Wednesday, 5 September 1888
The dispatches this morning give a description in detail of the midnight assassin alleged to have perpetrated, last Friday night, the awful crime of the murder of Mary Ann Nichols. The victim was literally cut to pieces with a knife in the hands of a mysterious being, whose footsteps could not be heard, while those of the woman resounded in the shadows as she fled from the murderer. The crime, committed last Friday night, has shocked the whole of England, and is generally charged to a short, thickset, half crazy creature, with fiendish black eyes, and known as “Leather Apron.” He frequented the dark alleys, and like a veritable imp haunted the gloom of the halls and passage ways of Whitechapel, and lived by robbing the female Arabs who roamed the streets after nightfall. Of powerful muscle, carrying a knife which he brandished over his victims, the London murder fiend was too terrible an assailant for the victim that cowered beneath the glitter of cold steel. He is charged with two other murders of women besides Mary Ann Nichols, in none of which was left the most distant clue to the assassin, whose identity is supposed to have been established by reports of women whom he had robbed, but not murdered.
There is a striking similarity which must be a mere coincidence between these murderers across the water and the servant girl murderers in Austin in 1885, which latter remains a mystery as profound and unraveled as that of Whitechapel. All were perpetrated in the same mysterious and impenetrable silence, and what makes the coincidence more singular is that the Austin murder fiend, who was seen on one occasion, was, like “Leather Apron,” a short, heavy set personage.