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Atlanta Constitution
Georgia, U.S.A.
12 July 1911

Negro Held on Suspicion

Henry Huff, a negro laborer, 27 years old, was arrested yesterday by Detectives Coker and McGill in connection with the murder of Sadie Holley Monday night, theeighth victim of Atlanta's so-called "Jack the Ripper." Huff was arrested at his home, rear of 80 Brotherton street, and when taken into the station house his ragged trousers up to his knees were heavy with blood and soft dirt. He is said to have been seen with the woman at a late hour Monday night.

Again hurling defiance at Atlanta's police department, "Jack the Ripper" has claimed his eighth victim. The latest of the cut-throat murders committed within the city limits within the past few weeks came to light yesterday morning when the body of Sadie Holley, a negro woman, was found on Atlanta avenue near the south side trunk sewer line. And with equal defiance, and apparently an equal security from arrest, the gang of sneak thieves and burglars which has thrown Atlanta's homes into consternation continues, unmolested, to ravage where it wills.

Neither Jack the Ripper on the one hand, nor the gang of thieves on the other has let up for one week in their terrorizing crimes. In fact, the deeds grow bolder and bolder with each successful evasion from capture at the hands of the police and detective departments of the city.

Atlanta' sleuths, so far from capturing the cut-throat murderer, so far from obtaining even a clew to lead to the arrest of anyone of the thieves, have not even succeeded in making an arrest of anyone who even remotely might be suspected of having taken a part in the crimes. The negro is held on a "suspicion."

The police department has nothing to say in explanation of its inability thus far to cope with the situation, further than the simple declaration that it is doing its best. In the meantime, the negroes, naturally panic-stricken that eight women of their race have been murdered in cold blood within as many weeks, are holding mass meetings, and are appealing to the governor, the mayor and to law-loving citizens to help them in capturing the guilty party or parties, and to put a stop to this reign of bloody crime.

The white people of the community, indignant over the robberies which have been of so frequent occurence, and aroused as well over the murders which have served to intensify the servant problem, are turning to the police, to the mayor and to the governor for that degree of protection which will insure a reasonable amount of security in the home.

Colored Detectives Wanted.

The negroes, in a mass meeting at Pittsburg held Thursday night, asked that detectives of their own color be employed to help in running down the bloody cut-throats. Several rewards have been offered for the capture.

All are asking that something be done - something more than is apparently being done now. They are asking for something that will be effective.

The body of Sadie Holley, the latest victim, was found on Atlanta avenue, near the south side trunk sewer line. Her throat was cut and her head had been mashed with a large stone. A large crowd gathered, but none seemed to know the woman.

Noticed Signs of Struggle.

The murder was discovered by a negro laborer, Will Broglin, about 7 o'clock. He was on his way to work when he noticed, in the newly graded soft dirt, signs of a struggle. Following the traces, he came to the body. Call Officer Doyle was soon investigating, together with Detective George Bullard and Officer Arthur.

Several clues were found, according to Chief Lanford, which give promise of yielding something definite, but so far no arrests have been made. The stone which was used as a weapon was found in a nearby field. The woman's shoes are missing, and have not been found. The trail of the slayer could be traced only a short distance in the soft dirt.

Monday's murder is one of the series which has the police at sea, and which is causing consternation throughout the negro population. Meetings have been held in all the churches, the murderers denounced, and rewards offered, but there seems to be no stop to the crimes.

First One Early in Year

Looking back over the murders, it is seen that they have not started recently, but only in the last two months have they gained such frequency and regularity as to attract universal notice. The first one, "negro woman murdered, throat cut by unknown persons," happened during the latter part of 1910.

On February 19 an unknown woman was found near Grant Park with her head crushed and her throat cut. On January 22 Rosa Trice had been killed near Gardner street and the Southern railway in the same manner.

