DR. SAVAGE, the mania specialist, in his interesting article on "Homicidal Mania" in the Fortnightly Review, inclines to the belief that the Whitechapel murders are the work of a butcher, stimulated either by religious mania or some fiendish plan of revenge. The opinion is important, and it shows again that the slaughterman theory holds the field. All the local facts favour it; and no other explanation fits in with the escape of the murderer and the diabolical certitude with which the victims were tracked down and massacred. "To suppose the murders to be the work of a medical man," says Dr. Savage, "is, to my thinking, going too far." Yes; and it is going unnecessarily afield when simpler material for discovering the culprit lies at our very doors.
MEANWHILE, the Burke theory is already fading into very dim and distant perspective. A little investigation at the hospitals has shown -
(1) That no such application as that referred to by Mr. Baxter was made at any hospital or medical school, with the possible exceptions of the schools of University College and Middlesex Hospital.
(2) That at these institutions the authorities declare that they have "no information," or say that the story has been "mixed with error" or grossly exaggerated.
(3) That the whole business seems to be traceable to a rumor arising from the students' gossip.
All we can say is that if this is correct, the medical officer who made himself the mouthpiece of sensational gossip and misled the coroner and the public ought to be ashamed of himself. There is quite enough highly-colored falsehood about the Whitechapel business without piling up sham mysteries.
As In South Africa, So In London.
A correspondent writes that he has been reading "Incwadi Yami," a book on South Africa written by the Hon. J. W. Matthews, M.D., late Vice-President of the Legislative Council of South Africa and late Senior Member for Kimberley in the Cape House of Assembly. Mr. Matthews says (page 308) regarding Sir Charles, then Colonel, Warren: - "Colonel Warren was by nature hasty beyond description, autocratic to a degree, and bigoted in the extreme."
I was under the impression, writes a contributor to Brighton Society, that those ladies who don the black garments with white collars and frills which denote the Sisters of Mercy concerned themselves but little with the literature of the day other than that of a decidedly religious tendency. I learned better, however, the other evening. I was in a newsvendor's shop on the Western road, when a Sister of Mercy came in and purchased - what do you think? - The Star! and the Pall Mall Gazette! !
"W. R." writes: - As another evidence of the decline of the Times, I would like you to know that the committee of the Henley-on-Thames Working Men's Institute has just decided to place The Star and the St. James's Gazette in its reading-room in lieu of the Times. The institution can in no sense be described as political. Day after day the paper remained uncut and unread, and this at last led to its banishment.
Charles Prebble, the Smithfield butcher, who was stabbed with his own knife during a quarrel with his brother on Wednesday, still lies in a semi-conscious condition at St. Bartholomew's Hospital. The surgeon in charge of the case says his death is only a question of a day or so.
We received yesterday a report that a human arm - supposed to be that of a woman - had been found inside the railings of the Blind School, in Lambeth-road. Newspaper representatives made inquiries at the police office, but there the story was pooh-poohed, and it consequently became generally discredited. A few weeks ago when a woman's arm was taken from the Thames at Pimlico, the police as long as they possibly could emphatically denied in that case that any such a discovery had been made, and remembering this a Star reporter thought it worth while to look a little more closely into the reported find at Lambeth. Having definitely ascertained that if the report were true the matter would be in the hands of the police at the Kennington-lane Station, our representative called there last evening and saw the inspector on duty. "I've been here since two o'clock to-day, and
he said. "A bone or something might have been found. If it was only a bone it would simply be pitched into the mortuary; but if it had any flesh on it - or even only a bit of skin, we should have heard something about it - a report would have been sent round," "Has anything - a bone even been found," our reporter pressed. "Nothing at all that I know of," answered the inspector emphatically, and significantly added, "It's nothing of any importance, I can assure you."
