16 FEBRUARY 1991, Page 11

One hundred years ago

The police believe that the Whitechapel murders attributed to 'Jack the Ripper' have commenced again, after a cessa- tion of seventeen months, the last or seventh, having occurred on September 10th, 1889. At 2.15a.m. on Friday, the body of a woman, believed to be an 'unfortunate', was found by a police- man in an archway connecting Swallow Gardens and Orman Street, in Whitechapel. The woman was just ex- piring, her throat having been cut, evidently with the same kind of un- usually sharp instrument believed to have been used on previous occasions. The body was not mutilated, but the police attribute this circumstance to the murderer having been disturbed. The centre of the archway where the body was found lies completely in shadow, and the theory is that the unhappy victim was lured there in the usual way, and her throat cut from behind so deeply that she could not cry out. A second woman's hat was found on the body, which lends colour to the idea that the murderer may after all be a woman; but the little actual evidence there is points to a man in a slouch hat, who, it is thought, was seen talking to the deceased a few minutes before the tragedy. The hat may have been de- signedly placed to give a false clue to the police.

The Spectator, 14 February 1891