By L. Forbes Winslow, 1910
L. Forbes Winslow had a formidable education both in medicine and in law, and considered himself to be one of the utmost authorities on the Ripper crimes. At one time he proclaimed that it was solely because of his own conclusions on the case that the murders had ceased. Modem researchers now note that certain letters Winslow produced as evidence for his theories have had their dates altered so as to coincide with the atrocities.
Recollections of Forty Years was published in 1910, and includes a chapter devoted to the crimes. Within these pages, Winslow relates his own investigations into the murders and even includes two facsimiles of "Jack the Ripper" letters he received.
JACK THE RIPPER
DURING the years 1888 and 1889 all England was horrified at the perpetration of a series of terrible crimes committed in the East End of London, which were called at that time " the Whitechapel murders." I became convinced from the very first that they were the work of one man, and he a madman-not a wild-eyed maniac, but an insane monster, possessing both shrewdness, caution, and intelligence, yet alert to the consequence of being captured, and cunning as all lunatics are. I became intensely interested in the field of research before me, and gave my whole heart and soul to the study of the mystery ; and as each fresh victim was discovered I strengthened and completed my theories as to the fact that it was a madman who bad perpetrated the butcheries. But I became more than a builder of scientific theories-I found myself pursuing clues and searching for facts to prove my scientific deductions. I was at once a medical theorist and a practical detective.
Day after day and night after night I spent in the Whitechapel slums. The detectives knew me, the lodging-house keepers knew me, and, at last the poor creatures of the streets came to know me. In terror they rushed to me with every scrap of information which might to my mind be of value. To me the frightened women looked for hope. In my presence they felt reassured, and welcomed me to their dens and obeyed my commands eagerly, and found the bits of information I wanted.
It is not, therefore, surprising that it was I and not the detectives of Scotland Yard who reasoned out an accurate scientific mental picture of the Whitechapel murderer, and then stamped beyond a doubt, if not the actual identification of the monster himself, nevertheless the ability to capture the same.
To recall the history of the famous Jack-the-Ripper murders in London slums, it should be remembered that there were in all eight victims. This frightful list began at Christmas 1887, and the monster laid down his knife in July 1889, after the eighth victim. There is good reason to believe that the hand of the murderer was stayed by my revelations before I had finished my contemplated crusade.
The following are the dates of the crimes, with the names of the victims, which were perpetrated by that mysterious individual, Jack the Ripper, whom Scotland Yard failed to capture.
In 1887, Christmas week, an unknown woman was found murdered near Osborne and Wentworth Streets, Whitechapel.
On the 7th of August 1888, Martha Turner was stabbed in thirty-nine places, and the body was found on a landing in the model dwellings known at George Yard Buildings, Commercial Street, Spitalfields.
The 31st of August 1888, Mrs Nicholls was murdered and mutilated in Bucks Row, Whitechapel.
The 8th of September 1888, Annie Chapman was killed and mutilated in Hanbury Street, Whitechapel.
The 30th of September of the same year, Elizabeth Stride was murdered in Bernard Street, Whitechapel. Her throat was cut, but the body was not mutilated. It is assumed that in this case the murderer was disturbed before he had completed his work.
The 30th of September, the same day as Stride's murder, Catherine Eddowes was murdered in Mitre Street, Aldgate. I always thought that, inasmuch as the murderer of Elizabeth Stride was stopped before his work was finished, the mania was so strong in him to mutilate in the way he had been accustomed to, that he ran out and killed the first woman he met after murdering Stride.
November 9th, 1888, the body of Mary Anne Kelly was hacked to pieces in 26 Dorset Street, Spitalfields.
July 17th, 1889, Alice M'Kenzie was murdered in Castle Alley, Whitechapel. In this case also the murderer had been disturbed in his work.
The public had been raised to an abject state of terror, inasmuch as six murders had been committed of the Jack-the-Ripper type during the four months extending from 7th August 1888 to 9th November of the same year.
The panic had quietly subsided, when suddenly the crime to which I am alluding, of 17th July 1889, was perpetrated, and stirred up public excitement again.
