14 November 1888
The Hopes of the Police of Catching Him Raised to the Acme of Buoyancy
LONDON, November 14--The hopes of the police of catching the Whitechapel murderer, which had almost entirely died out, were raised to the acme of buoyancy in consequence of the testimony at the Kelly inquest yesterday of George Hutchinson, a groom, who had known the victim for some years, and who saw her with a male companion shortly before 2 o'clock on the morning of the murder. Hutchinson testified that he saw a well-dressed man, with a Jewish cast of countenance, accost the woman on the street at the hour mentioned on Friday morning, and the circumstance of the his acquaintance with her induced him to follow the pair as the walked together. He looked straight in the man's face as he turned to accompany the woman, and followed them to Miller Court out of mere curiosity. He had no thought of the previous murders, and certainly no suspicion that the man contemplated violence, since his conspicuous manifestation of affection for his companion as the walked along formed a large part of the incentive to keep them in sight. After the couple entered the house Hutchinson heard
in the girl's room, and remained at the entrance of the Court for fully three-quarters of an hour. About three o'clock the sounds ceased and he walked into the Court, but finding that the light in the room had been extinguished he went home. During the hour occupied in standing at entrance to or promenading the court he did not see a policeman. There is every reason to believe Hutchinson's statement, and the police place great reliance upon his description of the man, believing that it will unable them to run him down. The witness who testified to having seen the woman enter the house with a man with a blotched face was evidently mistaken as to the night, as his description of her companion is totally unlike that of Hutchinson in every particular. The bulk of evidence fixes the time of the murder at between 3.30 and 4 o'clock. It transpired to-day that, in addition to the facial mutilations of the murdered woman, the uterus was wholly and skilfully and laid in a corner of the bed.
NEW YORK, November 14--The Tribune's London correspondent telegraphs concerning the Whitechapel murderer. Every clew [sic] or supposed clew has been discussed in print, with the result that the criminal knew what was being done, knew where suspicion was and knew how to divert it, but as he does not probably read the New York papers I may say that the police are confident that they know the man who committed all the murders. They have an exact description of him, and are searching for him night and day, but have lost his trail entirely. They are confident that he cannot ultimately escape.
Advices from various quarters, says the New York World, point to Nicolas Vassili, a tonsured fanatic of Cherson, in Russia, a missionary among the fallen women of Paris, and a victim finally himself of an unreciprocated passion for a beautiful dme damnee [sic], as the resolute, remorseless and preternaturally cunning avenger, with the blood of whose victims all Whitechapel reeks. Born in 1847, at Tiraspol, in the Province of Cherson, at a time when a religious reform was spreading its influence among the peasantry and middle class of the country, Vassili early felt its influence, and when 25 years of age was recognized as the exponent of a fanatical ascetiscism. Well educated, he had inherited from hisparents an income sufficient to meet his frugal needs, and devoted himself to the carrying out of the teachings of his sect, known as "The Shorn." Driven from Russia by the persectuions of the church, he, in 1872, went to Paris, where he spent his time in endeavoring to turn lost frail ones from their evil ways. Pleading, weeping, exhortation, and ultimately fierce threatening were tried in turn. Unable to reform them by these means he resorted to violence. Decoying one into a quiet place, he would seize, bind and gag her, and with knife presented to her breast would extort a promise of reform. With one of his converts he fell in love. She made a pretence of marraige with him, and escaped from him immediately after. From that time he gave up his proselytizing and devoted his nights
After eight weeks he found her where he had first seen her, in the Rue Richelieu. Without a word he stabbed her in the back. She fell at his feet with a scream. He rushed off, mumbling, "She is saved forever; she is sure of heaven; can sin no more now!" Then the gutter preacher disappeared, and the Parisian police looked for him in vain. A few days afterwards a cocotte was found in a quiet street of the Faubourg St. Germain, stabbed from behind, dead and mutilated. Three days later another was found wallowing in blood, with the same wounds, in the Quartier Mouffetarde. Tremendous excitement followed the discovery. In a week another was found hacked and slaughtered in the same way. Their money, purses, jewels, etc., were intact in all cases. A panic such as that now in Whitechapel followed among the fallen women of Paris. Nicolas, as he afterwards confessed, killed five of them in fourteen days! One of his victims recognized him and shrieked out his name as she fell dying in his arms. Tried for murder, Vassili was sentence to fifteen years imprisonment. This bloody monster was released from the asylum in Tiraspol on January 1, 1888. The Whitechapel crimes began in April, 1888. He was on his way to London when last seen in January.