There are, however,
they saw a human arm picked up. One of these is William George Davis. He made a statement to the Star man in the bar of the Crown and Grapes this morning. He said: Yesterday morning I was standing in here with another chap at about twenty minutes past seven, when a man came in and said something or the other had been found across the road. I thought he said something about "Leather Apron;" but, you see, sir, I am a bit deaf. However, me and the other man standing in the bar both went out. Seeing a policeman over by the railings of the Blind School, we went across the road, and then I saw the constable was holding something up by a piece of string. It was tied up in coarse brown paper. "Was it a human arm?" our reporter asked. "Most decidedly it was," George Davis answered. "I saw the hand and wrist, and the sight of it almost turned me up. The paper was torn away - it seemed as though some cats had got at it. The fingers were bent - the hand seemed partially closed. The flesh was a bit discolored, seemed rusty like. The man who went across the road with me took hold of the parcel, and it fairly made him shiver. The parcel was the full length of a woman's arm. The policeman, carrying it by the string, took it off to the station." "But the police say something about only a bone being found," observed our reporter. The look on the man's face was a sufficient refutation of this. He said: "Why, sir,
as plain as I see mine, flesh and finger nails and all."
William Allen, a shoeblack, who at the time of the discovery was standing outside the Crown and Grapes, gave corroborative testimony, and also said that it seemed to him as though the arm had been kept in lime. How long the arm had been lying where it was found nobody of course can positively say, but the roadsweepers who were about the spot an hour before didn't see it, and they appear to think that if it had been there it would not have escaped their observation.
Our reporter subsequently had an interview with the man who actually
He, it seems, was first on the scene after a man had gone into the Crown and Grapes and said that a boy had discovered a human arm across the road - that "some 'Leather Apron' tricks" were going on, as he put it. The man in the bar ran out and learned exactly what had happened. A boy about 14 years old, going along to work, had found something sticking between two of the railings, and, pulling it out, found it was a human arm. A man coming along at the moment, learning what had happened, ran to the policeman at fixed-point duty close by, and then went to the public-house. Before the policeman had got to the spot the man from the Crown and Grapes was there and took the parcel from the boy. "What was it?" asked out reporter.
replied the man. "It wasn't in brown paper, but sewn up in canvas. When the boy pulled it out I suppose he tore the wrapper. Anyhow there I saw the hand and wrist. The four fingers were pressed close together, and the thumb was underneath them. One of the fingers looked as if it had been broken. Yes, there was flesh on them - it seemed in places as though it had been eaten away by the action of lime. The arm was bent and part of the shoulder blade was attached to the top - you could see the flesh underneath the torn canvas. When the policeman came up I lent him a piece of billiard chalk, and he put two crosses at the spot where the arm was found. I put a blue cross beside one of them. Come across the road and I will show you the marks." The Star man went over to the railings, and there, sure enough, were the
and a blue cross beside one of them. Further, our reporter was shown by his informant mud marks on two of the railings, caused evidently by something having been thrust between them. The man told his story in the most circumstantial and positive manner, and as a guarantee of good faith refused to be compensated for his information.
It should be added that the barman at the Crown and Grapes testifies to the fact that the men were called out of the bar in the manner stated, and came back with the statement that a woman's arm had been found.
The police at Kennington-lane Station still disclaim all knowledge of the "find," but as the police declared the Pimlico arm a myth, their denials in this case are not positive evidence that another arm - belonging possibly to the same body - has not, as stated, been found.
This order has been issued by the Commissioners to the Metropolitan Police: - In all cases in which drunken persons are arrested in or near public-houses, the officer making the apprehension is to note and report under what circumstances the accused obtained the liquor; and in any case in which there is sufficient evidence of the sale of intoxicating liquor to a drunken person the particulars are to be reported, with a view to proceedings being taken against the publican concerned.
At Ashton yesterday, Rev. Frederick Moore, minister of the Park-road Congregational Chapel, was summoned for neglecting to comply with an order made by the justices to have his child Dora vaccinated. Colonel Phelps submitted that the onus of proving the child had not been vaccinated rested with the prosecution, but the Bench, ruling that the onus rested with the parents of the child, fined defendant 20s. and costs.
Mr. George H. Savage, M.D., contributes an article on the subject of homicidal mania, to the October number of the Fortnightly Review. The doctor says "I had once under my care a young musician who had worked hard at a foreign conservatoire, and passed from moodiness to madness; he visited the city abattoir, obtained and drank blood hot from the slaughtered animals. This was after a few days stopped, but fortunately he was watched, for he was seen to try to decoy children to his rooms, and he owned to me that he wished to have their blood, as blood was his life, and his life was that of a genius."
Is Christianity a Failure?