I always entertained the same opinion that one man committed all these crimes. Some argued otherwise against the murders being all committed by one man ; the fact was raised that the force of imitation is very strong in the insane, and that a murder committed in a terrible way often has its imitators. As a proof of what I say, I was visiting a prison some time ago, and in the course of a conversation with the chaplain he informed me that a youth had been executed the previous week, in whom he took much interest in so far as his spiritual welfare was concerned. He had been convinced that the boy was really repentant, and the following Sunday he alluded to the case in the pulpit as an example of repentance at the eleventh hour, and how gratifying the result was to him. The murder was a very revolting one. His sermon was very impressive, but before the week was out one of his congregation committed a murder in a similar way to the one he had alluded to. Some years ago I had brought to my knowledge the fact that a lunatic had jumped from the Duke of York's column, and a few days afterwards others followed his example. One insane person is seen flourishing a knife in the street ; the power of imitation is so great that others follow the example. With the acknowledgment of such facts before the world, a possible allegation in Jack the Ripper's case was that the first murderer had his imitators. I always disagreed with this, and considered that the crimes were committed by one and the same person ; that he was a homicidal monomaniac of religious views, who laboured under the morbid belief that he had a destiny in the world to fulfil ; and that he had chosen a certain class of society to vent his vengeance on.
Religious homicidal monomania is always of a most obstinate description, and no doubt the desire to wipe out a social blot from the face of the earth, being, so to speak, his destiny, was the cause of the crimes.
An interesting fact about these murders was the influence which the moon apparently appeared to exert upon them. The theory is that lunatics are strongly influenced at the various periods when the moon changes. I have often noticed this myself, and in tracing the dates in which these respective murders were committed one cannot but be impressed by the fact that they were either committed when the new moon rose, or when the moon had entered upon its last quarter. In only one murder was this proved to be incorrect - that is, the murder of 9th November 1888, the one in which I received a letter warning me of what would happen. The murder was just one day beyond its time, and, to accord with the theory I am now stating, the murder should have been committed on the 7th of November ; but I will draw attention to the fact that it was evident that the murder was contemplated about that time, as in the letter I received in October 1888 the writer told me that the murder would be committed either on the 7th or the 9th. This will establish to a certain extent the theory that lunatics are subject to lunar influences.
Sir Charles Warren was Chief Commissioner of Police at the time, and I air afraid his position was not a very happy one. Every sort of clue was sent to him, and he always had the courtesy to acknowledge those sent to him by me in an official way. From my experience of the police, however, it is not easy to persuade them to accept suggestions from outside sources. As an instance of this, during the time that the Whitechapel scare was on, a man, dressed in a brown pea-jacket and cap, fell on his knees before my daughter and another lady, who were at Brighton. Producing a large bowie-knife, he commenced to sharpen the same. Fortunately, the ladies were able to take refuge in their own house. From the description given to me by those who witnessed the act, I thought I was justified in communicating with the Brighton police ; the result was to cause a " scare at Brighton." But when I made some important statements to the police in London, they treated it with a certain amount of levity. It is this way in dealing with certain important clues which emanate from outside sources that renders our police so imperfect.
One of my ideas at the time was that the police should have been supplanted, and attendants experienced in dealing with lunatics placed about Whitechapel. They would have been in a position, in many instances, to have noted whether anyone was of unsound mind or not, which certainly the police, inexperienced in such matters, would be unable to detect. This suggestion was also sent by me to Sir Charles Warren, but the usual printed acknowledgment was all I ever heard of it.
Every possible theory had currency. One was that the murder was performed by an escaped gorilla. At one time there was a rumour current that the murderer was a Russian suffering from homicidal insanity, who had been discharged from a lunatic asylum in Paris as cured. So far as my experience goes, homicidal lunatics are never cured ; the symptoms are always latent, and are liable to be stirred up at any moment, though they appear perfectly normal to the outside world.
Also, in addition to this, a good many people who had committed crimes were at once associated with the Jack-the-Ripper murders. A man who had recently come from Vienna attended one of the London hospitals, making a statement that he had been robbed of a large sum of money by the women in Leicester Square, and in order to revenge himself he was determined that this class of individuals should be killed. He asked permission to see various operations, but was evidently of unsound, mind. The fact was communicated to me, and I immediately put myself into communication with the authorities in London, and also in Paris, as it appeared that he had been first confined in an asylum in Vienna and later on in Paris. I asked for particulars as to admission and discharge and other facts relating to his case. At that time I thought perhaps that this might be the individual wanted, and I considered the clue of such importance that I determined to follow it up. I received no answer to my communications whatever from Paris, and I presume the same reticence goes on in Paris as is found in London, where those officially engaged are bound by the sanctity of their oath not to reveal to the outside world what goes on in the precincts of their office, or comes within their knowledge whilst in the performance of their functions.
The theory that Jack the Ripper was suffering from masked epilepsy received a certain amount of credulity. I thought so until after the third murder, and I imagined that Jack the Ripper suffered from this malady, and that, during the seizure, he might perform the most extraordinary and most diabolical actions, and upon his return to consciousness would' be in perfect ignorance of what had transpired when the attack was on him, and would conduct himself in an ordinary manner before people.
