Frederick, Maryland, U.S.A.
22 October 1888
The Problem of London's Murders Remains Unsolved
STUPID ENGLISH POLICE
London, Oct. 22.
The Whitechapel murders still keep London busy. Scotland Yard is hard at work hunting in its own peculiarly fruitless way.
Newspapermen are writing and racking their brains each day for some new formula by which to express the fact that nothing has happened. London's millions of inhabitants, worked up as they have never been before, keep on patiently buying millions and millions of skeptical editions with nothing in them; and mixed up with the rest, and perfectly safe, is the interesting human molecule who has excited the horror and interest of all his fellows by destroying half a dozen of them in a peculiarly inhuman fashion.
The wildest ideas about him exist and are encouraged. He is painted as an aristocrat rolling in luxury, from which he occasionally emerges surfeited to dip his hands in blood for the sake of the pleasant excitement, or, as a disease eaten wretch, creeping from slum to slum killing and mutilating hags he meets with in obedience to the impulse of blind insanity.
Whatever he may be, man, woman or gorilla, or however he may live, he is certainly a cunning butcher, for scores of police and detectives know nothing more about him than that he strong, silent, skillful and quick; that he has a very sharp knife, and that his appearance is calculated to inspire certain confidence in the lowest class of women. These facts were made plain on Sunday morning three weeks ago, when the bodies of the two women last killed were found cut to pieces within a few blocks of each other.
The comic side which this murder scare presents, as do most big things, is supplied by the bloodhound element. The attempt to get dogs by the keenness of their scent to make up for detective dullness has been very entertaining. The policemen charged with handling the hounds are as much afraid of them as any murderer could be, and it is not surprising that the poor brutes should have decided a few days since to run away and enjoy themselves free from the prodding truncheons of timid constables.
While big bloodhounds and policemen have been practicing and doing nothing, however, a very small dog from Tilbury has been gaining glory for himself and a little local reporter who owns him. The reporter, confident in his dog, took him to the cellar in Whitehall where the trunk of the murdered woman had been found, and together they soon unearthed one of the woman's missing legs. The police, very jealous, succeeded after much trouble in getting one of their bloodhounds in the dark cellar, but there he would only lie down and howl, so that he had to be dragged out again as a failure. But though they, too, may have failed as detectives, there is reason to believe that the bloodhounds have succeeded in frightening the criminal, which is more than Scotland Yard men can boast of. The wildest fairy tales are daily told of what bloodhounds can do in the way of tracking. A murderer, particularly if an ignorant man, though ready to defy an army of policemen, might tremble at the picture of a bloodhound cantering slowly but surely behind him on a race to the gallows.
Whitechapel swarms with police of every class. Every man will be specially urged to make unusual efforts, and warned of the fate that will overtake him on whose beat a murdered woman is found. Every dark corner and alley will hold one or two detectives. Others will be eavesdropping on the pallets of every lodging house so that the murderer, no matter how good his intentions, may be excused for postponing his crime or moving to some new neighborhood.