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The Daily Telegraph
MONDAY, OCTOBER 1, 1888

Page 2

MURDER IN WESTMINSTER

Shortly before eleven o'clock, on Saturday night, a man named John Brown murdered his wife Sarah by cutting her head nearly off, at the house at which they lived, No. 11, Regent-gardens, Regency-street, Westminster. The deceased was a laundress, and her husband is employed as a roadman in St. James's Park. On the 17th ult. she summoned him to the Westminster Police-court, before Mr. D'Eyncourt, for maintenance, on the ground of having been deserted for a period of six weeks. The deceased then produced a medical certificate to the effect that her husband's violent conduct and excitable temperament justified her in refusing to cohabit with him. The magistrate made no order for support, and the woman seems shortly afterwards to have very reluctantly resumed cohabitation with her husband, who was very jealous of her, and has frequently been heard to threaten her, asserting that she had been unfaithful - a statement for which there did not appear to be the slightest foundation.

On Saturday night, at ten minutes to eleven, a next-door neighbour heard the pair quarrelling in their room, which was a front apartment on the ground floor. The noise suddenly ceased, and a minute or two afterwards the man left the house hurriedly, loudly slamming the front door, and walked at once to the Rochester-row Police-station, where he told Inspector Fairey, A Division, who was on duty, that he had murdered his wife by cutting her throat. He handed the inspector a large spring-backed clasp-knife, which had marks of blood on it, as also had his clothes, and described how he had twice stabbed the woman in the neck. Detective-sergeant Waldock, of the Criminal Investigation Department, was at once despatched to investigate the matter, and found the deceased with her head nearly cut from her body in a pool of blood near the fireplace in the room. Dr. Archer, of Vincent-square, Westminster, was sent for, and he found the body still warm, but life was extinct. The doctor expressed the opinion that great force must have been employed to have cut the woman's throat in such a shocking way, for there were two distinct gashes, and the wind-pipe was severed. The two little children belonging to the deceased were crying in the passage, and were taken away by neighbours. The man Brown, who is forty-five years of age, a little older than the deceased, was subsequently formally charged with wilful murder, and he will be brought before the magistrate at the Westminster Police-court this morning.


Page 3

THE MURDERS IN THE EAST-END
TO THE EDITOR OF "THE DAILY TELEGRAPH"

SIR - As members of the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee, who communicated without result with the Home Secretary with the view of obtaining, on behalf of the public at large, the offer of a Government reward for the apprehension and conviction of the assassin or assassins in the recent East-end atrocities, we shall be glad if you will allow us to state that the Committee do not for one moment doubt the sincerity of the Home Secretary in refusing the said offer, as he apparently believes that it would not meet with a successful result. If you would, however, consider that in the case of the Phoenix Park murders the man Carey, who was surrounded by, we may say, a whole society steeped in crime, the money tempted him to betray his associates, in our opinion if Mr. Matthews could see his way clear to coincide with our views the Government offer would be successful. The reward should be ample for securing the informer from revenge, which would be a very great inducement in the matter; in addition to which such offer would convince the poor and humble residents of our East-end that the Government authorities are as much anxious to avenge the blood of these unfortunate victims as they were the assassination of Lord Cavendish and Mr. Burke. - Apologising for trespassing on your valuable space, we beg to subscribe ourselves, faithfully yours,

GEORGE LUSK
JOSEPH AARONS.

1, 2, and 3, Alderney-road, Mile-end, E.,
Sept. 29




A prominent City official, who as a matter of duty went yesterday, at an early hour, to visit the scene of the last terrible East-end murders at Whitechapel and Aldgate, writes as follows:

