17 November 1888
The news that another murder has been committed in the Whitechapel district of London will come with a peculiar sense of horror. In the presence of so dreadful a fact as a murderer roaming at will, doing his fiendish work, and the resources of civilization, so far as detection is concerned, exhausted, what can we say? In proud, potent London civilization is as helpless as barbarism.
The police are striving to discover the murderers by the use of bloodhounds. And in fact, all England has been for some time in discussion of the bloodhound question. The subtle sense of the hound might be of advantage in police adventures although public opinion, with the vein of tenderness generally shown by human nature to criminals, resents it. In the slavery days there was a good deal of Northern sentiment about bloodhounds hunting runaway negroes. The magnified of that procedure generally existed in Northern imagination.
It is pointed out by learned correspondents of the English newspapers that the bloodhound as an agency to track fugitives is an ancient expedient. One writer objects because bloodhounds cease from their pursuit the moment blood is found, and fugitives when hard pressed have spilled their own blood or slain one of their own party. The history of Wallace is recalled, who, while in flight, killed his comrade Fairdon for suspected treachery. So when the pursuers came upon the hounds they were standing by the body of Fairdon, Wallace still in his flight.
Some correspondents advise the use of high class retrievers, who would follow up a scent, and at the same time have a higher intelligence than the hound.
The question has public interest, and any information possessed by American students of dog lore would be of value to science as well as the interests of justice.