8 August 1891
London, Aug. 7.
Much excitement was occasioned in the Whitechapel district this morning when the rumor was rapidly passed from mouth to mouth that the dreaded Jack the Ripper had again appeared and committed one of the butcheries that has made his name a household word in this most ill-favored portion of London.
At an early hour this morning, as one of the denizens of Whitechapel, an old woman named Wolfe, was passing through one of the numerous dark alleys with which the region abounds, she was set upon by an unknown man armed with a sharp knife.
The place where the assault was made was a dark and dismal one, and, as the hour was early, the usual prowlers had sought refuge in doorways and under arches, where they lay in drunken stupors.
As rows are of a nightly, almost hourly, occurrence in Whitechapel no attention was paid, if, indeed, any noise was heard to what was of course taken for one of the usual drunken scuffles. The woman was taken to the hospital. and after a time recovered sufficiently to tell of the attack made upon her. She is a German and, unlike the other woman murdered and mutilated in Whitechapel, she was not in the company of the man who attacked her, but was passing along the street when, without warning, the assassin sprang upon her. But for the old woman it was a scuffle for life.
From what can be learned of the circumstances surrounding the attack, it appears that a man whom the people of Whitechapel are firmly convinced was the famous "Ripper", used his knife with fiendish energy. He grasped the woman by the head, and drawing her backward, with one hand across her mouth, silenced the cries she would naturally try to make, while with the other hand he drew his keen-bladed knife across her tightly-drawn throat, inflicting a terrible wound.
Then, using the knife as a dagger, he plunged it into her body again and again. There is a deep wound on the woman's arm, which it is believed was received while she was attempting to ward off the ferocious blows aimed at her body. When released from the grasp of her assailant, the woman dropped to the ground with the blood pouring from her wounds, and when, shortly afterward, she was discovered by a passing policeman, she was unconscious and in a dying condition. She is seventy years old.
The police are, as usual, hunting for some clue that will lead to the identification of the murderer, but, as in all the other Whitechapel crimes, the assassin has disappeared, leaving no trace, save his mutilated victim. She saw the glitter of the upraised steel blade, but was unable to escape from the grasp of her assailant. She raised her arm to defend her throat from the sweeping blow aimed at her, and it was through this movement that the wound in her arm was received. When her assailant released her from his grasp she fell upon a doorstep.
Despite her terrible injuries, she still retained possession of her senses, and though the wound in her throat was bleeding profusely, she was able to articulate, the weapon not having reached her windpipe. Several persons passed while she was lying on the doorstep, and though they endeavored to ascertain what the trouble was, she could not speak English sufficiently well to make them understand that an attempt had been made to murder her.
It is understood that the police found a razor covered with blood near the scene of the crime. The wound in the woman's throat could have caused by a razor as could also the deep cut in her arm, but from the nature of the other wounds, it is believed they were caused by either a knife or a dagger, as they appear to be stab wounds, and not such as would have been made with a razor.
One man has been taken into custody on suspicion of being the assassin, but the evidence against him is very weak and no importance is attached to his arrest.