The Mood In December 1888

In December, 1888, people across the East End of London were on tenterhooks, believing that, at any moment, Jack the Ripper would strike again.

The mood in the district appears to have been one of resigned expectation, and there were reports in the newspapers of several people who had, quite literally, been driven made by Jack the Ripper.

On Saturday the 15th of December, 1888, The Manchester Courier updated its readers with what was going on in Whitechapel:-


It is believed that an appalling discovery has been made in connection with the Whitechapel murders, which explains the method and motive of the criminal, while it leaves his identity as mysterious as ever.


It is further stated that the young lady residing in the West End who, a few weeks ago, was threatened that she was marked out by “Jack the Ripper” as his next victim, has lost her reason as the result of the terrible effect which the threats had upon her nervous system.

In the first instance she was followed home by a ruffian who whispered in he ear, “I am Jack the Ripper,” and on the second occasion, when she went to a ball, she found a paper pinned  to her cloak on which was written, “This is your second warning. I am Jack the Ripper.”


The discovery which has come to light in connection with the Whitechapel murders applies only to the last of the series, shows that the assassin was even more barbarous and revolting in his treatment of the woman Kelly than was first supposed, and increases the supposition that the man is a foreigner.

Beyond this, it is impossible to go into details, as the facts adduced by the medical men are unfit for publication.

Unfortunately, the discovery sheds no light that seems calculated to assist in elucidating the mystery of the murders.


Mr. Monro, the new Police Commissioner, has drafted a number of special detectives into Whitechapel, the idea that more crimes will be committed being still entertained.

A portrait of James Monro.
James Monro. From The Illustrated London News, 8th December 1888. Copyright, The British Library Board.


About half-past two o’clock on Tuesday morning, a man named Thomas Wood was accosted in Dalston Lane, London, by a woman, who told him she had been stabbed.

He obtained assistance, and the woman, whose name is Clara Moore, was taken to the German Hospital close by, from which she was discharged after her wound had been dressed.

Her assailant could not found.


It was at first suspected that the East End murderer had been at work again, but inquiries tended to show that the affair was the outcome of a street brawl.