26 October 1891
Berlin, Oct. 25.
The population of Berlin has today been thrown into a ferment by the report of a murder which in many of its details resembles the crimes of Jack the Ripper. It appears that a woman named Nitsche was accosted last night in the Holzmarkt Gasse, a small street in the northern part of the city, by an individual who accompanied her to a cellar dwelling in the same street kept by a married couple named Poetsch. The house was not the dwelling of the woman in question, but was only made use of by her from time to time. Almost as soon as the woman entered the room in the house she was attacked by the man accompanying her. The murderer, it would appear, first severed his victim's throat, and afterwards cut open the body from the throat downwards. Just at this moment a second woman, named Mueller, who also made use of the room, arrived, and attempted to open the door. As soon as she did so, the murderer forced his way past her, pushed aside Poetsch, who had been aroused from sleep by the victim's scream, and gained the street. A man who accompanied the woman Mueller gave chase, but failed to catch him.
As soon as the police arrived am examination of the apartment was made, but with little result. The victim was lying on the ground fully dressed, and from the ferocity with which the deed had been accomplished it would almost seem as if the murderer was a person of unsound mind. Two knives were also found belonging to Frau Poetsch, the proprietress of the house, which had undoubtedly been made use of by the murderer. The police are, however, of opinion that these weapons were only used to make the second wound, and that the first, the one on the throat, was inflicted by a dagger like knife which the murderer must have had in his possession, and which he took with him. The fact that the man accosted a number of other women of the same class before meeting with the woman Nitsche excludes the idea of the deed being one of personal revenge. The low class to which the woman belonged also puts the idea of robbery out of the question. This morning Baron von Richtofen, President of Police, issued a notice offering a reward for the apprehension of the assassin, who is described as being about 20 years of age, of middle height, and slightly built, with blonde hair and moustache.
This revolting crime is not the only one committed in Berlin in the course of the last 24 hours. In the Fransecki strasse a workman yesterday afternoon attempted to murder his wife's paramour, while in the Acker strasse a married woman attempted to commit suicide because her lover had shot himself. In the Luisen strasse a well dressed man attempted to shoot himself in a cab, but only succeeded in making a slight wound. All these crimes, coming as they do so closely after another series of murder cases only a week or two ago, have greatly excited the public mind. The recent trial, for instance, of a man named Heinze for the murder of a night watchman disclosed such a fearful state of demoralization among the lower classes of Berlin that the Emperor telegraphed from Rominton Castle to the Minister of Justice to take instant steps to increase the means of public security. Then there were the murder of her mistress by a servant girl barely 18 years old, in the Lutzow strasse, in order to rob her of 500 marks, and the murder of a businessman in his counting house by one of his clerks, who then escaped with 12,000 marks and has not yet been traced.
Our Own Correspondent.