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Williamsport Sunday Grit
7 October 1888

Among His Friend He May Be a Dr. Jekyll but Once Alone His Desire for Butchery Prevails.

London, Oct. 6.
Tuesday night, just about dusk the mutilated corpse of a woman was found in an open vault on the site of the projected Grand Opera House, right on the Thames embankment, within a stone's throw of the Grand and Metropole hotels, and within sight of the Police Headquarters at Scotland Yard. A careful examination of the remains shows that the body, which is in an advanced state of decomposition, was subjected to mutilations similar in fiendish ingenuity to those inflicted on the Whitechapel victims. Not only have the head and arms been separated from the body but the abdomen has been cut vertically and the viscera exposed, as in other cases. The sanguinary monster evidently had more time, and was able to perform his terrible task with greater leisure.


The sensation produced by the finding of the body is simply terrific. The police are as far from ever from a clue of any practical value in detecting the Whitechapel murderer, and the feeling of insecurity and consternation is thereby greatly enhanced. The woman murderer in Mitre Square has not yet been definitely identified, and the identification of the one found in Berner Street is very doubtful, despite the evidence given by her alleged sister at the inquest.


Prof. Axer, Principal of the Royal veterinary College, has expressed himself very decidedly in favor of the proposal to place bloodhounds at the Eastern and Western Police Stations in the East End, and have them trained daily and kept in readiness for immediate use in running the murderer down. The Professor's belief in the utility of these ferocious animals as auxiliary police is strengthened by his conviction that the murderer will soon resume his butcheries, in view of his phenomenal success in eluding detection.


The general dread of the appearance of the murderer in other districts of London has greatly stimulated subscriptions to the funds being raised as a reward for his capture, and the aggregate sum now available is upward of 1,500. The friction between the Municipal and the Metropolitan Police increases, and General Sir Charles Warren's fussy military methods are roundly denounced on all sides.

The St. James Gazette closes an article savagely criticizing General Warren's administration, with a prayer for a squad of New York detectives to give to the London police a few lessons in the profession they have apparently unwisely chosen.


New York, Oct. 6.
Dr. W. A. Hammond, the insanity expert of this city, says the Whitechapel murders are committed by a homicidal lunatic, who is like a tiger in his nature. If caught, law should shield its eyes while society hangs the maniac. Continuing, the doctor said:

"Cases of homicidal insanity are very common; they are confined to no class or country, and the books are full of them. The last instance of the kind in New York that I recall was that man, I have forgotten his name, who ran through Fourteenth street with a carpenter's compass in his hand, stabbing every woman he met. I examined him and found it a plain case of homicidal insanity."


"Are people affected in this way particularly noticeable?"

"Now, that's just the mistake the London police are making," replied the doctor, sharply, "they are looking for a repulsive, uncouth butcher, dripping with blood and hiding in the cellars about Whitechapel. In society he is probably a mild-mannered man. He may move in the very best circles. He may be known among his acquaintances for his modesty, his refinement, his humanity. He may even have an effeminate horror of bloodshed and strife. And yet, for some one of a dozen causes - disease, or drink, or what-not - he may have, at times, this insatiable desire for blood."


"My own opinion is," continued the doctor, "that he is actuated by some fanatical religious ideas. He thinks that he is doing religion a service in ridding the world of such women as he kills, for in every case they are reported as being prostitutes.

The appetite increases with indulgence. This Whitechapel lunatic thinks now that he is doing a service in killing ignorant, depraved women. Presently it will occur to him to kill women whom he thinks belong to the same class, but who are in high life; and it would not at all surprise me if the next victim was a Duchess or a Countess. Then he will be caught."


"What are the symptoms of homicidal insanity?"

"They are different in different cases. Usually the disease is accompanied by inability to sleep, rush of blood to the head, dizziness, confusion of ideas, and then delusion. I remember once being visited by a gardener. He told me that his niece kept house for him, and that as he had raised her, he was very fond of her. One day he was filled with an impulse to drive a pitch-fork through her neck. He was talking to her at the time and had the pitchfork in his hand. By a tremendous effort he restrained. Several times afterward he felt the same desire coming over him, and each time it grew stronger, and at last he made a figure with the neck and bust of straw. Whenever the desire to stick his niece in the neck with the pitchfork came over him he would rush out and stab the figure. I got him into an asylum and he was eventually cured.


