10 November 1888
LONDON, Nov. 9--Dorset Street is one of the narrowest, dirtiest little alleys of all those that go to make up the labyrinth known as the East End of London. To get there a cabman has to ask questions--a rare thing--while his passenger on the journey loses all idea of location, and wonders whether the cab horse's head or tail is pointing toward the north. Until today only a very few out of many million land owners knew that Dorset Street in the East End existed, but they know it now, and will, with all other Englishmen, talk about it for weeks. Today was Lord Mayor's show, but all interest was taken from that senseless pageant by ragged boys strugglingn through the crowds with bundles of newspapers, and yelling that another horrible Whitechapel murder had occurred in Dorset Street.
You have read about these Whitechapel murders, and know how the frightful cutting up of some wretched woman is a happening which the average Britisher has come to look for as one of teh regular incidents of metropolitan life. It has got to such a point that these murders can almost be written up after the methodical fashion which characterizes the minutes of some School Board meeting. Each time a miserable creature belonging to the most degraded class of women is mutilated in an inconceivably horrible fashion; the murderer has disappeared; the police do nothing but observe secrecy--a secrecy easily melted with a half crown, by the way; the general public theorizes as to whether the murderer is mad or sane, short or tall, English or foreign, etc.; the Whitechapel women shiver in bunches, wondering whose turn will come next, and after a while the terror in the East End and the curiosity in the West End subside together, until a fresh murder renews them...
Those who think they have a working plan for reforming society should take a careful look through Whitechapel and see the things they have got to reform.
It is useless to theorize any further concerning the murderer. He has once more proved himself a man of wonderfully cool nerve or most utter recklessness. His cunning is displayed in having waited for the public terror to diminish and until the demands of Lord Mayor's Day should have called a great number of police from the murder-haunted district. There is little prospect of anything resulting from the English detectives' efforts. London has resigned itself to wait till the murderer shall betray himself, and is already wondering when the next killing will take place.
As for our own city Police Department, Superintendent Murray said yesterday:
"I presume that the London police are doing the very best they can and will ultimately unravel the mystery. It would not be fair to draw any comparison between our policemen and those of London in the case, because I have been informed that New York has no locality that corresponds in misery and crime with the Whitechapel district. I am confident, though, that no such crimes could continue under the system of the New York police. The entire force would, if necessary, be sent out in citizen's dress to run down the assassin."