9 November 1888
ANTECEDENTS OF THE MURDERER
ANTECEDENTS OF THE MURDERER
A London newspaper, The Daily News, has received a telegram from New York which throws some light on the antecedents of the mysterious London assassin.
The telegram says that some months ago there occurred in the state of Texas a horrible series of murders of women.
The victims were nearly all black, and because of this the sensation as not that great. The murderer operated in the same way as the one in London and performed the same mutilations.
Such an amazing coincidence raised the theory in London as well as in New York that the Whitechapel killer is probably the same criminal as in Texas who has changed the location of his activities.
The fact that the murders and mutilations of women in Texas ceased some time ago, argues in favour of the assumption that the murderer has moved elsewhere. The characteristic features of the London killings match those from Texas. The descriptions of the man that some have seen, or claim to have seen in the company of the women murdered in London, match also in that he is a man of foreign appearance and that he speaks with an American accent.
It is at least possible, even probable, that the woman killer of the United States may be the woman killer of London.
The circumstances surrounding the two new murders committed in London at dawn last Sunday and of which our correspondent informed us by telegraph leave not the slightest that they are the work of the same hand as the previous four.
The woman killer, the "uterus thief" - as the people in London call him - or Jack the Ripper as the monster has named himself, far from being intimidated by pursuit and vigilance, has become more bold and while before he was content with one victim a week, now he has started to commit double murders. The two he committed early on Sunday were carried out within an hour in the same area, scarcely fifteen minutes distant from one another.
The first victim was found shortly before 1 a.m., in a yard off Berner street in the City (sic). A few yards from where the body lay the members of the International Club, who are almost all Jews, were holding a concert with a loud chorus of voices and songs. Even if the victim had cried out, it would have been impossible to hear her.
At the aforementioned hour, the steward of the club who lives in the adjoining house, returned from making various purchases in a cart, and when he went to cross the yard of the house he saw a shape on the ground and stopped his horse. The shape did not move when he shouted or pushed it with his whip, and when the steward bent down he saw it was a woman who he thought was drunk. Then he called out some members of the club for them to help him move the woman: but when he lit a match the group drew back in fear at the spectacle presented to their view.
The woman's throat had been cut, her face was covered in cuts and her intestines protruded from an opening in her stomach.
The body was still warm. It was dressed in the simple, dirty fashion of women who lead a bad life. In one hand was a handful of sweets and in the other grapes.
One women, the door of whose house overlooks the yard, at 12:45 she heard the steps of the police making their round in the street and after she came out to bolt the door and was in the doorway for some minutes. Neither she nor the police saw anything in the yard. Which, taken with the fact that the body was still warm when it was found, shows that the noise of the steward's cart must have disturbed the killer and that he fled without finishing his gruesome task of removing the uterus at the moment when the club employee arrived.
The second victim was found in a small square which is badly lit and dingy, called Mitre Square, through which not a soul passes, which is joined with three roads and which is only a step from St James' Street, one of the most aristocratic in London.
The new victim had her throat cut in the same way, her face also was full of cuts, her stomach was ripped open, her intestines had been piled on the chest and the uterus had been removed. She must have died stretched out on the ground.
The body was found by a policeman who passed through the square every fifteen minutes on his round. It is believed that the killer and his victim chose the moment which the policeman had just passed and went to the darkest part of the square, the woman having been deceived with some immoral proposition. The killer hardly had more than twelve minutes to commit the murder and remove the uterus. But the most extraordinary thing in the case is that the watchman of some warehouses which are in the square was about and heard not the slightest noise although he heard perfectly the steps of the policeman when he drew near just before finding the body.
The two new victims are called Isable Stride, known among her companions by the nickname "Long Isabel" and Wally Warden. Both were women of thirty or forty years of age, both of wanton habits, frequenters of public houses and, lastly, which is particularly extraordinary, both were married and separated from their husbands as were the four women murdered previously.
Three days before these new murders, the Central agency received a letter written in red ink and signed by "Jack the Ripper." In it the woman killer, or someone claiming to be him, announced that they would take a long time to catch him, that he would continue "ripping" until he was caught, and that he would cut off the next woman's ears to send them to the police.
The letter ended with these words:
"Now they say I am a doctor- ha,ha!"
The Central News agency thought it was the work of a morbid trickster. But the faces of the two women murdered on Sunday were covered in cuts, something the murderer had not done before, which gives a certain ring of truth to the letter from "Jack the Ripper."
The writing and the spelling of the letter are of one of good education. The police maintain for their part that the murderer must have a respectable appearance, for since the crimes started all suspicious men have been carefully watched who are seen in the street with unfortunates.