29 January 1890
Dallas, Tex. Jan. 28.
The Dallas variety theaters are noted for the reproduction of tragedies with the blood yet reeking on them. The spirit of rivalry in this direction has been so strong that one of them recently undertook to anticipate events by bringing before the footlights a hanging scene, in which no less a personage than Jack the Ripper was the principal character. Jack Cone, who recently arrived in Dallas, personated the Whitechapel fiend, going through a few of the scenes with a description of which the public are familiar, and then appearing in others, such as his capture, trial, and execution, which have no foundation in fact, but which throw the crowds into ecstasy. The fatal act, which was supposed to have occurred in London, had all the features of an old fashioned Texas hanging, but that is not here or there. The striking feature of the situation lay in the nonchalance or, as the audience called it, "the game" showed by Jack the Ripper in his cold blooded aversion to preachers and all other modes of grace when death was flapping its black wings over his fated head. This manner of "hopping the twig" seemed to bring Jack en rapport with his audience, who would express their admiration of the culprit in no doubtful tones. Last Monday night about midnight, or it might have been a few minutes later, which would make it Tuesday morning, as Jack the Ripper stood on the scaffold gazing wistfully into the jaws of death, he carelessly puffed a cigar, held a high head, and thrust from him the black cap as Julius Caesar did the crown. The next moment was to find him dangling at the end of a rope, but he did not dangle worth a cent. The trap was spring regulation style, and Jack the Ripper started down for a 5 foot fall, but like McGinty, he landed not fortunately. At the back of his neck the rope had been attached by means of a buckle to straps which ran from his waist, and which would have the effect of making his body below his arms bear all the weight of the fall, thereby saving his neck and himself for a fresh engagement. In this effort the rope broke and Cone fell with violence, his head striking the trapdoor, while the buckle stuck in his neck. As he lay limp and bleeding on the stage, the curtain fell and the music ceased and doctors were sent for - three of them - and after working some time with the patient, whose face looked like a war map of Mexico, succeeded in restoring him to consciousness. The wounded man was very low last night, with little hope of his recovery. He has been recognized by theatrical people as a brother of Kate Claxton.