I have known several of these cases myself : one a lady, who whilst in conversation with other people would become deadly pale, and to the horror of her visitors would pour forth a volley of profane oaths. In a few minutes she would resume her conversation as though nothing had happened.
I have been consulted in many such cases ; among those previously mentioned are Drant, Treadaway, and Pearcey, who were all epileptic maniacs, and who committed murders, the plea being raised that the crime was committed during a masked epileptic condition.
What is always characteristic of this form of insanity is the brutality of the crime and the cunning shown by the murderer ; and yet, should the epileptic be taken red-handed, he would be in ignorance of the fact, so that there was a certain amount of justification for the suggestion.
The butchers came in for a good deal of attention, and it was considered a significant fact that there always existed a slaughterhouse in close proximity to the scene of the murders. Detectives disguised as slaughtermen obtained work in several of these houses in order to keep a sharp eye on what was going on. It was stated that the murderer might be a woman in disguise of a slaughterman.
In fact, the police authorities, from Sir Charles Warren downwards, were engaged in looking for a murderer who might be anything, from a well-dressed man in his brougham to a coster in his donkey-cart. The rich were equally suspected as the poor, the educated and refined man as well as the opposite. The unfortunate man who carried a small brown bag had a bad time, and this bag was good ground-bait for the police to bite at. They were evidently very much at sea ; and in the whole course of my experience of them, and the interviews I had with representatives of Scotland Yard, I came to the conclusion that if the capture of Jack the Ripper was in the hands of the police it was indeed a forlorn hope.
What appears strange to me is the fact that they did not realise their incompetency, and still more I was astonished that important clues which were placed in their hands were ignored simply on the ground of nothing more or less than that they alone were the persons who should detect the crime and bring the murderer to book. If nothing more was required to show the imperfection of the London police system at the time, the Whitechapel murders stand out in evidence. There seemed to be an absence of coherent system of local government in the Metropolis. The individual members of the police force were left to the guidance of their instincts. The secrecy indulged in by Scotland Yard, and the repugnance to take anyone into their confidence, except directly or indirectly connected with the police force, appears to me to be a blot on our constitution. Surely in this case it would have been far better to have admitted the inability of the police to trace the murderer, and allowed others, who were apparently more able to deal with the matter, to assert themselves.
The police were completely dazed, and, despite the precautions taken and the traps laid, the murderer escaped them all.
To recapitulate: I formed the theory that the first two murders had been committed by an epileptic maniac. I still held to my theory until the third murder, basing my conclusions upon the, fact that in this disease the paroxysms only occur at intervals, and that they leave the person subject to them in full possession of his faculties. He would thus be able to control his diabolical impulse until a safe opportunity presented itself. Moreover, epileptic seizures of this description are frequently accompanied by a form of erotic frenzy, and this would account for the particular class of women which the murderer selected for his victims.
After the fourth murder public opinion became intensely excited over the Whitechapel murders, and little else was talked about for days after each murder.
I determined to throw myself heart and soul into the matter, and wrote a letter to the press in which I set forth my theory that a dangerous homicidal lunatic was prowling about London.
Arrests were made by the score, principally of people of a low class who inhabited the locality where the murders were committed. I, however, refused to believe that the murders were committed by one of the lower classes.
I gave it as my opinion that the murderer was in all probability a man of good position and perhaps living in the West End of London. When the paroxysm which prompted him to his fearful deeds had passed off, he most likely returned to the bosom of his family.
After the fifth and sixth murders, however, I changed my views. The exact similarity in the method of murder and the horrible evisceration of the body showed too much of a methodical nature ever to belong to a man who committed the deeds in a fit of epileptic furor. Considerable anatomical knowledge was displayed by the murderer, which, would seem to indicate that his occupation was that of a butcher or a surgeon. Taking all those things into consideration, I concluded that the perpetrator was a homicidal lunatic goaded on to his dreadful work by a sense of duty. Religious monomania was evidently closely allied with his homicidal instincts, because his efforts were solely directed against fallen women, whose extermination he probably considered his mission. Many homicidal lunatics consider murder to be their duty. Jack the Ripper possibly imagined that he received his commands from God.
I communicated my ideas to the authorities at Scotland Yard, and expressed my opinion that I would run down the murderer with the co-operation of the police. I explained that lunatics can frequently be caught in their own trap by humouring their ideas. If opposed, however, they bring a devilish cunning to bear which effectually frustrates all efforts to thwart their designs.
