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Evening News
London, U.K.
11 September 1888




SIR - with reference to the above heading, on Saturday, evening last, I found it difficult to traverse the streets in the vicinity of the Whitechapel, without observing in almost every thoroughfare , knots of persons (consisting of men, women and children), and overhearing their slanderous and insulting remarks towards the Jews, who occasionally passed by. With justice to my countrymen, I mention that the foul epithets was made use of by people of the most ignorant and dangerous class, promoted by the information they had casually obtained that a man known as "Leather Apron" had a Jewish appearance, and was wanted for the recent Whitechapel murders. Even were it the case that the actual perpetrator belonged to the Hebrew class, is it not cowardly and unjust that in the extreme to calumniate a sect for the sins of one? Spotless indeed would be the flock entirely minus of black sheep. The Jew predominates in the neighbourhood where I am and have been residing for years, but notwithstanding the crimes committed by the members of our so- called Christian race average at least 99 per cent, in excess of those imputed by the Jews. Therefore if there were base enough to take a mean advantage of this knowledge, and impugn and molest every respectable Christian pedestrian they chanced to meet, no doubt riot and disorder would be the result daily. "Hard words break no bones," but often they lead to that end. The Jew is certainly no coward when on the defensive and if such conduct as I personally witnessed on Saturday last is not suppressed, the consequences may be serious indeed. My knowledge of the Jews impresses me with the belief that they are a persevering, thrifty and generous race. Clannish they may be, and it is a pity there is not more of such brotherly feeling existing among Christians; again, seldom have I seen a subscription list opened for the benefit of a deserving Christian that has not been contributed to by the Jews. Those who forget themselves so far as to insult them in the manner I have stated should put the query to each other, "What would our Christian labour market be (especially in this district) without the industry introduced by the Hebrew race? If your space will admit of giving publicity to the remarks made from a lover of fair play, it may be the means of deterring the self-imagined, pure-minded Christian, in abusing the people I have mentioned, and also teach him to endeavour "to pick the mote from his own eye," instead of molesting a harmless and industrious fraternity. I am, &e.,

48 and 49, Bishopsgate-street, Without, G. H. H.
September 10.


At Lockwood, near Huddersfield, last evening, Charles Bulmer, a cabman, who has since given himself up to the police, was seen quarrelling with his wife, and upon a neighbour going to the house occupied by the man and woman shortly after ten o'clock, the latter was found lying on her face in a large pool of blood, with a frightful gash in her throat, the head being almost severed from the body. Bulmer, it appears, went to the neighbour's house after the murder, and washed his hands, leaving behind him a case of blood-stained razors.






The statement of a morning contemporary about Dr. Forbes Winslow being in communication with Scotland-yard is virtually correct. It should be said, however, that Dr. Winslow made to a certain extent the first advances yesterday morning on the advice of a friend. It is gratifying to know that in a far more generous meaning of the word than that employed by Eccles in "Caste," there is no pride about our most eminent physicians, and the great specialist is no exception to the rule. He is convinced that, given the facilities, he could lay hands on the homicidal maniac who is spreading terror through London in a fortnight, if not in less time. For he is equally convinced that one, and only one man has committed the murder of the three, if not of the four, women who have been so mercilessly dispatched since last Christmas in the purlieus of Aldgate.


"The first and foremost condition of the proposed capture" said Dr. Forbes Winslow this morning to the representative of The Evening News, "is the matter being left entirely under my control and an implicit compliance with my demands, however strange these demands might appear. I say this advisedly because there is no doubt that these requests would appear strange. I have not thought out the plan very carefully as yet, but your surmise as to the employ of a decoy is right, only I should not want one, but a dozen decoys, distributed throughout the whole of London. I am not so certain that if the right men for this purpose were found they would, as you express it, be risking their lives with 999 chances in 1,000 against them. They might be hampered by their adoption of female attire, but men used to deal with homicidal maniacs, would not let it come to the bitter end. Their presence of mind - for that more than physical strength would be essential - would save them. As an instance of this I may tell you a story for the truth of which I can vouch. Not long ago, a professional friend, a doctor in a lunatic asylum, entered the room of a patient known to suffer from homicidal mania.


said the patient on seeing him. Thereupon he took from his waistcoat pocket a flint stone with a very sharp edge. The patient, I should have told you, was a very powerful muscular fellow. My friend is quite the converse. In a struggle, the latter would not have had the least chance. Nevertheless the physician stood his ground without budging, looking his would-be assailant straight in the eyes. 'I don't mind being killed; but don't you think that the blood would make a terrible mess and had not I better fetch a bucket first" said the doctor. Though the whole of this conversation could have scarcely lasted a minute, it was sufficient (illegible) the fit, the stupor, or whatever you may choose to call it.

