9 November 1892
A STRANGE STORY FROM VIENNA
It seems that the veritable Whitechapel murderer has been discovered again. Unfortunately, or fortunately, however, the man is dead. The Standard's Vienna correspondent writes:-
"With every precaution warranted by the circumstances, I take note of the fact that in police circles in Vienna and Pesth it is considered very probable that Alois Szemeredy, the Vienna murderer, who committed suicide two days ago in Pressburg, is likely to be regarded in England as likewise the perpetrator of all the Whitechapel murders. In July, 1876, at a house of ill fame at Buenos Ayres, Szemeredy
named Carolina Metz by stabbing her. It was worth noting that even at that time he posed as a military surgeon. That he had some surgical experience seems to be undoubted. It is said by those who knew him at the time that he despatched many an uncle whose nephews were impatient to succeed to their heritage. In one description of him, it is said that 'a series of tombstones marked his path through Southern America.' To return to the murder in Buenos Ayres, there is a significant detail about that case yet to be mentioned. He managed to get away to Rio de Janeiro, and from this city he wrote anonymous letters to the authorities of Buenos Ayres which remind the reader of the alleged letters of the Whitechapel murderer to Scotland yard. Szemeredy, moreover, owned to having committed murders, but he called himself an insane man. He was
Not only was the Austrian Legation moved to intervene on his behalf, but public opinion was excited, and denounced the execution of 'an insane man.' For five years the Argentine courts were occupied with him, until at length, in 1881, he was finally acquitted of the charge of murder, but sentenced to two and a half years' imprisonment for theft previous to the murder. On his return to Hungary he was imprisoned as a deserter, and sent first to the Military Asylum, and finally to State Asylum near Pesth. He was released from the latter as cured in 1886. Between this date and March, 1890, when he made the acquaintance of a widow who afterwards lived with him in Pesth, he is only known to have been away in North America.
Fearly in 1889, prior to leaving Hungary, he offered his memoirs to a Pesth newspaper, the "Egystertes." A sub editor of that journal who received him, describes him as a 'tall, thin man, about forty five, with bronzed complexion, brown smooth hair, bushy moustache of peculiar form, which covered his whole mouth, sensual
large muscular hands, and a habit of wearing his coat buttoned up to the chin in military fashion.' About six months ago, that is during the first series of the Vienna murder, and the second, the Pesth police and newspapers received letters signed 'Jack the Ripper', which at the time were considered a hoax.
Szemeredy, like the Whitechapel murderer, came to Vienna to commit a crime and suddenly disappeared, coming again when the interest in the former case had died out. The disappearance of Szemeredy between 1886 and 1890 covers the time of the Whitechapel murders.