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Irish Times
Dublin, Ireland
Wednesday, 28 November 1888



The Russian newspaper Novosti makes a startling revelation. According to your Muscovite contemporary, the "Whitechapel murderer" is a Russian. The Novosti gives the following particulars:- "He was born at Tiraspol, in South Russia, in 1847, and graduated at the Odessa University. After 1870 he became a fanatical Anarchist and emigrated to Paris, where he went out of his mind. Is monomania was that fallen women could only be redeemed and go to heaven if they were murdered. This led him to perpetrate a number of murders in Paris. The Paris police arrested him, but on discovering that he was a lunatic they shut him up in an asylum. That was 16 years ago. He was kept there until a short time prior to the first murder in Whitechapel, when he was released as cured. He went to London, and there lodged with different compatriot refugeees until the first woman was assassinated in Whitechapel, since which time his friends have not seen him.



To-day, shortly after 12 o'clock, a man was pursued by a crowd through Royal avenue, and as many persons called "Jack the Ripper," the excitement became intense. The individual turned at the Free Library and ran up Little Donegall street. In addition to the increasing crowd, the police were now on his track as well. Scores of people from Union street, Charles street, Stephen street, and Birch street, joined in the pursuit. It was feared that the supposed "Jack" would bolt down Birch street and escape perchance through some familiar and mysterious haunt. These fears were but too well founded, though the fact that the visitor being called "Jack the Ripper" did not dispose the inhabitants to harbour him. "Jack" gained Carrick hill without being captured, and he rushed into the first door on turning the corner. Here it seems he frightened some children, and when the police arrived every facility was given them to enter. Constables Britten and M'Guirk went through the premises and ultimately found the so-called "Jack" secreted in a cellar between Carrick Hill and Birch street. The constables placed the man under arrest and conveyed him to the police office. As he was taken down Donegall street the crowd was still further augmented, and the cry of "Jack the Ripper" was kept up. When taken to the police office the crowd which were obliged to remain outside, gave vent to their feelings in frequent outbursts of cheering. It was discovered that the defendant was wearing two hats - a soft hat being inside a felt one - and carried two walking sticks. He gave his name as James Wilson, and appeared to be about 43 years of age. When asked his occupation he said "I am a comedian," which was interpreted by the sergeant in charge as meaning "a ballad singer." He stated that he had been on a tour through some of the provincial towns, and had called at Lisburn and several places in County Antrim. The charge entered against him was that of "indecent behaviour," but there can be no doubt that he was arrested more for his own safety than for any breach of the peace which he had committed.

Related pages:
  James Wilson
       Ripper Media: Jack the Ripper: A Suspect Guide - James Wilson