17 September 1888
THE WHITECHAPEL MURDERS.
TO THE EDITOR OF "THE EVENING NEWS."
SIR- I want to say a few words on the all-absorbing topic of the day, viz., the East-end murders. I am afraid you will think this the suggestion of a lunatic, but I cannot help thinking for a week past of what may prove an almost improbable solution of the mystery which has, perhaps, hitherto escaped notice. Is it possible for a medical maniac in the cause of science to commit them? That there are such is beyond a doubt. Was not M. Pasteur deemed such? Is it a case of human vivisection? And are the unfortunate victims hitherto selected as those to whom a release from their wretched life would be rather a blessing than otherwise? or, put it in another way, who could be best spared, as he would seem to think? Is it or is it not possible that there are problems yet unsolved even by the keenest medical expert relative to the mysterious changes that take place in the female sex at about the ages of these poor women? I am far from wishing to disparage the medical profession, but some time minute research into the mysteries of our being will degenerate into a craze. On that point, and on that point only, I have an opinion that in general my theory will not hold water. Still, in referring it to a public-spirited paper like The Evening News I shall feel somewhat relieved at getting rid of it, knowing it will receive the courteous attention accorded to all readers of that popular halfpennyworth. - I am, &c.,
TO THE EDITOR OF "THE EVENING NEWS."
SIR- Your correspondent "B. F." who writes under this heading, suggesting that the neighbourhood of Whitechapel should be patrolled at night by soldiers, who he implies have too much unoccupied time, is evidently very ignorant of what he is writing about. At present the garrison of London seldom have three undisturbed nights in bed; in consequence of the number of men that are required to find the various guards. - I am, &c.,
MEETING LAST NIGHT.
MEMORIAL TO THE HOME OFFICE.
Last night a large meeting of the Mile End Vigilance Committee took place at the Crown Tavern, Mile End-road, for the purpose of considering the best means for preventing a repetition of the late dreadful outrages, and securing the detection of the murderers.
The chair was taken by Mr. George Lusk, the well-known contractor, who was supported by Messrs. Cohen (vice-president) Aarons, Houghton, H. A. Harris, Laughton, Lord, Isaacs, Rogers, Mitchell, Barnett, Hodgins, Lindsay, Burgess, Jacobs, Reeves, B. Harris (hon. sec.), and others.
In the course of the proceedings, a long list of subscriptions towards a reward fund for the apprehension of the murderer was read, including £5 from Mr. Spencer Charrington, the well known brewer, and the chairman said that so soon as £100 had been subscribed the reward bills would be sent out. It was stated on all hands, and especially by Mr. Aarons and Mr. Rogers, that there was a consensus of opinion amongst the donees and others that the Home Office authorities were very unwise in withholding a Government reward for the detection of the murderers. A golden key usually opened all doors, and as no means should be left untried to discover and bring to justice escaped murderers, such rewards should always be offered. The Press and the public had over and over again expressed their views on the subject, and the Home Office were bound to give effect to those views in the interests of possible individual victims and of the community at large.
A resolution was put and carried that it was advisable to memorialise the Government in the matter, and in the course of the sitting a letter was drawn out, signed, and there and then despatched to the Home Secretary, embodying the views of the Committee and the meeting, and asking what Her Majesty's Government intended doing for the further protection of defenceless people from the knife of the murderer. Letters were also sent to Mr. W. Isaacson and others on the subject, and the proceedings were adjourned until Wednesday next, when sufficient money will probably be in hand for the offer of the reward.
It was stated that in the event of the definite escape of the murderer, the funds would be given to the London Hospital or some other charitable institution.