday morning the assassin had a very narrow escape from detection. The evidence that is forthcoming establishes the fact that the murderer commenced operations first in Berners street. Here the murder was committed as near as possible on one o'clock, and it is very probable that the man was proceeding to the commission of further outrages when he was disturbed by the arrival of Demship, the steward of the club, who drove into the yard under the circumstances related elsewhere. Having failed in his purpose, which, as in the other cases, appears to have been to secure certain portions of the body, he betook himself towards the City, and in Mitre court his second victim was done to death.
Berners-street is in a very notorious part of Whitechapel; it is close to a district which was formerly known as Tiger Bay, because of the ferocious character of the deperadoes who frequented it. A few yards distant is the house wherein Lipski murdered Miriam Angel, and the neighbourhood generally has an evil repute. In view of the identification of the apron belonging to the woman murdered in Mitre-square, it appears that the murderer must have gone to his home by way of Goulston-street, and so lives in all probability in the district between Houndsditch and Commercial-street. This neighbourhood is being closely watched, as well as the other portions of the district, and a large number of extra police have been placed on duty.
The woman murdered in Berner street has been identified as Elizabeth Stride, who it seems had been living a gay life, and had resided latterly in Flower and Dean street. She was identified by a sister living in Holborn. Her husband, who resides at Bath, has lived apart from her for nearly five years.
Up to ten o'clock to-night Stride's murderer had not been discovered.
The Central News says - On Thurdsay last the following letter, bearing the E C post mark, and directed in red ink, was delivered to this agency -
DEAR BOSS - I keep on hearing the police have caught me, but they wont fix me just yet. I have laughed when they look so clever and talk about being on the "right" track. That joke about "Leather Apron" gave me real fits. I am down on w---- and I shant quite ripping them till I do get buckled. Grand work the last job was. I gave the lady no time to squeal. How can they catch me now. I love my work, and want to start again. You will soon hear of me, with your funny little games. I saved some of the proper red stuff in a ginger beer bottle over the last job to write with, but it went thick, and I can't use it. Red ink is fit enough, I hope. Ha, ha! The next job that I do I shall clip the lady's ears off and send to the police officers, just for folly - wouldn't you? Keep this letter back till I do a bit more work, then give it out straight. My knife's so nice and sharp I want to get a chance. Good luck - Yours truly,
Don't mind me giving the trade name. Wasn't good enough to post this before I got all the red ink off my hand. Curse it, no luck yet. They say I am a doctor now. Ha, ha, ha, ha!
The whole of this extraordinary epistle is written in red ink in a free, clerky hand. It was, of course, treated as the work of a practical joker; but it is singular to note that the latest murders have been committed within a few days of the receipt of the letter, that apparently in the case of his last victim the murderer made an attempt to cut off the ears, and that he actually did mutilate the face in a manner which he has never before attempted. The letter is now in the hands of the Scotland Yard authorities.
A Central News representative, describing the mutilation of the woman murdered in Mitre court, says - Her throat was cut from ear to ear, the point of her nose was taken off, and a large gash was inflicted up the left cheek to the eye, thus almost disfiguring the face beyond recognition. Her clothes were up to her breast, and she was completely disembowelled. All the viscera were cut out, and the lower part of the abdomen lifted up bodily towards the breast. In fact, a more fearful case of mutilation could not be imagined. From various descriptions she is said to be a woman of fine physique.
The Central News is informed that shortly before midnight a man, whose name has not transpired, was arrested in the Borough on suspicion of being the perpetrator of the murders in the East End. This morning a tall dark man, wearing an American hat, entered a lodginghouse in Union-street known as Albert Chambers.He stayed there throughout the day, and his peculiar manner riveted the attention of his fellow-lodgers. He displayed great willingness to converse with them, and certain observations he made regarding the topic of the day aroused suspicions. To-night this mysterious individual attracted the notice of the deputy-keeper of the lodginghouse, whose suspicions became so strong that he sent for a policeman. On the arrival of the officer the stranger was questioned as to his recent wanderings, but he could give no intelligible account of them, though he said he had spent the previous night on Blackfriars Bridge. He was conveyed to Stones End Police Station, Blackman-street, Borough.
