10 November 1888
The news that another murder has been committed in the Whitechapel district in London, as detailed in our cable dispatches, 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 day there was a good deal of Northern sentiment about bloodhounds hunting runaway negroes. The magnified evils 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 a police interest, and any information possessed by American students of dog lore would be of value to science as well as the interests of justice.
Mrs. Flora Wright's Terror and a Black Sneak Theif's Capture.
Mrs. Flora Wright, who lives at No. 110 West Thirty-second street, was very seriously alarmed on Saturday night when she discovered under her bed a very ugly negro with a very bright knife in his hand. Mrs. Wright was about to retire for the night, but when she saw that combination of ebony, ivory teeth, white eyeballs and keen steel she made exceedingly rapid time from her room on the second story to the street door below. Then she halted and let loose a tempest of blood curdling shrieks that want of time had kept bottled up during her hasty flight.
"Jack the Ripper! Jack the Ripper!" she yelled. "The Ripper's under my bed! Oh! Oh!! Oh!!!"
As her breath increased so did the vehemence of her exclamations, and a crowd assembled in a very short space of time. Among others came a policeman, and he valiantly entered the house, ascended to the second floor and explored the various rooms until he reached Mrs. Wright's apartment and found, rather to his surprise, that the alleged "Ripper" was still in seclusion beneath the bed.
"The Ripper" declined to crawl forth at the bluecoat's request, and so that brave guardian of the law clubbed him gently on the feet. Then "the Ripper" came out with as much of a rush as he could muster under the circumstances and "went for" the bluecoat. On the way he encountered the club, which hit him over the cranium and made his head swim. He carved the air with his knife and then the club interviewed his mouth and cut it open a little wider than it already was. A third whack brought "the Ripper" to his knees and a fourth caused the big knife to fall from his fingers. A fifth and last reminder from the policeman's night stick reduced the "cullud gemman" to abject submission and he was led off to the police station like a calf to the abattoir. When he reached the Jefferson Market Police Court yesterday morning his countenance was adorned with bandages that concealed much of its native beauty.
In addition to the offence that had caused his arrest, he was charged with a burglary committed on Thursday at No. 160 West Thirty-first street. According to the testimony of a good looking white girl who washes dishes and scrubs the floor at that establishment, George Clark, the colored individual whom Mrs. Wright mistook for the Whitechapel murderer, had on several occasions forced his unwelcome attentions upon her. She always repulsed him, but his features became familiar, and when she saw them appear over the fence of the backyard on Thursday she was not too much surprised. Her eyes met his and he dropped out of sight, but later on, when she was hidden behind the window, she saw him reappear, climb the fence, enter a bedroom window on the ground floor and emerge therefrom before she could give an alarm with a watch and $75 worth of clothing belonging to two boarders. George mumbled through his bandages that he had nothing to say, and was held for trial at $2,000 bail.
The Murder Fiend Adds a Seventh Crime to His Record.
IN THE DEATH CHAMBER.
And Still the London Police are Unequal to the Occasion.
PANIC IN WHITECHAPEL.
What New York Experts Have to Say About the New Horror.
A FIEND UNHUNG.
The Whitechapel Murderer Adds Another Chapter to His Dreadful Record.
[BY THE COMMERCIAL CABLE TO THE HERALD.]
The Herald's European edition publishes to-day the following from the Herald's London bureau, No. 391 Strand, dated November 9, 1888:--
The festivities in honor of the Prince of Wales' birthday and the installation of the new Lord Mayor were tragically interrupted to-day.
While the halls of Sandringham were filled with joyous echoes and the Lord Mayor was parading the streets of London, the police were gaping aghast around some wretched shambles, in which lay the mutilated body of another victim of the Whitechapel fiend.
I visited the scene of the crime at noon to-day.
It lies within a quarter of a mile of the places in which most of the preceding six murders were committed by the fiend, where Hanbury street and Prince's stret run together at a point not unlike the corner of Seventh avenue and Broadway at Forty-third street.
The murder was committed in a stable yard, having much the same position relatively to Hanbury and Prince's street as the centre of Thirty-fifth street would have to Broadway and Seventh avenue.
All the recent so-called Whitechapel tragedies have occurred within gunshot distance of this spot.
Strong bodies of police patrolled the neighborhood, literally "locking the stable door" after the horse was stolen.
"Why were they not about last night and the night before and every night since the last murder?" was the common cry of the excited crowds, whom a cordon of constables were keeping back from the wretched little cul de sac in which had lived poor Mary Jane Kelly, alias Fisher, alias Ginger.
Not even the reporters were allowed within the police line. It was determined this time to keep the clews from being effaced, tampered with or distorted. Besides, bloodhounds were to be employed, and scent must not be obliterated.