I proposed to insert an advertisement in a prominent position in all the papers, reading something like this "A gentleman who is strongly opposed to the presence of fallen women in the streets of London would like to co-operate with someone with a view to their suppression."
I proposed to have half a dozen detectives at the place of appointment, and seize and rigidly examine everyone who replied to the advertisement. Scotland Yard, however, refused to entertain the idea ; and as it was quite impossible for me, as a private citizen, to seize and detain possibly innocent persons, the idea was abandoned.
I concluded that a simple expedient like this would be more likely to entrap the murderer than anything else, for the diabolical cunning of a homicidal lunatic, who conceives he has a mission, renders his capture red-handed extremely problematical. I claimed that a man of this nature would be sure to read the newspapers carefully and gloat over the result of his crime. The savage hacking and cutting of some of his victims showed that he was under the influence of a religious frenzy, and every horrible detail he probably considered redounded to his credit and proved that he was performing his mission faithfully.
About this time rumours grew into loud complaints against the inefficiency of the London police, and scores of private citizens disguised themselves and patrolled all night the streets of Whitechapel, hoping to catch the murderer. Among them was no less a personage than a director of the Bank of England, who was so obsessed by a special theory of his own that he disguised himself as an ordinary day labourer and started exploring the common lodging-houses is the East End, clad in heavy boots, a fustian jacket, with a red handkerchief around his head and a pickaxe in his hand.
During the month of August 1888 a man was seen whose description, as then given me, corresponded with the man who was found writing on a wall under an archway. The inscription read : "Jack the Ripper will never commit another murder.'
On 4th October I received a letter purporting to come from Jack the Ripper, and expressing an insane glee over the hideous work he was carrying out. This letter was in the same handwriting as the writing found under the archway. Another letter was received by me on 19th October, also in the same handwriting, which informed me that the next murder would be committed on 9th November.
November 9th, being Lord Mayor's Day, is generally kept as a holiday, and the usual crowd had assembled to view the procession. While the throng was at its thickest the yells of the newsboys were suddenly heard : " Another Whitechapel murder ; horrible mutilation," etc. The murder had been foretold in the letter to me, but no clue could he obtained as to the writer.
The police worked night and day, originated theories, acted upon all sorts of official suggestions, but all without avail, ignoring, however, private clues.
The thought, of the fiend silently carving up his victim in the midst of a crowded neighbourhood, reflecting with joy upon the righteousness of his work, when the whole city was engaged in feastings and processions of the Lord Mayor's Day, caused almost a panic in the City. The mutilation of the corpse surpassed in brutality, and presented a more sickening spectacle than any of the rest. The murder this time was committed in a room on the ground floor, with a window in front by which any passerby might have seen the mangled body lying upon the bed.
No more murders occurring, he excitement gradually died away, until on 17th July 1889 a woman named Alice M`Kenzie was found mutilated in the usual manner in a dark Whitechapel alley.
The body, when found, showed that the fiend had been disturbed in his work, and the policeman who discovered it blew his whistle, and every constable in the neighbourhood blocked up every opening, thus forming a cordon through which no one was allowed to pass. All contained in the cordon were examined and a house-to-house search was conducted. It was all in vain. The murderer had disappeared as completely as though he had vanished from the earth. Letters had been received by the police in the early part of the year warning them that the murderous work would be resumed in July.
No clues, however, were obtainable from them, and this murder remained shrouded in mystery, like the others.
The long interval between the murder of 9th November 1888 and 17th July 1889 I accounted for by the fact that the lunatic had undoubtedly had a "lucid interval," during which he was quite unconscious of the horrible crimes he had previously committed. After each murder had been carried out And the lust for blood appeased, the lunatic changed at once from a homicidal religious maniac into a quiet man with a perfect knowledge of what he was doing, oblivious of the past.
This is what rendered his capture so difficult. A man who was afflicted with permanent homicidal mania, and who was always in the same frame of mind as the murderer was when he so wildly and savagely slashed the bodies of his victims, would have been soon found out. Jack the Ripper, however., in his lucid intervals, was a man whom no one would suspect of the fearful crimes he had committed. This is very common among lunatics of this description.
I still held to my theory that the assassin was a well-to-do man suffering from religious mania. Many theories had been started and met with more or less favour. The general opinion was that the murderer was a cattle-butcher visiting the slums of Whitechapel ant committing a murder every time his ship came in. On the body of Mary Jane Kelly, who was murdered on 9th November 1888, a woman's hat was found in addition to her own. Everybody then said that the "Ripper " was a woman.
