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Woodford Times (Essex)
Friday, 16 November 1888

LONDON CORRESPONDENCE.
(We do not identify ourselves with our Correspondent's opinions.)

Take a liberal discount off those reports of Lord Mayor's Day which dwell upon the hooting of the crowds. The people generally were too cold physically, and too uninterested in probably the most prosaic show ever seen on the 9th November, to either cheer or hoot, and there is always some hooting from the roughs, whose feelings towards sleek folks who ride in comfortable carriages and are ministered to by gorgeous flunkeys, find vent in yahs and yells. The last nail of the Show coffin has been probably struck in by this cutting-down by Lord Mayor Whitehead. London no doubt wants the show, and if the Lord Mayors would call in - not circus riders and wild beast tamers - but the trades' societies, and let the show be a demonstration of the peaceful triumphs of industry, few would be found to object.

It is strange that in small details writers for the press should continue to be so inaccurate about circumstances as to this civic event. One smart penman explains the strewing of Guildhall on the day when the Lord Mayor assumes office as a survival of the very antique custom of having floors carpeted with a layer of rushes. It is really a survival of the custom followed during the great plague of London, when scented herbs were strewn with the idea that they would prevent contagion. Again, the complaint that the Guildhall kitchens are too small for cooking has no foundation. The banquets are all done by contract with an outside firm, and the 9th November banquet, save for the turtle soup and game, is a feast of cold meats, spread on the tables beforehand.

One gets sick of writing, as well as reading, about the accumulating horrors of Whitechapel. At each new crime the feeling of absolute helplessness becomes stronger. As to the police, it would seem that the clamour now demands a victim, and after the rebuke made by the Home Secretary to Sir Charles Warren apropos of the magazine article which he ought not to have written, that gentleman's position is more insecure than it has been at any previous period. The police are surely making a mistake in repelling the press rather than inviting its confidence and assistance. The pretence constantly hinted at of existing clues has been most mischievous. There have been no clues to the present time. The request made by the police to newspapers to discontinue the publication of portraits of imaginary murderers ought to be acceded to at once, if not it should be enforced. Except in cases of actual photographs these newspaper portraits have always done more harm than good, and it is notorious that the arrest of Lefroy was delayed for days in consequence of a fictional likeness in a morning paper, the only effect of which was to divert the scent and cause the temporary apprehension of innocent men. The most popular theory of the moment with regard to the Whitechapel butcheries is that they are the work of a homicidal maniac who, after the frenzy has passed away, is oblivious of what he has done. . .


NEWS NOTES.
(We do not identify ourselves with our Correspondent's opinions.)

THE latest horror in Whitechapel remains shrouded in the same mystery as the previous ones as regards the perpetrators of an unprecedented series of atrocities. The murderer, who ever he may be, certainly displays the cunning commonly associated with homicidal mania, as he waited until the Vigilance Committee, who were giving assistance to the police patrols, had relaxed their efforts and relieved their deputies of the duty of watching the streets. As might naturally be expected, the fresh case of murder and mutilation has renewed, in a stronger degree, the excitement which every new atrocity creates in the east-end of London. Arrests have been made by the police as on former occasions, but with the same result in each case. These arrests are made simply because some persons have a suspicious appearance, and the number of such persons in the Whitechapel district of the metropolis must be legion.