New Jersey, USA
11 September 1889
A Suspicion that London Has Two Jacks
London, Sept. 11.
Although the murder discovered here in the Whitechapel district is generally spoken of as the work of the mysterious Jack the Ripper, a close examination of all the facts leads to the conclusion that this murder is not of the Ripper series. The police and the medical men familiar with the details of the recent London horrors of this class say that this last murder must be classified with those known as the embankment murders, of which there have now been four in all, including the one in which the headless body of the victim was recently discovered in Chelsea, and of which the head has never been found. Although there is a general resemblance between the horrible work of the two murderers, both taking special pains to mutilate their victims and to carry off portions of the bodies, each carries off a different portion.
Besides this, there are other evidences of differences in expertness in the surgical work involved in all the mutilations, the embankment murderer being by far the more scientific of the two. For some time it was doubtful whether all these horrors were the work of one or two persons, but this last murder convinces the medical men that there are two entirely distinct sets of murderers and two different men responsible for them.
It is believed that in the present instance the body was purposely brought to the Whitechapel district to throw the police off the scent by inducing the belief that the body was that of another victim of Jack the Ripper. In this the perpetrators, however, went to trouble that is entirely superfluous, for the police are as much in the fog about the one class of murders as the other.
The story of the discovery of the murder is as follows: At 5:30 a.m. a policeman found the body of an abandoned woman lying in a corner of a railway arch spanning Cable street, in Whitechapel. Examination showed that the head and legs had been cut off and carried away and the poor creature disemboweled. The police authorities immediately placed a cordon of officers around the spot, but no arrests were made. A policeman passed the place where the body was found every fifteen minutes throughout the night and saw nothing to arouse his suspicions. Singularly enough, the crime had been perpetrated immediately after the extra police had been withdrawn from the neighborhood in order to guard the dicks. This tends to confirm the suspicion that the criminal is either a member of the police force or that he is well posted in their movements.
Physicians who examined the body believe that the murder occupied an hour, and it is surmised that the murderer carried the head and legs away in a bag. The murder is the most horrible of the Whitechapel series. The dissection of the body shows that the perpetrator possesses considerable surgical skill. The woman was about 30 years of age and was evidently addicted to excessive use of spiritous liquors. Her clothing was shabby. As yet she has not been identified.
The murder has created tremendous excitement, and a large crowd of agitated humanity surrounded the morgue to which the body was taken. Further investigation revealed that there was no blood on the ground where the body was found, nor was there any indication of a struggle.
This confirms the general belief that the woman was murdered in a house and her body taken to the spot where it was found. The body was nude and a torn chemise was lying near it. Experts are of the opinion that the woman was killed two days ago. Three sailors were, subsequently to the discovery of the body, found sleeping in the adjoining arch. They were arrested, but convinced the police that they had neither seen nor heard anything of the murder or the body lying near them, and were discharged.