SIR, - Permit me to reply to the egregious anachronisms of your correspondent "Homo Sum," who has, contrary to all evidence, assumed that "Christianity is a failure," and that without having adduced anything beyond conjecture to establish his anorexy. When "Homo Sum" says that "Christianity has only one aspect of importance," "in my mind" he thereby admits that his opponents therein have vast concessions made to them, which enables them to contemplate the absurd assumption that "sacrifice" is unnatural and untrue. The "onus probandi" rests with "Homo Sum." I, therefore, directly challenge him for a verification of his (bare) conjecture, that sacrifice is either unnatural or untrue. 'Tis surprising to find "Homo Sum" stating that he is a devoted admirer of Christ, His character, and teachings; and almost in the same breath he emphatically declares that "he does not believe in the miracles of Christ," &c.
"The Whitechapel horrors are simply one proof out of a thousand that Christianity has not touched the core of the social evil." This is simply absurd. My contention is that Christianity has triumphed over the cruelties of Paganism. This none can deny who have read of the persecutions of such cruel tyrants as Nero, Trajan, Hierocles, Caligula, Tiberius, Caracalla, and also the sanguinary spirit of their age. Yet the weapons they used were inadequate to slay Christianity when in its infancy, and men who have no other weapon to wield than they, must confess that Christianity has triumphed gloriously, and that success has been achieved, notwithstanding the powers of such early opponents as Celsus, Porphyry, Julian, and others. The so-called "failure" of so-called Christianity in this nineteenth century is that "men by their traditions make the laws of God of none effect" instead of preaching and practising the primitive principles of Christianity, which are - Faith, Virtue, Patience, Knowledge, Temperance, Godliness, Brotherly Kindness, and Charity. - Yours &c.,
21, Balaclava-road, Southwark-park-road, Bermondsey, 24 Sept.
SIR, - How can we expect Christianity to be a success among intelligent people when the Bible upon which it is founded upholds slavery and polygamy?
When every human being is taught that every time he does wrong he causes degeneration, and every time he does right he helps towards the elevation of mankind irrespective of whether or not he believes in the truth of a certain dogma, then, and not till then, shall we possess a true religion.
When such sublime doctrines as "Do unto others as you would that they should do unto you" and "Love your neighbor as yourself," are cleared from the foolish creeds and superstitions with which they are at present by the Christian religion surrounded, then we shall have attained a higher system of morality than ever will be arrived at by any amount of "faith." - Yours, &c.,
SIR, - Christianity has ceased to have any real influence on the actions of the upper and lower classes; and with the middle class it is merely a frantic attempt to serve God and Mammon. We live in a transition period. The old is dying and the new is yet struggling to be born. The faith of the future must combine the religious, social, and political sentiments of its believers. Christianity utterly fails to do so. - Yours, &c.,
Clapton, 26 Sept.
The Christian World of this week has an article on our leader and correspondence, from which we take the following extracts: - In a word, the question as to pulpit influence is merely a mask for the much deeper and more absorbing question - Is Christianity a failure? The Star has in this matter hit the right nail on the head when it declares the condition of the East-end of London to be the real crux of faith. Now, if the only evidence before us were that of the present day, there would, we confess, be many strong reasons for answering the above question about Christianity in the affirmative. If we contrast the high aims, the lucid sincerity, the palpable reality of the original Christian life, with the vulgar expediency, the blatant advertisement, the pretentious shams of modern Christianity, we are often tempted to a heart-sickening conclusion. . . . Is Christianity a failure? Well, it may be; but Christ is not. Many of the letters that are being written to prove the hollowness of our religion are pregnant with a longing regret for its original source. Truly, says a writer in the Daily Telegraph, "the world wants the religion of a sympathetic humanity." A writer in The Star tells us that he detests modern Christianity, while he is a devoted admirer of the character and teaching of Christ. There is no contradiction, there is not even paradox in this. . . . The true lesson is an imitation of the silent sacrifice of Christ, without stopping to calculate whether it does any good or not.
|Press Reports: Star - 1 October 1888|
|Press Reports: Star - 27 September 1888|
|Press Reports: Star - 29 September 1888|
|Press Reports: Evening News - 4 October 1888|
|Is Christianity a Failure?|
|Press Reports: Star - 2 October 1888|
|Press Reports: Star - 24 September 1888|