Friday, 14 September, 1888
The fearful epidemic of crime which has broken out in the East End of London seems to have afforded an opportunity for sentimental and gushing writers to pour the vials of their wrath on the unfortunate heads of the constabulary, and to charge the Metropolitan police with having allowed the first city of the world to lapse into primeval savagery. The frightful murders in Whitechapel indicate an assassin with the cunning of a madman and the heart of a brute, and reveal a nature so foul and so dominated by animalism that we can only hope for the sake of humanity the fiendish crimes may be traced to one irresponsible for his actions. A London journal is accountable for the statement - which we find rather a big pill to swallow - that a police official told a representative of the Press quite coolly that the police would never detect such crimes as the Whitechapel murders, and that the only thing to do was to let the man-monster go on murdering people till his homicidal mania wore off or wore him out. The same authority, in the most serious manner possible, expresses its regret that this individual only too faithfully reflects the spirit of fatalism and pessimism that is demoralising the detective department. Surely it may be safely assumed that the police authorities are doing their utmost to find the author of the ghastly murders, and it is a pity that they should be hampered by the vapid nonsense indulged in by writers who seem ever ready to turn their pen in whichever direction the tide turns. They would have been the first, doubtless, had the murderer been caught, to load the captors with fulsome flattery.
The inquest on the body of Annie Chapman, 47, the victim of the latest Whitechapel tragedy, was resumed to-day at the Working Lads’ Institute, Whitechapel, before Mr. Wynne Baxter, the district coroner. - Inspector Chandler described the position in which he found Chapman’s body when called in on Saturday morning, confirming the statements of previous witnesses as to the state of the clothing, and adding that a portion of the intestines still connected with the body was lying over the left shoulder, while some loose pieces of skin were lying near the head. After the removal of the body he found lying near where the feet had been a piece of muslin, a tooth-comb, and a pocket-comb while near by was part of an envelope containing pills. On the flap of the envelope were embossed with the words "Sussex Regiment" and on the front were written the letters "M" and "Sp," the rest of the words being "London, August, 1888." A wet leather apron was also lying near by. - Inspt. Chandler proceeding, said there were no indications of a struggle, and none of the palings were broken, though they bore blood stains, as did the ground in the immediate vicinity of the body, none, however, being traceable outside the yard. Most of the clothes were more or less soiled with blood. Richardson informed the police early on Saturday that a body was not there at five o’clock, but anyone who only went to the top of the steps might have failed to see it. The foreman of the jury asked whether any steps had been taken to produce Ted Stanley who was said to have been much in the deceased’s company, as he was a pensioner, and the envelope which was found bore a regimental name. It was specially desirable that he should be forthcoming. Witness replied that the police had not been able to find Stanley, and the coroner observed that if he was well advised he would come forward. Adverting to a further remark from the jury as to the desirability of offering a reward, the Coroner said he believed the Government had given up making such offers. - Doctor Phillips, divisional police surgeon, corroborated Chandler’s evidence as to the position in which the body lay when he was called in. He added that the face and tongue were much swollen, and that a portion of the small intestines and of the abdomen was lying on the ground over the right shoulder, but still attached to the body. Two other parts of the wall of the stomach were lying in a pool of blood above the left shoulder. There were other mutilations, evidently inflicted after death, which were of such a nature that he preferred, if possible, not to discuss them. For cutting the throat and for mutilating the body, a sharp, thin, narrow blade six or eight inches long must have been used, and the manner of its employment indicated anatomical knowledge, which was perhaps not more fully displayed in consequence of haste.
No fresh facts of importance have transpired today in connection with the Whitechapel murder, beyond the evidence given at the inquest to-day. Mr. Phillips’ positive opinion that the woman had been dead quite two hours when he first saw the body at half-past six throws serious doubt upon the accuracy on at least two important witnesses, and considerably adds to the prevailing confusion. There have been no further arrests, but some important information respecting the two lunatics under surveillance has been obtained.