27 December 1888
The Society of Medical Jurisprudence of New York City discussed recently the Whitechapel London murders and concluded that the murderer is of sound mind. Lawyer Austin Abbot read a paper which set forth that there are barbarous instincts in man preserved with remarkable persistence by the laws of heredity, from uncivilized ancestry. "The crime shows", said Mr. Abbott, "a hand accustomed to rapid work, to expert celerity. Now, these qualities imply a considerable mental development on the part of the murderer. The chief source of error in the investigation of lunacy is the tendency of medical experts to infer disease from the nature of the crime itself." An account of the discussion adds: Dr. Stitzka multiplied instances of horrible crimes of the Whitechapel variety, come of them committed by the Roman Emperors, some in the present century. In all of them he observed one element plainly marked - sexual perversion. Medical authority, he said, has not been accustomed to men like Jack the Ripper, insane. He recalled the strange Texas murders of two years ago, and suggested that the mysterious Texan and Jack are one and the same. "He may begin his operations in some other city before long," he declared. "The nine London crimes show too much good practice. This barbarous element is present in greater or less degree in every one of us. It is well known that criminals frequently haunt the places where their deeds are discussed, so it is within the bounds of possibility that the Whitechapel murderer is now present in this room."