"Are there many such maniacs in England? you ask. Yes, thousands, and the suicides and homicides committed by those at large amount to no less than 50 a week. Of course the homicides are not even all apprehended, and their trial is often a matter of fate, like the case I was lately engaged in with Dr. Crichton-Browne. The culprit had murdered his own sister. Larceny was too evident on the face of it, and the young man is detained during Her Majesty's pleasure. But there are other instances in which it becomes impossible for a jury to detect this lunacy, and then the unhappy sufferer goes to his doom. The judge thinks that because the prisoner sees the culpability of his act, after he has committed it, he is a responsible person, and sums up accordingly. "My father tried to reform this but was unsuccessful."

"Homicidal mania is absolutely incurable, however long a time may elapse between the recurrent attacks of it. As such, I repeat to you what I said yesterday at Scotland-Yard. I should begin by communicating with the authorities not only of every public and private lunatic asylum round and in London but throughout the length and breadth of the land. I should want not only a list of all those who have escaped, but also of those who have been discharged as 'quasi-cured.' You may give it as my firm opinion that the murderer of Mary Ann Nichols, Annie Chapman and the woman in George-yard is a lunatic at large - and, what is more, a well-to-do lunatic, probably living in the West- end. All the ordinary means of detection will fail, because, once more, the moment his fit of mania is passed, he becomes quite rational. He may, as your leader of yesterday suggests, not even be aware of having committed the murder. That would be what we denominate epileptic stupor. Such a man would, if caught and tried, sell his own life in the dock for the mere hint that he is a maniac would evoke a storm of indignation on his part. If, on the other hand he is aware of having committed this deed, his position in life will enable him to keep coy during the day. The only way to capture him would be with the fit strong upon him. For this a decoy, and nothing but a decoy, would be effectual. The decoy is merely one part of my programme. I have not thought out the matter fully, but will communicate with you again."


The scare which the disclosure of the fourth and most horrible of the murders occasioned in the district has considerably subsided. People have become familiar with the details of the tragedy, and being calmed by the knowledge of the active measures adopted for their protection by the police, are returning to their normal condition of mind. This is plainly evidenced by the aspect which Whitechapel-road presented last night and up to an early hour of the morning - a very different one from that of the corresponding period of the previous day.


On Sunday night the pavements were almost deserted, but 24 hours later groups of men and women chatted, joked and boisterously laughed upon the flagstones, until long after St. Mary's clock struck one. In passing through the groups of people the words most frequently heard in their conversation were "Leather Apron". The term has become already a by-word of the pavement and gutter, and one more often hears it accompanied by a vacant guffaw than whispered in a tone which would indicate any fear of the mysterious individual who is supposed to live under that sobriquet. Whilst a number of persons, including many members of the police force, firmly believe in the existence and almost certain guilt of the aproned one, the talk of the footways convinces the passer-by that a large number of other inhabitants of the East-end are sceptical as to his personality.

So it may be said with truth that the thoroughfares last night presented their customary appearance. There was the usual percentage of gaudily-dressed, loud-mouthed, and vulgar women, strutting or standing at the brightly-lighted cross ways; and the still larger proportion of miserable, half-fed, dejected creatures of the same sex upon whom hard life, unhealthy habits and bad spirits have too plainly set their stamp.


Soon after one o'clock these better dressed members of the motley company disappeared by ones and twos, but the poor poverty-stricken drabs, to whom it would appear fortune is less kind; crawled about from lamp to lamp, or from one dark alley's mouth to another, until faint signs of dawn appeared. Off the main road, in such thoroughfares as Commercial-street and Brick-lane there was little to attract attention. Constables passed silently by the knots of homeless vagabonds huddled in the recess of some big doorway. Other constables, whose "plain clothes" could not prevent their stalwart, well-drilled figures from betraying their calling, paraded in couples, now and again emerging from some dimly-lighted lane, and passing their uniformed comrades with an air of profound ignorance; and ill-fed cats crouched in the gutters or prayed upon some offal rejected by their hardly more fortunate human owners.


The streets inclusively referred to by the constables on duty in the main thoroughfare as "round at the back" presented a dismal appearance indeed, the dim yellow flames of the not too numerous public lamps only rendered the darkness of night more gloomy. Such passages as Edward-street connecting Hanbury and Princes-streets, Flower and Dean-street, between Brick-lane and Commercial-street, which in daylight only strike one as very unwholesome and dirty thoroughfares appear utterly forlorn and dismal in the darkness of night.