From June 19 on there has been one murder weekly, starting with Addie Watts, who was found near railroad, her head mashed with a coupling pin andher throat cut. June 25 saw Lizzie Watts killed at White and Lawton streets, her body hidden in a clump of bushes. Lena Sharpe was murdered July 1 at 24 Hanover street, and her daughter Emma Lou stabbed. Emma Lou has given the only description that the police have of the man. The unknown of Monday night completes the list.

The present crime wave is not confined alone to the negro sections.

A Wave of Crime

Out in the best residence sections of the city a series of robberies, which have amounted to several thousand dollars' worth of fine jewels and glassware, have been committed by sneak thieves and burglars. In some cases citizens have been providing special guards for their homes.

Among the robberies which have taken place are: Charles L Gately, $1,400; Charles A Conklin, $500; George M Brown, $300; J G Oglesby, $300; Howard Candler, $300, and others.

The servant theory of the police has been dissipated by the sneak thief at the Oglesby home Monday morning, and it is generally admitted now that the robberies are the work of one gang. Whether they are white or black is not known. It is possible that the city has been invaded by a number of professional crooks, who are making rich hauls.

So far there is no evidence to connect anyone with the robberies, and the police are at sea with regard to the burglaries.

Want Reward Offered

In the hope of securing the arrest of the Ripper, negro pastors of Atlanta have started a petition asking the governor and mayor to offer a reward for his capture. It is as follows: "Within the last two years seventeen colored women have been found murdered in this community as follows:

April 5, 1909, Della Reid, found dead in trash pile near 71 Rankin street.

September 7, 1909. unknown, found dead in Peachtree creek.

March 5, 1910. Estella Baldwin, 735 North Jackson street, concussion of brain.

April 5, 1910. Georgia Brown, 167 Martin street, gunshot wound.

April 6, 1910. Mattie Smith, 141 1/2 Peters street, gunshot wound.

May 6, 1910. Lavinia Ostin, gunshot wound.

May 23, 1910. Sarah Dukes, 119 Curran street, gunshot wound.

Francis Lampkin, 407 Foundry street, gunshot wound.

September 4, 1910. Eliza Griggs, 28 Dover street, gunshot wound.

October 6, 1910. Maggie Brooks, East Ellis street, killed on Hill street, near West Point and belt line.

February 3, 1911. Lucinda McNeal, 92 Spencer street, throat cut.

May 8, 1911. Rosa L Rivers, 122 Randolph street, shot.

May 29, 1911. Mary Walker, 228 Garibaldi street, throat cut.

June 15, 1911. Addie Watts, 30 Selman street, throat cut.

June 27, 1911. Lizzie Watkins, West Oakland street, throat cut.

July 2, 1911. Lena Sharp, 24 Hanover street, throat cut.

July 10, 1911. Sadie Hollis, killed on Gardner street, throat cut.

As far as we can ascertain there had been no conviction for any one of these murders and very few, if any, arrests.

We, therefore, petition you to offer a suitable reward for the apprehension and conviction of these unpunished murderers who have produced a state of terror in the community.

E R Carter, chairman and pastor of Friendship baptist church
E H Oliver, pastor Warren chapel M.E. church
H H Proctor, pastor First Congregational church
S H Jackson, Baptist church
J A Rush, pastor Central Avenue M.E. church
H W B Wilson, Ariel Bowen M.E. church
C M Tanner, secretary and pastor Big Bethel church
Joseph Griffith, South Atlanta M.E. church
D F Whitaker
R Dorsey
A C Williams, Antioch Baptist church
Robert R Smith, West Hunter Baptist church
C J Hardy, Beulah Baptist church
A J Wilson, Rhode Street M.E. church
H A Rucher

Also signed by the following prominent white citizens:
John Grant
John Owens
Wilmer Moore
Frederick J Paxon

Related pages:
  Atlanta Ripper
       Press Reports: Alaska Citizen - 22 January 1912 
       Press Reports: Atlanta Constitution - 13 July 1911 
       Press Reports: Frederick Evening Post - 12 January 1912 
       Press Reports: Sheboygan Press - 27 June 1911 
       Press Reports: Williamsport Sunday Grit - 21 April 1912