"The widespread horror and alarm felt at the succession of terrible tragedies which have been so ruthlessly perpetrated in Whitechapel, and the manner in which their author had succeeded in baffling detection, had not unnaturally given rise to severe comment as to the manner in which the guardians of the public peace discharged their functions. It was mainly, therefore, with a view to see that, in the present instance at least, no proper measures or precautions were neglected by the police authorities, that I proceeded to inspect for myself the scene of the murders, going to Berner-street, as well as to Mitre-court, the latter of which only is within the City limits. Dealing with the two cases in their chronological order, I found that within half an hour after the discovery of the woman's body in Berner-street, about one a.m. Sunday, an alarm had been given, medical attendance summoned, and the remains were being conveyed in an ambulance to the mortuary. A large force of police also were on the spot within ten minutes, and a little later both superintendents and detectives were busily engaged taking notes and searching in every possible direction for some traces of the murderer. The shockingly mutilated corpse of the second victim of the night's work - for there exists no doubt in the official mind but that the two unfortunate women were slain by the same hand - was found about ten minutes to two a.m., an interval of close on three-quarters of an hour after that of the first. So prompt were the City police that within a quarter of an hour the chief office at the Old Jewry had sent out a full staff of men, and five minutes later Superintendent Foster himself was on the ground, giving the necessary directions under the circumstances. Medical aid in this case also was quickly procured, but in each instance the women were beyond the help of human skill. Very quietly but firmly the police at both places at once barred all access by the general public to the immediate scene of the murders. Meanwhile rapid rough notes and sketches were made of the position of the bodies, and minute search was made for any indications of a struggle. Nearly every available officer and detective in the City force was summoned on duty as early as 2.30 a.m., and long before it was daylight the courts, streets, alleys, and low lodging-houses of the neighbourhood were being diligently watched and searched. The Metropolitan police were nearly equally vigilant; but the circumstances did not require their turning out so large a force of constables to preserve order and keep the curious crowds at a distance. Superintendents, inspectors, and detectives from Scotland-yard visited the place, and every possible care was taken to make the most searching inquiry into the case. Frequent conferences were also held with the City officials, so that both bodies could work more effectively in endeavouring to track the murderer.

"It is now thought, if not, indeed, fully conceded, that the perpetrator of the crimes is not a scientific anatomist, as had been suggested by a portion of the testimony in the case of the woman Annie Chapman, the fourth victim in this series of outrages. The police view is that he is a man armed with a keen and fearful weapon, which he wields with a strong arm, and possessed by a maniacal fury against the lower class of street walkers. No anatomist would be likely to slash and cut with the rapidity and wildness which must have been employed in hacking and mutilating the poor creature found in the corner of Mitre-square. Medical opinion is almost unanimous, too, in regarding the murderer as an unskilled person and a mere fiendish butcher. Indeed, many of the shrewdest police officers, after seeing the bodies of the victims, assert that the murderer will yet be found to be a vulgar pig-sticker, if, in fact, he is not actually some slaughterhouse workman. Whatever may be the case, it is now generally held by both the police and the doctors that the murderer is possessed of very little anatomical skill, but uses his knife with mere savage ferocity. There is even a doubt expressed whether the disappearance of the uterus from the remains of Victim No. 4 was not due more to chance and accident, owing to the rough and gouging manner in which the knife was used. It seems to me but one thing more might have been done to prevent the complete escape of the murderer. That was the establishment of a more complete cordon of police around the vicinity of the crime, and a systematised house-to-house search within an hour after the murders. Your paper, on a former occasion, threw out the suggestion that on the instant of hearing the alarm of a similar murder, a force should have drawn a practically impassable line around the area of the murders, or enclosing a space of about a square mile. It is extremely difficult successfully to carry out such a gigantic task in a crowded neighbourhood like Whitechapel, but something in that direction was attempted by the City police. A more thorough organisation of the Metropolitan police, however, will have to be undertaken before that plan could be effectually adopted. What strikes one most in connection with these crimes is not only the way, but the localities in which they are executed. Wet and dismal as Saturday night and Sunday morning were in the East-end, still quite close to the scene of both murders, there must have been many people out and in doors actually within a few feet of the murderer and his victims when the terrible tragedies occurred. Yet no cry was heard, and only in the first instance is there the slightest means of getting at his identity. Berner-street is not more than five minutes' walk from Mitre-square and Hanbury-street. It is but one hundred yards from that busy thoroughfare, Commercial-road, to the spot in Berner-street where the body was found. Scarcely six feet from the sidewalk the corpse lay at the open gateway to a yard used by cartmen and contractors. The spot is opposite the public school buildings, and Berner-street itself is a well-lit thoroughfare, thickly peopled by artisans. Shortly before the murder the victim, who wore a red rose on her breast, was seen talking to a well-dressed man by the policeman on the beat and other persons. Ten minutes later a carter returning to the yard found the unfortunate woman. Mitre-square is within a minute's walk of Aldgate Station. It is a small square off Mitre-street, which runs from Aldgate-street, and the crime was committed within fifty yards of the latter busy roadway. Access to Mitre-square is gained from three sides - Mitre-street, Duke-street, and St. James's-place - and the neighbourhood is given over to small houses and shops, chiefly inhabited by dealers in foreign fruits and nuts, grapes, peaches, cocoanuts, almonds, &c. Although the little square itself, which seems not over 70 ft. either way, is given over entirely to warehouses, all around is a teeming population usually moving about at all hours. Again no cry was raised. It has therefore come to be suspected that the murderer, having decoyed his victims, manages to slip behind them, and, passing his left arm around the face, cuts the throat so completely with one stroke that they are unable to cry out. Another opinion is that he manages to get them on the ground, and does it there so rapidly that they are utterly powerless to scream for help. Hundreds of hints and suggestions have been made, and the more feasible are being worked upon, and at last the police are not without reasonable hope that the inhuman monster will be speedily tracked to his lair. I may add that there appears to be a consensus of opinion, not only in the City police but among the best of the Metropolitan police officials, that it is high time a Government reward was offered for the detection of the murderer, and that such a step would very materially assist them and further the ends of justice in this most terrible series of modern crimes."

