19 September 1888
By direction of the administratrix of the late Mr. Deputy East, Mr. Fleuret (Fleuret and Sons, Southampton row, Bloomsbury square) submitted to public competition, at the Mason's Hall tavern, Mason's avenue, Basinghall street, yesterday afternoon, the Three Nuns Hotel, Aldgate, with the railway refreshment bar adjacent. Bidding commenced at £15,000 and advanced to £18,900, when the property was bought in at £25,000.
At the Thames Police court yesterday, Charles Ludwig, a German, who appeared not to understand English, was charged with being drunk and threatening to stab Alexander Finlay. The prisoner had decided a long knife, and a razor and a pair of scissors was found on him. It was further stated by the police that he had been in a dark court with a woman, who screamed and that on a constable arriving she said the prisoner had frightened her by pulling out a long knife. He was remanded.
At the Thames Police court yesterday, Charles Ludwig Wetzel, m40, a decently attired German, who professed not to understand English and giving an address of 1 Minories, was charged with being drunk, and threatening to stab Alexander Finlay, of 51 Leman street, Whitechapel. The prosecutor said that very early the previous morning he was standing at a coffee stall in the Whitechapel road, when Ludwig came up in a drunken condition. In consequence, the person in charge of the stall refused to serve him. Ludwig seemed much annoyed and said to witness, "What are you looking at?" He then pulled out a long bladed knife and tried to stab witness with it. Wetzel followed him round the stall, and made several attempts to stab him, until witness threatened to knock a dish on his head. A constable came up, and he was then given into custody.
Constable 221 H said when he was called to take the prisoner into custody he found him in a very excited condition. Witness had previously received information that Ludwig was wanted on the City ground for attempting to cut a woman's throat with a razor. On the way to the station the prisoner dropped a long bladed knife, which was open, and when he was searched a razor and a long bladed pair scissors were found on him.
Constable J. Johnson, 866 City, deposed that he was on duty in the Minories, when he heard loud screams of "Murder" from a dark court on which there were no lights. The court in question led to some railway arches, and is a well known dangerous locality. Witness went down the court, and found the prisoner with a woman. The former appeared to be under the influence of drink. Witness asked what he was doing there, and he replied, "Nothing." The woman, who appeared to be in a very agitated and frightened condition, said, "Oh, policeman, do take me out of this." The woman was so frightened that could then make no further explanation. Witness got her and the accused out of the court, and sent the latter off. He walked with the woman to the end of his beat, when she said, "Dear me. He frightened me very much when he pulled a big knife out." Witness said, "Why didn't you tell me that at the time!" and she replied, "I was too much frightened." He then went and looked for the prisoner, but could not find him, and therefore warned several other constables of what he had seen, and gave a description of the prisoner. Witness had been out all the morning trying to find the woman, but up to the present time he had not been able to do so. He should know her again. He believed the prisoner worked in the neighbourhood.
Mr. Saunders said it was clear the prisoner was a dangerous man, and ordered him to be remanded for a week.
Considerable excitement prevailed in the neighbourhood owing to a report that the prisoner was connected with the recent murders on Whitechapel, and that some important discoveries would result from his capture. Detective Inspector Helson, J Division, after the prisoner was remanded, had an interview with him in his cell; but owing to the prisoner professing not to understand the English language no information could be got out of him.
Inquiries show that the man Wetzel is by trade a baker. He has made various statements as to the time he had been in this country, but his knowledge of English is imperfect. On Sunday night last he lodged at a coffee house in Church street, Minories, but in consequence of his dirty habits the proprietor would not allow him to remain the next night. He then went to an hotel in Finsbury, where he had previously lodged, and remained there until about one o'clock in the morning but the landlord would not allow him to stay the night. He produced a number of razors, and acted in such a manner that some of the inmates were quite frightened at his conduct. The landlady of this hotel stated that on the day after the last murder in Whitechapel, Wetzel called early in the morning and washed his hands, stating that he had been injured. Another person has alleged that there was blood on the man's hands, but as to this the landlady could not speak. Wetzel, who is about 40 years of age, walks lame, having a stiff leg. Several detectives visited the house where he lodged in Church street, Minories, but they found nothing belonging to him. Although every effort has been made to discover the woman with whom the prisoner was seen, the police have not been successful.