13 November 1888
Our telelgrams announce that Sir Charles Warren, the chief of the London police, has
tendered his resignation in consequence of the severe criticisms of his conduct in
connection with the Whitechapel murders.
The chief, under the circumstances, could not have done a better thing. He has been tried and found wanting. In a crowded district, in a city of nearly six million people, an unknown wretch has been permitted to murder nearly half a score of women and make his escape, leaving no trace behind him.
Victim after victim fell under the knife of the mysterious assassin, but the police made no discoveries, and the chief from first to last displayed utter incompetency. He did not suggest the offering of a large reward, and he resorted to no extraordinary devices to draw the murderer into a trap.
All that the chief could think of was bloodhounds. He secured a pack of dogs from a private kennel and sent them out on their hopeless mission. It resulted in a dismal failure. In crowded London a bloodhound could not follow the trail of his own master. It was an easy matter for the Whitechapel fiend to throw the dogs off the scent. All that he had to do was to change his shoes, take a cab, travel on the underground railroad, or enter a boat on the Thames.
Sir Charles should have profited by a former experiment in England. Bloodhounds were used to track two desperate criminals. The fugutives quarreled in their flight, and one killed the other. When the men in pursuit found the dogs they were all collected around the body of the dead man - they had failed to follow the living criminal.
No doubt Sir Charles has keenly felt the harsh judgement passed upon him by the public, but he deserved it. Does anybody suppose that a man would be able to murder eight or nine women in a single district in one of our American cities in the course of a few weeks without being caught? Our police would be everywhere, dressed in plain clothes, and women of the class selected by the murderer for his slughterhouse work, would be engaged to act as decoys, shadowed, of course, by the police. An immense reward would of course be offered.
The London chief apparently sat down and waited for the Whitechapel monster to come in voluntarily and give himself up. There is a gleam of hope in the news that he has tendered his resignation, but he should have resigned long ago. Will another incompetent be appointed to succeed him?