On Thursday last the following letter, bearing the "E.C." post-mark, and directed in red ink, was delivered to the Central News Agency:

Sept. 25, 1888.

Dear Boss - I keep on hearing the police have caught me, but they won't fix me just yet. I have laughed when they look so clever and talk about being on the right track. Great joke about Leather Apron. Gave me real fits. I am down on whores, and I shan't quit ripping them till I do get buckled. Grand work the last job was. I gave the lady no time to squeal. How can they catch me now? I love my work and want to start again. You will soon hear of me, with my funny little games. I saved some of the proper red stuff in a ginger beer bottle over the last job to write with, but it went thick, like glue, and I can't use it. Red ink is fit enough, I hope. Ha, ha! The next job I do I shall clip the lady's ears off and send to the police officers, just for jolly, wouldn't you?

Keep this letter back till I do a bit more work, then give it out straight. My knife's so nice and sharp. I want to get to work right away if I get a chance. Good luck - Yours truly,

JACK THE RIPPER.

Don't mind me giving the trade name.
Wasn't good enough to post this before I got all the red ink off my hands; curse it. No luck yet. They say I'm a doctor now. Ha, ha!

The agency says: The whole of this extraordinary epistle is written in red ink in a free, bold, clerkly hand. It was of course treated as the work of a practical joker, but it is singular to note that the latest murders have been committed within a few days of the receipt of the letter; that, apparently, in the case of his last victim the murderer made an attempt to cut off the ears; and that he actually did mutilate the face in a manner which he has never before attempted. The letter is now in the hands of the Scotland-yard authorities.





POLICE INTELLIGENCE

SOUTHWARK. - A NEW-CUT OUTRAGE. - Benjamin Quinnell, 27, was charged before Mr. Shiel for the fourth time with violently and indecently assaulting Margaret Watts. Early on the morning of Aug. 22 last the prosecutrix was passing along the Lower Marsh, Lambeth, with a companion named Davis. A man, whom both women have sworn was the prisoner, put his arm round her waist, and forced her down Grove-place. There he acted in an indecent manner, and, being resisted, he pulled out a knife and stabbed her. Her cries brought her friend Davis upon the scene, and she gave the prisoner into custody. They each gave evidence at the court at the first hearing, but at the second they were absent, and it was not until a warrant was issued that the prosecutrix was again placed in the witness-box. She then declared that she would have attended before but for the fact that the prisoner's friends had so terrified her that she was afraid to put in an appearance. - Police-constable Dovan, who took the prisoner into custody, now stated that he had tried to find Davis, but had failed. - Mr. Shiel said a warrant would be issued. The accused would be committed for trial under any circumstances, but he would remand him again to see if Davis could be found. Quinnell protested that he was not the man, and called a witness, who stated that he and the defendant left the Canterbury soon after midnight on the morning in question, and that the prisoner could not have gone down the court with the prosecutrix without witness knowing it. - Mr. Shiel: There must be another remand.


Page 4

The next portion of this issue's report from "Two more murders of the same cold-blooded character…" to "…would sooner or later commit other crimes of a like nature." is reproduced in "News from Whitechapel" page 143. Immediately following that portion the Telegraph reported:

Shortly before eleven o'clock on Saturday night a man, named John Brown, gave himself up at Rochester-row Police-station for the murder of his wife. On investigation it was found that he had cut her throat with a clasp knife, and he was detained in custody.