From an alley in one of these, leading to uninviting recesses, a miserable specimen of a man - hollow-chested, haggard, and dirty - shuffled hurriedly into the wider street and crossing to the opposite pavement, dived into another recess, and was instantly lost to view. No constable would have thought of interfering with him had he met him, nor would there have been any excuse for accosting him; and yet his ragged clothes, of some dark hue, might have been saturated with blood of a murdered victim, which would not have been visible in the depressing yellow shade of the flickering gas jets. In almost any one of these dark and filthy passages a human being's life might be every night sacrificed were the blow dealt with the terrible suddenness and precision which evidently characterised those of the last two homicides; and a police force of double the strength of that now employed, and organised under the best possible conditions, might well be baffled in it's efforts to capture the slayers.

In the immediate neighbourhood of St. Mary's Church, a wide entry presented a deep cavern of Stygian blackness, into which no lamp shone, and where, for aught a passer-by at that hour could discover, a corpse might lie, and from which - such is it's position - a murderer might, if possessed of coolness, easily pass unobserved.

In a squalid thoroughfare between Hanbury-street and Whitechapel-road some houses have apparently been pulled down, the space being now waste ground, enclosed by wooden palings. This unilluminated spot is separated by a house or two from an alley which, at a point some yards from the street, turns at right angles apparently towards the unoccupied space mentioned.


Into the mouth of this passage a slatternly woman, her face half hidden in a shawl, which formed her only headdress, thrust her head, and in a shrill and angry voice shrieked the word, "Tuppy!" The cry was answered in a few seconds by the appearance of an evil looking man with a ragged black beard, who, in reply to an impatient question of "Where is she?" muttered in a surly tone, "Round there," at the same time jerking his thumb backwards towards the alley. "Well come 'long 'ome then - I ain't agoin' to wait for she," replied the woman, who, with the dark man limping after her soon disappeared round the corner of the street. There was no subsequent indication of the presence of a third person. The light from the street was so dim that there was no possibility of recognising the features of the man and woman, and certainly either might have born traces of crime which would have attracted no attention.

Such occurrences as the above are, the police say, quite usual, and they neither have, nor wish to have, authority to question any individual whose conduct may attract attention without exciting suspicion.


John Piser, the man who was, yesterday, erroneously described as "Leather Apron," is still detained by the police at Leman-street Police-station, although the evidence against the man is absolutely nil. No one is allowed to see the prisoner, but his brother, this morning, called at the police-station and left both food and drink which was afterwards given to the prisoner. Piser asked to be allowed to see his brother but was refused. The police have made a thorough search again at Piser's lodgings but beyond the buffers, or kind of knife used for scraping leather, they have found nothing. There is no evidence against the man at present; not sufficient even to warrant a magistrate in granting a remand, and it is consequently altogether improbable that he will be charged with complicity in the crime. It is expected that he will be released during the day.

No further arrests have been made up to eleven o'clock to-day, and apparently the police are as far off as ever from unravelling the mystery connected with this appalling crime.

A number of police are engaged in investigating any plausible evidence offered to them, but beyond the suspicious personage described by Mrs. Fiddymont and a girl who states that a man answering his description had assaulted her, the police have literally nothing to go upon. The prospects, therefore, of bringing the wretch to justice are at the present moment far from bright.

The man Pigott arrested at Gravesend is now at the Whitechapel Infirmary, where he will remain for the next 48 hours, and if the authorities there then decide to release him due notice will be given to the police. It is most likely that his friends will take charge of him.

This morning Whitechapel and Spitalfields have settled down to the usual state of affairs. The excitement has altogether abated. There is no crowd around either of the police stations, and very few persons have assembled at the scene of the murder, and these have passed away again after a brief glance at the place.

It has been asserted by one witness that two men were with deceased in Hanbury-street at an early hour on the morning of the murder. These two men have not yet been traced, and the authorities are anxious to know whether one of these was Piser, before releasing or charging him. The police do not believe "Leather Apron" the guilty man, and point out that the public and the newspapers have accused him - not they.


Mr. S. Montague, M.P., has offered 100 as a reward for the capture of the Whitechapel murderer, and has asked Superintendent Arnold to issue notices to that effect.


Although the utmost vigilance was kept by the large force of detectives around the district in which the murders took place, no further arrests have been made either in connection with the Buck's-row or Hanbury-street tragedies up to eight o'clock this morning. The search, which has now extended over the greater part of East London, has been, as far as the attainment of any real evidence is concerned, futile. There is only one man under detention at Leman-street Station, and all those who were brought to Commercial-street and Bethnal Green Stations have been released.


