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Boston Daily Globe
2 October 1888



Stint Set Himself by the London Murderer.

Will Kill Twenty and Give Himself Up.

Encouraging to Know That There is a Limit,

In View of the Incapacity of the Police.

A Review of the Bloody Horrors of Whitechapel.

LONDON, Oct. 2.--Never in the record of criminal history have the police of any country been called upon to unravel a mystery so complete as that which now enshrouds the famous Whitechapel murders in the East End of London. Up to this time seven victims have fallen under the skilful knife of an unknown fiend, and there remains not a particle of a clew on which to hang a hope of discovery of the murderer.

From beginning to end the tragedies have been marked by many circumstances and inexplicable details which fill all with terror and dismay the eager Scotland Yard detectives. One after another the mutilated bodies of the victims of this mysterious demon have been picked up on the most populous thoroughfares, but no one has seen the murderer, and the police know not where to turn to begin the task of discovery.

In every case the unmistakable handiwork of the same fiend is too painfully apparent to admit of doubt. Madman he probably is, but with all his boldness he is possessed of a cruel cunning which allows him to stalk about the public highways, striking down his victims as he pleases, and leaving not even the faintest clew to his personality. Until more is known of the murderer no conception can be formed of the object of his horrible crimes, unless it is reasonable to at once conclude that it is the work of a maniac. To accredit those murders to a desire for anatomical experiments, and to attempt to roughly guess that some American collector is at work, as Coroner Baxter thinks, is the imagination of an imbecile. Whatever the objects of these wholesale murders and whoever the murderer may be, every civilized nation waits in anxious suspense for the horrible mystery to be solved.

The first of what have now become famous as

The “Whitechapel Murders”

occurred somewhat less than 12 months ago in that section of London where the scum of the vile dens of vice are turned loose upon the streets when the police close the brothels at early morning, and the floating population of criminals and fallen women continue their revels undisturbed. Although the first victim was a woman of the lowest class, and her body was mutilated in the same shocking manner that has characterized the recent murders, nothing more than a passing notice was given the affair by the police. A murder was no uncommon occurrence in Whitechapel, and the very fact that the victim was a blear-eyed, gin-soaked “unfortunate,” led the authorities to believe that she had quarrelled with one of her own associates, and the matter had ended as many as drunken quarrel had ended there before. The policeman on the post was closely questioned, his immediate superior viewed the remains and the coroner observed that the crime was one of shocking brutality. The London press commented a little, the case dropped from the attention of the police, and the first of the Whitechapel murders passed out of mind.

On Tuesday, Aug. 7, the body of

Martha Turner, a Hawker

was found lying upon the first floor landing of the dwellings known as George Yard buildings, Commercial street, Spitalfields, Whitechapel district. The previous day was what is known as “bank holiday,” and it was late in the evening of that day that the murder was committed. When the body was found, it was horribly mutilated after the manner of the first victim. The hand of the murderer was clearly seen to be the same in both cases. As nearly as the police could determine both victims had been seized from behind by a powerful arm, and their throats cut by a swift stroke from some razor-edged knife. Such was the force of this death-blow, and such the keenness of the weapon, that the head was almost severed from the body, and the knife had even left its imprint upon the bone at the back of the neck.

But more remarkable than the ghastly work at the throat was the discovery that the woman had received no less than 39 distinct, deep and clear cuts upon various parts of her body. From these wounds the blood had poured forth, saturating her clothes and covering the steps on which she lay with a

Slippery Coating of Coagulated Blood.

Examination of the body revealed the same indescribable mutilation that had marked the first murder. The underclothing had been thrown roughly up over the shoulders and a jagged wound crossed the bowels, laying bare the intestines. Below this a portion of the woman’s body had been cut out with the nicety and skill of a surgeon’s knife, leaving only a quivering and bleeding aperture. The police jumped to the conclusion that the murderer had saved the part removed for an anatomical collection. Several friends of the victim were arrested and held for the coroner, but little was found that cast any light upon the crime. At the inquest Mary Ann Connelly, “Pearly Poll,” was called, but Inspector Reid of the police asked that she might be cautioned previous to being sworn. This the coroner did, and she said that she had been lodging at a lodging-house in Dorset street. She was a single woman, and gained her livelihood on the street. She had known the deceased four or five months, under the name of “emma.”

