Tuesday, October 2, 1888
WESTMINSTER. - THE WIFE MURDER IN WESTMINSTER. - John Brown, 45, described as a labourer, working in St James's Park, was charged before Mr. Partridge with murdering his wife Sarah by cutting her throat, at 11, Regent-gardens, Regency-street, Westminster. - Chief Superintendent Dunlop attended on behalf of the Commissioners of Police. - It is stated that the deceased woman had requested the authorities without success to put her husband under restraint as being at times unaccountable for his actions, and likely to murder her, and that on Saturday night, in a state of terror, she went to the parochial district medical officer and also expressed her apprehensions to the police. - Constable Powell, 499 A, deposed that at eleven o'clock on Saturday night he was at the police-station (Rochester-row) door when the prisoner came running up and said, "I have stabbed my wife." He repeated the statement to the inspector on duty. - Inspector Fairey, A Division, gave evidence as to the prisoner making a confession and being charged. Witness went to Regency-gardens, and in a front room on the ground floor of No. 11 he found a woman lying in a pool of blood, with her head near the fireplace, and her throat cut in two places. She was quite dead. The spring-backed knife found on the accused and produced had evidently been recently sharpened. - Constable Brown, 88A, corroborated Inspector Fairey's evidence as to what occurred in the charge-room, and said that on his receiving orders to look after the prisoner the latter said, "I shan't run away. I am only too glad to get here." After inquiries had been made at the house the accused took the spring-backed knife out of his pocket and said, "This is what I have done it with. I hope she is dead; she has led me a pretty dance." - Detective-sergeant Waldock said that he went to 11, Regency-gardens with a constable after the prisoner had given himself up. On arriving there he found two little boys in their shirts standing at the door crying. The accused is their step-father. Witness went into the front parlour of the house and saw a woman with her throat cut lying on the floor, her head resting on her right arm. There was a large quantity of blood about, and she was quite dead, though still warm. - Mr. Charles Redding, hard metal worker, living at 12, Regency-gardens, next door to the little three-roomed house occupied solely by the prisoner and his family, stated that during the last three months of their residence there the husband and wife had frequently quarrelled. Shortly before eleven o'clock on Saturday he heard a noise of scuffling in the defendant's front room, then a cry of distress from a woman, "Oh, don't." This was followed by a dull thud on the floor, and all became quiet. He went to the door of his house immediately, and he saw the prisoner leaving his front door, which he slammed after him. He very hurriedly left the gardens. - Mr. Partridge: Did you speak to him? - Witness: No. My wife and I went to knock at his door, as we were alarmed. The eldest boy, Robert Young, opened it, and he made a statement which caused my wife to go for a policeman. - Mr. L. Archer, M.R.C.S. Eng., of 38, Vincent-square, Westminster, said that he was called by the police to the deceased on Saturday night. She had two cuts on her throat, one only a deep flesh wound an inch and a half long, and a lower one which had divided the upper part of the trachea and gone right back to the backbone. Deceased was about forty years of age and healthy. - Robert Young, a stepson of the accused, nine years of age, said that the prisoner came home from work on Saturday afternoon, and his mother was frightened of him. She intended to leave him on Saturday night. He told her that he had "something in a box" for her, and that then he intended to give himself up. Witness knew his mother went out to see her eldest daughter, and though he had been sent to bed he heard his stepfather going in and out. He heard no noise of a scuffle, and was aroused by the knocking of the neighbours. By the Magistrate: Six or seven weeks ago the accused went to Westminster Hospital, and was there three or four weeks. He subsequently went to a convalescent home, and on his return there was something the matter with him. He kept saying that witness's mother let men into the house, and he used to look for them before he went to work in the morning and when he came home at night, lighting matches to peer into corners. One night he walked about and lit an entire box of matches. He sharpened the large knife produced every day before his mother, both at dinner and tea times, although he did not use it with his meals. On Saturday when the accused came home from work deceased told witness that the prisoner was going to try and kill her. Prisoner never got drunk; he was a thoroughly sober man, and only had a little beer at night-time. - Detective-Inspector Marshall stated that there would be other witnesses on a future occasion. - Superintendent Dunlop asked for a remand, and the prisoner, who had asked no questions and all along maintained an indifferent attitude, was remanded for eight days.
The above chart represents the locality within which, since April last, six women of the unfortunate class have been murdered. The precise spot where each crime was committed is indicated by a dagger and a numeral:
1. April 3. - Emma Elizabeth Smith, forty-five, had a stake or iron instrument thrust through her body, near Osborn-street, Whitechapel.
