4 October 1888
THE MYSTERIOUS CRIMES OF THE WHITECHAPEL MURDERER
The horrible murders of women in Austin, Texas, by an unknown monster continue to be
duplicated in London.
Will the assassin fulfill his boast of killing twenty-five women, and then giving himnself up to the police?
The inhabitants of the Whitechapel district and other localities in London are in such a state of feverish alarm that women hardly dare to venture out even in daylight.
When the seventh woman was killed the other day, people hoped that the bloody work was over.
It was a visionary hope - the eighth unfortunate has already fallen under the knife of the butcher.
A London special gives the following details of the latest horror:
Tonight just about dusk the mutilated corpse of a woman was found in an open vault on the site of the projected Grand operahouse, right on the Thames embankment, within a stone's throw of the Grand and Metropole hotels, and within sight of the police headquarters at Scotland yard. Not only have the head and arms been separated from the body, but the abdomen has been cut vertically and the viscera exposed, as in the other cases. The sanguinary monster evidently had more time, and was able to perform his terrible task with greater leisure. With reference to the severed arm which is missing, it will be remembered that about a month ago a woman's arm was found floating in the Thames at Pimlico. It has been preserved, and will be compared with the remains.
"The Knifer" began his horrible work on Whitmonday. Six of his seven victims have been killed in the neighborhood of Whitechapel. Since it seems to be his intention to murder as many abandoned women as possible, his choice of Whitechapel as a hunting ground is a good one. It abounds in the most degraded specimens of the feminine sex, and it is one mass of dark, reeking purlieus that look as they were designed by some friend of the highwayman or accomplice of the assassin.
The first woman was stabbed in thirty-nine places. Those who saw the body said that the murderer must have hacked at it with devilish delight.
Nine weeks ago the second woman fell like a prey to the maniac. She was butchered like a sheep being ripped entirely open.
Victim No. 3 was brutally carved. Portions of the body had been removed. She, like her sisters, went to her Maker fresh from a life of sin.
What horrible torments had the madman inflicted on these women before dispatching them like cattle? Possibly he had subjected them to awful tortures, and feasted on their groans until the approach of some one made him, in self-defense give them the finishing blow.
The fourth unfortunate was killed on September 8th in a backyard in Hambury (sic) street. The throat was cut and the head hung on by a piece of the vertebrae which had not been severed. The abdomen was ripped up and its contents made a fantasic decoration round the face of the corpse. It was the work of a butcher without doubt, or of a doctor practiced in carving the human cadaver.
It was said that the madman wrote in blood on the wall: "Fifteen more before I surrender." The fifth sacrifice was made at Gateshead, near Newcastle-on-Tyne, on September 23. The circumstances were almost exactly the same as those attending the four previous murders. The sixth and seventh victims were killed this week in a similar manner.
Americans, with their prompt methods and their contempt for red tape, cannot understand the horrible murder of so many women in the Whitechapel district of London.
Inspector Byrnes, the famous New York detective, is worried over the inefficiency of the London police. He believes that one man committed all the Whitechapel murders, and he thinks that he is a man of superior intelligence who is acting under the influence of a homicidal mania. The inspector says that the localization of the crimes and the fact that the victims all belong to the same class of women ought to make it easy to discover the criminal. His plan would be to manufacture victims for the murderer. That is, he would tempt him by scattering say fifty women over the Whitechapel district, with a large force of disguised policemen at convenient points where they could see everything. In this way it is almost certain that the monster would be caught.
The inspector says that such a series of crimes could not happen in New York or any other American city. By the time the second or third murder was committed the people would be in a fever of excitement and the police would be forced by public opinion to solve the mystery, or at least check the epidemic of slaughter.
It will strike most people that the New York detective's plan is a good one, but perhaps he is mistaken when he says that so many murders, all of the same class, could not occur in an American city. How about Austin, Texas? About two years ago more than half a dozen women were mysteriously murdered in that town, preumably by the same man, and from that day to this the criminal has remained undiscovered.