The Last Time She Saw Her Alive

was on bank holiday, at the corner of George yard, Whitechapel. They went to a public house together, and parted about 11.45. They were accompanied by two soldiers, one a private and the other a corporal. She did not know to what regiment they belonged, but they had white bands round their caps. Witness did not know if the corporal had any side arms. They picked up the soldiers together and entered several public houses, where they drank. When they separated the deceased went away with the private. They went up George yard, while witness and the corporal went up Angel alley.

Before they parted witness and the corporal had a quarrel, and he hit her with a stick. She did not hear deceased have any quarrel. Witness never saw the deceased again alive. Deceased was a woman who did not drink much. Witness had tried to identify the two men at one of the barracks, where the men were paraded before her. She picked out two men who she thought were the same that were with her and the deceased on the night of the murder. That was at Wellington Barracks. She

Had Never Seen the Men Before.

Witness left the corporal at the corner of George yard about 5 or 10 minutes past 12, and afterwards went along Commercial street towards Whitechapel. She heard no screams, and was first informed of the murder of Tuesday.

That was all that the authorities succeeded in ascertaining in regard to Whitechapel’s second horror.

The public had scarcely recovered from the shock of this murder in the East End of London, when a second atrocity of an exactly similar kind occurred at Whitechapel, in this instance, also, a woman was the victim. The throat was cut open from ear to ear, and the lower part of the abdomen was completed ripped up, with the bowels protruding, the wound extending nearly to her breast.

The brutality of the murder is beyond conception, and beyond description. The throat was cut in two gashes, the instrument having been a sharp one, but used in a most ferocious and reckless way. There was a fash under the left ear, reaching nearly to the centre of the throat. Along half its length, however, it was accompanied by another one, which reached around under the uother ear, making a

Wide and Horrible Hole,

and nearly severing the head from the body. The ghastliness of this cut, however, paled into insignificance alongside the other. No murder was ever more ferociously and more brutally done. The knife, which must have been a large and sharp one, was jabbed into the deceased at the lower part of the abdomen and then drawn upwards twice. It was evident that the murder was committed some distance from the place where the body was found. This was in Buck’s row, about midway its length. Buck’s row is a short street occupied half by factories and half by dwellings. Half way down the street is the house of Mrs. Green. Next to it is a large stable yard, whose wide, closed gateway is next to the house. In front of the gateway the woman was found. Constable Neil, who was the first person to see the body, immediately after awoke the Green family and asked them if they had heard any unusual noise. Neither Mrs. Green, her son, nor her daughter, all of whom were sleeping within a few feet of where the body lay, had

Heard Any Outcry.

All agreed that the night was unusually quiet.

“I should have heard it had there been any,” said Mrs. Green when interviewed, “for I have trouble with my heart and am a very light sleeper.”

Another person, a Mrs. Perkins, who lives across the way from Mrs. Green’s house, also denied having heard any sounds of disturbance in the street during the night.

There are, however, a number of people who contradicted these statements, and say that they distinctly heard the screams of a woman early on the morning of the crime. A Mrs. Conville, who lives near the place, said: “I was wakened early on Friday morning by my little girl, who said someone was trying to get into the house. I listened and heard screams. They were in a woman’s voice, and, though frightened, were faint-like, as would be natural if she were running. She was screaming “Murder, police! Murder, police!” She screamed this give or six times, and seemed to be getting further away all the time. I heard no other voice and no other steps. She seemed to be all alone. I think I would have heard the steps if anybody had been running after her, unless they were

Running on Tiptoe.”

