5 October 1888
FURTHER PARTICULARS OF THE WHITECHAPEL MURDER.
FURTHER PARTICULARS OF THE WHITECHAPEL MURDER.
London, Oct. 2.
Previous despatches have told of the excitement and alarm caused in London by the sensational murders in Whitechapel. London is dreadfully frightened. Scores of women are hysterical. Tens of thousands could not possibly be induced to step out alone. Everyone, of course, expects fresh atrocities, and that is how things stand at present. It is not flattering to the police not comforting to Londoners, who imagine themselves well protected. The following tells what is known of the fresh crimes, which, as an evidence of an almost unprecedented condition of the human mind, are more interesting to the philosopher even than to the simple citizen who like to have his blood curdled:
About 1 o'clock Sunday morning a Russian Jew who sells jewelery from a coster cart was driving his pony home, intending himself to find relaxation with the members of an international socialist club, which is conveniently sited near his stable yard on Berners street. At the entrance to his yard the pony shied, and after examination, what looked like a small pile of mud turned out to be a woman.
The police soon came and found nothing to do but turn faint at the sight of the horrible gash in the neck and the brutal blows on the head. The woman's body was still warm. Her blood was only partly congealed. Her throat was deeply cut as those of the former victims. She was lying on her back and her legs were drawn up as though in pain. The examination has caused the conclusion to be arrived at that the murderer stood with his left arm around the woman's neck, probably to stifle her cries, and cut her throat standing.
The woman's clothes had been disarranged, indicating the murderer's intention to practice the same mutilation of her person as on the other victims, but he was probably disturbed by some one going in or coming out of the club. There is no question as to the dead woman's character, but she apparently did not belong to the lowest class of unfortunate women. She was a dark brunette, under 40,. with a comely face. Her black hair was neatly arranged. Her underclothing was clean. She wore two petticoats, and her dress was tidy though old. A crape bonnet with an evening paper stowed away in it, was on her head. On her breast was a small bunch of roses and ferns covered with blood.
A short walk of a quarter of a mile took the murderer to the scene of the second crime, also in Whitechapel. He must have shown a butcher's skill in remaining free of blood stains, as he could not have had time to rid himself of them, and with them could not have induced a second victim to go with him. This latest and most terrible butchery took place in a dark corner of Mitre square, to which the unsuspecting woman doubtless conducted the murderer. The square is reached by a narrow entrance from Mitre street, within a stone's throw of Leadenhall and Aldgate streets, two of London's best known and most important thoroughfares. Mitre is a large, dreary stone-paved yard about 120 square feet. It has three entrances, in one of which there is a street fire station and fire escape, with three men always on duty. Two sides of the square are occupied by warehouses and a private house occupied by Policeman Pearce. The third side is formed by a wholesale drug store, and the fourth by a warehouse, workshop and the backs of two unoccupied private houses, by the back wall of which the body was found. The square, which is a busy thoroughfare during business hours, but almost deserted after 7 or 8 p.m., is fairly well lighted as London streets go. Five lamps throe their light into it.
The murder was discovered by Constable Watkins, a member of the city of London police force organization, distinct from and superior to Warren's metropolitan force. The body was found at 1.45 a. m. in the southwest corner of the square, a spot that Watkins had passed on his beat a quarter of an hour before, which shows with what dispatch the woman killer must have worked. The body was lying on its back on the footway, with the head toward the wall and the feet toward the carriageway. The head was inclined on the left side and both arms were extended outward. The left leg was straight out, and the right leg bent away from the body. The body was quite warm. Blood was all around, but it had not congealed, proving that the murderer must have gone just as the constable was approaching. Watkins sent for doctors, and while awaiting aroused the policeman Pierce, and the two taking courage together threw the light of their lamps on the corpse, which Watkins had not dared to do. It is not to wondered at that the policeman has been too ill all day to answer questions. The woman's throat was cut from ear to ear, and half way round the head. Her clothes had been raised up to the chest and the body had been completely cut open from the pelvis to the chest. In addition a portion of the right ear was cut off and the nose was slashed half way through. The face was also slashed and cut in a most brutal fashion, and a portion of the intestines was placed in the gash around the neck. Several doctors arrived and examined the body. They found a prodigious quantity of blood, which had flowed chiefly from the throat, but the murderer had so carefully avoided it that not a single footmark could be traced.
The detailed description of the underclothing etc., shows that the woman belonged to the lowest class of fallen women. On her left forearm "4" was tattooed in blue ink, which will doubtless cause her to be identified. Your correspondent has spent from early evening till past midnight wandering through the Whitechapel slums. The best idea of the awful degradation of the men can be formed from a description of the women, whose ability to keep alive proves the existence of men so low as to consort with them. These wretched women swarm the streets by thousands even now, but keep close together and look sharply around for murderers, even while pretending to laugh and asking each other whose turn to be cut up will come next.
The language in which they speak of the fiend who has made it his business to murder then is impossible to reproduce. Such profanity and hideously foul language as may be heard coming from the groups of women at any Whitechapel corner can probably not be heard anywhere else. Some of these poor animals have actually grown old in their misery, shrivelled, horrible, gin-soaked hags, who fight and quarrel on the gutter's edge, and to approach within yards of whom is torture. The younger women, the queens of these slums, are even more distressing to look at. Some are mere girls, even children, but all celebrate any stroke of fortune by getting drunk.
No new theory worth mentioning has been put forward. It is evident that the police are not going to do much. The murderer has promised to murder twenty in all.