Illustrated Police News – Inside the Pages of England’s Worst Newspaper

A publication filled with lewd and graphic illustrations can create havoc even in today’s times, but what if such scandalous prints have existed back in England in the year 1864?

Imagine the outrage of many people at the sight of limbs being chopped off, heads being crushed, blood spouting from knife wounds, wives beaten by brutal husbands, and kids screaming in agony – these images – printed in a newspaper for the whole of England to read.

Indeed, the Illustrated Police News caused quite a stir, taking advantage of the curiosity of the masses for crime and sensationalism. The controversial newspaper even garnered extreme notoriety in 1888, the year when Jack Ripper preyed upon the women of Whitechapel.

Despite the outrage and having been named as “the worst newspaper in England”, the British periodical was deemed successful. It was founded in 1863, but was first circulated in 1864.  It consisted of one pictorial page and three text pages in folio, and sold for one penny. The normal weekly circulation was between 150,000 and 200,000 copies, but spec­ial issues could sell as many as 600,000.

The paper’s proprietor, George Purkess, employed over 70 freelance artists and dispatched one of them at the scene of the crime. Prudish Victorians often target Purkess’ artists and many times he was ready to defend them, saying “IPN artists are as good as those working for any rival journal”, which included the Illustrated London News and the Graphic.

Below are some illustrations from the paper itself, published within the years 1864 to 1938.

A dramatic sketch of one of the victims of the infamous Jack the Ripper

A dramatic sketch of one of the victims of the infamous Jack the Ripper

Adrian the Dog-faced Man and his son

Adrian the Dog-faced Man and his son

Miss Charlton takes a walk on the parapet of her family's house in Manchester

Miss Charlton takes a walk on the parapet of her family’s house in Manchester

A young lady somnambulist in Kidderminster is narrowly saved by clinging on to the roof

A young lady somnambulist in Kidderminster is narrowly saved by clinging on to the roof

Clara Dalrymple walks the plank between two houses. She fell, but her dress caught in a lamp-post and she was saved

Clara Dalrymple walks the plank between two houses. She fell, but her dress caught in a lamp-post and she was saved

Madame Broneau falls to her death from a roof in Belfast

Madame Broneau falls to her death from a roof in Belfast

Not gruesome enough? Here, try these:

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Shirō Ishii – Unit 731, Asian Auschwitz

WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT

Call me a creeper, but I’m more likely to take interest in stuff that scares the shit out of me. I stumbled upon Shirō Ishii just this morning. Believe me, if I had a life outside, I would never even know that such man ever existed.

Shiro-Ishii-1892-1959

As head of Japan’s infamous Unit 731 (a covert biological and chemical warfare research and development unit of the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II), Dr. Shiro Ishii (head of medicine) carried out violent human experimentation of tens of thousands during the Second Sino-Japenses War and World War II. Ishii was responsible for testing vivisection techniques without any anesthesia on human prisoners. For the uninitiated, vivisection is the act of conducting experimental surgery on living creatures (with central nervousness) and examining their insides for scientific purposes.

So basically, he was giving unnecessary surgery to prisoners by opening them all the way up, keeping them alive and not using any anesthetic.

During these experiments he would also force pregnant women to abort their babies. He also played God by subjecting his prisoners to change in physiological conditions and inducing strokes, heart attacks, frost bite, and hypothermia. Ishii considered these subjects “logs”.

Following imminent defeat in 1945, Japan blew up the Unity 731 complex and Ishii ordered all the remaining “logs” to be executed. Not soon after, Ishii was arrested. And then, the respected General Douglas McArthur allegedly struck a deal with Ishii. If the U.S. granted Ishii immunity from his crimes, he must exchange all germ warfare data based on human experimentation.

So Ishii got away with his crimes because the US became interested in the results of his research.

While not directly responsible for these acts, the actions of the American government certainly illustrated it was more than willing to condone human torture for advancements in biological warfare that could kill even more people.

Not a surprise, considering its past resume. Ishii remained alive until 1959, performing research into bio-weaponry and probably thinking up more plans to annihilate people in different, Dr. Giggles-esque ways to his dying day.

So here are some gruesome photos. Not a pretty sight but it’s worth the knowledge, if you ask me.

The first female prisoner of Unit 731 is a victim of the phosphorus burn wound experiments conducted by microbiologist Shiro Ishii

The first female prisoner of Unit 731 is a victim of the phosphorus burn wound experiments conducted by microbiologist Shiro Ishii

The second female victim developed gas gangrene of her buttocks after the test of the ceramic bomb filled with Clostridium bacterial spores

The second female victim developed gas gangrene of her buttocks after the test of the ceramic bomb filled with Clostridium bacterial spores

Russian woman prisoner at Japanese Invasion Army Unit 731. She died during the test of the ceramic bomb exposure's effect on a human body

Russian woman prisoner at Japanese Invasion Army Unit 731. She died during the test of the ceramic bomb exposure’s effect on a human body

A vivisection of the pregnant womanat the Unit 731. This pregnant young woman was infected with syphilis for to study the efficiency of the new Japanese antibiotic terramycin on the infected fetus

A vivisection of the pregnant woman at the Unit 731. This pregnant young woman was infected with syphilis to study the efficiency of the new Japanese antibiotic terramycin on the infected fetus