Nothing was proved, however, and the police were still in the dark, though working assiduously.
The first definite clue was obtained on 30th August 1889, when a woman with whom I was in communication (for I had never stopped working on the murders) came to me and said that a man had spoken to her in Worship Street, Finsbury, who wanted her to go down a court with him. She refused to do so, but, together with some of the neighbours whom she told, followed him, walking a little way behind. They saw him go into a house in Finsbury out of which she had seen him coming some days before.
On the morning after the murder of 17th July she saw him washing blood off his hands in the yard of the house referred to. She particularly remembered the occurrence because of the peculiar look on his face.
When the house was searched the man was gone. Nothing was better known about him except that the description of him given by the other tenants tallied with that given by a lodging-house keeper with whom he lived a year before. This lodging-house keeper called on me several days afterwards and gave me some very important information.
He said that in April 1888 a gentlemanly-looking man called in answer to an advertisement. He engaged a large bed-sitting-room in his house, and said that he was over on business, and might stay a few months or perhaps a year. Before he came there he told them that he had occupied rooms in the neighbourhood of St Paul's Cathedral.
The proprietor and his wife noticed that whenever he went out of doors he wore a different suit of clothes from that which he wore the day before, and would often change them three or four times a day. He had eight or nine suits of clothes and the same number of hats. He kept very late hours, and whenever he returned home his entry was quite noiseless. In his room were three pairs of rubbers coming high over do ankles, one pair of which he always used when going out at night.
On 7th August, the date of the second murder, the lodging-house keeper was sitting up late with his sister, waiting for his wife to return from the country. She was expected home about 4 a.m., and the two sat up till then. A little before four o'clock the lodger came in, looking as though he had been having rather a rough time. When questioned he said that his watch had been stolen in Bishopsgate, and gave the name of a police station where he had lodged a complaint.
On investigation this proved to be false, as no complaint had been lodged with the police. The next morning, when the maid went to do his room, she called the attention of the proprietress to a large bloodstain on the bed. His shirt was found hanging up in his room with the cuffs recently washed, he having washed them himself. A few days later he left, saying that he was going to Canada, but he evidently did not go, because he was seen getting into a horse car in London in September 1888.
While he was in the lodging-house he was regarded by all as a person of unsound mind. He would frequently suddenly break out into remarks expressing his disgust at the number of fallen women in the streets. He would sometimes talk for hours with the proprietor of the lodging-house, giving his views upon the subject of immorality. During his leisure time he would often fill up fifty or sixty sheets of foolscap, writing upon religious matters connected with morality. These he would sometimes read to the proprietor, who told me they were very violent in tone and expressed bitter hatred of dissolute women.
At eight o'clock every morning he attended service at St Paul's Cathedral.
All this information I gathered privately, and added to the clues I had already obtained. As soon as I heard the description of the habits of this man, I said instantly : "That's the man."
If I had constructed an imaginary man out of my experience of insane people suffering from homicidal religious mania, his habits would have corresponded almost exactly with those told me by the lodginghouse keeper.
The conception that I had formed of the way the whole series of murders had been committed was corroborated almost exactly by the evident propensities of the mysterious lodger. I have said that the murderer was one and the same person ; that he had committed the crime suffering from homicidal mania of a religious description, and labouring under the morbid belief that the delusion entertained by him had direct reference to the part of the body removed. That under that delusion, and desiring to directly influence the morality of the world, and imagining that he had a certain destiny to fulfil, he had chosen the immoral class of society to vent his vengeance upon.
As soon as my clue became certain I told the point all I knew, and suggested a plan whereby the lunatic could be captured upon the steps of St Paul's Cathedral.
To my great surprise the police refused to cooperate. The rubber shoes, which I took possession of, were covered with dried human blood. They had been left behind by the murderer in his rapid departure from the lodging-house. In addition to the rubbers there were three pairs of woman's shoes and a quantity of bows, feathers, and flowers, such as are usually worn by women of the lower class. Some of the latter were stained with blood, and were in my possession.
I was severely criticised for informing the New York Herald, then published in London, of my clues. The publication of my information, showing how closely hemmed in the murderer was, and how dangerous, if not impossible, any more murders would be, evidently frightened Jack the Ripper.
