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Chicago Tribune
20 July 1889

The Police Capture a Man Who Had Attempted a Murder in Whitechapel.

London, July 19. The fever of fear in the Whitechapel district was intensified today by an alleged confession of eight murders and an attempt at a ninth. The story of the confession was told with such precise details that even the police were deceived by it, and did not discover until they had startled the whole city with the news that they were listening to the drivelings of an idiot.

Towards midnight the life of another woman was attempted close by Castle alley. A woman and a man were seen to approach the dark portion of the thoroughfare near Aldgate East Station. The pair did not remain long at the corner before the woman was heard to cry, "No, I won't." The remark was addressed to a dark man of medium height, with a slouch hat and foreign appearance. The man seized her and dragged her a short distance, then flung her upon the curb and produced a dagger. Her screams of "Jack the Ripper", "Murder", attracted crowds of men and women from all directions. Among the first arrivals at the scene were several members of the local vigilance association, who had just resumed work. Before the man had time to get far he was seized and a dreadful struggle ensued. He had a long knife in his hand and it was some time before he could be deprived of it. It was eventually taken from him. Even then his fight for liberty was determined. In the fray the woman crawled away. Police whistles were heard from all directions, and a great number of officers, both city and metropolitan force, were soon on the scene.

When the police came up the man was cut and bleeding profusely from wounds inflicted by the crowd, which had raised a cry of "Lynch him!" throwing all kinds of missiles at the exhausted prisoner. Under strong escort of police he was got to the police station, where he was charged. In reply to the charge he said, "The woman robbed me." When asked why he drew his dagger, he replied, "In self-defense." He said he was a sailor and gave a Scotch name. He claims to have arrived from South Shields about a week ago. When asked where he was the morning of the 17th inst. he could not say. He did not know where he had staid while in London. A smaller knife was found on his person, together with a seaman's discharge.

The sailor was discharged, the police being satisfied that his story was true.

London, July 20. - Perhaps Jack the Ripper has changed the scene of his operations. At 2 o'clock this Saturday morning a murderous attack was made on a woman on the Surrey side of the Thames, about two miles from Whitechapel and on the opposite side of the river. The man was armed with a knife. The police were attracted by the shrieks of the woman and arrived on the scene in time to capture the would-be assassin. He was locked up. The woman is in police custody. She may recover. The identity of the man is not established, but hopes are entertained that he may be the Ripper.

See also: follow-up article to the Surrey-side attack.

Related pages:
  John Royal
       Press Reports: Chicago Tribune - 22 July 1889 
       Press Reports: Manitoba Daily Free Press - 22 July 1889 
       Press Reports: Times [London] - 22 July 1889 
       Ripper Media: Jack the Ripper: A Suspect Guide - John Royall