Pushing aside a plethora of witness statements, Abberline took up his pen and sighed as he wrote: "I beg to report"
He put the pen down again. Report what? That he didn’t know what to report? He could feel the pressure
Welling up inside. He longed to go home and rest. To sleep without being plagued by visions of the mutilated women begging him for justice. Their faces haunted him day and night, asleep or awake.
Abberline sat back in his chair as he ran his hands through what was left of his hair. Whitechappel had been his territory for so long how could one man defeat him like this?
He was glad of the bit of privacy his office gave him. The whole station was feeling it. The hostility from the public, the pressure from the top to make an arrest. Even the Queen was writing letters. It was all very well for her up in her Ivory Tower, she wasn’t out on the streets trying to catch him. The men were up against it on this one even nailing rubber to the soles of their boots to muffle their tread. Nothing was working. This man, this creature could vanish into thin air.
Abberline began to wonder if the killer really was some kind of creature from hell. From Hell that was how the letter to George Lusk had been signed. Whitechappel had certainly become Hell. Especially for those women. Abberline pitied them. No matter how far they had fallen they didn’t deserve to end like that. They didn’t set out to end up destitute on the streets. He saw so many of them, the looks of terror on their faces knowing they had to go out on those street with a maniac on the loose, a maniac he should have caught by now.
Abberline felt guilty. He should have gotten this man sooner. He felt an almost personal sense of responsibility for the dead women. Every minute The Ripper was on the streets meant he was failing.
Jack the Ripper! Abberline couldn’t stand that nick name. The invention of some enterprising journalist no doubt.