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When Murder Would Not Out

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When Murder Would Not Out

Post by Karen on Sat 2 Apr 2011 - 7:36



How many persons in this country recall the ghoulish crimes committed by the infamous Jack the Ripper in London's Whitechapel district during the years 1887 and 1888? They roused the horror of the civilized world, coming one after the other until the mysterious murderer had 12 atrocities to his discredit.
Strange enough all of his victims were women of doubtful character and of little means so far as the goods of this world are concerned. The methods were the same in almost every instance. The throat of each one was cut and the body brutally disfigured. And always the monster succeeded in escaping.
Little wonder that the residents of London were in a condition bordering on panic. That such crimes could be committed in a civilized community without detection seemed to be almost impossible. It was on Sept. 30, 1888, when the butcher had murdered two persons, one almost after the other that public indignation reached white heat. It was then the newspaper dubbed the murderer "Jack the Ripper." Nearly everybody had a theory. He was said to be, in turn:

Another Jekyll and Hyde.
An escaped gorilla.
An insane Russian.
A maniac from Vienna.
A sufferer from epilepsy.
A mad butcher.
A religious monomaniac.

But whoever or whatever he was the terrible crimes continued. The famous criminologist L. Forbes Winslow, finally undertook a personal investigation. He spent the whole night in Whitechapel trying to locate the slayer. Presently he inserted an advertisement in a London newspaper saying that a gentleman strongly opposed to the presence of "street walkers" in London hoped to get in correspondence with some one who would like to co-operate in their suppression.
The bait had its effect. He received several confessions in the same handwriting. One letter expressed glee over the hideous work that was going on in the slums and stated that the next murder would be committed on Nov. 9.
This terrible prophecy was literally and brutally fulfilled. It satisfied the doctor that he had actually been in correspondence with the horrible maniac. On the day named a poor girl named Kelley was found dead with her throat cut and her body butchered. She was discovered on the ground floor of a tenement, and passersby, looking through the curtainless window, could see the mutilated corpse.
In an archway was a found a note scribbled on a bit of dirty paper. It read: "Jack the Ripper will never commit another murder." Amazing as it may sound the promise appears to have been kept.
In the belief that the culprit, from his great strength, must have been a butcher, many men from Scotland Yard went to work in slaughter houses. But they had only their labor for their pains.
In the end Dr. Winslow was convinced that Jack the Ripper was "a man of position and means - a Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde phenomenon, suffering from a religious monomania, and who, while his paroxysms lasted, was bent on exterminating fallen women, but who, when these seizures passed, returned to the bosom of his family in the West End of London."

Source: Syracuse Herald, Saturday Evening, September 28, 1929, Page 12

Karen Trenouth
Author of: "Epiphany of the Whitechapel Murders"
Author of: "Jack the Ripper: The Satanic Team"

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