26 December 1894
A Mysterious Veiled Woman in Black and Her Thirst for Blood
Two ladies of the writer's family were making calls just after dusk yesterday in Kensington. They had some difficulty in finding the new address of a friend, and not seeing a policeman stopped to inquire the way at Queen's gate Terrace of a group of four women who happened to be approaching. Before they had time to speak two words of their question the four women turned and fled, with every evidence of sudden terror. The ladies walked on a few steps, met two more women and attempted to make the same inquiry. The second couple seemed seized with even greater alarm than the first group. They gathered up their skirts, ran across the street and away without waiting to hear the question.
This extraordinary power to put British maids and matrons to flight by a word so amused the two American women that they tested it once or twice more, with the same result, except that one woman retained sufficient self possession to call back "Don't know" over her shoulder as she ran away.
The incident furnishes striking proof of the literal reign of terror now prevailing in one of the most fashionable quarters of London by reason of the series of strange crimes about which the cable has already told you something. A mysterious veiled woman in black, whose mania is to stab others of her sex, has appeared no less than five times within a week in a district less than half a mile square, and although scores of detectives are lying in wait for her she is still at large. In each case she has approached her victim with an inquiry about a certain street. Her first victim lost an eye, and the second was stabbed in the neck, narrowly escaping a fatal wound. The fear of her was now widespread, so that the others she accosted fled before she could strike them. There is some suspicion that she is a small man in disguise, as all describe her as having a gruff voice, but the police believe it is a woman, and that she is undoubtedly insane.
In connection with young Saunderson's insane crime and the Kensington stabbings the authorities have been extremely alarmed lest another Jack the Ripper scare should seize upon the popular mind. This has led them recently to make the important announcement that they have reason to believe that the author of the Jack the Ripper crimes has been several years in his grave.