New Jersey, USA
22 April 1895
Woman Found Mutilated Like the Whitechapel Victims
Woman Found Mutilated Like the Whitechapel Victims
New York, April 22.
A murder was brought to light in Bellevue hospital which is suggestive in some of its details of the Whitechapel crimes in London that made Jack the Ripper notorious. The victim was a woman of the lowest class. Her name was Alice Walsh, and she was well known in the resorts in the neighborhood of Bleecker and Thompson streets.
When the autopsy was performed upon her body, it was discovered that certain mutilations had been made which distinguished the Whitechapel murders, although not of so serious a character.
Up to this morning the murderer had not been arrested, but one man who is thought to have had some knowledge of the matter was held on suspicion by the police of the Macdougal Street station, in whose jurisdiction it is supposed that the deed was done. A large force of detectives from the central office, together with a number of men from the precinct station house, are at work on the case.
The circumstances of the killing of Alice Walsh are peculiar in almost every aspect. About 6 o'clock Sunday morning a woman was found in the hallway of 143 Thompson street half unconscious and bleeding. The attention of Patrolman Thomas O'Gorman of the Macdougal station was called to her shortly after he went on post at 6 o'clock. The first man to find her was Vincenzo Ster, an Italian bootblack, who lives on the third floor of the tenement 143 Thompson street. He found her as he was passing down stairs on his way to work.
At that time she was leaning on the railing of the stairs in a half dazed state. Ster thought she was drunk and informed Patrolman O'Gorman, who repaired to the spot. By the time he had arrived the woman had fallen upon the floor. Near her feet was a large pool of blood. It was even then quite dark in the hallway, and O'Gorman lighted a match to help him in his examination. He went back to the station and reported the matter to Sergeant Kenny, who sent for an ambulance from St. Vincent's hospital. In the meantime, Sergeant Kenny sent O'Gorman back to the place where the woman was lying in company with Patrolmen Chrystal and Sullivan.
No one who was there at the moment knew the name of the woman, who had become senseless, and O'Gorman sent over to the Yorktown hotel, a resort kept by a Frenchman named Dien, at 154 Thompson street, just across the street. Phillip Mewley, the night clerk, readily identified her as Alice Walsh.
Mewley had hardly completed his identification when the ambulance from St. Vincent's drove up in charge of Dr. J. A. Kyle. It was apparent that the woman was under the influence of liquor, and that she was also suffering from hemorrhage, but the case was looked upon as in no way serious, and the police reported the case as that of a homeless woman who was suffering from alcoholism and sickness. Alcoholic cases are not usually treated in St. Vincent's hospital. and so the patient was transferred immediately to Bellevue hospital, arriving there at 7.25 a.m. She was received by Dr. Finch and was placed in division 3, ward 21, under the immediate supervision of Dr. Riegelman of the hospital staff.
Every effort of the physicians to stop the flow of blood proved futile, and the patient expired at 11:15 o'clock, having been in the institution less than four hours. During that period she showed no signs of returning consciousness and died without indicating in any way how she met with the circumstances which resulted in her death.
In the course of the afternoon Dr. Philip O'Hanlon, coroner's physician, made a postmortem examination of the body and discovered the real cause which made death certain. He found that the woman was bruised and black and blue in almost every part of her body. He found also that she had been brutally mutilated with a knife or dagger, and that the wounds thus resulting had started the hemorrhage which had terminated fatally. It was a wonder, he said, that she had survived so long. The wounds were for the most part internal and not superficial, at least those that had been made by the knife or dagger.
As soon as the exact nature of the wounds had been discovered, which made the theory that murder had been done absolutely positive, the police of the central office and of the precinct in which the woman was found were notified, and they had a large detail on the case in a few minutes. It was known that the woman was in the habit of frequenting the Yorktown hotel, and it was thought that the clerk Mewley, who had identified her in the early morning, might be able to say as to whether she had passed the night there. He denied that she had done so, but he was detained until a further investigation of the matter could be made.
After much searching about the neighborhood it was found that the woman, in company with a tall, broad shouldered man who looked like an Italian, a woman known as Gimpy Amanda, a girl called Teenie and another man, had spent a portion of the early morning hours in the saloon of E. N. Garland at 108 West Houston street. While in there she became greatly intoxicated and she and her tall companion quarelled.
They left there, so far as could be ascertained, at about 4 o'clock a.m. What happened to her or where she went during the intervening two hours cannot at present be told.
The night clerk in the Yorktown hotel said that she was not here, and no one saw her coming out of the place who has come forward to disclose the fact. It seems impossible that she was thus mutilated in the hallway where she was discovered by the Italian bootblack, and the police assert that she did not come to her injuries in any room in the tenement above.
The police hope to have some definite theory upon which to work and expect that they will soon be able to apprehend the murderer. It is surmised that the man who killed her is the Italian stranger in whose company she was in Garland's saloon.
A woman in Bellevue hospital who had met her while serving a term on the island said that she had been living with a man named Terence Collins, who a short time ago was sent to the (illegible) reformatory. After her lover had been sent away Alice took up with an Italian or a Spaniard, so the woman, Carrie Rose, said.
Alice Walsh was once a handsome girl. Her maiden name was Alice Benson and her father kept a restaurant at 391 West street some years ago. Four years ago she married a man by the name of Desmond, who now keeps a saloon in South Brooklyn, but she deserted him for the man Collins and since then had been of the loosest morals. With Collins she once lived in West Houston street. She has a sister living at 85 Pike street, it is said.
Late last night a mysterious woman was brought into police headquarters by the rear door. It was said that the prisoner had some connection with the case of the murdered Alice Walsh.