"The case of Demallard, the Frenchman, is a noted one, and from the fact that the victims were all women, it is peculiarly interesting. He used to advertise for servant girls. When they came he would lead them off to some secluded spot and murder them. There was no other object than a mad thirst for human blood. He is known to have murdered six women in this way, and is supposed to have killed many more whose bodies were never discovered. He was executed. The books are full of such cases and they are not confined to men either. Women have figured as quite prominently. One French woman, between 1855 and 1857 murdered over twenty people. She used poison in every instance and her victims included relatives, neighbors, physicians and nuns. She attended a number of her victims while they were on their deathbeds, and gave every evidence of being deeply affected. Perhaps she was. Of course she had no object except an insane desire to see people die. This mania is but one of a number of, all of which are of the same general family. In some instances it is kleptomania, in others a mania for suicide, in others for murder and so on."


New York, Oct. 6.
Inspector Byrnes, when asked what he thought of the Whitechapel murders, said that the perpetrator would have been captured long ago but for the stupidity of the London police. These murders have all been committed within a very small district.

They have been localized and all show the hand of the same assassin. The crimes were all of the same class. They were committed within a well-known quarter patronized by wantons and depraved men. The police should have been able to cover the ground so thoroughly after the first or second crime that a third one would have been impossible, or at least, that the capture of the perpetrator would have been inevitable. It isn't as if the murders were committed in widely separated districts, which would have made the cases more difficult.


"What would be your plan of action if you had charge of the case?"

"In the first place," said the Inspector, "I do not believe in sitting up in a comfortable office and stroking my mustache while evolving beautiful detective theories of the air castle order. I would have gone to work in a hard, common sense way. I do not believe in theories. With the great power of the London police I should have manufactured victims for this murderer. I would have taken fifty of the habitues of Whitechapel and covered the ground with them. Even if one fell a victim I would get the murderer. My men, ununiformed, would be scattered over the whole district so nothing that happened could escape them. The crimes are all of the same class and I would have determined the class to which the murderer belonged. The murderer should have been caught long ago. We caught the fellow who had a mania for throwing vitriol upon women's dresses, red handed, immediately after it was reported. He frequented Fourteenth street. I made victims for him and my men were thickly scattered through that district. We have no such autocratic powers as the London police, but if a crime is so plainly localized in one particular district as in the case of these London murders, we should most assuredly arrest the perpetrator in short order."


Chicago, Oct. 6.
Dr. J G. Kiernan, of this city, a recognized medical authority and editor of the Medical Standard, said that the Whitechapel murderer is a cannibal pure and simple. The Doctor added:

"The Whitechapel murders are clearly the work of a lunatic of the so called "sexual pervert" types fortunately rare in Anglo -Saxon lands, but not infrequently met with in Russia, Germany, Bohemia and France. In these lunatics there is a return to the animal passions of the lowest cannibalistic savage races. Cannibalism is shown in a thirst for blood and these animal passions come to the surface when the checks imposed by centuries of civilization are removed either by disease or by the defects inherited from degenerate parents. The most noted of these cases was that of Gilles de Rets, the original Blue Beard of the reign of Louis XV, who slaughtered two hundred female children in the same way as the Whitechapel butcher. The mutilations are very similar. A number of similar cases are on record in which the murderer devoured the mutilated parts. It was only a few years ago, in 1883, that all Westphalia, in Germany, was roused by several mysterious murders of females, of the same type as those of Whitechapel.

"The vampirism of the middle ages, extending down through the fourteenth, fifteenth, sixteenth, seventeenth and early eighteenth century, was a phase of this form of insanity.


"As to the remedy," continued Dr. Kiernan, "shut up the harmless logical lunatics, and release fewer so-called "sane" men by legal procedures from the State insane hospitals, and crimes of all types by the insane will cease. No lunatic should be at large unless some reliable person is pecuniarly responsible for his acts. The "philanthropists" who release "sane" people from the insane hospitals always decline pecuniary responsibility. There are lunatics now in Chicago who, under certain conditions, are fully capable of committing Whitechapel murders."

Gen. Burke's Explanation

(Special to Grit)
New York, Oct 6.
General Thomas F. Burke, the prominent Fenian, who is intimately acquainted with the working of the British police, says that the real reason why such crimes as the Whitechapel murders flourish, is that for years the entire police and detective forces of Great Britain have been tried only to watch Irish agitators, until they have become entirely incapable of coping with murderers, burglars and other real criminals.

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