The Scotland Yard detectives at once searched everywhere in the vicinity in the hope of discovering some clew. None was found. In fact, everything seemed to indicate that the murder was committed some distance away, as drops of blood were found along the sidewalk; but what perplexed the police most was the fact that the blood stains were found on both sides of the street. The body of the unfortunate woman was removed to the mortuary, and steps were taken to have it identified, but at first with little prospect of success. Some of the clothing bore the stamp of the Lambeth workhouse. This, however, afforded little assistance, as clothing is distributed at the workhouse to any poor people who apply for it. A comb and a piece of looking-glass found in the pocket led the police to believe the murdered woman was an inhabitant of one of the common lodging-houses in the neighborhood. Officers were despatched to make inquiries here, and eventually some women from a lodging-house at 18 Thrawl street, Spitalfields, were found who

Identified the Body as That of Polly,

as she was called, who shared a room with three “unfortunates” in the house on the usual terms of fourpence a night.

On the night of the murder she was turned out of the house because she had not the money. She was then a little the worse for drink, and said to a companion as she turned away, “I’ll soon get my ‘doss’ money. See what a jolly bonnet I’ve got now.” The lodging-house people only knew her as “Polly,” but later a woman from the Lambeth workhouse identified her as Mary Ann Nicholls, aged 42. The deceased woman had been an inmate of the workhouse and had left it to take a situation as a domestic servant, but after a short time absconded with £3 of her employer’s money. From that time she had wandered about the streets.

The police theory was at that time that a sort of “high-up” gang existed in the neighborhood which, blackmailing women of the “unfortunate” class, takes vengeance on those who do not find money for them.

The Fourth Murder

rivalled in many respects any of the preceding horrors, and, like the rest, showed at a glance the same hand and the same mysterious purpose in its details of mutilation and methods. She was, like the others, one of the city’s unfortunates, and had led the same life, among the same associates, and in the same section of the city.

At a spot only a few hundred yards from where the mangled body of the poor woman Nichols was found just a week before, the body of another woman, mutilated and disfigured, was found at 5.30 on Saturday morning. She was lying in the back of 29 Hanbury street, a house occupied by Mrs. Richardson, a packing-case maker. As late as 5 o’clock on Saturday morning, it is said, the woman was drinking in a public house near at hand called the “Ten Bells.” Near the body was discovered a rough piece of iron, sharpened like a knife. The wounds upon the woman were more fearful than those found upon the body of the woman Nicholls, who was buried on Thursday. The throat was cut in a most horrible manner and the stomach terribly mutilated.

The discovery of the body was made by John Davies, living on the top floor of 29 Hanbury street, Sept. 8, in the yard of which the body was found. Mr. Davies was crossing the yard between 5 and 6, when he saw a horrible looking mass lying in the corner, partly concealed by the steps. He instantly made for the station and notified the police, without touching the body. Meantime Mrs. Richardson, an old lady, sleeping on the first floor front, was aroused by her grandson, Charles Cooksley, who looked out of one of the back windows and screamed that there was

A Dead Body in the Corner.

Mrs. Richardson’s description makes this murder even more horrible than any of its predecessors. The victim was lying on her back, with her legs outstretched. Her throat was cut from ear to ear. The abdomen was exposed, the body having been ripped up, exposing the intestines. No more horrible sight ever met a human eye, for she was covered with blood and lying in a pool of it.

Mr. and Mrs. Davies occupy the upper story of 29 Hanbury street, the house consisting of two stories. When Mr. Davies found the woman she was lying on her back close up to the flight of steps leading into the yard. The throat was cut open in a fearful manner - so deep, in fact, that the murderer, evidently thinking he had severed the head from the body, tied a handkerchief so as to keep it on. The fiendish work was completed by the murderer tying a portion of the entrails around the victim’s neck. There was no blood on the clothes.

