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Atlanta Constitution
Georgia, U.S.A.
Sunday, 7 October 1888




The Murderer Evidently a Gentleman With High education - A Theory for His Remarkable Craze

New York, October 6. [Special]

So intense is the feeling among all classes in London in regard to the bloody horrors, committed with impunity in Whitechapel, that it is not surprising to hear of so prominent a member of parliament as Colonel J. C. Hughes-Hallett, of her majesty's service, turning detective and visiting in disguise the perilous (sic) of the east end of the world's metropolis, with the deliberate intention of meeting, and if possible, apprehending the murderous monomaniac whose crimes have made the civilized world stand aghast.


Colonel Hughes-Hallett, who is staying at the Breevort during his present visit to New York, gave a World reporter yesterday a thrilling account of his midnight visit to the scene of the monster's carnival of crime, made just after the commission of the second atrocity in that gory series which has drawn all eyes to the East End of London. Said Colonel Hallett:

"You may remember that the second of the mutilated bodies discovered in Whitechapel was that of Martha Turner, a hawker, which was found on the second floor landing of the George Yard buildings in Commercial Street, Spitalfield. The similarity of the mutilation, the identity of the district and of the woman's occupation with those of the first victim, convinced me that I had to deal with a case of homicidal mania. I chose a bright, moonlight night for my expedition to Whitechapel, just the kind of night that the thug whom I wanted to trail had a predilection for. I had already a theory of my own about the kind of man the assassin would turn out to be. I had more upon my mind, and I have seen since no reason to change it, that the perpetrator of these atrocities is a West End man, a gentleman, a person of wealth and culture perhaps, but certainly of intellectual qualities, finesse and keen discrimination.

His motive? Well, we will come to that presently. I was convinced that my man left his club, as I was then doing, and disguised himself for his hideous nocturnal revel as I was about to do.

So I drove to my apartment and, doffing my evening dress, got into a plain, quiet pair of trousers [illegible] a rough [illegible] coat and a pot hat. I took plenty of money [illegible] but no jewelry of any kind [illegible] gave the driver orders to drive to [illegible] street.

The man turned and looked at me in such a peculiar way that I am sure he suspected me. [illegible] had already been raised over town, for the second crime, by its singular atrocity, sent a chill of horror down every spine, and the police had given orders to the cabmen to watch suspicious 'fares'. The man said nothing, however, and i pretended not to notice his scrutiny. As we drove along St. James' park, I passed a very dear old friend and fellow clubman and looked him straight in the eye. He didn't know me, for being an amateur actor as well as a detective, I had 'made up' my face and completed the disguise effectually. The reason, or perhaps the main reason why I was convinced the murderer was a West End man, was the knowledge he had shown of surgery, or rather of anatomy; the thoroughness with which he did what he set out to do, and the finesse with which he instantly effaced himself and all tell-tale signs of his fearful work.

I revolved these thoughts in my mind as I drove past Cambridge music hall into Commercial road, and I felt in my pocket to see that the revolver I had put there was ready for use.

In the light of all the latter developments I have seen no cause for changing this opinion. I had now arrived as near the scene of action as I felt safe to go in a cab. Midnight had struck, and the air was quiet and cool. I dismissed my cabby, looking him straight in the eye as I gave him my fare, and turned out of Commercial road into Whitechapel. The approaches to the scene of the maniac's operations are not particularly dirty, or filthy, or tumbledown, or, indeed, in any way calculated to attract unusual attention. But over them that night, and ever since, hung a brooding expectancy, a mysterious suggestion of something fearsome to be that could not fail to impress the most callous observer. As I walked from Whitechapel into Hanbury street, intending, by a round about route through the short streets and alleys connecting Commercial road and Hanbury street, to debouche into the latter, and thence into Commercial street, where the last victim had been found.

I was struck with the fact that the unfortunate women who frequent that district in swarms were, as I approached the scene of the tragedy, becoming rarer and rarer. I heard none of them singing or shouting their maudling endearments, or exhibiting, in the friskiness of their behavior, the reckless glee which is so repulsive in them. The sidewalks there, as in London generally, were in good order, and cleanly kept. In your slums here, or in a corresponding quarter of New York, you would find your gutters full of filthy water and refuse, and sidewalks unflagged, perhaps, or torn up, littered with dirt and shavings. I found nothing of this sort there. The houses on either side of those short streets are two and three stories high, brick dwellings, used below as shops. There are no porches in front of them, and no distinguishing marks of architecture about them. The pavements are of brick, of course, and in good order. The gas lamps were burning bright. and there was no evidence of the ramshackle and tumble-down lanes and alleys and culs de sac which one might suppose such a thug would choose for the scene of his operations.

In the smaller streets between Hanbury and Whitechapel streets the gas lamps are, of course, not so near together. We do not plant them in London as you do here, with reference to the corners of the streets. At home they are regularly placed at certain intervals, whether at the intersection of streets or not, and just before reaching George's Yard I saw what brought more forcibly than before to my mind the thrill of terror which pervaded the neighborhood. At the next corner, a stone's throw from where "Emma" met her fate, stood a boby (sic), a policeman, you know, looking away from me. There were several women on the opposite side of the street, and a group of men. Another policeman was just in the act of approaching them to move on, when, just in front of me, I heard a long drawn shivering sigh, an agonized catching of the breath, such as denots (sic) invariably mental agony or an extremity of terror. An unfortunate woman, not twenty feet away, was standing in the bright lamp light, reeling as if in the act of fainting. By a peculiar defect or blur in the lamp, her shadow was projected in a dead wall just to her right, with a misshapen distinctness which, in the unsettled condition of her nerves, was too much for her. She gave an awful shriek, and fell fainting to the ground. The police and passers (?) rushed up at once, and when she came to and told of the horrible shape she had seen at her elbow, congratulated her on her narrow escape from the fate which had befallen her sister in George's Yard. She was hurried away and the search for the thug continued.

Just here I may say I would gladly give up my seat in parliament to become the head of the criminal investigation department in London, which never needed a head worse than now. Our police officers and detectives are subordinated to the same authority where they should be separate and independent. A detective is born, not made by uniform, clubs, orders and a star on his breast. A detective may be a gentleman and should be a man of brains, culture and literary acquaintance. A policeman need only be obedient, string and brave. He may be, and after all, is densely stupid.

So short is the distance from Club Land to the dens of the East End, that I had not been out on my expedition more than three quarters of an hour now, and I was already at the door of the house where the latest disemboweled and murdered woman had been found. There was not a soul in sight save a policeman a block away, watching the doorway as if he expected to see the fiend come out, hoofs, horns and all. I crossed the street to him, and after a great deal of persuasion he described the appearance of the latest victim, where she was found a few hours before, bleeding like an abattoir, and sliced to suit the murderer's purpose with anatomical accuracy.

This brings one to my theory of who the thug is. I believe him to be an army doctor retired, perhaps, or a medical student, or a gentleman who has read medicine as amusement, or as a part of a liberal education. He is a man of the world, a gentleman, a club man, perhaps, who pursues his customary action during the day, and at night sallies out with his knife and dagger to feast a homicidal mania bred in him by disease, most likely contracted from some of the unfortunate women to whom he confines his horrible revenge. By the organs he has cut out and carried away, he proves himself a sexual pervert, that is the victim of a brain bias superinduced by the disease alluded to, and driving him to frenzy at stated intervals.

He should be detected by his disposition of these organs. He may have burned them, but he has probably preserved them in his apartments to gloat over. While he will, no doubt, return to the same locality with each recurring frenzy to glut his revenge, he may never be caught there. I satisfied myself that it was no use to look for him there. He must be found at his home, in his club, in the fashionable thoroughfares of the West End. When these mutilated organs are found he will not be far away."




An Atlanta Man Who Is Crazy to Catch the Whitechapel Murderer - His New Theory and New Plan.

"The London police force, the devil! Why, gentlemen, they could not find a white elephant in the middle of a ten acre field with an electric light!"

This vivid exclamation trembled upon the drum of the detective reporter's ears as he meandered around Beermann's corner yesterday.

He stopped and turned.

The word were shot with explosive utterance from the lips of a womanish-looking man whose very being seemed a flame with intense emotion.

His face blushed. His small black eyes glittered. His white hands made zigzag gestures. His trim-buil, neatly-clad form quivered with excitement. His thin lips were cherry and purple in turn as he spoke, and the pale throat and his high, smooth and ashen brow presented a peculiar contrast to the regular girlish features and plump cheeks now reddened with passion.

His voice was shrill and high, and he showed his white teeth like Carker in the tale.

He talked on.

"I am sick of this balderdash about police detectives. Why, I pick up the papers every day and within the past two weeks I have read of half a dozen murders committed right here in Atlanta - and only one of the murderers apprehended. Great Heavens! what a showing. But these things don't interest me. I go in for Bigger game.

I was born with the detective fever, and at the age of thirty I am still shaking with it, and this Whitechapel bloody work has made me almost wild. I read about it, I think about it, I dream about it, and to save me I can't talk ten minutes without talking about it.

You will excuse my warmth, gentlemen, but the eyes of the world are turned upon the slums of Whitechapel, London, and damn me if I don't believe I can catch the inhuman monster who is bathing his hands in the innocent blood of these poor, helpless women.

Why, just to think of it! He murdered one the other day just a few moments after a policeman had passed by; and the London dispatches say today that his last frail victim was horribly mangled and left within two blocks of Scotland Yard, which, we are told, turns out the best detectives on earth. He did this to dare the detectives in their den - but they won't even take a dare, ha!, ha! What a travesty, this, on armed authority. One murderer more than a match for whole platoons of so-called skilled detectives and the combined police power of the greatest city in the world!"

As he said this his sneer was a study in contempt.

"Why don't you go to London and try your hand?"

"Simply because I am not able to have my business. But if the people of Atlanta will make up a purse, I will go, and, as I said before, I firmly believe that the plan of action, now in my mind, could be worked to a successful issue."

"It would be a big thing for Atlanta if you should go over and catch the Whitechapel murderer. It would make you a perfect hero," said an interested listener.

"Yes," remarked another, "and I believe if the women of Atlanta really thought that you could capture the monster they would raise the money to send you over. Women are more sympathetic than men, and all over this town they are taking a horrible interest in the butchering of females by this fiend incarnate."

"Something tells me that I can do the work," continued the first speaker calmly, "but it would be necessary for me to have at least a month's time. Would you like to hear my theory on these murders and my plan of catching the murderer?"

The crowd said that they were all attention.

"Well, my theory, gentlemen, is that the murderer is a woman-hater - a genuine woman-hater. I think that he has been treated cruelly by some woman whom he loved better than his left, and that he has sworn vengeance against the sex. He makes war to the knife on women, but his cunning hand is guided by a shrewd head. The times and places of his terrible work all show this to be true. I believe that he is a man fo means and perfectly sane, otherwise how could he jump from Texas to London as he has done. If he had been a lunatic he would have been caught long ago. No, sir, he is a cool reasoner. Why does he kill poor helpless abandoned women. For the best reason in the world. He knows that the world takes little interest in outcasts. Therefore his chances to escape detection are better. Suppose he should kill a society belle or a famous actress? Aha! The risk would be too great, and he knows it. Organized effort would be made to capture him and might succeed. So he picks his women - women that he knws the world thinks are better off dead - women without place or power or money or friends or homes - women over whose mutilated remains no tears will fall - women with no fathers, brothers, husbands, sons to protect or care for them. But this gluts his vengenace against the sex just the same.

He is not a lady-killer - he's simply a woman butcher. That's my theory.

Now for my plan of action. If I had the money I would go to London, and take lodgings in the toughest part of Whitechapel, in the immediate vicinity of these murders. I would pick out on the most heaven-forsaken of the women who live there and buy from her the clothes which she ordinarily wears. I understand the art of 'make up.' I would put on these clothes, make up my face to suit - in short, thoroughly disguise myself as one of these women and walk from dark till daylight about that vice hardened locality. I would go alone, and keep a keen lookout. You observe he kills women only when they are alone - not when they are walking around with people. When he tackled me, and I believe I could fool him into doing it, I would be too quick for him - that's all. I would hack him to pieces with a long, keen knife which I would carry concealed in the folds of my dress."

"But the nerve and the patience - have you got them to do it?" asked a gentleman.

"I have. And I tell you the solemn truth when I say that nothing in life would give me greater delight than to undertake the job. I would rather catch or kill that murderer of helpless women than to have one million dollars - and I am willing to go into a notary this minute and make affidavit to it."

With these words the young, womanish-looking man smiled and bowed to the crowd, and walked hurriedly down the street.

They all know him - and all believed everything that he had said.

That Whitechapel Murderer

He is the greatest criminal in the world today, and possibly the greatest the world has ever known.

But who is he?

That is the question which the whole civilized world is asking.

Is he a common thug, with a homicidal mania, who sneaks from his hiding place at night to commit his horrible crimes?

Is he some medical student, some retired army or navy doctor, some person who has studied medicine and is now endeavoring to prove some pet theory or other, and takes this altogether horrible way of doing it?

Is he some crank, wrapped up in the belief that it is his mission to rid the world of the worthless women whose lives he has taken?

Is he the loathsome, fiendish Mr. Hyde of some highly respectable Dr. Jekyll - some man, as Sir Hughes-Hallett suggests, who moves in society, a club man, perhaps, and highly respected, where only the better part of his dual life is known?

He might be any one of these. There are only two things certain about this sensational affair - that the crimes are the most horrible the world has known, and that the London police has proved itself incapable of grasping the situation. The murderer and his murders form the sole topic of conversation everywhere.

But who is he?

Related pages:
  J. C. Hughes-Hallett
       Press Reports: Reno Evening Gazette - 8 October 1888