Saturday, 10 August 1889
The police have just had a severe disappointment, says a London correspondent, in connection with their search for the Whitechapel murderer. They received information of a man exactly answering the description of the person they are looking for. He was a lunatic, and learnt the butchering trade in his father's shop, had become a medical student on his father's death, had absented himself from home frequently at nights without giving any explanation of where he had been, and had written an extraordinary series of letters to the rector of his parish, which parish was in direct communication by a straight line of tram-rails with the very circle within which all the diabolical crimes have been perpetrated. Those letters indicated clearly that the writer was a lewd-minded lunatic, such as the murderer must be, and there occurred in them such ominous and coincidental expressions as threats to "rip up" both his mother and the rector. In fact, every conceivable circumstance about him exactly fitted in with a rational theory of the crimes with him as the chief actor in them, until one discovery upset the entire superstructure. He was at liberty during the whole of the murders except the last of all, when he was safe under lock and key in a private asylum. Until that false link in the chain was found the police certainly regarded the clues as the best they have had all along. Of course, there yet remains the contingency that this latest murder was the work of a fresh assassin, and Dr. Phillips inclines to that opinion from the nature of the mutilations.
All is quiet in Whitechapel at present. No clue whatever has been obtained of the woman-slayer, and his last episode in Castle-alley. None of the careful precautions adopted by the police have been in the least manner relaxed. Inspector Moore and Detective Nearn, the two Scotland-yard experts who have been specially instructed to superintend the efforts of the large body of detectives in Whitechapel are still engaged at Leman-street Police-station. Abundant evidence has been gleaned to prove that the crafty murderer has become very reckless, and should he display a similar degree of recklessness in any future attempt, the police authorities are sanguine of his arrest. So thickly are police and detectives placed in Whitechapel, especially in the "Ripper's" district, that they may be said to be almost within sight of each other. Corresponding to the murderer's recklessness is the callousness and indifference of the inhabitants. We have been informed, on good authority, that a well-known merchant in the East of London has offered to pension for life the officer who arrests the woman-slayer. This and the fact that the annual excursion of the H-Division, which was to have taken place a week ago, has been put off on account of this last murder, has animated the criminal authorities to increased efforts.