21 July 1889
Special to Decatur Dispatch
London, July 20.
The name of the man who was arrested this morning on suspicion of being the Whitechapel murderer, and who is said to have subsequently confessed that he was guilty, is William Brodile (sic). He was arraigned before police magistrate this morning. He stated to the magistrate that the confession made by him to the police was true. The prisoner was remanded for a week. Towards midnight last night he attempted the life of another woman close to Castle alley. A woman and a man were seen to approach a dark portion of the thoroughfare, near the Aldgate east station. The pair did not remain long in the corner before the own was heard to cry: "No, I won't." The remark was addressed to a dark man of medium height, with a slouch hat and of foreign appearance. The man seized her, dragged her for a short distance, flung her upon the curb stone and produced a dagger. Screams of "Jack the Ripper!" and of "Murder!" attracted crowds of men and women from all directions. Among the first arrivals on the scene were several members of the local Vigilance association, which has only just resumed its work. Before the man had time to get far he was seized and a dreadful struggle ensued. He had a long knife in his hand. It was some time before he could be deprived of it. Eventually it was taken from him. Even then his fight for liberty was of a most determined nature. In the first affray the woman crawled away. Police whistles were heard in all directions. A great number of officials both of the city and metropolitan forces appeared on the scene. When the police reached the spot the man was cut and bleeding profusely from wounds inflicted by the crowd who had raised the cry of "lynch him" and was throwing all kinds of missiles at the prisoner. With the aid of a strong escort of police he was got to the police station. In reply to a question, he said: "The woman robbed me." When asked why he drew the dagger, he replied that he had done so in self defense. He said he was a sailor, and had arrived from South Shields about a week ago. When asked where he was on the morning of the 17th, he could not say. He did not know where he had stayed while in London. A small knife was found in his possession, together with his seaman's discharge papers.
The man arrested yesterday, and whom the authorities kept so close, is not Jack the Ripper, nor is he a murderer. He is a harmless lunatic with just enough sense to appreciate a good joke and he played it. The police are awfully chagrined and will vent their spite on the poor fellow by sending him to prison as a vagrant.