Hanbury street is a long street, which runs from Baker’s row to Commercial street. It consists partly of shops and partly of private houses. In the house in question, in the front room on the ground floor, Mr. Harderman carries on the business of a seller of cat’s meat. At the back of the premises are those of Mr. Richardson, who is a packing-case maker. The other occupants of the house are lodgers. One of the lodgers, Robert Thompson, who is a carman, went out of the house at 3.30 in the morning, but heard no noise. Two girls, who also live in the house, were talking in the passage until 12.30 with young men, and it is believed that they were the last occupants of the house to retire.

It seems that

The Crime Was Committed

soon after 5. At that hour the woman and the man who in all probability was her murderer were seen drinking together in the “Ten Bells,” Brick lane. But though the murder was committed at this late hour, the murderer, as in the other case, silently and stealthily managed to make his escape.

On the wall near where the body was found there was, according to one reporter, discovered written in chalk: “Five; 15 more and then I give myself up.” Davies, the lodger who discovered the body, immediately communicated with the police at Commercial-street station and Inspector Chandler and several constables arrived on the scene in a short time when they found the woman in the condition described. An excited crowd gathered in front of Mrs. Richardson’s house. Several persons who were lodging in the house, and who were seen in the vicinity when the body was found, were taken to the station and closely examined, especially the woman last with the deceased. Inquiries led to the discovery that the woman was known by several names. Her real name was Annie Chapman, but she had latterly passed as Annie Silvy, and rejoiced in the nickname of “Dark Annie.” Her age was about 45. She was 5 feet high, had a fair face, brown, wavy hair, blue eyes and, like Mary Ann Nicholls,

Had Two Teeth Missing

One peculiarity of her features was a large, flat kind of nose.

Mrs. Fiddymont, wife of the proprietor of the Prince Albert public house, better known as the “Clean House,” at the corner of Brushfield and Stewart streets, half a mile from the scene of the murder, told the police that at 7 o’clock Saturday morning she was standing at the bar talking with another woman in the first compartment. There suddenly came into the middle compartment a man whose rough appearance frightened her. He had a brown stiff dark hat and no waistcoat. He came in with his hat pulled down over his eyes and with his face partly concealed, and asked for half a pint of ale. She drew the ale and meanwhile looked at him. As soon as he saw the woman in the other compartment watching him he turned his back and got the partition between them. There were blood spots on the back of his right hand. His shirt was torn. As soon as he had drank the ale, which he sawllowed at a gulp, he went out. he wore a light blue check shirt, which was in rags. There was a narrow streak of blood under his right ear, parallel with the edge of his shirt.

The man was rather thin, about 5 feet 8 inches high, and apparently between 40 and 50 years of age. He had a shabby genteel look, pepper and salt trousers, which fitted him badly, and dark coat. The man walked, holding his coat together at the top. he had a nervous and frightened way about him. He wore a ginger-colored moustache and had short sandy hair.

This man is probably the fiend whom the police seek, but who is still at large and unknown.

On Sunday, Sept. 23, the body of a woman, an “unfortunate,” was found at Gateshead, near New Castle-on-the-Tyne. Although Gateshead is so far from London the similarity of this crime in all respects to the other members had induced the belief among many that

The Same Unknown Fiend

performed it. If this is so, this murder is the fifth in the history of the Whitechapel horrors. Whether or not it be true that the Whitechapel brute reacted so far from the scene of his other crimes as Gateshead, it is certainly worth attention, from the fact that the mutilation of his victim is identical with the cutting and slashing found upon the bodies of the others. The throat was cut with a long, clean sweep of some exceedingly sharp weapon. The clothing was thrown up over the victim’s head and the same organ was found to have been removed as before.

And now comes the latest chapter of these mysterious murders with the slaying of two more women in a single night. The victims of Sunday night were of the “unfortunate” class who ply their trade in the dingy alleys and dimly lighted streets of the East End. The first of these two murders was committed on Berner street, Whitechapel, which is a thoroughfare of the dissolute and depraved. Next to the Socialist Club is a stable-yard, guarded at the street line by gates of solid wood, left open during the night for members of the club and people living in the adjoining tenements. Sunday morning, about 1 o’clock, the steward of the Socialist Club went out on an errand, leaving the wooden gates open. When he returned, a few minutes later, he found the gates neatly closed and a woman with her throat cut from ear to ear and quite dead, jammed between them.

