New York, USA
13 February 1891
Of a Murderer's Frenzy in a London Street
Of a Murderer's Frenzy in a London Street
London, February 13.
Further particulars in regard to the woman who was found dead in the Whitechapel district this morning and who is supposed to have been murdered by the fiend known as "Jack the Ripper", show that she was about 25 years of age and quite good looking for a woman of her class. She was found lying on her back with the head nearly severed from her body. There was also a severe wound on the back of her head, caused, it is thought, by the severe fall she experienced when her assailant knocked her down.
The scene of this possibly latest of the series of "Jack the Ripper's" crimes is a dark, narrow archway known as Swallow's gardens and leading from Little Mint street to Chambers street. The archway referred to is, during the busy hours, a well frequented thoroughfare, especially used by railway employees and stablemen in passing to and from their residences in and about that packed neighborhood to their work on the numerous lines of railroads or in the many stables scattered about that section of the city.
At all times of the night there are people awake in the houses and pedestrians passing about and through Swallow's gardens, but nobody seems to have heard any cries of an alarming nature during the early hours this morning, when the crime was committed.
The murdered woman, judging from her appearance, belonged to the abandoned class, and was fairly well dressed. Though her hair was untidy her clothing had not been disarranged. The police theory is that the woman was murdered while in a standing position; that the crime was probably the work of "Jack the Ripper". and that the murderer was frightened away by the approach of some pedestrian before he had time to mutilate the body in the manner already described in the previous crimes attributed to "Jack the Ripper." On the other hand, it is known that the residents of Whitechapel in particular and of London in general are prone to give credit to " Jack the Ripper" for any murder or attempt at murder in Whitechapel, where a woman is concerned.
The body, after the usual formalities taken with the object of establishing the woman's identity and of finding a clue to the murderer had been gone through with in the usual stereotyped manner, was taken to the Whitechapel mortuary. The blood was still warm when the body was found. When the blood stains had been cleared awy the police carved a rough cross in the wood work over the spot in Swallow's gardens where the unfortunate woman was found, in order to mark the spot where the crime was perpetrated. Large crowds of people, naturally, gathered around Swallow's gardens this morning in spite of the heavy efforts of scores of detectives and of uniformed and plain clothes police of the division. There seems to be, as in so many other and similar cases, no definite clew to the murderer. No arrests have been made.
A railroad employee, it is true, says he saw the murdered woman talking to a man, apparently a foreign seaman, just previous to the time the murder is supposed to have been committed, and the police are now engaged in searching all the vessels lying in the Thames or in the many docks about the port of London. The policeman who found the murdered woman must have reached the spot while the murderer was only a few yards away, for the woman's lips were still twitching nervously and her eyes were still rolling when the officer bent over her and a moment later sounded his whistle in a call for assistance, which must have placed any policeman in the neighborhood on the alert.
A woman's hat was found near the scene of the murder concealed by a piece of drapery. This hat was, in addition to the one on the murdered woman's head, suggestive, according to the London police, that either the "Ripper" or the woman was disguised.
The spot where the murdered woman's body was found was not a stone's throw from a police station.
Upon being questioned by his superior officer, the policeman who found the body said that, in addition to the nervous twitching of the lips and the rolling of the eyes already referred to, the woman's limbs were moving when he found her. Consequently, she must have been still alive when the policeman bent over her. The officer added that as soon as he discovered that a crime had been committed he rushed to the end of the archway and sounded an alarm with his whistle, while the "Ripper" must have escaped through the neighboring streets. A large number of people who were immediately attracted to the scene of the murder by the police alarm assisted the scores of officers who soon appeared in searching the neighboring doorways, alleyways, dark nooks and corners where a man could conceal himself.
The wound across the murdered woman's throat was evidently caused by a sharp, powerful stroke, and nothing can shake the belief of the police that but for the approach of some pedestrian, possibly the policeman who found the body, would have been mutilated in a manner similar to that of the other Whitechapel murders.
The woman found murdered in Swallow's gardens has been identified as an unfortunate known as "Carroty Nell".
LATER: The police have arrested a man on suspicion of being concerned in the murder of the unfortunate woman.