Two fresh murders have occurred in the East of London, the circumstances of which, as regards method, locality, and victims, would appear to link them with that ghastly series of assassinations in the same quarter which have recently horrified the Metropolis and baffled Justice. Both crimes were perpetrated within the space of one hour early yesterday morning, on spots distant by no greater interval than a walk of eight or ten minutes would traverse, the sufferers in each case seeming to have been taken from the same unfortunate class to which the women NICHOLLS and CHAPMAN belonged, and the wounds inflicted bearing a resemblance to those by which the preceding victims were immolated. At one o'clock yesterday morning the first corpse was found in a back yard of Berner-street, Commercial-road, only a few minutes removed from Hanbury-street. It was that of a female of middle age, poorly dressed, and with her bodice disarranged; the throat was deeply gashed, but no mutilation had been practised on the body. The second murdered woman was discovered about three-quarters of an hour later in Mitre-square, Aldgate, near the junction of Leadenhall and Fenchurch streets. In this latter instance death seemed to have been caused by the same deep cut across the neck which has been observed in most, if not all, of these dreadful homicides, but in addition to the fatal wound the victim in the second crime had undergone mutilation similar to that wreaked upon the miserable creature ANNIE CHAPMAN. The lower portion of the body had been opened by long incisions, and the intestines displaced, while the legs and the face were also gashed, and the nose completely severed. We mention, as briefly as possible, these shocking details, because of their obvious importance in connection with the previous outrages of almost identical character. The particulars given in another part of our columns exonerate us from dwelling here upon the perfectly awful circumstances of the later - in point of discovery - of these two crimes, which bring up to six, at least, the number of midnight assassinations perpetrated thus far with impunity in the most densely-crowded region of the Capital. It is idle to try to stem the tempest of indignation and alarm which such deeds, systematically committed, must raise in our midst. London this morning will talk and think of nothing else except these new proofs of the continued presence in our streets of some monster or monsters in human form, whose desperate wickedness goes free and undetected by force of its own terrible audacity, and by an as yet unrebuked contempt of our police and detective agencies. There is, in truth, reason enough for the public anger and even for the public panic which cannot fail to arise when the details of these latest links in the frightful catena of slaughter have become known to the community. The more hapless and abandoned the victims of such ever-repeated atrocities the more pitiable is their fate, and none the less abominable the cruelty and brutality of this nocturnal slayer, whose infamies scandalise our civilisation and bring law and order into contumely and paralysis. There must be, and there will be, a prodigious emotion caused throughout London by the terrible information which we furnish this morning, and, since no reticence can prevent this, the next best thing is to seek to give intelligent direction to popular feeling, so that the universally-awakened interest may help, and not hinder, the researches of the officers of justice.

Everywhere the first question which will be canvassed is whether all or most of this dark list of murders should be attributed to one hand or to one gang. The superficial facts point very strongly towards such a conclusion. In all or nearly all these instances we have victims of the same class selected; localities of similar general description as regards privacy and accessibility chosen for the deeds; the times for their commission are alike; the death-wounds are of identical character; there is an absence of any hope or purpose of plunder in all of them; there are evidences of a parallel line of procedure in each case; and, lastly, the shocking violation of the remains shows in two or three, at least, of the crimes an obvious skill, as well as a fixed if unexplained purpose, which seems to stamp the theory of a single murderer as probable. Even in the instances where the bodies of these poor creatures have not been subjected to mutilation, it is conceivable that this was due to an arrested, not abandoned, intention. The assassin may have been alarmed, for example, in the case of the victim discovered in Berner-street, as also in some of his preceding murders. If we entertain this view the horror grows, perhaps deeper, since we must imagine the existence of a wretch in whom cruelty and cunning are both excessive and equalised. How can such a one, however, have escaped six several times the thousand chances of identification? His garments, if he did not wear some overcoat of caoutchouc, must have been covered with blood; he must lodge somewhere, where people see him come and go; he must eat, drink, sleep near at hand to some of these very streets and alleys where he ranges like a beast of prey; he must be aware of the intense abhorrence inspired by his crimes, of the close search made for his discovery; the very air, one would think, would be full of voices denouncing him, and the glances of passers-by would seem silently to find him out. Can there really exist the human being who singly bears the hideous load of all these atrocities, and continues to perpetrate them? If this be the fact we must almost believe him some infamous monomaniac, for the view taken by the Coroner at the inquest upon ANNIE CHAPMAN cannot be maintained after the comments upon it which have been published. Yet care must be taken lest this belief that one hand alone, or one gang, has committed the six crimes, misleads the public and Justice. There is a contagion in murderous epidemics, and it is at least possible that some second or third miscreant, unconnected with the first, but having his wickedness kindled by imitativeness, may have been guilty of these later enormities. There are no details before us yet to guide to any positive opinion about them; but the very audacity of the assassinations of yesterday seems to show that the murderer, if he be one and the same in all the series, derives encouragement, rather than the reverse, from what has been done and said thus far in our Coroner's and Police courts. Be he an isolated villain or some new criminal, the slaughter of these fresh victims appears to intimate that Justice has never yet been near enough to the track so much as to frighten the perpetrator. Great caution should be taken by the police and the authorities, therefore, not to allow a prepossession like the theory of the coroner to run away with them. We are glad to know that the City police acted upon this wise heedfulness, and so guarded the scene and evidence of the murder at Mitre-court that no testimony will be lost, as formerly, by precipitancy.

