New Jersey, USA
23 July 1889
TWO PEOPLE WHO HAVE GAZED UPON THE FIEND
AND LIVE TO TELL THE TALE
London, July 23.
Strange to relate no accurate description of Jack the Ripper has ever been published. Yet he was seen by two persons who know him as the Ripper, and the information given by these to the police the latter have kept until it was secured by a reporter from one of the pair. The Ripper's first botched job was accomplished Nov. 21, at No. 19 George street, Whitechapel. There he attempted to murder "Dark Sarah", but only succeeded in cutting her throat, as the woman was unusually strong. "Dark Sarah" met him in a public house and remembers him well. She was kept out of sight by the police until her case was overshadowed by the Ripper's successful efforts at murder. Where she is now is not known.
The other person who saw the Ripper is Frank Ruffell, the driver of a green grocer's wagon. He is a level headed young man of about 25; his identity has been closely concealed by the police. Ruffell said: "On the morning when the trouble took place at No. 19 George street, I was out with the van delivering coke to some lodging houses. I furnished coke to nearly all the lodging houses about here. I was standing on the sidewalk in front of the house next door to No. 19 and was about ten feet from the door. A man came out by the door and walked rapidly toward me. He was about 30 years old.
"I could not tell what kind of business he did. He did not look like a workingman, but he did not look like gentleman. He had on a black diagonal suit of clothes. His hat was a round black felt. He had a light mustache, cut off square at the ends. It was neither very thick nor very thin - about medium. He was about three inches taller than I am. I am 5 feet 4. He had a straight nose of medium size. It did not turn up. I did not notice his eyes particularly, but I should think from the color of his mustache that they were blue.
"When he came out by the door he was buttoning the top button of his coat. It was a cutaway coat. He had no collar on. He put his hand up to his mouth, which was bleeding from its right side. As he passed me he looked at me with a sort of smile, and muttered a vile remark. I said nothing. Just after he passed me he began to run. Then I heard a cry in No. 19 and I saw a woman come down. She said to stop the man and I started after him. By this time he had turned a corner and was out of sight.
"It was at least three minutes after he went away before I started after him. When I got to the corner I could not see him. He had had time to reach Brick lane and turn the corner, but when we got there two policemen said they had not seen anybody. I think he must have turned down a court or he would have been seen. That is all I know about it. Two detectives came for me after the woman had been taken to the hospital and questioned me closely about the matter. I would know the man if I saw him and I could identify his photograph, as I had a close view of him."
Whitechapel is gradually resuming its everyday appearance. Its denizens, generally speaking, are a callous lot. Even the women, who now walk in pairs for protection, will soon recover from their fear and reach that condition of mind that the Ripper seems to understand so well and that makes his dreadful work so easy of accomplishment.