9 July 1892
The Whitechapel district of London, renowned for being the field of operations for the deeds of Jack the Ripper, finds itself today deeply disturbed by the appearance of another criminal who is no less mysterious ands cruel.
He uses poison instead of a slim, sharp knife. But his victims belong to the same class of women as those killed by the Ripper, he operates in the same areas and, like him, his identity is shrouded in the most impenetrable secrecy.
Londoners have already given him a name: Jack the Poisoner.
His favorite poison, indeed the only one he uses, is strychnine: in such a way that his victims expire with a terrible rapidity and in unspeakable agonies.
The number of killings committed in this way, of which the police are at present aware, has reached seven; but as the investigations started only a short time ago, it is possible that a larger number of victims will be discovered.
All these poisonings have been committed in an identical manner, in the same district and within a few months; events which finally attracted the attention of the police, even more so as they have not forgotten the deeds of the Ripper.
The crime which finally opened the eyes of the police was committed in the middle of April. Two young women who were sisters, who led immoral lives, met in the street a well dressed man who invited them to take tea. They went with him and in the course of their conversation, the stranger said he was a doctor and made them take some pills. The two unfortunates died within a short time and the post mortem revealed that they had been poisoned with strychnine.
The victim before these two was another girl who, while walking in the Waterloo Road, suddenly fell to the ground. She was carried to St. Thomas' hospital and there she died in a short time from strychnine poisoning.
The authorities have given few details of the fourth and fifth victims, for they say that their investigations with respect to these cases have not been concluded.
The sixth was a young woman of twenty five years of age, who appears to have had some dealings with her killer. The girl died suddenly, but doctors thought that her death was from natural causes. The body has now been exhumed and examination has demonstrated that this unfortunate girl also died of poisoning with the same toxic substance as the other victims.
The last, the seventh, was a young girl who also had dealings with her murder for some days and was also buried without the doctors suspecting anything.
The police have confirmed that Jack the Poisoner is known as Fred to his victims, claims to be a doctor with almost all of them, is about forty years of age and says he has arrived from America a short time ago.
Is this the same Jack the Ripper who has changed his method? Or is it someone different but no less terrible?
Such are the questions the London police are currently asking themselves.