There was no mutilation of the body as in the previous Whitechapel crimes. It was a brutal murder committed in a populous thoroughfare patrolled by the police. The head was almost severed. The body was identified by a woman as that of “Hippy Lip Annie,” a dissolute character familiar in the neighborhood. Saturday night she was seen carousing in the public houses in the company of several men. When and by whom she was murdered is a mystery, but all the circumstances go to show that it was certainly the work of a person known to the police and the newspapers as the Whitechapel murderer. It is known that the spot where the body was found was passed by a policeman only a few moments before the body was discovered. As the throat was cut and the face mutilated as in the other instances, it is reasonable to suppose that the only reason the other mutilations of the body were not found is because the murderer was frightened away before he had completed his task.

In the case of the second murder of last Sunday, or the seventh of the fiend’s victims, the place selected for the crime, the nature of the throat wound that caused instantaneous death, and the dreadful mutilations of the body, all go to show the work of the same hand that committed the four previous atrocious murders that are shrouded in mystery and have made the whole world shudder. This murder was committed quite outside the balliwick of the Metropolitan police and in the territory patrolled by the City of London police, an entirely distinct organization of about a thousand men.

These circumstances make the murder committed this morning the most daring of the Whitechapel series, and strengthens the general impression that they are the

Work of a Homicidal Maniac.

No sane man would have chosen such a place for such a crime. But if the murderer is a maniac he is wonderfully shrewd and clever, and one skilled in the use of the knife and familiar with the devices of the dissecting table. Every stroke of his knife cuts into a vital part. In short, he is a skilled anatomist.

The body was found at 1.45 a.m. in the southwest corner of Mitre Square, a spot which Watkins, the watchman, had passed on his beat a quarter of an hour before, which shows with what despatch the woman-killer must have worked. The body was lying on its back on the footway with its head towards the wall and the feet towards the carriage way. The head was inclined on the left side and both arms were extended outward. The left leg was straight out and the right leg bent away from the body.

The body was warm and the blood had not congealed, proving that the murderer must have gone just as the constable was approaching. Watkins sent for doctors, and while waiting roused up Policeman Pearce, and the two taking courage together threw the light of their lamps on the corpse, which Watkins had not dared to do. It is not to be wondered at that the policeman has been too ill all day to answer questions.

The woman’s throat was cut from ear to ear and half the way round the head. Her clothes had been raised up to the chest, and the body had been completely cut open from the pelvis to the chest. The flaps of flesh were turned back, revealing the intestines. In addition, a portion of the right ear was cut off and the nose was slashed half-way through. The face was also slashed and cut in a most brutal fashion, and a portion of the intestines was placed in the gash around the neck.

Several doctors arrived and examined the body. They found a prodigious quantity of blood, which had flowed chiefly from the throat, but the murderer had so carefully avoided it that not a single footmark could be traced. The body was removed to the mortuary, where a careful post-mortem examination took place.

Such is the story of murder and mystery that now not only holds the attention of all England, but the entire civilized world.

The Lord Mayor of London has offered a reward of £500 for the arrest of the perpetrator of the Whitechapel murders. Dr. Henry Forbes Winslow, Sir Risdon Bennett and other medical experts are more than ever convinced that the murderer is a homicidal lunatic.


The Mutilated Corpse of a Woman Found in a London Vault.

LONDON, Oct. 2.-The corpse of a woman was today found in a vault on the site of the projected opera house on the Thames embankment, near the Houses of Parliament.

The head and arm had been severed from the body, and the arm is missing. The body was in an advanced state of decomposition. The murder must have been committed weeks ago.