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Frederick News
Maryland, U.S.A.
10 November 1888

The Whitechapel Fiend Adds one More To The List

London, Nov. 9.
The city is again stirred to its very center by another Whitechapel murder - the ninth in the direful series.

A house in Dorset street, near Hanbury street, was the scene of the murder. A woman was the victim, as in the other cases, and her body was shockingly mutilated. It was found not many hours after the violence had been done.

The murder had been committed in the woman's own room early in the morning. The name of the unfortunate woman was Mary Jane Lawrence, the last name being that of the man with whom she had recently lived.

News of the discovery spread rapidly after it was once given out, and in a short time the vicinity was thronged with excited and morbidly curious people. The police authorities took charge of the body and the house at once after the fact of the murder became known to them. They brought into use the bloodhounds which were lately tested for the purpose of hunting down the Whitechapel murderer in the hope that the brutes would catch the scent and follow up the trail of the assassin.

So vigilant had the police been since the last previous murder that the criminal, if indeed the work has been all that of one man, had been forced to lie very quiet and the city was beginning to settle itself into the peaceful idea that the series of enormities was at an end. The Dorset street tragedy has broken up this peacefulness, and the excitement is even more intense than before. Safety, it now seems, is not to be found even indoors, and the women of the district infested by the murderer or murderers are nerveless in their terror.

The victim of the newest crime was one of the better class of the women which have been made way with in the other cases. Not all of the other murdered ones have been able to keep rooms.

The Lord Mayor's parade made an emergency which called a greater portion of the police force to special duty in controlling the crowds in the streets. Hence the rigid patrol which has been kept up in the Whitechapel district was somewhat relaxed.

This gave the murderer his opportunity, which he was not slow to seize. He is evidently even more vigilant than the police, and has the advantage that he can study their movements without being himself subject to espionage.

The fourth one was found in Hanbury street, not far from the location of this one, and at the time she was discovered there was written on the wall near the body the legend: "Fifteen before I Surrender."

According to this, six more lives are yet to be taken, and from the success which has thus far attended the murderer's operations, it seems entirely possible, perhaps probable, that he will be able to fulfil his horrible intentions.

The first Whitechapel murder occurred a year ago last month in that section of London where the scum of the vile dens of vice are let loose upon the streets in the early morning, when the police close up the brothels infested by them. The victim was a fallen woman past middle age and her body was found horribly and peculiarly mutilated. But it was supposed to be only a murder common among her class. No effort was made to discover the murderer, and the body was buried in Potter's field unidentified and the case forgotten.

The second murder did not occur until Aug 7 last, but it was unmistakeable the work of the same hand. The victim was again a fallen and dissolute woman, Martha Turner, and her body was found on the first floor landing of the George yard buildings, Commercial street, Spitalfields, Whitechapel district. The previous day was a bank holiday.

The movements of the murdered woman were traced up to midnight of Aug. 7, when she was, together with another dissolute woman, in company with two soldiers from Wellington barracks, visiting drinking places in the neighborhood.

The horror and commotion created by this murder hardly began to subside when a third victim of the maniac's cruel knife was found in front of a stable yard in Buck's row. It was on the morning of Aug. 31, and the circumstances were exactly like those of the other two. The head nearly cut off; two fearful cuts in the abdomen extending up to the breast, and the same mutilations. But everything seemed to indicate that the murder had been done some distance from where the body was found. She was Mary Ann Nichols, a woman of the town, aged 42 years, and was seen alive late the night before.

Eight days later, at 5:30 in the morning, the fourth victim, Annie Chapman, was found weltering in her own blood in the backyard of 29 Hanbury street, not 100 yards from the spot where the body of Ann Nichols. On the wall near the body was written in chalk: (sic) "Fifteen before I surrender."

The police became slightly interested in the case, owing to its similarity to the other murder, and they decided that in both cases the murderer had seized the victim from behind by a powerful arm and cut her throat by a swift stroke from a razor edged knife, almost severing the head from the body and leaving the imprint of the knife's edge on the bone at the back of the neck.

Thirty nine stabs wounds were found on the body. The underclothing had been thrown up over the shoulders, and a jagged wound across the bowels laid the intestines bare. Below that a portion of the body had been cut away with the skill and nicety of an experienced surgeon. The organ had been removed, as in the first case, and then it was that the detectives conceived the theory that the murders were done in behalf of some collector of anatomical specimens.

The body was mutilated exactly like the other three. The victim was of the same character, and was 45 years old. Her murder must have been after 5 o'clock in the morning. For she was drinking with a strange man at that hour in a public house nearby. Armed with the description of this man, the police set to work, but after two weeks had got no nearer to a discovery of the butcher than before.

On Sept. 23 a young woman was found murdered and mutilated in the same manner at Gateshead, near Newcastle on Tyne. Although this is some miles from Whitechapel, the similarity of the murder and circumstances make it probable that the perpetrator was the Whitechapel fiend.

On Sept. 30, at about 1 o'clock in the morning, a sixth victim was found in Berners street. She was a Whitechapel strumpet, "Hippy Lip Annie", aged 40 years. Her body was warm when found, and although the throat was cut, as in the other cases, the murderer had been frightened away probably, for there was no mutilation.

Fifteen minutes later on this same night, the body of another unfortunate was found in the southwest corner of Mitre square, mutilated as in five of the other cases.

And on the day following an eighth body was found on the site of the projected Metropolitan opera house on the Thames embankment, in the Whitechapel district.

It will be remembered that when the body of Annie Chapman was found, Sept. 8, the murderer counted five victims in his writing on the wall over the body, but the police could account for but four.

The finding of the body on Oct. 1 cleared up the mystery, for it was badly decomposed and was undoubtedly that of the fourth victim.

In all but one case the butcher had exercised consummate skill with the knife, each slash cutting a vital part. Evidently he was an educated surgeon.

At this time several people of the neighborhood came forward and described a certain wild eyed, shabby genteel man of middle age and refined mien, who had been seen in the neighborhood of late. The description tallied with parts of other descriptions given of the companions of the murdered women.

The papers were full of this description, and the murders ceased.

Related pages:
  Mary Jane Kelly
       Home: Timeline - Mary Jane Kelly 
       Dissertations: Did Kelly Have a Heart? 
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       Dissertations: The Kelly Crime Scene Photographs 
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       Official Documents: Dr. Bond's Post Mortem on Mary Kelly 
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       Press Reports: Atlanta Constitution - 12 November 1888 
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       Ripper Media: Jack l’Eventreur: Le Secret de Mary Jane K. 
       Ripper Media: Mary Jane Kelly: La derniere victime 
       Ripper Media: The Inquest of the Final Victim of Jack the Ripper, Mary ... 
       Ripper Media: Will the Real Mary Kelly? 
       Victims: A Violet From Mother's Grave 
       Victims: Mary Jane Kelly 
       Victims: Testimonies of George Hutchinson and Sara Lewis 
       Victorian London: Dorset Street 
       Victorian London: Overcrowding in a School Room 
       Witnesses: Elizabeth Phoenix 
       Witnesses: Lizzie Albrook 
       Witnesses: Thomas Bowyer 
       Witnesses: Walter Beck