21 November 1888
"JACK THE RIPPER'S" CONNECTION DOUBTED
THE ATTEMPTED MURDERER IS PURSUED, BUT ESCAPES
Great excitement was caused this morning by a report to the effect that another murder of an atrocious character had taken place in the East-end. The scene of the crime was stated to be Flower and Dean-street, a thoroughfare within a very short distance of the place where the woman Kelly was murdered, and it was added that the assassin had again in a fearful manner mutilated his victim.
Before very long, however, it happily transpired that whatever crime may have been intended in the present case, it was not a repetition of those horrors which have so startled London. The facts are as follows: - About four o'clock this morning a man at present unknown and a woman named Farmer, of the unfortunate class, engaged a bed at a common lodging-house in George-street, Spitalfields. They had previously been drinking at a public-house in the neighbourhood. This morning the man appears to have suddenly made an attempt to cut his companion's throat. The woman, however, apparently became aware of his design before he could carry it out. She struggled with all her might, and screamed loudly for assistance. Her throat was only slightly wounded, so that she was able to exert all her strength in coping with her assailant.
The vigorous resistance induced the would-be murderer to give up the attempt, and, leaving the woman, he hastily fled from the house. Meanwhile the screaming had attracted a few persons to the locality. These gave chase to the fugitive, but only for a short distance, as the man disappeared somewhere. It is said, in the direction of Heneage-street. The woman herself, on coming out of the house, was seen to be bleeding from a wound in the throat, and the police, who had by this time arrived, took her to Commercial-street station. The wound having been dressed, she gave a detailed description of her assailant as follows: - Age about thirty, height 5 ft 6 in, with a fair moustache, wearing a black diagonal coat and a hard felt hat. The woman who so fortunately escaped is between forty and fifty years of age. She is being taken care of by the police.
The excitement which followed the circulation of this story in the locality may easily be imagined. Of course everybody said that it was the mysterious "Jack the Ripper" who had at last failed to carry out one of his diabolical schemes, and as the would-be victim was still alive and able to furnish a detailed description of her assailant there was reasonable ground for expecting his early capture and subsequent solution of the all-important question whether or not this case had any connection with the ongoing series of Whitechapel murders. Our reporters on the spot, however, state that the man is known to several people in the neighbourhood, and they discredit the idea that this case has any connection with the recent murders.
A woman named Sarah Turner, who was standing outside her door in Thrawl-street, about 100 yards from the lodging-house in George-street, when the man was passing in his flight, said he was "a little short fellow, about 5 feet 4 inches, with a full face, without whiskers. He was running fast, had a pale face, and seemed to be very agitated. He was holding his coat fast over his breast with one hand, while with the other he held a handkerchief to his mouth as if he were suffering. He wore a rough, blue-black overcoat, and had on a hard round billycock hat".