By Jackson Ripley, Esq.
The Times Crime Correspondent
CROUCH END, LONDON, November 14, 1889 - The brutal stabbing of Lord Hull in the early hours of this morning at Hull House is the result of a robbery attempt that went awry, according to a spokesman for Scotland Yard.
Inspector G. Lestrade of The Yard told this correspondent that the grisly stabbing of His Lordship is believed to have occurred after a bungled break-and-entry at Hull House. Lord Hull was found by family members sprawled face forward on his desk, blood from a single stab wound to his back running in rivulets across some important papers he was apparently working on at the time.
"A broken window in the study is thought to have been the point of access for the murderer or murderers," said Mr. Lestrade. "It was a dastardly deed and no effort will be spared in terms of bringing the culprit or culprits to justice."
The inspector added that The Yard is being assisted in their investigation by renowned detective Mr. Sherlock Holmes of 221b Baker Street, who has worked with authorities in the past in the successful resolution of various crimes of passion. Mr. Holmes was unavailable for comment . However, a member of the household staff, who wished to remain anonymous for fear of being discharged for indiscretion, told this scribe that a large, ornate dagger that His Lordship was known to use as a letter opener was imbedded in the centre of his back.
Present at Hull House at the time of the murder were Lady Rebecca Hull, two sons - William and Jory - and daughter Tabitha. None of the family members would make a public statement about the horrible death of the head of the household, all of them claiming they were too distraught over the tragedy to comment on events leading up to the killing of their beloved patriarch.
A survey by this writer of townspeople in Crouch End resulted in a slightly different picture of the atmosphere at Hull House over the years. Known as a ruthless businessman, Lord Hull is thought to have ruled his household with the same iron fist that he applied to his commercial enterprises. In fact, a rumour is already circulating in the neighbourhood that the killing of Lord Hull might well have been "an inside job" - a term used by lower lifes to describe a crime committed by those well known to the victim.
"I seen Lord Hull treat his family very badly many's the time," said Alfred Glitch, a deliveryman for a greengrocer who supplies foodstuffs and other victuals to the household. "I ain't claiming that he was physically abusive - although Her Ladyship always seemed to have bruises and the occasional black eye when I brought them their goods. All I know is that it wasn't what you would call a happy home."
Another villager - who refused to state his name for fear of reprisals from the family - went so far as to suggest that revenge might have been the motive for the killing. "Mark my words," he said. "There are going to be a few surprises when the authorities complete their investigation."
Inspector Lestrade was quick to scotch these rumours as the vicious whisperings of people who envied Lord Hull for his success in the business world.
"Any reports of such malfeasance will be dealt with immediately by the Hull family's lawyers," said Mr. Lestrade. "As far as I am concerned, this kind of talk is nothing but fake news based on alternative facts that have no place in English society."