No more murders were committed after the news of my researches. I think that the maniac most probably left the country for a time. The murderer was described as being of slight build, active, with rather a small head, delicate features, and a wealth of light brown hair. He frequently boasted of his knowledge of anatomy, and said that he had achieved considerable distinction at college. Several months after the publication of my discoveries a young man was arrested for attempted suicide, and when examined by the police surgeon was proved to be hopelessly insane. He was committed to a Government asylum. The terrible Whitechapel murders were still fresh in people's minds. The asylum authorities noticed that his description tallied with that of Jack the Ripper in my published statements. He suffered from a despondent madness, breaking out at times into violent homicidal mania.
Investigations were at once set on foot, and a theory started that the mysterious lodger, Jack the Ripper, and the unfortunate inmate of the asylum were one and the same man. This man was found to come of a well-to-do and respectable family, and evinced considerable ability in his college career. His speciality was anatomy, and he studied so hard that his mind, never very strong, gave way under the strain. Always of a religious turn of mind, he became afflicted with religious mania. But it was found that he was not Jack the Ripper. Lunatics often act up to the Scriptural maxim, "If thine eye offend. thee, pluck it out." This was Jack the Ripper's idea, and he imagined it was his destiny to wipe a social blot from the face of the earth.
Now that the facts concerning his methods are known much of the speculation concerning the marvellous way in which he escaped arrest is set at rest. He was a young man of quiet appearance and not likely to attract any undue attention, while his constant change of clothing would prevent the remote contingency of anyone becoming familiar with his appearance in Whitechapel. He was extremely active, and when shod with the noiseless rubbers could make his escape, when another man less adapted for the work would have been caught.
A sane man, however active, would have been captured very soon. Constant experience has convinced me that a lunatic's cunning and quickness of action cannot be equalled by a man in the full possession of his mental faculties.
The peculiarity of my correspondence with Jack the Ripper was that his letters were never stamped. One was written on half a sheet of cheap notepaper ; it was in a round, upright hand, and evidently written by someone who was not accustomed to using the pen. The writing is distinct, with an absence of flourish, but written with deliberation and care. The scrawl is not a hurried one ; the address on the envelope is even more hurriedly written, with less care, than the letter It bears the postmark of the Western district, whereas the previous letter I received was from the Eastern. There was a smudge upon it which I was always under the impression was blood, and which, by the use of a magnifying glass, proved to be the case.
The other letter I received was signed P. S. R. Lunigi, giving his address as "Poste restante, Charing Cross." ; this is the one in which my correspondent informed me that a murder would take place on the 8th or 9th of November. He requested the reply to be sent to the Charing Cross post-office, giving his address as 22 Hammersmith Road, Chelsea. On making inquiries, however, I found that no such road existed.
In my opinion, there was no doubt the murderer was the one who, on quitting his lodgings in Finsbury, left behind him a pair of silent rubber shoes, stained with blood, which I had in my possession for a considerable period. The landlord subsequently called upon me and asked me to return them, which I believe he then handed over to the police.
The results of my conclusions were as follows, and they have never been challenged or upset:
First, that the murders were committed by one man unaided and unassisted, and who suffered from religious monomania, and had lucid intervals during which he was in every way unconscious of what had taken place.
Second, that Jack the Ripper changed his lodgings after each respective murder, and that I had been able to trace him from these.
Third, that the lodging-house keepers, on the next morning after the commitment of each murder, found stains of blood in the house, pieces of ribbon and feathers strewn about the room which had been occupied by their late lodger.
Fourth, that in some of these lodgings he left behind him written scrawls bearing directly on the subject of his supposed mission. Fifth, that I was in communication with those persons who possessed these writings. Sixth, that I interviewed the woman at whose house he lodged on the night of one of the murders, when he was seen to come home at 4 a.m. and wash his hands in the yard.
Seventh, that I made myself thoroughly conversant with his habits in every way. I also knew his haunts, how he spent his Sundays.
Eighth, that I knew that every Sunday at 11 a.m. he went to St Paul's Cathedral.
Ninth, that I also knew that on a certain Sunday he could be arrested there.
Tenth, that having completed my clue, which, on my giving full particulars to one of the chief judges in New York, was described as the most convincing and comprehensive he had ever heard, I endeavoured to once more take the police into my confidence and get their co-operation. They declined.
Eleventh, that I warned the police that unless they assisted me in the capture of Jack the Ripper on a certain Sunday morning, and if they allowed the mysterious red-tapeism and jealousy surrounding Scotland Yard to interfere, I should publish my clue to the world.
Twelfth, that after having given the police this notice, and after they had declined to adopt my suggestions, I published the whole of my carefully worked-out clue, and from that time up to the present no more murders of the Jack-the-Ripper type have been committed.
