New York, USA
2 November 1888
SIR CHARLES WARREN AND HIS PACK OF HOUNDS
London had begun to forget all about the horrible Whitechapel murders, when one morning not long ago, the great metropolis was shaken from the innermost recesses of the city to the elegant suburbs that have been lately built for the occupation of the wealthy and cultivated by the announcement that Sir Charles Warren's dogs were loose.
Sir Charles had for some time been training these dogs, with a view to having them track and tree the human fiend who has been operating in Whitechapel, whenever that shrewd ghoul should kill another victim. All the world remembers how much Sir Charles banked upon his bloodhounds and how he made himself the laughing stock of everybody by letting them chase his august person one very early morning not long ago. One would imagine that his experience on that occasion would have shaken his faith in the wisdom of the scheme, for, so the account runs, they only succeeded in making even a fair showing one time in three.
The fact is, as almost any one conversant with the employment of hounds for tracking persons will tell you, it is quite a different matter for a dog to take up and follow a scent across a sparsely settled country, and through the intricate mazes of a densely populated city.
It is not at all uncommon for a dog to quite lose the scent in the former instance because of one crossing track. In a crowded metropolitan district like Whitechapel, where any given track would be crisscrossed by tens of thousands of other tracks inside of an hour, the task of following the murderer by the scent would be altogether beyond the power of even the keenest nosed dog.
And even if Sir Charles' experiments had been successful to a marked degree, the results would have justified no sanguine expectations. For the experiments were made early in the morning when few people would be stirring, and the chance of obliteration by subsequent trails was at a minimum, whereas the search for the murderer would, very likely, have to be made at a busy time of the day.
It is quite possible that this last exploit of Sir Charles Warren will move the London publications that sail under comic colors to the printing of cartoons bearing upon the subject. Punch has already devoted considerable attention to the Whitechapel matter, and here is a reduced reproduction of one of its cartoons, heading and all:
Sir Charles Warren is a most extraordinary person, if we may believe the English newspaper stories about him. He doesn't seem to have the slightest qualification for the position of chief of police, and the office came to him only because he was born with patrician blood in his veins.
He has been a soldier, and a fairly good one, too - serving abroad - and therein, perhaps, lies much of the secret of his ill success. If he had been willing to act simply as a figure head, letting other and more capable men attend to the executive part - the real work of the department - matters would probably never have reached such a pass as to render the Whitechapel murders possible.
But, having won some reputation as a fighter of savages, he felt that he knew just how to preserve order in a city largely composed of civilized people. Brooking no interference with his plan of conducting the affairs of the office of chief of police on the lines of a military campaign, and fully imbued with the idea that the chief end of the police is to suppress free speech and all sympathy with the Irish, whom he hates so bitterly, he devoted his energies to closing public places to speakers who are dissatisfied with the existing order of things in England and the following and arrest of Americans and others supposed to have a friendly feeling towards Erin's green isle. Of course it was not long before the Scotland Yard men and the "bobbies" alike expended whatever abilities they possess in these directions, and what are in other countries considered the most hateful classes flourished unhurt and plied their criminal callings unmolested. In this Inspector Helstone and Coroner Baker (sic), two officials who have ably seconded Sir Charles Warren's policy of marked incapability.