1 November 1890
Jack the Ripper Probably Guiltless of the Murder of Mrs. Hobbs
The body of the woman found murdered in the South Hampstead locality, London, shows that the crime bears no resemblance to those committed by Jack the Ripper, and a medical examination of the remains proves that the woman did not belong to the Whitechapel class from which the Ripper selected his victims. The body is that of a woman about 30 years of age and well clad. Her linen was marked. Her throat had been cut and her skull fractured, and all of the pockets in her clothing were empty. A perambulator containing a blood stained fur rug was found nearby, which, it is supposed, was used to convey the body from the spot where the crime was committed to where it was found.
The body has been identified as that of Mrs. Hobbs, the wife of a porter employed in London. Mrs. Hobbs left her husband on the day she disappeared, taking with her child, whom she carried in the perambulator which was found near the place where the body was discovered. The whereabouts of the child is a mystery. The murderer stole from the victim a gold ring and a purse. The child which Mrs. Hobbs had with her was 18 months old. It is still missing.
Further inquiry develops the fact that Mrs. Hobbs started to visit a woman named Nellie Piercy, an intimate friend of her family, who was married but had separated from her husband. A search of the house in which the Piercy woman resided resulted in the discovery that blood was everywhere. Windows were smashed and a bloody carving knife, and a bent poker, smeared with blood, to which adhered several locks of woman's hair, were found. Mrs. Piercy was arrested, charged with having murdered Mrs. Hobbs and her child. Hobbs, who is suspected of complicity in the crimes, is being closely watched.
The dead body of Mrs. Hobbs' child was afterward found in a clump of furze bushes in a field adjacent to the road in the neighborhood of South Hampstead. It was discovered about a mile distant from the place where its mother's body was found. There are no external marks of violence on the body, and it is believed the child met its death by smothering. When found the infant's clothing was saturated with rain.