1 October 1888
TWO MORE HORRIBLE MURDERS IN LONDON, ENGLAND
WHITECHAPEL AND MITRE SQUARE THE SCENES OF BLOODY BUTCHERIES OF WOMEN OF THE WORLD
THE POLICE PARALYZED
London, September 30.
Another mysterious murder has occurred in Whitechapel. The body of a woman of the town, mutilated as in the previous cases, was found in Miter (sic) square last night. It is also reported that another woman has been murdered in the same vicinity.
The two young women found murdered near the scene of the former butcheries in Whitechapel last night have been recognized as dissolute characters who have long frequented that vicinity. One of them was found in Berne (sic) street with her throat cut from ear to ear. The other was discovered lying in Mitre square. She, like the first mentioned victim, had her throat cut, but in addition she had been disembowelled and her nose had been cut off. the murderer had evidently been disturbed in his work in Berne street, and had no time to mutilate the body of his victim.
The discovery of the bodies completely paralyzed the police, and general Sir Chas. Warren, chief commissioner, was at once called out of bed. He repaired immediately to the scene of the murders and gave orders to have the police force strongly reinforced.
Denizens of Whitechapel are in a state of terror tonight owing to the horrible butcheries, the fourth of which it was hoped and quite generally believed would be the last of the ghastly series. The police are positively helpless and their tacit admission of failure to find any clue whatsoever to the perpetrator of the terrible crimes only serves to add to the consternation of the unfortunate creatures whose calling has manifestly made them objects of the inhuman butcher's fury.
The number of theories advanced as accounting for the murders and seeking to establish the identity of the murderer is positively bewildering, but none of them is accepted as a correct one, though the Scotland yard detectives have nothing more plausible to offer themselves. The absolute impotent condition of the police in the matter has led them, however, to catch at straws in the way of evidence, which in ordinary cases would be spurned by self important burrowers for dynamiters and divers for parcels of sawdust; and the most significant of these is a letter which was received at the office of the Central News company in one of the postal deliveries on Thursday afternoon. The letter, which is written in a scrawling hand, is familiarly addressed, "Dear Boss," and signed, "Jack the Ripper." After boasting that he committed all of the Whitechapel murders, the writer continues: "I love my work and want to start at it again. The next job I do I shall cut off the lady's ear and send it to the police. Keep this letter back till I do more work, and then give it out to the police straight." The remarkable feature of the Mitre square murder is the fact that one of the dead woman's ears was nearly severed, and this circumstance is held to indicate that the real murderer wrote the letter.
Most of the newspapers issued special editions today giving copious details of the tragedy, and volunteering such advice to the police which they would do well to follow.
Great crowds visited the scene of the murders today and gazed at the bloodstained pavement with a degree of fascination difficult for the police to overcome in their effort to keep the highways clear. Houses, alleys, etc., of the Whitechapel district are being scoured by detectives tonight.
The first murder occurred in the narrow court off Berner street at an early hour this morning beneath the window of the Foreigners' Social club. A concert was in progress, and many members of the club were present, but no sound was heard from the victim. The same process had been followed as in the other cases. The woman had been seized by the throat and choked, and the murderer with one sweeping cut had severed her throat from ear to ear.
A clubman on entering the court stumbled over the body which was lying only two yards from the street. A stream of warm blood was flowing from the body into the gutter. The murderer had evidently been disturbed before he had time to mutilate his victim.
The second murder was committed three quarters of an hour later in Mitre square, five minutes walk from the scene of the first crime. Policemen patrol the square every ten minutes. The body of the unfortunate woman had been disembowelled, throat cut, and nose severed. The heart and lungs had been thrown aside and the entrails were twisted into the gaping wound. The incisions show rough dexterity.
The work of desecration was evidently done with the utmost haste. Pending the report of the doctors it is not known whether or not a portion of the viscera was taken away. The doctors, after a hasty examination of the body, said they thought it must have taken about five minutes to complete the work of the murderer, who had plenty of time to escape police.
Mitre square, the scene of the second murder, is a thoroughfare. Many people pass through the square early on Sunday morning on their way to prepare for market in the notorious Petticoat lane. The publicity of the place adds to the daringness of the crime.