On 25th October, 1891, a prostitute by the name of Hedwig Nitsche was found murdered in the in a cellar room at number 10 Holzmarkstr, in the north quarter of the city of Berlin. The murder was a horrible and gruesome one, and, at once, the press began drawing comparisons between this murder and the crimes of the Whitechapel murderer three years before.
Reynolds’s Newspaper carried news of the heinous crime in its edition of Sunday, 1st November, 1891:-
HORRIBLE JACK THE RIPPER MURDER
“A revolting murder, identical in its horrible features with one especially of the notorious Whitechapel atrocities, was perpetrated about one o’clock the other morning in a low house, 10, Holzmarktstr, Berlin.
Shortly before midnight, an unknown man, described by some of the neighbours who saw him as well dressed, and but little more than twenty years of age, entered the house in company with a woman of low character named Hedwig Nitsche, who resided there.
A HORRIBLE SIGHT
In the small hours of the morning, a neighbour who wished to communicate with Nitsche knocked at her door, and, receiving no reply after repeated calls, gained an entrance.
She had hardly got inside the room when she fled shrieking from it, rousing all the people in the adjoining houses.
On the bed in the little room lay what was barely recognisable as the body of the unfortunate Nitsche, who had been murdered silently and quickly by the cutting of her throat.
THE INJURIES TO THE BODY
A horrible gash, made evidently with a keen knife wielded with extraordinary strength and precision, had nearly severed the head from the body.
Besides this, the corpse was mutilated in the disgusting way which the doings of “Jack the Ripper” in London have made infamous.
The fleshy parts of the body had been carved away, apparently with much cool deliberation, and the strips of bleeding flesh, that had been whittled from the thighs and arms of the victim, were strewn about the bed and furniture. The abdomen had been ripped up to the chest, and the bowels entirely removed, while into the cavity thus formed towels and bedclothes and some of the deceased’s garments had been thrust.
The whole room seemed dyed with blood, and the murderer must have taken a maniacal delight in scattering about the revolting trophies of his savagery.
A CROWD OF GHOULISH SPECTATORS
It was some time before the police arrived at the place, and when they entered they found a crowd of ghoulish spectators gloating over the horror.
The tenant of the house, an abandoned brute in man’s form, who lives by the shame of women who live in his house, had taken possession of the main entrance, and was admitting to view the mangled body any persons among the crowd who were willing to pay the fee that he demanded.
He had in this way taken a considerable sum of money and was callously urging the people to “make haste in if they would not lose the chance, as the police would be there directly, and then the game would be up.”
THE MOTIVE UNKNOWN
As for the motive of the murderer, there is no indication, and his crime is as unexplained as were those of “Jack the Ripper” in London.
Certain it is there was no intention of robbery, the money and jewellery belonging to the victim were untouched.
Another ghastly incident, which puts the murder in the same category with the Whitechapel horrors, is the fact that the assassin had removed and apparently carried away with him the uterus.
None of the clothes had been removed from the body, even the gloves being still on the victim’s hands.
A pair of bloodstained cuffs, supposed to belong to the murderer, wore found in the room.
SEEN BY A WATCHMAN
Inquiries made by the police show that the man who was seen with Nitsche was observed by a watchman to emerge from the house and run away only about ten minutes after they had entered together.
The police have offered a reward of £15 to anyone who will give information that will lead to the capture of the murderer.
A man named Ernest Schulze has been arrested by the police on suspicion of being the murderer of the woman Nitsche.
The prisoner is a clerk from Wschowa, in the district of Westhavelland, in Brandenburg, and is at present out of employment.
The man Schulsze seems not to have been the murderer of the unfortunate girl Nitsche.
He is said to have proved an alibi.”
As it transpired Schulsze’s alibi was genuine and he was ruled out as a suspect.
Just like the Jack the Ripper murders of the autumn of 1888, the murder of Hedwig Nitsche was never solved, and it remains unsolved to this day.