Saturday, 29th September 1888
War seems to be waged upon women in every condition of circumstances in England; it is war to the knife. It is worse than the war by which the sanguinary words were elicited at Saragosa. It is worse than the stabbings of Spain and the Ghoorkas who fight with blades in the British service. There are now seven murders of women known to be perpetrated in London, and the Lord alone knows how many assassinations of females are secretly accomplished amongst the four or five millions of beings of whom London is composed. There are, besides the masses who engaging in the worst crimes, are scattered over Britain. Not that every one of the women who were murdered were assuredly innocent, but that the profligacy of some and the wickedness of others could not justify their slaughter. We read htat a lady indeed, who acted as a spy to the Russian government was murdered in Warsaw and her body sent in a box to Petersburg by way of verifying to the Czar the implacable hatred of the Nihilists. It could be testified on the body of a man, but the immolation of a female was easier, and so in English and Polish capitals the onslaught proceeds, the barbarity increasing with every murder, and the horror transcending almost all belief. Multitudes throng to the scene of the atrocities in London - a morbid passion seizes the crowds, and they can scarcely be prevented from taking the torn and ragged fragments of flesh in their hands, to satisfy their intense curiosity. Our telegrams of Wednesday last narrated the issue of the coroner's inquest on the remains of the victim of Whitechapel, and the shocking revelation made by the coroner. The modern murders surpass in cowardice those for which body-snatchers suffered the penalty long ago. We read in a Tory paper that of "all the thousand and one outrages committed on women all over the country," the sister country and they are inhuman and frightful, the victims are all females. The late German Emperor, the senior of the two, slew so many Franc Tireurs as to level up wide and deep valleys with the corpses of the massacred, but even he, accustomed as he was to carnage from Waterloo to Sedan, would have shrunk from the revolting spectacle of the torn bodies of females too easily hacked into strings, owing to the weakness of their sex, perhaps stabbed whilst vitality remained in their veins, and dismembered whilst life still quivered in their limbs. It is a foul, red blot upon the repute of England, and we note with approbation the intense hostility with which in London the possible traces of murderers are hunted down by civilians, in packs, as by sleuth hounds. Strange that, backed by the sympathy and co-operation of myriads, knowing every cavern, den, or cranny into which a criminal could cram himself, and watching at every outpost, neither the police nor civilians can light upon the wretch by whom the world's most diabolical and disgusting crime was wrought. Detestation of the devilish villain will perhaps find a clue sooner or later to the imp's capture despite his wiles, but his guilt is too heinous and horrible not to draw down public indignation on the police for letting him live so long. THE ENGLISH MURDERS, AN AWFUL REVELATION A startling statement was made by the Coroner in addressing the jury at the Whitechapel inquest on Wednesday, which appears to afford a clue to the mystery of the murder, as to which there has hitherto been a good deal of erroneous and misleading information. The original reports that the heart and liver had been torn out were erroneous, and it was likewise erroneously reported afterwards that no portion of the body was missing. The surgeon who examined the body was of opinion that disclosure of the facts would tend to defeat the ends of justice and only gave the details of his evidence under pressure. Even as to these there was a reserve exercised. The Coroner, however, in charging the jury stated the facts of the case, and pointed out a possible clue to the murderer, which ought to have been easily followed by the police. The murder was done by some person who had practised or assisted at dissection. It was perpetrated in order to procure possession of an important internal organ of the body, which has been the subject of much discussion and operation by eminent medical men in recent years. The operation was performed with anatomical skill, and the organ in question was removed. That there is a market for the sale of such a horrible acquisition is known by the fact mentioned by the Coroner, that recently the curator of a pathological museum in London, as well as officers of another institution there, were required by an American gentleman to procure a number of specimens for which he was willing to pay £20 a piece, which he wanted in connexion with a book he intended to publish. They, of course, informed him that his desire could not be gratified. The inquest concluded with the usual verdict.