2. Aug. 7. - Martha Tabram, thirty-five, stabbed in thirty-nine places, at George-yard-buildings, Commercial-street, Spitalfields.
3. Aug. 31. - Mary Ann Nicholls, forty-seven, had her throat cut and body mutilated, in Buck's-row, Whitechapel.
4. Sept. 8 - Annie Chapman, forty-seven, her throat cut and body mutilated, in Hanbury-street, Spitalfields.
5. Sept. 30. - A woman, supposed to be Elizabeth Stride, but not yet identified, discovered with her throat cut, in Berner-street, Whitechapel.
6. Sept. 30. - A woman, unknown, found with her throat cut and body mutilated in Mitre-square, Aldgate.
Figure 7 (encircled) marks the spot in Goulston-street where a portion of an apron belonging to the woman murdered in Mitre-square was yesterday picked up by a Metropolitan police-constable.
REWARDS BY THE CITY POLICE, VOLUNTEERS AND CITIZENS.
THE HOME SECRETARY'S REPLY.
Two whole days and nights have passed away in eager search and feverish popular agitation since the bodies of the two women murdered early on Sunday morning were discovered in the respective places where they had fallen victims to the inhuman bloodthirstiness of a ruthless assassin. Not the least clue, however, of any practical value has been obtained to the personality or whereabouts of the miscreant who has committed these appalling crimes; nor has either of the corpses been conclusively identified. An imposing force of policemen and detectives has been told off to guard and watch the district in which these horrors have taken place; but nothing apparently likely to lead to the detection of the criminal has resulted from the measures hitherto taken by the Executive, or from the inquiry instituted into the Berner-street murder by the East Middlesex coroner and jury. A dark opaque cloud of mystery still conceals the guiltiest wretch in London from the sight of the innumerable eyes peering in every direction, night and day, whithersoever it is deemed probable or possible that he may be hidden. The regular, legally-constituted machinery set in motion to the end of discovering the assassin has searched for him, we do not doubt, to the full extent of its powers, and with entire lack of success. The irregular, self-constituted bodies that have undertaken the difficult enterprise of hunting him down have, until now, confined their efforts to protesting against the inactivity of the Home Secretary, and to collecting subscriptions wherewith to get together a substantial money reward for the arrest of the unknown malefactor. Interpreted by the light of Western experiences in the United States, a Vigilance Committee would mean an association of determined citizens, dissatisfied with existing laws, and audaciously disregardful of them. The very title conveys to our mind house visitation, arbitrary arrest, rough and ready justice achieved by all manner of illegal proceedings. What, however, can a London Vigilance Committee be expected to do save to make indignant speeches and sedulously go round with the hat? Were any of its members to attempt to enforce their self-bestowed right of search by entering a private dwelling without its tenant's leave, and subjecting any of its occupants to examination or detention, that Vigilance Committee would assuredly have reason to rue its unstatutory boldness. It would be as idle to hope that the Whitechapel homicide will be brought to light by the action of any number of local so-called "Vigilance Committees" as to look for his discovery to the "unerring instinct" of thoroughbred bloodhounds, "laid on" to a fugitive who has left neither track nor trail behind him, and of whom no one, in or out of authority, possesses the least belonging, or even the faintest material evidence that he exists in the flesh at all. Bloodhounds will follow, by scent, any one they know, or the blood-trail of a person they have never seen, or the foot-track of a negro, whose scent is as strong and distinct to their keen olfactory organs as that of a fox or a deer. They cannot, however, in London streets - betrodden by countless thousands of human beings daily - hunt by nose one of those thousands, be he tenfold a murderer, unless they have a special knowledge of him, or are brought into contact with some article of his clothing, recently worn. Even then, they could only follow him if laid on his track from the spot at which he must have been present to commit his crime, and that immediately after his flight, ere the track could be crossed, and the scent broken, by dozens of casual passengers traversing it at different points.
