17 November 1888
THE LATEST EAST END ATROCITY.--Even if the murders of last Christmas week and of August 7th be excluded as not certainly belonging to the same series, there still remain five butcheries, all apparently perpetrated by one and the same individual. Concerning this individual, all that can be positively affirmed is that he possesses the skill, either of a butcher or of a medical man, in the art of cutting up animals, human or otherwise. It is true that on this last occasion a man has given a very precise description of the supposed murderer. The very exactitude of his description, however, engenders a feeling of scepticism. The witness in question admits that at the time he saw him he did not suspect the person he watched of being the Whitechapel assassin; yet, at two o'clock in the morning, in badly-lighted thoroughfares, he observed more than most of us would observe in broad daylight, with ample time at our disposal. A man who in such a hasty survey notes such points as "a pair of dark 'spats,' with light buttons, over button boots," and "a red stone hanging from his watch-chain," must possess the eyes of a born detective. Granting, however, that this description is accurate, and not due to the after-effects of a lively imagination, it is evidence that the clue thus given is an important one, inasmuch as it shows that the murderer belongs to a superior class. Turning to another point, the Shoreditch Coroner deserves praise for having so speedily completed the inquest on this last victim. A coroner's court is not a court of criminal inquiry, and the disclosure of details which were unnecessary for proving the cause of death might only help to frustrate the action of the police. Lastly, we would remark, as we remarked concerning the four previous sufferers, that the woman Kelly did not originally belong to the "gutter" class. She was a woman of respectable parentage and superior breeding, who had gradually sunk into the state of degradation in which she was existing when she met her terrible death.