SIR - The observations of the coroner at the inquest on the body of Annie Chapman, one of the Whitechapel victims, are so peculiar, and I think, so likely to mislead public opinion and create a prejudice against men engaged in the study of tissue changes in unhealthy organs, that I ask your permission to place some facts and deductions from them that will, I think, invalidate the coroner's conclusions.
The fact that the womb was removed from the body of each victim is taken to imply that the organ was the sole object of the murder, and that the crime was committed to obtain it. Every anatomist must know that a large percentage of the dead bodies brought to the anatomy rooms are those of the unfortunate class, and that human wombs are plentiful in the rooms; and, from considerable experience as an anatomy lecturer, I can say I never know of any demand for them as pathological specimens that was not easily met.
To excise the womb in its entirety does require some anatomical knowledge, but not more than any anatomy porter possesses. As for the crime, we find it carried out with a reckless devilry worthy of a monomaniac, but not to be found associated with the cool villainy that characterises the criminal for pecuniary gain.
As any person familiar with the working of the Anatomy Act knows perfectly well that no specimen of any portion of the human body could be offered for sale without the seller being subjected to searching examination into all the details of the case, and he would run the risk, if his statements were not satisfactory, of being handed over to the police.
The Whitechapel murder silenced his victim by a method of choking, or pressing the lower jaw up against the upper one, the method of a bully but not such as a skilful anatomist would adopt, who of necessity should know that a fine cut with a small knife would deprive the person of all power of sound.
The victim's throats were cut, allowing the large vessels of the neck to pour out blood to the risk of besmearing the criminal - a danger which he need not have incurred had he known, as an anatomist would have, how to destroy life; but is not the fact important in pointing out the ruthless determination and (fierce) rage of the deep-dyed ruffian who has thus dared to carry on his crimes with an apparent contempt for all laws human and divine! - I am, sir, yours,
The speculations of the specialists about the recent Whitechapel murders were rudely disturbed yesterday morning by the announcement that two more fiendish murders had been committed in the same locality, almost within a stone's throw of one another, a little after midnight on Saturday night. The excitement caused by this terrible news in London yesterday was intense. The crime showed plainly that they were the work of the monster who has already produced terror in the East end by his diabolical butcheries at Bucks row and elsewhere. The victims belonged to the same unfortunate class, and the atrocities were almost identical in their revolting and ghastly details. The theory that the perpetrator of the recent murders was the agent of a mysterious American anxious to possess himself of certain gruesome illustrations for a medical book is knocked on the head by Saturday night's crimes. The two latest horrors show plainly that the murderer is some fiend who goes about slaughtering wretched and defenceless women for the mere delight at the crimes. It is inconceivable that anybody having a mercenary motive would go about his work so openly and so audaciously as the perpetrator of these murders. It has yet to be proved that the horrible mutilations committed in the case of one of the unhappy victims were the work of a person having anatomical knowledge, but whether that fact be established or not it will not lessen the improbability of the crimes being the work of a contemporary Burke or Hare. The places selected for the commission of the crimes, the hour, and the whole surroundings made that theory entirely untenable.
The awful fact that the people of East London have now to face is that within six weeks six atrocious murders have been committed in their midst in a circumscribed locality, under circumstances almost identical, and that still the murderer is at large. This fact places a terrible responsibility on the police. A whole army of detectives have been searching the East End for the past three weeks for the perpetrator of these murders. He must have been all the time under their eyes. His latest horror shows that he was in the heart of Whitechapel when they supposed he was elsewhere. The fiend seems to delight in defying them. He murdered two women on Saturday night almost within sight of a policeman. Still he walks abroad with impunity, and perhaps some other wretched creature will fall victim to his knife before his career is brought to an end. The circumstances of Saturday night's murders show clearly that the wretch must have left the scene with the signs of blood upon him. Nobody, however, has come forward to say that he saw him, and up to the time I write the police do not appear to have any substantial clue whatever either as to his identity or to his whereabouts. If six such murders as these occurred in any part of Ireland the district would have been promptly saddled with a crushing blood tax. It would have been proved to demonstration by Tory speakers that the reason of the non-discovery of the murderer was the sympathy of the people with crime. Nobody however makes that suggestion in the case of Whitechapel. Yet the grounds are more plausible than they have been in any of the cases in which Irish taxpayers have been almost ruined by compensation for crimes in which they had no more share than Adam.