No; we cannot in the least count upon Vigilance Committees or bloodhounds to unearth the perpetrator of the Whitechapel murders from his lair and bring him to justice, whether of the kind administered by the law of the land or of Judge Lynch. All we can rely upon are the ordinary means of detection and arrest disposed of by the authorities whom we have set over us; and we may be permitted to deplore the fact that, in this horrible emergency, as in many another belonging to the past, they have proved lamentably inefficient. Our Detective Department is utterly unequal to deal with criminals of more than average ingenuity, and is, moreover, fettered by all sorts of restrictions and restraints from which the secret police of other countries is absolutely free. Our Home Secretary is a perverse and stubborn official who, having made up his mind to do nothing whatsoever that may tend towards the discovery of the Whitechapel murderer, sticks to his resolve with immovable stolidity, deaf to argument, exhortation, and persuasion. Large sums of money are forwarded to him that he may be enabled, without drawing upon the State Treasury for a sixpence, to offer a reward in the name of the Government for the arrest of this mysterious woman-slayer, he calmly returns them to their senders, not being "of opinion that the offer of a reward in these cases would have been attended by any useful result." Such is the attitude taken up towards the aggrieved and indignant population of this mighty metropolis by the Minister entrusted by her Majesty with the momentous duty of protecting her loyal subjects' lives and property from attack and injury!
Immediately following the above, the next portion of this issue's report from "As we have already regretfully observed…" to "…26, Old Jewry. Oct. 1." is reproduced in "News from Whitechapel" pages 153 - 154. Immediately following that portion the Telegraph reported:
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 any one who shall give information that would lead to the discovery and conviction of the perpetrator of perpetrators of the recent diabolical murders committed in the district in which his regiment is situated." Sir Alfred Kirby is also willing to place the services of not more than fifty members of his corps at the disposal of the authorities, to be utilised in assisting them in any way they may consider desirable at this juncture, either for the protection of the public or finding out the criminals. Of course the volunteers will have to be made use of as citizens, and not in a quasi-military capacity.
Acknowledging a letter sent on behalf of persons desirous of offering a reward for the discovery of the perpetrator of the recent East-end murders, the following answer has been received from the Home Secretary:
"Oct. 1, 1888.
"My Dear Sir - I am directed by Mr. Matthews to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of this date, containing a cheque for £300, 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 any 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."
Mr. L. H. Phillips has given notice that at Thursday's Court of Common Council he will ask that a reward of £250 shall be given to any person who can assist in finding out the perpetrators of the East-end murders.
The next portion of this issue's report from "THE ALDGATE MURDER…" to "…caused by the police in removing the body." is reproduced in "News from Whitechapel" pages 154 - 157. Immediately following that portion the Telegraph reported:
There is another singular circumstance. The Aldgate post-office backs upon the rear of some newly-erected and untenanted warehouses in Duke-street. On Saturday evening at half-past eight o'clock everything was safe, and the premises were locked up. Yesterday morning at eight o'clock, when the staff resumed duty, it was discovered that either on Saturday night, or Sunday night, burglars had affected an entrance and broke open the tills, from which they took stamps of all values, from ½d to 10s, to the total amount of £260, besides £50 in cash. The cellar lights of the warehouses in Duke-street were broken, and it was in this way that the thieves obtained access. Then they scaled the roofs, and got through a trap in the upper part of the post-office. They crept downstairs, and in order to avoid being seen through the windows opening into the street they judged it necessary to work their way to the apartment where the safe was placed in a roundabout manner. They pulled up a part of the staircase, and went through the cellar. Apparently they were engaged several hours upon the place, as they had to force open some drawers. Before going away with their booty they carefully washed their hands. In its connection with the investigation of the murder near at hand, the fact that the post-office was entered by way of the insecure premises in Duke-street shows that the burglary must have been committed on Saturday night, for throughout Sunday the street was thronged with people.
It was reported to the City police that a knife had been found by Metropolitan officers in Whitechapel; but no particulars are forthcoming. The weapon is said to be black-handled, with a keen blade ten inches long, pointed as a carver.
A belief is gaining ground that the murderer is not a frequenter of common lodging-houses, but he occupies a single room, or perhaps finds refuge in an empty warehouse. He is supposed to make his home somewhere between Middlesex-street and Brick-lane.
The inquest upon the body of the woman found in Mitre-square will be held by Mr. S.F. Langham, the City Coroner, at the Court in Golden-lane, on Thursday.
