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The Entire Story Of De Jong's Life

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The Entire Story Of De Jong's Life

Post by Karen on Mon 29 Mar 2010 - 6:09


How He Lured an Unsuspecting English Girl to a Mysterious Fate - Possessed of a Mania for Woman Murder - The Suspected Man in Custody.


All Europe is just now excited about the supposed crimes of one De Jong, who is in custody at Amsterdam, charged with knowing more than he will tell about the sudden and mysterious disappearance of his young and pretty wife - a bride of only a few days. The detectives of England and Holland are giving their most skilful attention to the case, which in all respects resembles the crimes of "Jack the Ripper" and Deeming. The present outlook is that De Jong, in the opinion of all who have studied the case, the murderer of at least two women, will go clear of the charge of murder and will shortly be free to hide himself in the crowd and continue the search for victims to gratify his peculiar mania. The crimes of Jack the Ripper in Whitechapel first called wide attention to the form of mania which leads to the killing of women in a way that will hide the perpetrator completely. Up to the time of the first Whitechapel murder this mania had not been distinguished from the general run of murders. At first the Jack the Ripper murders were supposed to be unique. But the medical men set to work with the clue furnished by Jack the Ripper. They found that society had long been cursed with men suffering from this disease; that these monsters, in speech and manner at all times perfectly sane, walked about unnoticed among their fellows, seeking their victims, and when the proper time came, they murdered so skilfully that rarely did the police trace the murderer, or, tracing him, find out the peculiar disease from which he was suffering. In France especially, where everything is analyzed and classified, it was found that there were many of these monsters and that they had committed scores of crimes which were wrongly supposed to be the result of jealousy or thwarted passion. Then came the discovery that there was a species still more monstrous under this genus of monstrosity. The most of these insane wretches, like Jack the Ripper, chose fallen women as their victims. De Jong, like some others of this newly discovered species of murderer, was adopting a different mode of procedure, no less cunning, no less difficult of detection, but far more horrible, because it led them among respectable people to choose their victims from unsuspecting young girls whom they married and took far from their homes and friends. Of this sort was Frederick Bayley Deeming, who roamed the world for years marrying and killing, to be hanged for the last of his long series of crimes in Australia. Of this sort is Hendrik De Jong, now in prison at Amsterdam, while the police of England and of Holland are scouring the quiet country places he is known to have visited for trace of the two young women they are sure he has murdered. Physicians have been making a careful study of De Jong, as they did of Deeming, and they find in him all the peculiar characteristics of the other man, those characteristics which made him a marked man wherever he went. The parallel between the two characters extends even to such a detail as a fondness for being photographed. The story of De Jong is not known completely, but such parts of it as are known enable one to get a good idea of a character that should be carefully studied by every one who wishes to guard his family and his friends against such insidious and horrible attacks. De Jong was born in Arnheim, not far from Amsterdam, about thirty years ago. His parents were humble people, decent and honest. His brothers and sisters have grown up into


respectable members of society very near the rank of unskilled labor. There is a suggestion of previous insanity in the family, but this does not rest upon good evidence. Hendrik ran away from home after getting into several scrapes with girls and after having got the name of being an idle, thieving boy. He became a sailor, a sign painter, and finally a quack doctor. When he made occasional visits to his old home he dazzled his relatives by superior clothes, by his boasts of properity that seemed to have a foundation in fact and by his contempt for their toilsome mode of life. But every one suspected him of being as dishonest as he was immoral, and this suspicion was confirmed by the news that he had been in prison in The Hague for theft. The police have not been able to get at the connected story of his life before the early summer of this year. They know that he was roaming about the world, that he was seen with various women to whom he claimed to be married. But no one knows who these women were or what became of them. They just got definite trace of him in June of this year. He had developed into rather a good-looking young man, of loud manners and ostentatious dress, a braggart and a liar, who was always talking of one subject, women, and his conquests among them. In America, where we are used to long distances and to frequent communications with one another, it is hard to understand the way European people look upon even a short journey and how Paris and Berlin are, for the lower classes, twice round the world as far as New York from Chicago. The lower-class people do not move about much, and if one of their number goes a hundred miles away to live they bid him farewell as if death were in the house, and are not much surprised if they never hear of or from him again. Furthermore, we are not used to the peculiar situation of women among those peoples. There are so many more women than men and marriage is regarded as such a triumph that a stranger of decent appearance finds little difficulty in marrying among them to suit himself. Not much inquiry is made, because confidence is more complete. So a man of the De Jong stamp finds it pretty easy sailing. When therefore


De Jong turned up in Maidenhead, a village on the Thames not far from London, he found everything waiting for his purpose. It seems that he fell sick and was taken to the hospital at Middlesbrough. Among the nurses there was a young woman of decent family named Sarah Juett. She nursed De Jong through his illness, and he rewarded her, quite naturally as it seemed to her romantic mind, by falling in love with her. He told her great things about himself and about his people in Holland. He claimed to be a physician with a fondness for art. He had plenty of money, but his affairs were just then somewhat entangled. And as Miss Juett nursed him back to health he made love to her, and both dazzled her and won her heart. When he got well she took him to see her parents at Maidenhead. Her father, who is a very hard-headed Britisher, was not much impressed with the prospective son-in-law. The British country people, unlike the Continental country people, are suspicious of strangers from foreign countries. De Jong spoke good English, but plainly showed that he was a Dutchman. Besides, he boasted too much and was too ostentatiously sentimental to suit the Englishman. This was one of the points that especially impressed the young woman. There was a novelty about the violent, almost terrible way in which the young Dutchman made love to her. They were photographed every few days in various loving positions, and Mr. Juett finally became anxious for the marriage, fearing his daughter would do something to disgrace him. But De Jong was too honorable to marry right away. He said he would never take a wife until he could provide for her a better home than she left. His affairs in Holland needed attention and he must go away for a time. So he went away, leaving a good many enemies behind him. His flashy jewelry and clothes, his boasting speech, and, above all, a certain peculiar something in his looks and gestures, a something which all men have seen in certain other men, had made the men of the village dislike him intensely. The women approved of him, however, and envied Sarah Juett. When De Jong went away he told Miss Juett that if he found when he came back that she had been false to him he would kill her, and she more than half believed him. In June he returned to Maidenhead and soon thereafter they were married. In a week or two they left for the continent. While stopping at a hotel in Amsterdam the young bride suddenly disappeared. They had last been seen together driving in the vicinity of Amsterdam. One person says he saw them standing on the bridge in the Wolfheze woods, not far from the city. The theory is that then and there the bride met her death, but by what means seems shrouded in deep mystery. She was not seen afterward and her letters home to England, heretofore written daily, suddenly terminated. The husband seemed inclined to say as little about the matter as possible. His conduct soon aroused the suspicions of the police and he was placed under arrest. The closest questioning has since failed to elicit a response from him as to any knowledge he may have of the woman's fate. He seems strangely unconcerned about the whole matter and gives other evidences that he is suffering from the same mental ailment that plunged Deeming into such a mad career of brutal murder. If the authorities fail to find trace of his supposed victim he will be released from custody.

Source: Sterling Standard, December 21, 1893

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

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