As on previous occasions, all kinds of conflicting and contradictory stories were afloat.
Dr. Gabe, of Mecklenburg square, a medical official, was fresh from the horrible sight in the squalid apartment immediately off the wretched court, in which the only furniture was an oil stove, two rickety chairs and a tumble down.
At the head of the bedstead was a piece of looking glass such as one buys in Petticoat lane for a half penny.
The Doctor said that in his experience in dissecting rooms never had he seen such ghastliness.
The corpse lay, as he saw it, nearly naked on a blood stained woolen mattress. The victim's hair was tossed upward on a pillow and matted with gore, as if the murderer had first wiped his hands.
The nose and ears were sliced away. The throat was cut from left to right, so that the vertebrae alone prevented a headsmanlike severance.
Below the neck the trunk suggested a sheep's carcass in a slaughter house.
Ribs and backbone were exposed and the stomach, entrails, heart and liver had been cut out and carefully placed beside the mutilated trunk.
As in previous cases, certain portions of the body were missing. The flesh on each side of a cut on the median line was carefully folded back.
An inch or two away, from the hips to the ankles, the flesh was shredded more or less, with apparent savageness of purpose.
"It must have been the work of a full half hour," said the Doctor.
The body was just beginning to stiffen when it was discovered.
At one in the morning "Mary Jane," as they called her, had been heard by a fellow lodger crooning a drunken song - perhaps to the murderer. From that hour till half-past ten this morning all is still a hideous blank.
Then a young man, who is a neighbor, knocked at the door. It was apparently locked. The murderer, sly to the last or with method in madness, had taken the key. But there was a side window with a pane broken in a quarrel she had had a week ago with a man with whom she had cohabited. She parted from him some time past, but this morning the man appeared.
He had little to tell but the common tale of a miserable woman's life.
The murderer might easily have left the house at any time between one and six o'clock this morning without attracting attention. The doctors who have examined the remains refuse to make any statement until the inquest is held.
Three bloodhounds belonging to private citizens were taken to the place where the body lies and placed on the scent of the murderer, but they were unable to keep it for any great distance, and all hopes of running the assassin down with their assistance will have to be abandoned.
Before the post-mortem examination a photographer was set to work in the Court and house. The state of the atmosphere was unfortunately not favorable to good results. The photographer, however, succeeded in securing several negatives.
The post-mortem examination lasted two hours and was of the most thorough character. Every indication as to the manner in which the murderer conducted his awful work was carefully noted, as well as the position of every organ and the larger pieces of flesh.
The surgeons' report will be of an exhaustive character, but it will not be made public until they give their evidence at the Coroner's inquest.
At ten minutes to four o'clock a one horse carrier's cart with a tarpaulin covering was driven into Dorset street and halted opposite Miller's court, the victim's home. From the court was taken a long coffin, scratched with constant use, which was borne into the death chamber. There it remains.
The news that the body was to be removed caused a rush of people and a determined effort to break the police cordon. The crowd was of the very humblest class. Ragged caps were doffed, and slatternly looking women shed tears as the shell, covered with a ragged looking cloth, was placed in a van.
The remains were taken in Shoreditch Mortuary to remain there until viewed by the Coroner's jury. The inquest will open on Monday morning.
John McCarthy, the landlord of the place in which Mary Jane lived, gives this interview:--
"When I looked through the window the sight I saw was more ghastly even that I had prepared myself for. On the bed lay the body, while the table was covered with lumps of flesh. Soon Superintendent Arnold arrived, and instructions to burst the door open were given.
"I at once forced it with a pickaxe and we entered. The sight looked like the work of a devil. The poor woman had been completely disemboweled. Her entrails were cut out and placed on a table. It was these I had taken to be lumps of flesh.
"The woman's nose had been cut off, and her face was gashed and mutilated so that she was quite beyond recognition. Both her breasts, too, had been cut clean away and placed by her side. Her liver and other organs were on the table.
"I had heard a great deal about the Whitechapel murders, but I had never expected to see such a sight.
"The body was covered with blood and so was the bed. The whole scene is more than I can describe. I hope I may never see such a sight again."
It is most extraordinary that nothing was heard by the neighbors, as there are people passing backward and forward at all hours of the night in the vicinity. But no one heard so much as a scream.
A woman tells me she heard the victim singing "Sweet Violets" at one o'clock this morning. So up to that that, at all events, she was alive and well.
So far as I can ascertain, no one saw her take a man into the house with her last night.
Dr. Forbes Winslow says the murder is the work of the same homicidal lunatic who committed the other crimes in Whitechapel. Harrowing details point to this conclusion. The clearly mad way in which the murder was committed and the strange state in which the body was left is not consistent with sanity. The theory I stated some time ago has come true to the letter. This theory suggested that the murderer was in a lucid interval and would recommence directly this state passed away.
