3 October 1888
Yesterday a representative of the Central News interviewed two eminent physicians for the purpose of ascertaining whether they could throw any useful light on the East End murders.
Sir James Risdon Bennett, of Cavendish square West, in the course of a conversation with the reporter, said:
I have no desire to promulgate any theory in reference to these murders. My purpose in writing to The Times the other day was simply to demonstrate the absurdity of the theory that the crimes were being committed for the purpose of supplying an American physiologist with uteruses. I cannot believe for a moment that any compensation has been given out for the collection of uteruses. It would be extremely easy, here or in America either, for a physiologist to acquire this portion of the intestine. All he would have to do would be to apply to the public hospitals where there are always many paupers or unclaimed persons who are made the subjects of experiments, and his demands would be easily met. Supposing, for instance, that a specialist proposed to operate in the theatre of his hospital upon the uterus. He would communicate with the surgeon, who would have no difficulty in providing him with a sufficient number of specimens for all his purposes. The notion that the uteruses were washed in order that they might be sent out along with copies of a medical publication is ridiculous, not only ridiculous, indeed, but absolutely impossible of realisation. I attach no importance whatever to that. If one sane man had instructed another sane man to procure a number of specimens of the uterus, the means followed would have been very different from that which has been pursued in these cases. The murderer has run a fearful and quite unnecessary risk. The mutilations are to a great extent wanton, and would not assist him in the accomplishment of his intention. My impression is that the miscreant is a homicidal maniac. He has a specific delusion, and that delusion is erotic. Of course, we have at the moment very little evidence indeed - in fact, I may say that we have no evidence at all - as to the state of the man's mind, except as far as it is suggested by the character of the injuries which he has inflicted upon his victims. I repeat that my impression is that he is suffering under an erotic delusion but it may be that he is a religious fanatic. It is possible that he is labouring under the delusion that he has a mandate from the Almighty to purge the world of prostitutes, and, in the prosecution of his mad theory, he has determined upon a crusade against the unfortunates of London, whom he seeks to mutilate by deprivation of the uterus. There are, on the other hand, a number of theories which might be speculated upon as to the particular form that his mania takes, but inasmuch as we have no knowledge of the man himself, but only of the characteristics which surround the commission of his crimes wherewith to guide us, I have come to the conclusion that his delusion has relevance to matters of a social character. The two crimes which were perpetrated yesterday morning do not lead me to modify my opinion that the assassin is a lunatic. Even if it should transpire that in the case of the Mitre square victim the uterus is missing, I should not be disposed to favour what I may call the American theory in the slightest degree, and I must confess that it was with considerable surprise that I noticed in certain newspapers a disposition so readily to accept the theory which the Coroner who investigated the circumstances attending the murder of the woman Chapman first suggested. It is my opinion that if any person wanted a number of specimens of the uterus and was himself a man possessed of surgical skill he would himself undertake to acquire them rather than employ an agent. No love of gain could possibly induce a sane man to commit such atrocities as these, and, besides this, there is the circumstance remaining as I have previously said, that they might all be secured at the Medical Institutes either of England or America - that is to say, if they were needed for legitimate purposes - practically without any consideration at all. It has been said, and it is a very natural observation, that if the murderer were a lunatic he could not commit these crimes and escape with impunity. That is a comment which any person not fully acquainted with the peculiarities of lunatic subjects might very well make. In my view, however, the extraordinary cunning which is evinced by the homicide is a convincing proof of his insanity. No sane man could have escaped in just the same fashion as this man seems to have done. He must almost necessarily have betrayed himself. It is a matter of common knowledge, however, amongst "mad doctors" that lunatics display a wonderful intelligence, if it may be called so, in their criminal operations, and I have little doubt that if the murderer were other than a madman he would ere this have been captured by the police. In many instances a madman's delusion is directed to only one subject, and he is mad upon that subject alone. I doubt, however, that the murderer of these women is other than a man suffering from acute mania, and, that being so, his infirmity would be obvious to almost every person with whom he came into contact; that is to say, if he were in the presence of either of us we should probably say, "Oh, he's a madman." There are many instances in which the common test is for the doctor to enter into conversation with the suspect, to touch upon a variety of topics, and then as if by accident to mention the matters in regard to which the patient has a special delusion, Then, the person's madness is manifested, although upon every other point he converses rationally. But here the disease is mental, and I should say that the persons with whom he comes into daily contact cannot regard him as a sane person. Dr. Phillip (sic) has stated that the injuries inflicted upon these women have been apparently performed by a person possessing some anatomical knowledge. That is likely enough, but would not a butcher be quite capable of treating the body in this way? Since I wrote my letter to the Times I have received several communications in support of my view. One of these comes from the Bishop of Hertford, who agrees me that the theory of the American physiologist has no claims to credit. I wish to have it understood that my only desire is to remove from the public mind the false impression that has been made by the suggestion that a member of the medical profession is more or less responsible for these murders. I have never believed in that theory, and these two last murders confirm me in the opinion that they are the work of a man suffering from acute mania, to whom the ordinary rules of manner and procedure do not apply.
"A MONOMANIAC WITH A LUST FOR BLOOD"
Dr. Forbes Winslow, the eminent specialist in lunacy cases, said to the representative of the Central News:-
I am more certain than ever that these murders are committed by a homicidal maniac, and there is no moral doubt in my mind that the assassin in each case is the same man. I have carefully read the reports in the morning papers, and they confirm me in the opinion that I had previously formed, while I am clearly of opinion that the murderer is a homicidal lunatic. I also believe him to be a monomaniac; and I see no reason why he should not - excepting at the periods when the fit is upon him - exhibit a cool and rational exterior. I have here in my book - a work on physiology - a case, in which a man had a lust for blood as in this case; and he was generally a person of bland and pleasant exterior. In all probability the whole of the murders have been committed by the same hand, but I may point out that the imitative faculty is very strong in persons of unsound mind, and that is the reason why there has been a sort of epidemic of knives. We shall probably find that a good many knives will be displayed to people within the next few weeks. Still, all the evidence that is forthcoming up to the present moment show clearly enough that the Whitechapel crimes have been perpetrated by the same hand. My idea is that, under the circumstances, the police ought to employ for the protection of the neighbourhood, and with a view of detecting the criminal, a number of officers who have been in the habit of guarding lunatics - that is to say, warders from asylums, and other persons who had charge of the insane. These men, if properly disposed in the neighbourhood, would assuredly note any person of unsound mind. I have sent a letter embodying this suggestion to Sir Charles warren, but I have received only a formal communication acknowledging its receipt. It is not easy to prevail upon the police to accept a suggestion from outside sources. This discovered the other day when a man, in imitation of the Whitechapel murderer, drew a knife and sharpened it in the presence of a relative of mine at Brighton in circumstances which have been published in the newspapers. When I made a statement to the police on that occasion they thought very little of it indeed. I attach not the least importance to the American physiologist story. It is a theory which is utterly untenable, and I should think there were very few medical men who ever entertained it seriously. All that has recently happened appears to me to be strong confirmation of the views which I have previously given upon this subject - that the murderer is a homicidal monomaniac of infinite cunning, and I fear he will not be brought to justice unless he be caught while engaged in the commission of one of his awful crimes.
Yesterday afternoon Mr. Wynne Baxter opened the inquest on the body of the woman Elizabeth Stride. The first witness was William West, of 2 William street. He said he was at the International Working Men's Club on Sunday night. He gave a description of the premises, and stated that the wooden gates were not closed until late at night. As a rule witness worked at the printing office during the evening, and went into the Club afterwards where he remained until twenty minutes past twelve. He then went into the yard, and noticed that the gates were open. He did not notice any body lying there but it might have been there without his observing it. There was no lamp in the yard. He then went into the club again, and called his brother and Louis Selso, and they left together by the front door. On only one occasion, about twelve months ago, had he noticed a man and woman in the yard, and they walked away when he went towards them.
Maurice Eagle, of 4 New road, Commercial road, stated that he left the club about 11.30 and returned about 12.40. He went in through the yard as the front door was closed, but did not notice anything in the yard. He was certain he should have noticed a man and woman if they had been there. He was in the habit of going through the yard occasionally but had never seen any men and women there. He remained in the club about twenty minutes. A man named Gigleman came upstairs and said there was a dead woman lying in the yard. He went down and struck a match, and saw a woman lying in a pool of blood on the ground near the gateway. He did not touch the body and went down towards Commercial road for the police. He found two constables and informed them of the murder, and they returned with him to the yard, where a number of people had assembled. One of the policemen sent him to the station for the inspector. he could not say if the woman's clothes were disturbed. He thought the people in the Club would have heard a cry of murder.
Lewis Diemschitz, steward of the International Working Men's Educational Club, was the next witness. He stated that he left the Club about half past eleven on Saturday morning, and returned exactly at one o'clock on Sunday morning. He had a costermonger's barrow and pony, and drove into the yard. Both gates were wide open. It was very dark. His pony shied, and he looked down to the ground and saw something lying there, but he could not see what it was. He jumped down and struck a match, but the night being windy he could only see it was some person lying there. He went into the Club and in the front room he found several members, and told them a woman was lying in the yard. He got a candle, and went out at once and discovered a quantity of blood around the body. He did not touch the body, but at once went for the police. He passed several streets without seeing a policeman and returned without one. A man named Isaacs was with him, and they were both shouting for the police. Another man returned with them into the yard, and took hold of the woman's head. Witness then first saw a wound in the throat. The doctor arrived about ten minutes after the constables. The police searched everywhere, and searched and took the names and addresses of those present. The deceased's clothes were in order. She was lying on her side and with her face towards the wall. The doctor put his hand on her bosom and said she was still quite warm. Witness estimated that about two quarts of blood were round the body. he had never seen men and women in the yard.
The inquiry was then adjourned until the afternoon.
A REWARD OF £500
Mr. Phillips, member of the Common Council of London, gave notice of his intention to move at the next Council meeting that the Corporation offer a reward of £500 for the detection of the murderer of the woman found in Mitre square, which is within the City precincts. This has, however, been anticipated by the Lord mayor, who has, on behalf of the Corporation, issued an offer of £500 reward for the apprehension of the criminal.
The feeling of indignation against the Home Secretary for not offering a reward has immensely increased since the discovery of the last two murders. The following practical letter has been forwarded to the Home Office:-
The Financial News
London, October 1st, 1888.
In view of your refusal to offer a reward out of the Government funds for the discovery of the perpetrator or perpetrators of the recent murders in the East End of London, I am instructed on behalf of several readers of the Financial News, whose names and addresses I enclose, to forward you the accompanying cheque for £500, and to request you to offer that sum for this purpose in the name of the Government.
Awaiting the favour of your reply,
I have the honour to be
Your obedient servant
Harry H. Marks
To the Right Hon. Henry Matthews, Q.C., M.P.
To this the following reply was received:-
October 1st 1888.
My Dear Sir,
I am directed by Mr. Matthews to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of this date, containing a cheque for £500, which you say has been contributed on behalf of several readers of the Financial News, and which you are desirous should be offered as a reward for the discovery of the recent murders in the East End of London. If Mr. Matthews had been of opinion that the offer of a reward in these cases would have been attended by useful result he would himself have at once made such an offer; but he is not of that opinion. Under these circumstances I am directed to return you the cheque, which I enclose, and to thank you and the gentlemen whose names you have forwarded for the liberality of their offer, which Mr. Matthews much regrets he is unable to accept.
I am, sir, your very obedient servant,
E. Leigh Pemberton.
Harry H. Marks Esq.
Colonel Sir Alfred Kirby, J.P., the officer commanding the Tower Hamlets Battalion, Royal Engineers, has offered, on behalf of his officers, a reward of £100 to be paid to anyone who may give information that will lead to the discovery and conviction of the perpetrator or perpetrators of the recent murders committed in the district in which his regiment is situated. Sir Alfred Kirby has also expressed his willingness to place the services of fifty members of his corps at the disposal of the authorities to be used in any way they may consider desirable at this juncture, either for the protection of the public or the detection of the criminals.
A meeting of the Whitechapel District Board of Works was held last evening. Mr. Catmur said he thought the Board, as the local authority, should express their horror and abhorrence of the crimes which had been perpetrated in the district. The result of these tragedies had been loss of trade to the district and the stoppage of certain trades by reason of the women being afraid to pass through the streets without an escort. The inefficiency of the police was shown by the fact that but an hour or two later than the tragedies in Berner street and Mitre square the post office in the vicinity had been broken into and much property stolen. The Rev. Daniel Greatorex said the emigrants' houses of call were feeling the panic to such an extent that emigrants refused to locate themselves in Whitechapel even temporarily. He asserted the inefficiency of the police in the frequent changes of the police from one district to another, whereby the men were kept ignorant of their beats. Mr. Teller said he hoped that these recent crimes might result in a reversion to the old system by which constables were acquainted with every corner of their beats. Mr. G.T. Brown suggested that the Government should be communicated with rather than the Home Secretary or the Chief Commissioner of Police, who were themselves really on their trial. Mr. Caramanelli(?) said the changes in the condition of Whitechapel in recent years would suggest an entire reversion of the police arrangements. Whitechapel was now a place for the residuum of the whole country and the Continent, but it was not so a century ago. After further discussion the following resolution was carried, on the motion of Mr. Catmur, seconded by Mr. Bonham:-
"That this Board regrets with horror and alarm the several atrocious murders recently perpetrated within the district of Whitechapel and its vicinity; and calls upon Sir Charles Warren so to locate and strengthen the police force in the neighbourhood as to guard against any repetition of such atrocities; and that the Home Secretary be addressed in the same terms."
ARE THE WHITECHAPEL MURDERS BY THE SAME HAND?
A few months ago a series of remarkable brutal murders of women occurred in Texas. The matter caused an amount of local excitement, but aroused less interest than would otherwise have been the case because the victims were chiefly Negro women. The crimes were characterised by the same brutal methods as those of the Whitechapel murders. The theory has been suggested that the perpetrator of the latter may be the Texas criminal, who was never discovered. The Atlanta Constitution, a leading Southern newspaper, thus puts the argument:-
"In our recent annals of crime there has been no other man capable of committing such deeds. The mysterious crimes in Texas have ceased. They have just commenced in London. Is the man from Texas at the bottom of them all? If he is the monster or lunatic, he may be expected to appear anywhere. The fact that he no longer at work in Texas argues his presence elsewhere. His peculiar line of work was executed in precisely the same manner as now in London. Why would he not be there? The more one thinks of it the more irresistible becomes the conviction that it is the man from Texas. In these days of steam and cheap travelling, distance is comparatively nothing. The man who would kill a dozen women in Texas would not mind the inconvenience of a trip across the water, and once there he would not have any scruples about killing more women. The superintendent of the New York police admits the possibility of this theory being correct, but he does not, however, think it probable. "There is," he says, "the same brutality and mutilation, the same suspicion that the criminal is a monster or lunatic who has declared war literally to the knife against all womankind; but I hardly believe it is the same individual."
Here is what Carlyle wrote on the condition of London forty years ago:
"Thirty thousand wretched women, sunk in that putrefying well of abominations; they have oozed in upon London from the universal Stygian quagmire of British industrial life; are accumulated in the well of the concern, to that extent. British charity is smitten to the heart at the laying bare of such a scene; passionately undertakes, by enormous subscription of money, or by other enormous effort, to redress that individual horror; as I and all men hope it may. But, alas! what next? This general well and cesspool once baled clean out today will begin before night to fill itself anew. The universal Stygian quagmire is still there; opulent in women ready to be ruined, and in men ready. Towards the same sad cesspool will these waste currents of human ruin ooze and gravitate as heretofore; except in draining the universal quagmire itself there is no remedy."
Only that the evil has become vastly larger in extent, and in some respects viler in character, these words are as correctly descriptive of London today as they were in 1850, the time they were written. What Carlyle terms the "universal quagmire," and which in plainer prose is the general character and tendency of English life, must undergo real change before we can be free from these pestilential social deposits. And is it not because this is not being accomplished that all the philanthropic work of self denying men and women toiling with most praiseworthy and beautiful endeavour to "bale out the cesspool" fails in its purpose? The little bit of vacuum left when some have been rescued is speedily filled, and the weltering mass continues to enlarge. Unless we had a very good case against him, it would ridiculous on such a subject to contradict a reformer so experienced, so kindly disposed, and as able as "S.G.O." But when he speaks of what he calls "this human sewage" as the result mainly of bad physical surroundings to be found in the low parts of our towns and cities he forgets that the physical conditions are to a great extent created by the persons who go there; that the surroundings and the people are mutually suitable; and that if not the question still is - What causes so much degraded humanity to "ooze" into or settle down in the midst of such loathsome surroundings? While these causes remain in full force in myriads of little poisonous springs in the invisible region of thought and feeling and habit engendered by our mode of living the evil, we repeat, must continue. "Is Philip dead?" asked the Athenians. "If Philip were dead," replied Demosthenes, "your conduct would soon produce another." many changes are unquestionably necessary in the lodging houses and streets; but if these changes were made tomorrow, and nothing else done in purifying and elevating our general life, the changes would all be in vain.
That this would be the case ought to be clear enough from the fact that what is peculiar in the licentiousness of a Whitechapel neighbourhood is not its wickedness, but its poverty and misery. It is lust plus want. If there were no such thing as lust plus riches one might suppose that healthy, well furnished houses, with "regular meals" would alone suffice to renovate society and ennoble character. But with our knowledge of the Divorce Court is it possible to deny that there is as much vice in the purlieus of Belgravia as in the alleys of Whitechapel or in Bethnal Green? The fashionable square may require the apostle of social purity quite as much as the veriest slum; but in the fashionable square vice is seen "leaning back on a brilliant sofa, supported by many cushions, and great personages with blue ribbons hang on her animated and inspiring accents." What shocks us in her sister at the East End is not the wickedness, but the accessories of want, misery, and coarse vulgarity. But the moral and social leprosy is the same in the Marquis of Steyne in Gaunt House as it is in any "Leather Apron" in an East End eightpenny lodging house. The differences are simply accidental and local, while there is absolute sameness in the disease. Why, then, should it be thought that cleaner streets and better ventilated dwellings would be like a miraculous dip in Jordan to poor "Leather Apron" when they have not produced the slightest improvement in the Marquis of Steyne? Be it understood that we would improve all physical surroundings to every possible degree. But the truth is that while our mode of life fosters what is low and hard animalism will come out in all classes. With the rich it will be concealed or draped, and so adorned that it will not make us turn away in loathsome pity; with the outcast and the poor it will associate itself with every form of misery and repulsive horror. And the cure for it in both types is such a change of sentiment, such an awakening of conscience as will cause men to place before them higher and purer ideals.
THE POLICE STILL AT FAULT
EXTRAORDINARY AFFAIR IN A CHURCH
The Whitechapel authorities are still matters of speculation, nothing leading to the discovery of the perpetrator or perpetrators having been discovered yesterday. The police are still busy with suggested clues, but so far without success; and the resumed inquest on Elizabeth Stride yesterday revealed very little. The name of the Mitre square victim is supposed to be Kelly. A parcel was found yesterday at the works for the erection of the new police headquarters which contained the dismembered trunk of a woman. This is believed to have some connection with what is known as the Pimlico mystery. Full particulars will be found in another column.
Great consternation has been caused locally by a report that "Jack the Ripper" has sent a post card to Barrett's confectionery factory at Wood green saying that he should visit the neighbourhood and "do for six of the girls employed at the factory." It is further said that a man answering the published description of the supposed murderer has been seen in Wood green. People speak of their intentions to carry arms to be prepared for a sudden attack.
Telegraphing this afternoon, our correspondent said:-
The woman murdered in Mitre square has been fully identified as Kate Conway, the wife of an artilleryman named Tom Conway. She had been living in a common lodging house with John Kelly, a man who did odd jobs in Spitalfields Market. Kelly stated that last week they were both unable to earn any money. On Saturday morning the deceased Kelly's boots, and with the proceeds bought a breakfast for him. That was their last meal together, as she than said she would go to her daughter's in Bermondsey. He begged her to be back early, as he did not want the knife of the Whitechapel murderer to get at her. She told him not to fear, and said, "I will take care of myself, and shall not fall into his hands." Then she went away, and Kelly saw her no more. He did not trouble about her not returning, as he thought she might be staying with her daughter, and it was only when he read about the pawn tickets being found and the letters &c. tattooed on her arms, that he knew who the murdered woman was.
THE LOOSE WOMEN ARMING THEMSELVES
There was nothing unusual about the appearance of the streets in Whitechapel and the adjoining districts last night, unless it were that there were fewer women parading the footways after a late hour. In the evening from eight o'clock onward there was the usual busy current of foot passengers, some returning from work, others promenading for pleasure. In the close of the evening the rumour spread rapidly that another terrible murder had been committed, the body, too, being horribly mutilated. This caused the liveliest excitement, everyone asking everyone else "Where was it?" The arrival of the evening papers, however, had the effect of subduing the alarm, for on finding that - to use the common pronunciation of the pavement - the tragedy was "down Westminster way," the sting was taken out of the news, and when it was further learnt that there was really nothing to indicate that the Westminster affair was the work of the East End fiend, the matter hardly obtained any further attention. An enterprising show proprietor in the Mile End road displayed a highly coloured and sensational picture of a murderous tragedy, which was introduced to the public as "the murder in Berners street." This attracted the attention of vast crowds, many of whom evidently placed implicit reliance upon the accuracy of the representation. As the evening wore on and closing time for the "houses" came the streets were more and more deserted by the "ladies of the pavement," most of them withdrawing earlier than usual. One of those who stayed on till the small hours of the morning was asked "Aren't you afraid to be out at this time of morning?" She replied, "No." She said the murders were "shocking, but we have no place to go to, so we're compelled to be out looking for our lodgings." Another woman, in reply to a similar question, said, "Afraid? No, I'm armed, Look 'ere," and she drew a knife from her pocket. She further declared, "I'm not the only one armed; there's plenty more carry knives now." The coffee stall keepers are grumbling that their trade has been much injured by the terror in the district, for although the condition of the thoroughfares is as usual up to "closing time," there is a great diminution in the numbers of their customers after midnight; indeed some of them say that the trade they get is not worth coming out for. There is no lack of constables in the streets; they are to be met everywhere. Detectives parade the alleys and courts in twos and threes, and it is impossible to be many minutes out of their sight or hearing. Shortly after four o'clock this morning a man came up to a coffee stall in Commercial street and as he drank a cup of coffee it was noticed that his hand was covered with blood. A constable was called and examined the man, but the cause of the blood stain being obvious he was not detained in custody. The sight of blood upon any person or thing in the district just now is as the proverbial red rag to a bull. Upon enquiry at seven o'clock this morning at Leman street Police Station the officer on duty stated that no arrests had been made during the night.
The cartoon in Punch last week, called the "Nemesis of neglect," carried to a climax the mingled feeling of shame and dread at the condition of social degradation which the Whitechapel murders brought so shockingly to light. The sensation has been revived and intensified by the murders of Saturday night last, and by the revelations made again this morning. We may fairly take some credit to ourselves upon being the first to point out that the most alarming fact in connection with these horrors was the revelation they afforded of the life and habits of no inconsiderable portion of the population of our towns. Some time after "S.G.O.'s" letter in The Times caused, probably, all the journals in the country to follow in the same strain. Since than much has been written upon the revolting state of morals and of existence generally which is to be met with in such localities as Whitechapel and in similar places elsewhere. But when a remedy is proposed it seems to us that in most cases the conditions of the problem are not understood. Something so comparatively easy to deal with as overcrowding, with the certainty of its impairing the bodily health and its morally debasing associations, must both directly and indirectly demoralise and degrade. But what is the cause of the overcrowding? When the right answer to this question has been given it will probably be found that overcrowding is only the last link in a chain of causes to which the vice and misery can be traced. of course, cleaner and better lighted streets, better ventilated and healthier dwellings, better conducted lodging houses would all exert an influence in the right direction. At all events, a few more gas lights in the lanes and alleys, with a more efficient police, would enable us better to detect criminals, and would deter would be criminals from their fiendish work. But if all this were done - and it certainly ought to be done - the real cause of this festering sore of our Christianised civilisation would not be reached. What gives shape to society are the aims and purposes kept in view and regarded allowable and righteous by the community considered as a whole. If these aims and purposes in any way tend to stimulate passion and to deaden conscience, to vulgarise the taste and imbrute the feeling, to overrate the value of material prosperity and to depreciate calming, refining, spiritualising agencies; if our habits and pursuits lower man's spiritual nature; if the conditions of what is called a successful life be made increasingly secure to the great multitude; if circumstances present increasing temptations of vice to characters increasingly disinclined to resist them; if these things be there will be sure to be produced for many myriads of unfortunate human creatures the Whitechapel life. And when it is forced upon our view, as it has been by these startling horrors, we shall show ourselves very simple minded if we suppose that a little tinkering in the shape of lodging house improvements, with the mere outside of the evil will put an end to it for evermore.
At the Guildhall Police Court, London, today Wm. Bull, describing himself as a medical student, of the London Hospital, was charged on his own confession with committing the Mitre square murder. He went to Bishopsgate Police Station last evening and made a statement to Inspector Izzard while under the influence of drink. He said he met the woman in Aldgate; went up a narrow passage with her, giving her half a crown, which another man came up and took from her. The rest of the prisoner's story was not clear, and as he was proved not to be a student at the London Hospital, he was remanded for enquiries.
A description has been issued by the police of a man said to have been seen on Saturday night in the company of Elizabeth Stride, the victim of the Berners street murder. He was about 28 years of age, dark complexioned, and wore dark clothes and a stained felt hat.
The Rev. J.M.S. Brooke, writing from the vestry of St. Mary Woolnoth and St. Mary Woolchurch Haw, Lombard street, said:-
Paying my daily visit to my church on Monday afternoon, I was surprised to find the caretaker in a semi stupefied state. Asking her what was the matter, she told me that a man had just entered the church and, finding her all alone, enquired whether I was in the vestry. On receiving a reply in the negative, he said, "I see you are alone," and immediately took out a pocket handkerchief and dashed it into her face. The strong smell of whatever liquid it had been steeped in dazed and stupefied her, and she for a moment lost her consciousness. The noise of some of the workmen on the roof seemed to have alarmed the scoundrel, and he bolted out of the church.
The authorities have not yet decided whether they will photograph the letter and post card received by the Central News, and publish copies with a view to discover the writer, who, it will be remembered, professes to be the murderer. It is somewhat curious that a man, who lives at the house, 29 Hanbury street, where Annie Chapman was found murdered, received yesterday morning a copy of Monday's Liverpool Daily Post with the letter and post card referred to marked in blue pencil. The newspaper was wrapped in an ordinary stamped cover, and was addressed to "Jack the Ripper, Hanbury street, London, E.C." The paper was posted in Liverpool on October 1st, and the postmark is numbered 466. On the reverse side of the wrapper was written, "Dear Jack, I send you this paper, and hope you will come to Liverpool as I am an associate of yours. K.T. Please reply to 39 Pitt street." The paper was immediately handed over to the police, with whom it remains.
STRANGE PRESENTIMENT OF THE TRAGEDY
Mr. Wynne Baxter yesterday afternoon resumed the inquest on the body of Elizabeth Stride, who was found murdered in Berners street, Whitechapel, on Sunday morning last. The proceedings did not commence until 2.25, all the jury not being present at two o'clock, the time fixed. The first witness was Police constable Hy. lamb, 252H, who said about one o'clock on Sunday morning last he was on duty in Commercial road, when two men came to him. They were shouting, "Come on! there's been another murder!" As they got to the corner of Berners street they pointed down it, and he ran down Berners street, followed by another constable. He went into the gateway of 40 Berners street, and saw something lying on the right hand side, close to the gate. He turned his light on, and found it was a woman with her throat cut. He sent the other constable for doctor, and a man to the Police Station for the Inspector. There were about thirty people in the yard when he arrived. He put his hand on the face, which was warm. The woman was lying on her left side, with her right arm across the breast. The clothes were not disturbed. Some of the blood was liquid, and some congealed. Dr. Blackwell arrived about ten minutes after, and examined the body.
Edward Spooner, Fairclough street, horse keeper, said that about 12.30 on Sunday morning he was standing outside the Beehive public (house), at the corner of Christian street, when an alarm was given. He went into the yard at Berners street; a man struck a light; and witness lifted up the woman's chin, which was quite warm. Blood was coming from her throat. He could not say if anyone left the yard. He thought it was about 12.35 when he arrived at the yard. Witness was searched and gave his name and address before he left the place.
Mary Malcolm, Eagle street, stated that she had seen the body in the mortuary and recognised it as her sister, Elizabeth Watts. She was satisfied it was her sister. She last saw her alive on Thursday last. She came to witness to ask assistance. Witness gave her a shilling and a jacket. She did not know where the deceased lived, but thought it was somewhere in the East End. Deceased was given to drink. Her age was 38. Her husband was alive, and his father was a wine and spirit merchant at Poplar. He went to sea and was wrecked at the Isle of St. Paul, about three years ago. Since then witness did not think the deceased had lived with anyone. Witness never visited the deceased, whose nickname was "Long Liz." Witness had never heard the name of Stride before. The deceased used to come to witness every Saturday for two shillings which she allowed her. Deceased did not come last Saturday. She used to meet witness at the corner of Chancery lane. Witness did not recognise the deceased at first, but did so afterwards. Witness had a presentiment that the deceased had come to harm on Sunday morning. At 1.20 she was in bed, when she woke up and heard a noise like a fall, and also the sound as of kisses. Her husband also heard the noise. She was much depressed, and when she saw the papers she went to the mortuary. She left her husband about eight years ago. She had two children, a boy and a girl. Her husband left her because he caught her with a porter, and sent her home to her mother, who died five years ago. Witness believed the deceased had been charged with drunkenness and let off on the ground of having epileptic fits. Witness knew deceased by a mark made by an adder's bite when they were children. Did not think deceased had ever broken any limb. Witness had a brother and sister, but they had not seen deceased for years. Deceased had hollow under one of her feet, caused by an accident about three years ago. Witness could not recognise any clothing worn by deceased. Deceased once left a naked baby outside her door. She believed deceased afterwards took it to bath, where it died. The Coroner advised witness to go to the usual meeting place on Saturday next, as there was some doubt as to deceased being her sister. Witness promised to do this.
Dr. Blackwell, 100 Commercial road, said he was called on Sunday morning at 1.10 to Berners street. He detailed the injuries to the body, and stated that post mortem evidence would be given later. The inquest was adjourned until today.
OPINION OF AN EXPERT
Professor J. Wortley Axe, principal of the Royal Veterinary College, London, has favoured a representative of the Central news with his views upon the employment of bloodhounds in the detection of murderers. Professor Axe stated that no doubt a leash of bloodhounds might be a useful police auxiliary, but its successful employment would depend upon the efficient training of the dogs and the promptitude with which they were put upon the track. All dogs had a natural instinct for blood odours, but this instinct required development by training; and in the case of the bloodhound it was necessary to make it an expert at the business. The dog must, in the first place, be familiarised with the odour of blood. The incriminating element of the murder, so far as the dog was concerned, would, of course, be the blood carried in the clothes or upon the boots of the murderer. It was, in fact, a condition precedent of the hunt that some of the blood of the victim should be upon the person of the fugitive. In the country, where the ground and atmosphere might remain undisturbed for a longer period, this system of pursuit would work fairly well; but, said Professor Axe, when you come to deal with the streets of large towns, the ground surface of which must necessarily be impregnated with a number of odours, I apprehend that this fact would materially operate against your success in tracing the murderer with bloodhounds. The pavements of our own city, for instance, may possibly be stained with the blood of carcasses such as sheep in transit, as well, indeed, as with human blood, the result of natural deposit. This would tend to confuse the scent which you desired to follow up, unless it were very fresh and strong. Again, the air in large towns is always shifting, or may have been shifted by the ordinary traffic of the street; so that the odour left by the fugitive would not be suffered to abide long without obliteration. Hence it comes to this, that if you resort to bloodhounds for the tracking of blood stained fugitives your dogs must be perfectly trained, must be experts at the business, and the condition of the ground must be favourable to the retention of the odour forming the clue. In large towns the last condition presents a serious difficulty.
ANOTHER WOMAN MURDERED
THE BODY HACKED TO PIECES
A HORRIBLE DISCOVERY
NO CLUE TO THE MURDERER
Yet another London horror has come to light to intensify the panic which the recent abominable crimes have caused throughout London. The discovery was made about five o'clock yesterday afternoon by a man in the employ of the builder who has secured the contract for the erection of the new police headquarters on the Thames Embankment, near the Houses of Parliament. The man had occasion to go into a vaulted cellar when he was startled by the horrible stench which filled the place and which caused him to look around to see whence it came. To his horror he saw a large mass of decomposed flesh which proved to be the headless, armless, legless trunk of a female. The workman rushed into the open and called loudly for assistance and then hurried for a policeman who arrived almost immediately. Word was at once sent to Scotland Yard, and Dr. Bond, divisional surgeon, and several other leading doctors were quickly on the spot. The remains were conveyed in an ambulance to the Millbank street Mortuary, Westminster, where Dr. Bond made a cursory examination of the remains. He found that cords had been tightly bound round the body, apparently with the idea of keeping it together when decomposition had fully set in. The trunk was wrapped in a coarse kind of cloth, which has, of course, been carefully preserved and which may prove to be of the greatest importance in the matter of solving the mystery of this, the latest and perhaps not the least horrible of the crimes of the metropolis. An extraordinary fact is that the lower portion of the trunk from the ribs has been removed. It is pronounced by the medical gentleman to have belonged to a remarkable fine young woman and that at once gives good grounds for the theory that it is the body of which the arm was found in the Thames. Upon Dr. Neville(?) having the arm submitted to him for inspection he pronounced it to have belonged to a woman apparently from 25 to 33 years of age.
The site of the new police offices extends from the Embankment right through to Cannon Row, Westminster, and the trunk of the murdered woman must have been carried either from the Embankment or from Cannon Row. It certainly could not have been thrown over to where it lay from either roadway. The general appearance, indeed, indicated rather that it had been carefully placed where it was subsequently found. It is simply astonishing that any man could have carried such an offensive burden through the public street without attracting attention, and it is still more extraordinary how it could have been taken into the vault without discovery. The route from Cannon row to the vault is a difficult one. A hoarding some seven or eight feet high would have to be climbed, and the ground is of a very broken character. From the Embankment side the hoarding is about the same height and to reach the vault one must actually pass through the building in course of construction and round it, about which several policemen are constantly patrolling. It is more reasonable to assume that the vault was gained from Cannon row and so that it seems pretty certain that more than one person was concerned in the disposal of the ghastly parcel. One man probably climbed to the top of the hoarding with the assistance of his accomplice from whom he then received the parcel, dropped it on the inner side and then let himself down after it. The other man presumably kept watch while his confederate disposed of the remains. How the man could have known of the existence of the vault is not clear, for strangers are not admitted to the works except on business. Possibly the original intention was to place the remains in some out of the way corner in the works and they were only taken to the vault after the obviously desirable place of concealment had been accidentally discovered.
The conclusion has been arrived at by the medical men that the remains are those of the woman whose arms have recently been discovered in different parts of the metropolis. Dr. Nevill, who examined the arm of a female found a few weeks ago in the Thames, said on that occasion that he did not think that it had been skilfully taken from the body and this fact would appear to favour the theory that the arm, together with the one found in the grounds of the Blind asylum in the Lambeth road last week, belong to the trunk discovered yesterday, for it is stated that the limbs appear to have been taken from the body just found in anything but a skilful manner.
No information has been received by the police that would assist them in establishing the identity of the young woman, and this is generally believed that she must have been a member of the unfortunate class known as fallen females.
A man employed upon the works, who was one of the first to see the remains, made the following statement to a representative of the Press Association:-
"I went down into one of the cellars, which is about 20 feet by 19 feet in size to look round, when I saw parcel lying in a corner as though it had been thrown there carelessly. I may say that the cellar is really a part of the half finished basement of what are to be the new police offices. The parcel was a paper one, which could easily be carried under the arm. When the parcel was opened I saw that it contained the trunk of a woman wrapped up in a coarse cloth. In cutting off the legs a portion of the abdomen had been cut away. The head and arms were also cut off close to the trunk. The police have digging up rubbish and in any place where it seems likely any more remains could be hidden, but I don't think they have found anything more. The contents of the parcel were very much decomposed and looked as if they had been in the place where they were found for three weeks or a month. My opinion is that the person putting the parcel where it was found must have got over the hoarding in Cannon row, and then thrown the bundle down."
Another workman, who has a thorough knowledge of the facts connected with the finding of the ghastly remains, has made the following statement:-
"As one of our carpenters was putting away his tools at about five o'clock last (Monday) night in one of the vaults which are to form the foundation of the main building of the new offices, he saw what seemed to be a heap of paper. As it is very dark in that particular spot even during the day, the matter somehow did not appear to strike him as curious or out of the way. He consequently mentioned the matter to no one, and having left his tools, came away and went home thinking no more about the mysterious parcel. This (Tuesday) morning, when he went to fetch his tools, he became aware of a very peculiar smell proceeding from the dark corner, but at the time made no attempt to ascertain the cause. Later in the day he mentioned the circumstance to one or two of his fellow workmen. They at once told the foreman, and the foreman, accompanied by some of the men, proceeded to the spot. One of the labourers was called to shift the parcel. It was then opened, and the onlookers were horrified to find that it contained a human body. The legs, arms, and head were missing, and the body presented a sickening spectacle. It had evidently been dead for some time, as decomposition was far advanced. We sent for the police. Almost immediately after that Dr. Bond, of the Middlesex Hospital, came and saw the body. He found that it was very brown, and I believe he said it was the body from which the arms found in the Thames a few days ago had been cut. The body was wrapped in what looked like part of an old black dress of very common material, and it is a very strange thing that other parts of the same dress have been found in other parts of the yard. The body could not have been lying where we found it above two or three says, because men are continually passing the spot. I know for a fact that it was not there last Friday, because we had occasion to do something at that very spot. He further stated that the parcel must have been got in from the Cannon row side - a very dark and lonely spot, although within twenty yards if the main thoroughfare, through which passes all the traffic going south west from London; but he could not imagine how the person could get past the watchman.
When the discovery became known some fifty or sixty people assembled round the hoarding which encloses the new works. At half past seven last evening, when the police arrived with an ambulance, large crowds were on the spot, and followed the corpse on its way to the mortuary.
A Press Association later account says that there is no doubt now that the portion of the body found is connected with the terrible murder. From the way in which the body has been treated it is impossible that it could have been spirited away from a dissecting room after having answered the purpose of lawful operations. Dr. Bond, the police divisional surgeon, who had the trunk handed over to him, had it conveyed to the mortuary early in the evening. This was not done, however, before a careful examination of the remains had been made by Dr. Bond and Mr. Charles Hibbert.