21 November 1888
PURSUIT OF THE CRIMINAL
Great excitement was caused in Spitalfields this morning by a report that another murder of a woman had been discovered about eight o'clock at a lodging house, 19 George street, - a street running from Flower and Dean street to Thrawl street. The report, it appears, was exaggerated, though the facts show that a murder was attempted. It seems that at four o'clock a woman, aged about twenty eight , went to the house with a man and engaged a bed. It is stated that the woman was intoxicated, and commenced singing, which she continued until eight o'clock, when, according to Phillip Harris, who lodges at the house, the singing ceased. About half past nine Harris was sitting in the kitchen eating his breakfast when he saw a man come from the room and hurriedly leave the house. About the same time the woman, who is known as "Dark Sarah", came downstairs, and Harris observed that her throat was cut, and that she was bleeding profusely. Harris, in an interview with a representative of the Press Association, said:-
"I saw what was the matter, and several of us rushed out of the house and pursued the man, who, we were told, had gone up Thrawl street. We saw him running before us; but when we got to the corner of Brick lane we lost sight of him. He was about 5 feet 6 inches in height, and wore a thick black moustache. I noticed that he had an overcoat with a cape on it, but I did not see anything in his hand."
John Arundell, a coal heaver, living at 15 Wood street, Spitalfields, said that he went to No 19 George street this morning and saw the woman sitting on the bed, Dr. Phillips, the divisional surgeon, dressing her throat. After she had been attended to she got up, walked downstairs, and was placed in an ambulance and wheeled to the Commercial street police station. There is strong belief that the man who attempted the murder is not the individual known as Jack the Ripper. It is stated that the woman had a sever struggle with her assailant, and that his face was severely torn and scratched.
The superintendent of the Commercial street police station has informed a Press Association reporter that the woman's wound is quite superficial. There is no danger that her injury will result seriously. Her name has been ascertained to be Annie Farmer.
Esther Hall, who lodged at No 19 George street, has made the following statement:- I sleep in the basement of the house, and was awoke this morning by a man who told me a murder had been committed. I ran upstairs and saw a woman lying down covered with blood. The deputy put a piece of rag round her throat, and I said, "Are you able to dress yourself?" She said she was not, so I dressed her. I then inquired, "Do you know the man?" She replied, "Yes; I was with him about twelve months ago, and he ill used me then." She added that the man a black moustache, and wore dark clothes and a hard felt hat, and that she thought he was a saddler. farmer also told her that the man made her drunk before he brought her to the house.
The following telegraphic communication has been circulated among the police:- "Wanted, for attempted murder on the 21st. inst., a man, aged thirty six years, height 5ft 6in, complexion dark, no whiskers, dark moustache. Dress: black jacket, vest and trousers, round black felt hat. Respectable appearance. Can be identified."
It is a singular fact that the victim of the George yard murder lived at No 19 George street, while the victim of the Osborn street murder lived next door at No 18. It is stated that only a day or two since Mr. M'Carthy, the landlord of the room rented by the woman Kelly, who was murdered on the 9th. inst., received a postcard containing the information that on Wednesday morning another murder would be committed not 100 yards from Dorset street. George street is just about that distance from the scene of the last murder and mutilation.
Vanity Fair relates the following incident:-
A few days since two ladies, very well known in society, were walking across Hyde Park as evening was rapidly falling. They were engaged in discussing the Whitechapel atrocities, and they expressed to each other pretty freely their desire to be present, if not to assist, at the lynching of the mysterious murderer. Turning sharply to cross opposite Upper Grosvenor street, they observed a man close upon their heels; but the fact did not apparently call for notice until the next morning, when each of the ladies at their respective residences received an ill written letter signed Jack the Ripper, stating that their conversation had been overheard, and the next time that they ventured out alone a very horrible fate would assuredly overtake them. Eager and excited consultations with various friends and relatives have ensued, and it is almost universally concluded that somebody has perpetrated a very unseemly practical joke. If this is so, nothing could possibly be more foolish or in worse taste. A great deal of unnecessary and regrettable nervousness and alarm has been created, and "somebody" ought to be very much ashamed of himself.