Yesterday, we suggested that the police would do well to made enquiries respecting epileptics in the East-end. To-day, "A Country Doctor" writes to The Times: I would suggest that the police should at once find out the whereabouts of all cases of "homicidal mania" which may have been discharged as "cured" from the metropolitan asylums during the last two years.



SIR - I have read your leader of to-day with great interest, especially the portion of it suggesting that the crimes were possibly committed by an epileptic, whose seizures take the form of homicidal impulses. There are many circumstances connected with these murders which support this hypothesis.

With the ordinary criminal it may be assumed that the police are quite capable of dealing; for in the cases of murder which run on general lines, some motive for their commission can be found, and a clue, of course, to the perpetrator may, in consequence, be discovered. Avarice, revenge, jealousy, and so forth, are instances of average motives for murder. Acting on the assumption of the existence of any of these, the police can almost always trace the crime to the criminal. Where, however, superior intelligence is possessed by the murderer, detection, of course, becomes, as a rule, more difficult. The ingenuity in the planning and executing of murder by a person of this class may occasionally baffle the skill of experts in crime investigation. But it may be generally assumed that the accumulated experience of our detectives is equal to the cunning of the most intelligent criminal.

In the case of the Whitechapel murders, however; the police are evidently at fault, since no intelligible motive can be ascribed to the perpetration of any of these crimes. It is well, therefore, to consider them as absolutely without motive.

Taking it for granted that they are the work of one man - and many circumstances point to this - then, on the assumption that they are motiveless, it is clear that they are the deeds of a lunatic. In support of this conclusion, the frenzied manner of the slaying and mutilation of the victim will go far. That the murderer is not a furious homicidal maniac, whose mania is continuous, may be assumed, else he would have betrayed himself before this. And the fact that his butcheries were restricted to a certain class would put out of question homicidal mania pure and simple.

Let us consider the question of monomania. It is quite possible that monomania could be directed towards the commission of such crimes as we are considering. But here, again, the monomaniac would be almost certain to betray himself. Both in furious homicidal mania and monomania it is in the highest degree probable that the murderer's plans would be abortive because in the chaotic condition of mind which is the invariable attendant on both these manias, he would be unable to construct any consecutive course of conduct that would ensure success.

The third consideration is that of recurrent mania. What I have said above will dispose of this in so far as it is connected with the two manias I have been discussing. But a recurrent mania in the form of epileptic mania will account most adequately for the known facts relating to these crimes.

You have pointed out, Sir, that a homicidal impulse may take the place of the ordinary epileptic seizure, and the connection of epilepsy with erotic excitation is too well known for me to discuss at length here.

Now, it may be assumed that the same privacy would be required for the commission of an immoral act as for the commission of a deed of blood. A homicidal maniac would not seek privacy. He would, of course, slay, whenever he happened to find his victim. In the Whitechapel case there is, to my mind, no doubt that complete seclusion was a necessary condition for the purposes, whatever they may have been of the murderer.

Now, it is quite probable that the murderer's intentions in seeking an out-of-the-way place were nothing else than to commit an immoral act, and being on the point of committing this act, his excitement became epileptic with homicidal impulses.

I am therefore convinced of the excellence of your suggestion that "an inquiry as to the epileptic patients in Whitechapel and Spitalfields might afford more fruitful results than are to be attained by a mere wandering up and down streets, and asking householders whether they have heard "unwanted noises".

There are many thinks I might add in support of this deeply interesting theory, but I feel that I have already encroached too largely on your space. - I am &c., MEDICUS.

[We shall be glad to open our columns to correspondence from other medical experts in elucidation of the maniacal theory. - Ed. E. N.]


Sub-Inspector Turner, of Scotland-yard, left the office about a week ago to attend to private business, and has not returned although notice of his disappearance has been circulated in the usual way.



About 11 o'clock last night, in the Globe-road, Bethnal-green, a man and woman were heard quarrelling. By all accounts, the woman called him "Leather Apron," and this seemed to make the man angry. He rushed at the woman and knocked her down, and dealt her several heavy blows, which rendered her insensible. The police did not appear on the scene for nearly half an hour. Mr. Young, outside whose house the quarrel took place, blew his whistle several times, and at length the police appeared. The woman was taken to the hospital in the ambulance, where she was still unconscious at two o'clock this morning. The man tried to escape, but was captured at the Rising Sun at the corner of the road. He will be charged at the Worship-street Police-court.

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