JF Ptak Science Books Quick Post
"LATEST INCIDENTS IN CONNECTION WITH THE DOINGS OF JACK THE RIPPER THE EAST-END FIEND."
[Image source via Victorian Contexts: http://victoriancontexts.pbworks.com/w/page/47425374/The%20Whitechapel%20murders]
I am pretty certain that I haven't made a single post (of 4,500 or so) on an odious/horrendous matter for the sake of it odiousness--excepting, I think, this post on Jack the Ripper. I won't bother with the history of the madman as I am sure everyone is well acquainted with pieces of it. I bumped into it using a new online find, a paywall site, which is very useful for on-the-spot usage though not so when it comes to reproducing one of its images--so, I needed to find a friendly place to share the image from and found one in Victorian Contexts (see link above). The first magazine to pop up in this new browse was The Illustrated Police News (London, England), and the first thing I searched for was The Ripper, and so came this issue for Saturday, October 27, 1888; Issue 1289. It just so happens that this issue dealt mainly with the infamous Lusk Kidney, which was a human kidney evidently sent by Jack to the home of George Akin Lusk, ("a builder who resided at 1 Alderney Road, Mile End. Since his appointment as head of the Whitechapel (or Mile End) Vigilance Committee"1), and which was a cause of enormous excitement. In the fine tradition of other illustrated newspapers/journals, The Police News told much of hte highlights of the story in pictures, right on the front page. Perhaps this was to entice people into buying the paper, and perhaps it was a very elementary entry point for part of the readership that had limited reading ability--I don't know. But the front page is certainly sensational, whatever the motivation.
The contents of the letter accompanying the mailed box of the human kidney: