19 November 1888
On Saturday afternoon a communication from the Birmingham detectives to the effect that a man suspected of being concerned in the Whitechapel murders had left Birmingham by train for London was acted upon by the Scotland Yard authorities. Detectives Leach and White, of the Criminal Investigation Department, proceeded to Willesden Junction and Euston respectively, and at the latter station Inspector White, on the arrival of the Birmingham train, detained the suspected individual and conveyed him to Scotland Yard. It was stated that the man had been staying at a common lodging- house in Birmingham since Monday last, and the theory was that if, as was supposed by the police, he was connected with the East End crimes, he left London by an early train on the morning of the tragedies. The suspected man was a medical man who was some years ago practising in London with another gentleman of some repute. He was of gentlemanly appearance and manners, and somewhat resembled the description of witnesses at the inquest as having been seen in company with Kelly early on the morning that she was murdered. Upon being questioned as to his whereabouts at the time of the murders, the suspect was able to furnish a satisfactory account, and was accordingly liberated. The statement made by a man to Packer, the fruit seller of Berner-street, that he was of opinion that his cousin had committed the foul deeds, is still being investigated by the detectives, who are inclined to doubt the veracity of the greater portion of the details. They, however, believe they have found the cousin referred to, and attach little importance to what was at first supposed to be a substantial clue.
Shortly before Mr. Bushby left the bench at the close of the day's business at Worshop-street Police Court on Saturday a Swede, named Nikaner A. Benelius, 27 years of age, and described as a traveller, living in Great Eastern-street, Shoreditch, was placed in the dock charged with entering a dwelling-house in Buxton-street, Mile End, for an unlawful purpose, and with refusing to give any account of himself.
Detective Sergeant Dew attended from Commercial-street station, and stated that the prisoner had been arrested that morning under circumstances which rendered it desirable to have the fullest inquiries made as to him. Prior to the last murder (of Mary Kelly, in Miller's Court) the prisoner had been arrested by the police and detained in connection with the Berner-street murder; but was eventually released. He had, however, remained about the neighbourhood, lodging in a German lodging-house, but having, the officer said, no apparent means of subsistence.
Harriet Rowe, a married woman, living in Buxton-street, Mile End, then deposed that at about half-past ten that morning she had left the street door open, and whilst sitting in the parlour the prisoner, a stranger to her, opened the door and walked in. She asked him what he wanted, but he only "grinned" in reply. She was greatly alarmed, being alone, and ran to the window, but the prisoner then opened the parlour door and left. She followed him into the street until she saw a constable, when she gave the prisoner into custody.
The prisoner was searched at the station, but nothing found on him.
In answer to the charge, he said he only went into the house to ask his way to Fenchurch-street.
Mr. Bushby said he should follow the usual course, and remand the prisoner for inquiries.
The prisoner was remanded till Friday.