And where, forsooth, is Mr. MATTHEWS all this while? What has her Majesty's Secretary of State for Home Affairs been doing about these very disquieting "home affairs"? We ourselves have heard and seen no sign of any the slightest intelligent official activity on the part of the Minister in regard of a chain of dark and bloody murders which stain the credit of the capital, fill the minds of millions with dread and horror, and bring contempt and disgrace upon our preventive and detective justice. We do not even know whether these regularly repeated assassinations of helpless fallen women have suffered to bring Mr. MATTHEWS up to town, except that the issue of a letter on the subject of offering a reward for the detection of the criminal appears to prove that our Home Secretary has at least heard of what is happening. In that letter he declined to offer any such reward, on the ground that "the money sometimes did more harm than good." But, even if it does occasionally fall into the wrong pockets, is the Home Office not going to do anything at all out of the ordinary routine? Is the Home Office waiting for numbers seven, eight, and nine of this ghastly catalogue of slayings? Is the Home Office contented to leave "to the regular methods" the search for this woman-killer, who renders the midnight streets of the Metropolis dreadful with the footfalls of Death? The inhabitants of Whitechapel, in despair and indignation at the astonishing lethargy of Mr. MATTHEWS, have, it appears, drawn up a petition to her Majesty the QUEEN, humbly praying her to revise and reverse the resolve of her Minister. They did this, not knowing of the two new horrors which have stained the streets of London. Truly, the public generally would like at last to know whether Mr. Secretary MATTHEWS still sees "nothing in the present case to justify departure from the rule." In effect, a Government reward - and a large reward - ought to be offered. Justice - personified unhappily just now in the helpless, heedless, useless figure of the Right Honourable HENRY MATTHEWS - ought at length to arouse herself, and scour the capital, obliterate the slums, search between the very bricks and mortar, in order to unearth this unspeakable villain whose deeds appal a whole kingdom. If it be of any avail, we would once more urge Mr. MATTHEWS to wake up, and do his duty. If it be of no avail - if public impatience and the periodical recurrence of assassinations find him still of opinion that "there is nothing in the present case to justify departure from the rules" - then the protest against his ineptitude will assuredly become a clamour, a demand, an insistence; and Lord SALISBURY will have to dismiss the Minister who had not good sense enough to resign.


Page 5

TWO MORE WOMEN MURDERED IN WHITECHAPEL AND ALDGATE
SAVAGE BUTCHERY AND MUTILATION
PUBLIC TERROR
PETITION TO THE QUEEN

The next portion of this issue's report from "Again this vast metropolis…" to "…her lifeless body in a manner that is all but indescribable." is reproduced in "News from Whitechapel" pages 143 - 144. Immediately following that portion the Telegraph reported:

These darksome, appalling deeds, done in the centre of a thickly-populated metropolitan district, and at a time of night when hundreds of people were still perambulating streets in the immediate vicinity of the thoroughfares in which the butchered women were found weltering in their blood, have cast a shadow of gloom and horror over this vast city. It cannot but be a deep humiliation to every Londoner who has heretofore taken a just pride in the many evidences of a high civilisation abounding in the English capital to recognise the terrible fact that murder after murder can be perpetrated in our very midst, so to speak, undetected and unpunished, braving successfully all the efforts of our huge police force to bring the guilty to justice. In the East-end, selected by the author or authors of these inhuman crimes as the scene of their operations, consternation is rapidly turning into wrath, the consequences of which may at any moment prove disastrous to any person, innocent or culpable, upon whom popular suspicion may fall. It could hardly be wondered at were people so desperately exasperated as the East-enders have reason to be by this appalling recurrence of brutal bloodshed in their district, to take the law into their own hands, having lost faith in the capacity of the Executive to exorcise the grim spectre by which they are haunted. Significant enough of the state of feeling prevailing throughout the East-end are the facts that the Vigilance Committee constituted by Whitechapel ratepayers has offered a reward for the apprehension of the murderer or murderers, and that its President, Mr. George Lusk, on Saturday evening - several hours, therefore, before the discovery of the two corpses that make up the tale of the Whitechapel assassinations to the formidable number of six - had forwarded to her Majesty the Queen a petition, "on behalf of the inhabitants of the East-end of London," imploring our gracious Sovereign to reverse the decision lately arrived at by the Home Secretary, and to direct that a Government reward, "sufficient in amount to meet the peculiar exigencies of the case, may immediately be offered." It is a momentous and unwelcome novelty in the history of the present reign that a large body of Londoners should be driven by the sheer force of calamitous circumstances to entreat their Queen to remedy the shortcomings of one of her own Cabinet Ministers, above all of the Secretary of State for the Home Department!




THE CRIME IN WHITECHAPEL.

The next portion of this issue's report from "Not yet recovered from its recent terror…" to "…She was identified by a sister living in Holborn." is reproduced in "News from Whitechapel" pages 88 - 94. Immediately following that, the next portion of this issue's report from "THE CRIME IN ALDGATE . . ." to "…the public were allowed admission" is reproduced in "News from Whitechapel" pages 144 - 153. Immediately following that portion the Telegraph reported:

REPORTED ARREST

MONDAY MORNING (2.0 a.m.)

At half-past one o'clock this morning a report was in circulation that a man, answering the published description of the Whitechapel murderer, had been arrested at a common lodging-house, known as Albert-chambers, in Gravel-lane, Union-street, Borough. The rumour included the statement that the prisoner was conducted to the nearest police-station by two constables at about twelve o'clock. Upon inquiry at the police-station, Blackman-street, Borough, this morning, we were informed that there was no foundation whatever for the report, and that no arrests had been made.

Both Scotland-yard and the City detectives are still busy making inquiries and search which they hope may throw light on the murders. There is an idea that if the criminal is not a member of a gang he must be a homicidal maniac, lurking alone in some wretched den or untenanted house, otherwise his blood-stained hands and clothing must have attracted attention. There are may such places about Whitechapel, and a search is to be made amongst them, in case such a being should be in existence. The body of the victim of the Mitre-square outrage has not yet been identified.




CITIZENS AS DETECTIVES

A Reign of Terror is setting in over the East-end of London, and people there have formed themselves into an organisation with a view of securing closer protection than the police have been able to afford. In a district where the population is so diverse and varied both in nationality and religion, this is a work of some difficulty, but the Vigilance Committee have already made good headway, and at several meetings which its members have held a great deal of information has been gathered which may be useful to the police. During the whole of yesterday almost frantic excitement prevailed. Thousands of people visited both Mitre-street and Berner-street, and journals containing details of the crimes were bought up by crowds of men and women in Whitechapel, Stepney, and Spitalfields. The Vigilance Committee, of which Mr. George Lusk is chairman, report that, among all the respectable residents in Whitechapel, the greatest indignation prevails at what they regard as the apathy of the Home Secretary in face of these appalling outrages. When, after the fourth murder, Mr. Matthews was asked to offer a reward for the apprehension of the criminal, he replied, through his secretary, that the "Secretary of State is satisfied that there is nothing in the present case to justify a departure from the rule" not to offer any reward as from the Government. The committee maintain that the nature and number of the crimes removed them from the ordinary category, and demanded more than usual consideration on the part of the Home Office. Yesterday's occurrences have confirmed them in that opinion, and intensified the feeling of discontent at the Home Secretary's inaction. To make up for it as far as possible, the committee determined to offer a reward themselves. Many of the leading residents have assisted them, and they have received promises of subscriptions amounting to about £300. In addition to this Mr. Montagu, M.P., has offered £100, and a similar sum has been forthcoming from another private source. But it is felt that these sums will not have the same effect as a reward offered on the authority of the Government, and accordingly it was suggested at the committee that as the Home Secretary declined to do anything, the Queen herself should be asked to authorise the issue of a reward. Mr. Lusk drew up the following petition, which on Saturday night - of course before the knowledge of these new atrocities - was sent to her Majesty:

"To her Most Gracious Majesty the Queen. - The humble petition of George Lusk, of Alderney-road, in the parish of Mile-end Old Town, Middlesex, a member of the Metropolitan Board of Works, vestryman of the above-named parish, and president of the Vigilance Committee formed for the purposes hereunder mentioned, your petitioner acting under the authority and on behalf of the inhabitants of the East-end of London, humbly showeth: 1. That your Majesty's Secretary of State for the Home Department has for some years past discontinued the old practice of granting a Government reward for the apprehension and conviction of those offenders against your Sovereign Majesty, your Crown and dignity, who have escaped detection for the crime of murder. 2. That in the course of the present year no less than four murders of your Majesty's subjects have taken place within a radius of half a mile from one point in the said district. 3. That, notwithstanding the constitution of the Scotland-yard Detective Office, and the efforts of the trained detectives of such office, the perpetrator or perpetrators of these outrages against your Majesty still remain undiscovered. 4. That, acting under the direction of your Majesty's liege subjects, your petitioner caused to be sent to the Secretary of State for the Home Department a suggestion that he should revert to the original system of a Government reward, looking at the fact that the present series of murders was probably the work of one hand, and that the third and fourth were certainly the work of that one hand, and that, in as much as the ordinary means of detection had failed, and that the murderer would in all probability commit other murders of a like nature, such offer of a reward at the earliest opportunity was absolutely necessary for securing your Majesty's subjects from death at the hands of the above one undetected assassin. 5. That, in reply to such suggestion, your petitioner received from the Secretary of State above named a letter of which the following is a copy, viz.: 'Sir - I am directed by the Secretary of State to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 16th inst. with reference to the question of the offer of a reward for the discovery of the perpetrators of the recent murders in Whitechapel, and I am to inform you that, had the Secretary of State considered the case a proper one for the offer of a reward, he would at once have offered one on behalf of the Government, but that the practice of offering rewards for the discovery of criminals was discontinued some years ago, because experience showed that such offers of reward tended to produce more harm than good, and the Secretary of State is satisfied that there is nothing in the present case to justify a departure from this rule. - I am, Sir, your obedient servant, G. LEIGH PEMBERTON.' 6. That the reply above quoted was submitted to the inhabitants of the East-end of London in meeting assembled, and provoked a considerable amount of hostile criticism, and such criticism was repeated throughout your Majesty's dominions, not only by the public at large but, with one or two exceptions, by the entire Press of Great Britain. Your petitioner therefore humbly prays your Majesty as follows: That you Majesty will graciously accede to the prayer of your petitioner, preferred originally through the Secretary of State for the Home Department, and direct that a Government reward, sufficient in amount to meet the peculiar exigencies of the case, may immediately be offered, your petitioner, and those loyal subjects of your Majesty whom he represents, being convinced that without such reward the murderer or murderers of the above four victims will not only remain undetected, but will sooner or later commit other crimes of a like nature. And your petitioner will ever pray, &c."

It is probable that other petitions of a similar character will be forwarded. There was a rumour in Whitechapel last night that certain information was forthcoming from citizens who have been investigating the facts surrounding the whole of the outrages, that the crimes were organised by a gang of four or five men, and that a careful watch which is being kept on persons supposed to be connected with the band may soon lead to the arrest of one or more of them. As yet, however, there is nothing beyond suspicion. In the meantime the terror and indignation of the inhabitants of the East-end are steadily increasing.


Related pages:
  Benjamin Quinnell
       Press Reports: Evening News - 15 September 1888 
  George Lusk
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       Witnesses: Emily Marsh 
  John Brown
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       Ripper Letters: Ripper Letters 
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  Vigilance Committees
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