Some time after I was travelling in a train. There were two strangers engaged in conversation. The topic of the Whitechapel murders cropped up. One said, not knowing who I was, to his friend, "At all events, if Dr Forbes Winslow did not actually catch Jack the Ripper, he stopped the murders by publishing his clue." I felt I had done this myself, and I should like to have said, "Hear, hear " ; but my companions alighted at the next station. I felt that what they said was the general opinion in England expressed by everyone except the Scotland Yard authorities, who would have deemed such an expression of gratitude towards me as unworthy of the great dignity of their office. I should like, in conclusion, to ask them one question, and that is : "If I did not arrest the murderous hand of Jack the Ripper, who did, and what part did they play in the transaction ? "
The latest development in connection with Jack the Ripper I received in the shape of a communication on 19th July of the current year. It was in consequence of certain articles of mine which had been appearing in the press on the matter, and with reference to a statement made by Sir Robert Anderson. This letter was signed by a lady, and sent to the Postmaster-General to be forwarded to me. The names are given in full, but I have thought right to suppress the same, though the matter has been handed to the police for further investigations. It seems in every way to corroborate my views on the matter, and may possibly lead to an arrest of the right man. At all events, I consider it to be of sufficient interest to appear here.
"G.P.O., MELBOURNE, " 10/6/1910. Your challenge is more than justified re ' Jack the Ripper.' You indeed frightened him away, for he sailed away in a ship called the Munambidgee, working his passage to Melbourne, arriving here in the latter part of 1889. He is a native of Melbourne, Victoria, but before his return had been in South Africa for several years. He was educated at the Scotch College here ; the late Dr Blair was a great friend of his family, and it was from him he gained his surgical knowledge, the doctor taking him with him to post-mortems. When he arrived in Melbourne he married a Miss , who lived only a little over a year, but she died from natural causes ; she was only dead a short time when I met him. He told me he had a hard time in London, and he was always buying sensational newspapers. I said to him, "Why do you buy those horrid papers ? They are only full of police reports of terrible crimes." He said, ' I want to see how things are in London.' Then he commenced reading the trial of a man named James Canham Reade. This man married and deserted several women, and finally killed one, for which he was hanged. When he had finished reading, I said, 'What a fearful fellow!' He said, ' Yes.' I then said, 'What about Jack the Ripper?' He said, 'Strange those crimes ceased once I left England.' I was astounded at his remark, and said, 'My God! Jack, I believe you did those crimes,' he having told me about living in that part of London previously. I tried to banish the thought from my mind, as I loved him ; but I referred to it many-times after, and finally he told me he did do them. I said, 'Why did you do those crimes ?' He first said, 'Revenge,' then said, 'Research.' I said, 'But you never made use of the portions you removed from those women ; what did you do with them ? ' He said, 'Oh, there are plenty of hungry dogs in London.' I wrote to Scotland Yard telling them all. Sir Robert Anderson answered my letter ; but as I had told him all I had to say, I did not write again till last year, but have heard nothing from them. It is my opinion they all bungled this matter up and do not like owning up to it. I even gave him up in Melbourne in 1894. The police examined him ; he told them he was in Melbourne in 1890, so they found this was true, and without asking him where he was in 1889 they let him go. He laughed, and said, 'See what fools they are. I am the real man they are searching the earth for, but they take me in one door and let me out of the other.' I even gave one detective a letter of his, but he only laughed at me. I asked him to have the writing compared with that at home signed 'Jack the Ripper,' but he did nothing. Now I have burnt his letters long since, but the monster's name is called Jack by relatives and friends. His brother told me he is in Durban, South Africa, employed by the South African Railway Co. He left here for South Africa about six years ago. Your plan is to get a sample of his writing and compare with yours. If you cannot find him there, cause an advertisement to be put in the papers purporting to come from his brother , who has been lost sight of for many years and has never claimed money left by his father to him. Advertise, and Jack will soon answer this, but to some address in London or South Africa. However, get his writing. He was a very good writer. He often used to attend St Paul's here, and I would tell him what a hypocrite he was. I only wish I could see you.
I am certain as I am writing this he is your man. If only to prove how wrong they were to accuse that poor Irish student, I would be pleased if the charge was sheeted home to the right man, when I think of the suffering it has caused his people. As to Sir Robert Anderson saying it was a Jew, he must be a dreamer of the dreamiest sort, for he was the man who answered my letter years ago ; but they served me as they served you, with too little consideration, for I am certain we are both right. He always carried an ugly sheath-knife in his belt. When you frightened him away he came straight to Melbourne, and remained here till six years ago. What I regret most is that that poor demented Irish student should suffer for this man's crime. I did not know till this week that anyone was charged with those crimes, or I should have made a great deal more noise than I have done, knowing as I do the real culprit. Since starting this letter I have ascertained his proper address.
