The Ridicule Of Sir Charles Warren

Posted: October 15, 2009 in Other Ripper Research
After He Tried Them by Letting Them Loose on His Own Trail He Turned Them Out to Follow Other Trails, and They Got Away – A Horrible Letter.
London had begun to forget all about the horrible Whitechapel murders, when one morning not long ago the great metropolis was shaken from the innermost recesses of the city to the elegant suburbs that have been lately built for the occupation of the wealthy and cultivated by the announcement that Sir Charles Warren’s dogs were loose.
Sir Charles had for some time been training these dogs, with a view to having them track and tree the human fiend who has been operating in Whitechapel, whenever that shrewd ghoul should kill another victim. All the world remembers how much Sir Charles banked upon his bloodhounds and how he made himself the laughing stock of everybody by letting them chase his august person one very early morning not long ago. One would imagine that his experience on the occasion would have shaken his faith in the wisdom of the scheme, for, so the account runs, they only succeeded in making even a fair showing one time in three.

The fact is, as almost any one conversant with the employment of hounds for tracking persons will tell you, it is quite a different matter for a dog to take up and follow a scent across a sparsely settled country, and through the intricate mazes of a densely populated city.
It is not at all uncommon for a dog to quite lose the scent in the former instance because of one crossing track. In a crowded metropolitan district like Whitechapel, where any given track would be criss-crossed by tens of thousands of other tracks inside of an hour, the task of following the murderer by the scent would be altogether beyond the power of even the keenest nosed dog.
And even if Sir Charles’ experiments had been successful to a marked degree, the results would have justified no sanguine expectations. For the experiments were made early in the morning when few people would be stirring, and the chance of obliteration by subsequent trails was at the minimum. whereas the search for the murderer would, very likely, have to be made at a busy time of the day.
When Sir Charles lost the dogs he was trying them in the open country. They had been taken to a common in the suburbs and there "laid on scent after scent."
Whether they showed any progress in the noble art of man hunting is not stated, but when let loose on what proved to be their last run they were "lost sight of altogether," and "the men in charge were frantic." Certain carpers at Sir Charles’ method of running the police department have suggested that "perhaps some smart dog fancier has made a grand haul of the prize hounds."
It is quite possible that this last exploit of Sir Charles Warren will move the London publications that sail under comic colors to the printing of cartoons bearing upon the subject. Punch has already devoted considerable attention to the Whitechapel matter, and here is a reduced reproduction of one of its cartoons, heading and all:
There floats a phantom on the slum’s foul air,
Shaping, to eyes which have the gift of seeing,
Into the specter of that loathly lair,
Face it – for vain is fleeing,
Red-handed, ruthless, furtive, unerect,
Tis murderous crime – the Nemesis of neglect!
Sir Charles Warren is a most extraordinary person, if we may believe the English newspaper stories about him. He doesn’t seem to have the slightest qualification for the position of chief of police, and the office came to him only because he was born with patrician blood in his veins.
He has been a soldier, and a fairly good one, too – serving abroad – and therein, perhaps, lies much of the secret of his ill success. If he had been willing to act simply as a figure head, letting other and more capable men attend to the executive part – the real work of the department – matters would probably have never reached such a pass as to render the Whitechapel murders possible.
But, having won some reputation as a fighter of savages, he felt that he knew just how to preserve order in a city largely composed of civilized people. Brooking no interference with his plan of conducting the affairs of the office of chief of police on the lines of a military campaign, and fully imbued with the idea that the chief end of the police is to suppress free speech and all sympathy with the Irish, whom he hates so bitterly, he devoted his energies to closing public places to speakers who are dissatisfied with the existing order of things in England and the following and arrest of Americans and others supposed to have a friendly feeling toward Erin’s green Isle. Of course it was not long before the Scotland Yard men and the "politics" alike expended whatever abilities they possess in these directions, and what are in other counties considered the most hateful classes flourished unhurt and plied their criminal callings unmolested. In this concern are presented portraits of Inspector Helson and Coroner Baxter, two officials who have ably seconded Sir Charles Warren’s policy of marked incapability.
The excitement over the loss of the dogs had hardly begun to diminish when another and a greater sensation arose. At the risk of offering it to some readers the second time. the cabled account thereof is here presented:
Mr. George Lusk, a builder, is the head of a Whitechapel vigilance committee. Late on Tuesday night the parcel post delivery left a box at his house. Upon opening it he discovered a meaty substance, which he judged to be half of a kidney belonging to some animal. Inclosed in the box was the following letter:
"I send you half of the kidne I took from one of the women. I preserved it for you. T’other piece I fried and ate. It was very nice. I may send you the bloody knif that took it out if you only wait a whil longer."
Mr. Lusk at first regarded the whole thing as a joke. But, remembering that such an organ had been taken from the Mitre square victim, he took the box to the London hospital. Dr. Openshaw examined the inclosure and said that it certainly came from a full grown woman and had been divided longitudinally. The box and the letter were taken to Scotland Yard. The handwriting of the letter in the box bore no resemblance to the handwriting of the letters of "Jack the Ripper," found some weeks ago.
Source: Weekly News And Democrat, Thursday November 1, 1888.

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