1893 And The Return Of Jack The Ripper

Although today there is a general consensus that the Jack the Ripper murders ended with the murder of Mary Kelly on the 9th of November, 1888, that knowledge is the knowledge of hindsight.

At the time, and in the years afterwards, the people of the East End, nor the members of the press, could not be certain that the Whitechapel murder spree had, in fact, ended, and, in consequence, any murder or attack, not matter how lacking in similarity it was to the atrocities of 1888, was attributed, at first at least, to Jack the Ripper.


One such murder was that of prostitute who was known as Jenny Hinks, but whose real name was Jane Thompson, who was found dead on a street in Rotherhithe, South London, in June 1893.

Almost immediately the newspapers began informing their readers that it seemed that the Whitechapel fiend had returned, and press speculation to that effect was rife.

A policeman shines his lantern onto the body of Jane Thompson.
Finding The Body Of Jane Thompson. From The Illustrated Police news, Saturday, 8th July, 1893. Copyright, The British Library Board.


Ultimately, and Italian sailor by the name of Andrea Scotti De Carlo was arrested for the crime, and he was tried for the murder of Jane Thompson at Central Criminal Courts (the Old Bailey) on Monday, 24th July, 1893.

Found guilty, he was sentenced to death, although the sentence was later commuted to penal servitude for life.


However, in the days that followed the murder, newspapers throughout the country were of the opinion that the murder spelt the return of the notorious Jack the Ripper.

The Daily Chronicle, in its edition of Tuesday the 27th of June 1893, took up this theme:-


Is the Whitechapel women slayer at his terrible work again?

This question is suggested by the terrible tragedy which was enacted at Rotherhithe at an early hour on Sunday morning, when a woman was found dead with her throat cut in a manner characteristic of the crimes of Jack the Ripper.

The murderer left no trace behind him, and his motive does not appear to have been either robbery or outrage.


It appears that the police lay some emphasis upon the fact that there was no mutilation, but that does not militate against the supposition that the fiend is among us again, for some of the Whitechapel series – two, if not three – are without mutilations.

There was no time for more than the taking of life.

This murder differs from the series in that the victim was heard screaming just before her corpse was found.


What makes this crime more significant is that it follows on two recent mysterious murders of women both with the knife, one at Rochford and the other at Grays.

This much may be said – that there is no evidence that the murderer is not alive and at large.