Monday 22nd October 1888

On Monday the 22nd of October, 1888, The Edinburgh Evening News, published a roundup of events concerning the Whitechapel murders. The story revealed that numerous letters, purporting to come from the killer, had been sent and received, and, in one case, the writer had been traced:-


Up to last night, there was no fresh feature in connection with the London tragedies.

An arrest was made early yesterday, but the police attach little importance to it.

The police still receive endless communications, chiefly from anonymous persons, but as yet no clue has been obtained.


It transpired yesterday that on Thursday the police at King Street, Westminster, had handed over to them a woman’s chemise and three pieces of linen, which had been taken from the water of the river Thames, and which, on being examined, were found to have blood stains upon them, and which it is believed may have something to do with the murders.

A photograph of the exterior of King Street Police Station.
King Street Police Station.


It is stated that yesterday morning the Clapham police had handed to them five photos which had been found mysteriously at Clapham.

They were wrapped up in a piece white circular paper tied with string, and outside of which following was written:-

“Whosoever finds these photos, please take care of them, as the cabinet is one of the murdered women in Whitechapel, and the other’s her sister. The victim I kissed twenty times, and tried it on again, but I got no brass, so she told me to kiss her, and to a dreadful end she came on the eve of her death.”


Whether any one of the numerous writers of letters signed “Jack the Ripper” is or is not the real Whitechapel murderer it is impossible to say, but the opinion that most of these silly epistles, at any rate, are hoaxes is borne out by a case which has been traced in Glasgow to its source.

A week or so ago Chief-Constable Boyd received the following letter, enclosed in an unstamped envelope – for which, consequently, the authorities had to pay two pence:-

“Dear Old Boss, I am known as ‘Jack the Ripper,’ and I am going to pay Glasgow a trip. I hear there are fine women in Saltmarket, Glasgow, so I am going to pay you a visit – Yours truly, JACK THE RIPPER.”


The letter, which was penned with red ink, was put into the hands of Sub-Inspector Carmichael, who in a day or two discovered that the writer was a boy in a respectable position in the city.

On Thursday morning, the youth was brought before Superintendent Orr in his private room at the Central Police Office, and was so much frightened that he was scarcely able to speak.


When the letter was shown to him, he admitted that he wrote it, but  he said that he only did it for “lark.”

He added that, after writing the letter, he had put it into his pocket, intending to destroy it, but he lost it, and he said that somebody must have picked it up and posted it.

Owing to his youth, it was not deemed advisable to punish him further, and he was, therefore, reprimanded for his conduct and allowed to go.”