October 3, 1888
LONDON'S RECORD OF CRIME
"Another Mysterious Murder Brought to Light"
from our own correspondent.
London, Oct.2.-- The carnival of blood continues. It is an extremely strange state of affairs altogether, because before the Whitechapel murders began several papers called attention to the fact that there have been more sanguinary crimes committed in London and its vicinity this Summer than ever before known in this city in the same space of time. The Whitechapel assassin has now murdered six victims and crimes occur daily, but pass unnoticed in view of the master murderer's work in the East End.
Last Friday a man in Pimlico sharpened a knife in the presence of his wife, threatening her all the time, and then cut off her head with it. This rather dramatic crime passed off without particular notice, the papers giving it only a brief paragraph. This afternoon, however, a discovery was made which was even more horrible than any of the recent deeds.
A few days ago the right arm of a woman was found by some boys in the Thames near Waterloo Bridge. It belonged to a young woman, was plump, shapely, and graceful, and had been rudely hacked from the shoulder. It was believed at first to be evidence of another murder, but as no young woman had been murdered, so far as known, the theory that it was a specimen from a dissecting room was generally adopted. Last week, however, another arm, corresponding to it, was found in a yard behind the asylum in Southwark, half a mile from Waterloo Bridge. The police took immediate possession of it, and refused absolutely either to give any information concerning its appearance, or to say whether it pointed to a fresh crime. The boys who found it said it was a well-preserved human arm, but scarred and excoriated in many places, as if from the action of quicklime. The police refused to say yes or no to this, but hinted or said that it was all a mistake, and that the thing found was merely the old skeleton of an arm with no flesh on it.
This afternoon, however, a discovery was made in Pimlico, a mile up the river from where the arm was found, which throws some light on the mystery. There are some old buildings on the embankment, close to the Parliment Houses, and almost in the shadow of Westminster Abbey, and workmen are engaged in tearing these down to prepare a site for the new police station. As they destroyed an old vault to-day they came upon a shapeless mass, which, upon closer inspection, proved to be the trunk of the body of a young woman, perhaps 30 years old. The horribly mutilated head, arms, and legs had been cut off and carried away, only the trunk being left. The body was not ripped, however, as in the Whitechapel cases. It was very much decomposed, and in fact must have been there many weeks. The police removed it to a mortuary, and to-morrow morning the doctors will adjust the arms beside it, to see if they fit. It is now admitted by the police that the second arm found matched the first one. Should the arms belong to the body they may serve as a clue. They seem in a much better state of preservation than the body, however, and, should they not fit, they will stand as evidence of a second horrible crime yet unrevealed. There is no clue to the identity of the murdered woman; in fact so many people disappear daily in this great city that the record of disappearances will not be of much assistance.
This crime, single or double as it may be, has no connection with the Whitechapel murders. Its method is different in every possible respect, and should it prove to be two murders instead of one it will show an independent operation of the Whitechapel nature. Pimlico is two miles from Whitechapel. The master murderer of the latter district has done all his work in one small area, and there is no clue whatever to him. To-night a crazy man, with blood stains on his coat, who was flourishing surgical knives and making a general spectacle of himself in Milk-street in the city, was arrested, but he proves to be innocent. Another suspect was arrested at Chingford, (Efiling?) Forest, to-day, but he easily proved an alibi. No one suspected is at present in custody, though all Scotland Yard is at work on the case.
Associated Press Dispatch.
London, Oct. 2.-- An inquest was held today on the body of the woman found murdered in a narrow court off Berners-street Sunday morning. A sister of the victim was called, and deposed that she was awoke at 1:20 o'clock Sunday morning and heard a sound which she thought was made by a person falling to the ground. She was convinced that her sister was dead, and after reading the accounts of the murder in the newspapers, went to the morgue and recognized the body of the murdered woman as that of her sister. The house in which the witness resides is several miles from Berner-street. The murder is believed to have been committed at about 12:50 o'clock Sunday morning.