Sunday, 7 October 1888
Public Excitement Not Abating and the
Police Still Without a Clew.
SPECIAL CABLE DISPATCH TO THE TRIBUNE.
[Copyright, 1888, by the Press Pub. Co., N. Y. World.]
LONDON, Oct. 6. - The horrors of Whitechapel are no blacker than they were a week ago, but the terror in the district and the public excitement are not one whit decreased. The maniac murderer is still in the district and no one knows when he will select another victim for merciless mutilation.
I learned today from a Scotland Yard man working on the case that the mysterious American who was here a few months ago offering money for specimens of the parts taken from the bodies of the victims has been discovered. He is a reputable physician in Philadelphia with a large practice, who was over here preparing a medical work on specific diseases. He went to King's College and Middlesex Hospitals and asked for specimens, and merely said he was willing to pay well if he could not get them otherwise. The statement that he offered £20 each or named any other large sum seems to be a delusion of the Coroner. These facts were given the police by an eminent London physician, who saw a great deal of the Philadelphian when he was here, but would only divulge the information on a written guarantee from Sir Charles Warren that neither his name nor the name of the physician in question should be given to the public. He said the doctor had gone back to America, and his mission here was purely legitimate.
An American who used to live in New York keeps a herb shop now in the Whitechapel district. A detective called at his place this week and asked him if he had sold any unusual compound of herbs to a customer since August. Similar inquiries were made at other shops in the neighborhood. The basis of this investigation has a startling Shakespearean flavor. An eminent engineer in London suggested to the police the theory that the murderer was a medical maniac trying to find the elixir of life and was looking for the essential ingredient in the parts taken from the murdered bodies; that, like the witches in "Macbeth," he spent the time over a bubbling caldron of the hellbroth made from the gory ingredients looking for the charm.
The fact that the police are spending time looking up wild theories like this only shows the utter absence of anything like a clew. The wildest rumors are credited to the exclusion of sound ideas. The Whitechapel district is swarming with detectives, some disguised as laborers, talking with loose women and endeavoring to find out from them something to give the police a tangible basis to work on. Some private detective agencies, tempted by the $8,000 reward, have got decoy women in the street, but all avails nothing. Innumerable arrests have been made, but no one is now in custody.
Meanwhile Warren pays no attention to the public clamor for his resignation. The qualities in his character which make him ready to resign if thwarted by his superiors turn him into a leech in holding on when he believes he has done his duty, even though his purpose be not attained. But in the Police Department itself Warren has started an inquisition. He suspects, and probably with good reason, members of his own force with writing letters to the newspapers about him, and has been making a big row about it. He made a rule this week that every newspaper man calling at Scotland Yard must register his name and business in a book.