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Dr. George Fox's Opinion

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Dr. George Fox's Opinion

Post by Karen on Mon 13 Jun 2011 - 15:38


At last an arrest has been made which promises to throw some light upon the series of horrible murders which have been perpetrated during the past few months in the Whitechapel district of London. An attempt seems to have been made to murder another woman, and she having screamed out, the assassin absconded; but from her description the police have arrested a man who offered a desperate resistance. Resisting arrest is generally looked upon as a presumptive proof of guilt; but remembering the terror of "Leather Apron," who averred that he had to keep perdu for fear of being lynched on the mere unfounded suspicion of being the murderer, it is natural to suppose that a person arrested on the charge of committing those fearful crimes should become excited and act irrationally. It is not believed that the man arrested is the notorious "Jack, the Ripper," and should he prove to be the man who assaulted the woman, the probability is that he will be found to be a mere imitator of the arch-fiend. The real murderer is, therefore, undoubtedly still at large, and we may at any moment expect to be shocked by news of another horrible outrage. As to the identity of the fiend in human shape who is thus revelling in gore, the theory that he is finding "specimens" for some school of anatomy does not seem to gain many adherents in London. The doctors, to a man almost, are opposed to that supposition, which is only natural, as it distinctly reflects upon their craft and is apt to engender baseless prejudices.
There is some plausibility in the hypothesis that the murders are the work of a homicidal maniac, and one who has some knowledge of anatomy. Dr. George Fox, a Dublin anatomist, says: -

"The Whitechapel murderer silenced his victim by a method of choking, or pressing the lower jaw up against the upper one, the method of a bully, but not such as a skilful anatomist would adopt, who, of necessity, should know that a pin slit with a small knife would deprive the person of all power of sound. The victims' throats were cut, allowing the large vessels of the neck to pour out blood to the risk of besmearing the criminal - a danger which he need not have incurred had he known - as an anatomist would have, how to destroy life."

Still, it is undoubted that the murderer has more knowledge of the human frame than is usual with butchers or slaughtermen; and it is, therefore, possible that the narrative of a cabman, which we published yesterday, embracing the supposed ravings of a self-accused medical man, may correctly indicate the quarter in which the police should look for the murderer. The non-arrest of the murderer is the principal drawback to this theory, for homicidal maniacs are not always cunning, and lunacy specialists agree that any madman who would commit murder would be sure to show traces of his mania to even casual acquaintances. It is well nigh impossible to conceive of a dangerous lunatic of the kind supposed being at large and committing so many daring crimes without being detected or making criminating statements. If such a cunning and destructive monster is at work, there is all the more reason for the police authorities making extraordinary exertions to secure his capture. It is earnestly to be hoped that the murderer, be he cool, educated and wary, or actuated by unreasoning impulse, may soon be stopped in his fiendish career.

Source: Auckland Star, Volume XIX, Issue 278, 24 November 1888, Page 4

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

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