It appears the authorities were forgetting this theory, and that some one had been persuading them that, from the fact so long an interval had elapsed between the murders, therefore he could not be a homicidal maniac.
"I desire, being personally and originally responsible for this theory, to flatly deny this and state more emphatically than ever that the murderer is one and the same person and a lunatic suffering from homicidal monomania, who during his lucid intervals is calm and forgetful of what he has been doing in madness.
"I think that unless those in authority take proper steps as advised and drop the red tapism surrounding the government offices such crimes will continue to be so permitted in our metropolis to the terror of London. It appears to me it is the burning question of the hour."
I may add that no possible clew exists. Arrests of innocent persons are being made, as before, and the oddest and most improbably stories are being started by reporters in sensational papers. The police are said to be reticent.
The man with whom the victim has been recently living could not really recognize her, but, of course, the surroundings, clothes, &c., identify her.
She leaves a natural son, aged ten, who was absent with a neighbor last night and knows nothing of the occurrence.
I visited the place again after dark to-night. The streets had become empty and silent.
I then visited the West End, filled with illuminations in honor of the Prince's birthday. Pall Mall, St. James', Piccadilly, were bright with gas and filled with merriment. A strange contrast!
I met an American tourist homeward bound to-night.
"After this," said he, "I shall never grumble at any error of our New York police. It may not be perfect, but in acumen and for the security of our life its Mulberry street heads deserve our respect.
London, Nov. 10, 1888.-All the morning papers contain long accounts of the new tragedy, each more contradicting the other. They also have long editorials.
The Standard is friendly to the police, and observes:--
"There is nothing wonderful in the fact that one particular individual escape, if he be clever enough to observe every necessary precaution, or that the police should be baffled in their inquiries where they have no basis to start from and no link whatever to connect any of the murdered women with any known character in the district."
The Times draws this moral:--
"But there is more profitable occupation than vague, and windy abuse of people who cannot create evidence. Deep searching of hearts, humiliation of spirit and sorrowful reflection over the causes which make these unspeakable atrocities possible would be more seemly than cheap declamation about the short-comings of the police."
No newspaper has any suggestions or surmises to offer, but there is a unanimous agreement that the seven murders are by one hand and that Dr. Forbes Winsow gives the key to the mystery.
Asking a Question About the Whitechapel Tragedy.
London, Nov. 9, 1888.-In the House of Commons to-day Mr. Conybeare asked whether if it was true that another woman had been murdered in London. General Warren, the Chief of the Metropolitan Police, ought to be superseded by an officer accustomed to investigate crime.
The question was greeted by cries of "Oh, oh!" The Speaker called "Order, order!" and said that notice must be given of the question in the usual way.
Mr. Conybeare replied, "I have been given private notice."
The Speaker-The notice must be made in writing.
Mr. Cunninghame-Graham then asked whether General Warren had already resigned, to which Mr. Smith, the government's leader, replied no.
If the Crimes were Committed Here the Murderer Would be Traced.
The announcement that a ninth victim was disposed of without detection by the Whitechapel fiend in London was widely discussed in police offices yesterday. Superintended Murray said he was surprised at the inability of the London police to trace the fiend. Such a continuous string of murders could not possibly occur in any city in this country he said.
"Have you any opinion to venture?" I asked.
"I do not care to criticize the action of the London authorities," he answered, "because I am not aware of what measures they have adopted to track this murderer or fiend as he is justly termed. It would seem to me, however, that some means could be resorted to by which his movements would be traced.
Inspector Byrnes said in response to my inquiry:--"One should look for a motive, of course, and finding none, should study the peculiarity of the crime and the methods adopted by the operator. It would seem no sane man could deliberately butcher women, no matter how depraved he may be, in such a brutal manner. Knowing this much, then we have to look in a quarter where such a character could hide. To the expert detective with true magnetism and cleverness such a hiding place must suggest itself. Watch this place or a hundred such places if it took a thousand policemen in citizens' clothes.
"But as this question is across the water, far removed from us, it is not for us to worry about," continued the Inspector. "All I will say, however, is that such a continuous wholesale slaughter could never take place in this city without having the fiend delivered up to justice."
"What do you think of the bloodhound chase?" I asked.
"I should hardly think it would avail in a city," he replied. "The tracks of the man are evidently crossed and recrossed a hundred times before the animals are set to work, and this would obliterate all traces of the fugitive.
"But why should the police watch these depraved characters who are selected as victims?" added the Inspector. "It would not be a difficult task, I should think, and it would certainly lead to something. Of course, after a murder vigilance is the watchword, but evidently the watch is relaxed after the excitement is over. Well, I'm glad the fellow is not in this city, but if he were I think I'd trace him to his lair if it kept me and my men without sleep for weeks."