10 October 1890
FEARS THAT THE WHITECHAPEL HORRORS WILL BE REPEATED
London Oct. 9. (Special)
The Whitechapel scare has been thoroughly revived again. Everybody is waiting now to hear of another murder. Very little heed was paid by the public to the three or four letters from the Ripper sent out last week, saying he was going to begin. Acting on information of which the public was kept in ignorance, the police have taken extraordinary precautions. Superintendent Arnold and the most experienced detectives are persuaded that another horrible crime is about to be perpetrated. The police incline to the belief that the various postcards and letters received of late emanated from the real murderer, and it is a mistake to regard them as a hoax. Patrols in Whitechapel have been completely reorganized since Sunday. In every possible instance the officers who were committed have been recalled to their old beats. These men are more likely than others to detect the presence of strangers. Every person whose appearance causes suspicion is shadowed by plainclothes men who are got up in every style. If the suspicion is verified the party is politely conducted to the nearest police station to give an account of himself.
Some beats have been greatly shortened, particularly in those spots where the seclusion and quietness are likely to be selected by a murderer. Plainclothes men patrol these quarters, while others are concealed in the courts and alleys frequented by low women. But the most important precaution made to entrap the assassin is the employment of the class of women formerly chosen as prey by the Ripper. A number of these outcasts of about the same age and character as those murdered have practically been engaged by the police to aid in their endeavors to capture the Ripper. They have been converted for the time being into female detectives, for which, provided they can be kept sober, the police consider them as well qualified. They are instructed not to repulse any man who solicits them. They are guaranteed that they will be followed and that there will be help near should their companion attempt to harm them. The women have unrestrained license to go just where they please, the privilege contrasting strangely with their treatment by the police at the periods of the former murders.
Then the police were persistent in their efforts to clear the streets of the women as early as possible. Seldom were women seen out alone after 1 a.m. Now from midnight till almost daylight they are prowling about in all directions. These recent letters may be canards. All the police precautions may end in smoke, but the London bobbies are not prone to do more work than necessary, and the fact of taking this extra precaution is significant.