"You ought to have no difficulty in getting a sample of his writing. Go very careful about all inquiries, as he always told me he would never be taken alive, but would kill himself on the first inkling of being captured. That is all I can say at present till I hear further from you. I am sending this letter c/o P.M.G. to insure its safe delivery, as I only got your name and opinions from a newspaper cutting ; but you are quite right.
"Wishing you success with this, and hoping to hear from you soon."
The day following the publication of the letter I received from Melbourne I managed to unearth the Irish medical student mentioned in this letter, and who was stated by the solicitor who defended him in 1895 at the police court when charged with stabbing a woman in a court at Whitechapel, to be Jack the Ripper. He said to me:
" I swear solemnly that I was wrongly accused and sentenced by Sir Charles Hall, the Recorder on 27th March 1895, at the Old Bailey. I was set upon in Whitechapel by a lot of hooligans and robbed. I took out a knife I had in my pocket to protect myself. These hooligans then absconded, having wounded me. The police came down the court ; there happened to be a woman also in the court at the same time, and the supposition was I had attacked her. I deny it on my soul that I did anything : the hooligans had done this. A solicitor was asked to defend me at the preliminary proceedings at the police court. He did so, but threw up my case at a later date, leaving me to the tender mercies of an English court of justice, undefended. This solicitor informed the police that I was Jack the Ripper ; they made many investigations, and were convinced otherwise. Ever since then this same solicitor has been publishing letters in the press to the same effect ; also stating that ' his client' died in prison, but was the veritable Jack the Ripper. Seeing that you had received a letter from Australia, I have been brought to see you, asking you to take up my cause and have me reinstated. I was lately studying for the same profession as yourself, and was an Irish medical student."
I in every way believed in the genuineness of his story, and I took further steps in the matter. I interviewed one who had known this man (whose name was Grant) for some years before he was sentenced to ten years' penal servitude for "illegally wounding," as stated in the indictment. I saw and examined his credentials, proving that this was the very man who was sentenced, and who was stated by his solicitor, notwithstanding his denial, to be Jack the Ripper, "since dead " ; and I decided to make an application before Mr Marsham at Bow Street to get him righted and to make public what I considered to be a great injustice so far as Grant was concerned.
I wrote a letter to this solicitor informing him that I had unearthed Grant, and asking him to call at my house and I would bring him face to face with his late "client," who was still asserted by him to be Jack the Ripper - he will not be convinced otherwise. He replied he could not come to my house, concluding his letter : " With great respect, I believe your information and conclusions generally to be very incorrect." This made me indignant, and I was determined to prove my point, and succeeded. I attended at Bow Street the next day, with Grant in attendance, and made an application to the presiding magistrate to stop this unjustifiable cruelty in stating that Grant was Jack the Ripper. The magistrate said it was actionable, and, having fully informed him of the circumstances connected with my application, I withdrew.
In order to still further confirm his identification, I accompanied him to Scotland Yard to examine his photograph and to verify the statement which I had been upholding-that the man defended by this solicitor in 1895 was not dead but very much alive, and that his name was William Grant, present with me then in the flesh. The usual red-tapeism still surrounded Scotland Yard. After a great amount of preamble and secrecy, my application to examine this man's photograph and compare it with the original was taken up to the presence of the Assistant Chief Commissioner of Police. The usual answer - against precedent, and that it was against custom to show a prisoner's photograph unless for extraordinary reasons, but I might make an application in writing. I should have thought that if there was ever an extraordinary reason for so being obliged officially, the application made by me was one. It mattered but little to me, as the man was well known there as W. Grant and addressed as such, and in every way corresponded with the man to whom I have been alluding. No Scotland Yard secrets are given away, but there is a way of reading between the lines, a gift I have often enjoyed and made use of, and on this occasion I did so. "Hullo, Grant! how are you ? " asked by an official, sufficed.
That Jack the Ripper is the man in South Africa, who left London after I drove him away by publishing my clue in 1889, I believe ; and, to complete this weird account of him, I have every reason to hope I shall be the means of bringing his capture about. On the evening of my application at Bow Street Grant called upon me to tell me that he had just run into the very arms of the solicitor who says he is dead and that he is Jack the Ripper. He rushed over to him saying, " See, I am not dead yet, but very much alive." Grant says the solicitor threw up his arms in amazement and bolted to the other side of the street.