Immediately following on from the above, the next portion of this issue's report from "THE WHITECHAPEL CRIME…" to "…they cannot refer to the same person." is reproduced in "News from Whitechapel" page 95. Immediately following that portion the Telegraph reported:
According to one he is a thick-set, close-shaven man, with a short coat and dark trousers; another states that he is a pretty tall man, with short dark whiskers and beard; a third speaks of him as shortish, with light whiskers; sometimes he wears a dark ulster, and at others a checked one; now he is well-dressed, and again shabby-genteel; and altogether the descriptions given are so confusing that they afford no guide to any officer. It would seem that in Whitechapel, Stepney, and Spitalfields there are several petty ruffians who levy blackmail upon these women under threats of mutilation, and, after parting with any sum they may possess, the wretched females tell either a constable or some of their neighbours that they have had a narrow escape from the murderer, and give a description of him. Fragmentary stories of this kind form the major portion of the information the police have to work up, the criminal himself having left nothing behind to assist in his identification. Up to the present about half-a-dozen people have been arrested and released. As we intimated yesterday, the man who was questioned in a Southwark lodging-house on Sunday was not even taken into custody. Early yesterday morning a constable noticed a stranger in Commercial-road whose appearance and evident desire to avoid notice was suspicious. The constable spoke to him, and receiving what he deemed unsatisfactory answers, took the person to Leman-street Police-station, where he gave his name and address, and furnished ample particulars about himself. These were found to be accurate, and he was accordingly released. Another man was apprehended at Norwood, the incriminating symptoms about him being several scratches on his face, but these he accounted for domestically, and he also was released from suspicion. It is stated that two men were arrested early yesterday near the Commercial-road, but their detention was only temporary, their explanations exonerating them from any suspicion of complicity in the crime. In addition to these a man was, later in the day, brought to the Leman-street Police-station by a constable who found him prowling about not far from Mitre-street. His face was haggard, and he seemed unable to give any account of himself. Upon him were found 1s 4½d in money and a razor, and round his throat was a woollen scarf of a violet colour, upon which were several long hairs, supposed to be those of a woman. At the station he said, in reply to the inspector, that he had walked from Southampton, and belonged to the Royal Sussex Regiment. An examination of his boots was not confirmatory of his statement about his travels, and he was detained that inquiries might be made. No blood was found upon his clothes, nor any weapon likely to have inflicted the wounds. No importance is attached to this arrest, and the man has since been liberated. The only curious thing about this incident is that the mark of the Royal Sussex Regiment, to which he said he belonged, was upon the torn envelope found on the body of the Hanbury-street victim, Annie Chapman. Still another arrest was made of a remarkable character. In consequence of these East-end crimes a reporter in Bow determined to play the part of an amateur detective, and he accordingly dressed himself in female attire of a shabby material, in order to look as much as possible like one of the creatures whom the Unknown selects for vengeance. Thus habited, he left his home at midnight. After loitering about shady streets for some hours, and passing wayfarers and detectives without drawing upon himself their particular observation, he made his way into Whitechapel. Here his masculine stride attracted the notice of Police-constable Ludwig, who accosted him with the words, "Stop. Are you not a man? I can see that you are." The amateur detective admitted that he was, and the constable then asked, "Are you one of us?" The masquerader replied that he had no connection whatever with Scotland-yard, and attempted to explain that he had assumed the disguise in his search for news of the murder. Police-constable Ludwig informed him that he would have to go with him to the police-station, and make that explanation to a superior officer. The two accordingly walked together to Leman-street Police-station, where the reporter unfolded his plot to the inspector, who replied that, under the peculiar circumstances, he was sorry he would have to detain him until inquiries were made. A real detective was put upon the antecedents of the amateur one, and as the explanations of the latter were found to be authentic, he was, after an hour and a half's detention, released to resume his proper habiliments. These completed the arrests of yesterday, and, as stated at the outset, they leave the mystery exactly where it was on Sunday.
Mr. Thomas Ryan, who has charge of the cabman's reading-room and shelter in Westbourne-grove, relates a story of a man who made a mysterious statement to him on Sunday afternoon. According to this narrative a street attendant brought a man to the shelter about four o'clock in the afternoon and said, "This 'ere gentleman wants a chop, guv'nor; can you cook one for him. He says he's 'most perished with cold." Mr. Ryan replied, "Certainly, I will cook you one with pleasure. Come in." The man accordingly entered and sat down. He was about 5 ft 6 in in height, wore an Oxford cap and a light check ulster with a tippet, which he did not loosen all the time. He had a thick moustache, but no beard, had clean white hands, was round-headed, his eyes very restless, and he seemed to have been drinking. Several cabmen were in the shelter at the time, talking of the murders discovered that morning at Whitechapel. Ryan exclaimed, "I'd gladly give a good deal if I could only find the fellow who did them." The stranger, looking into Ryan's face, quietly replied "Don't you know who committed the murders? I did them. I've had a lot of trouble lately. I came back from India and got into trouble at once. I lost my watch and chain and £10." Mr. Ryan and the other persons present were much surprised at this statement, but as the man appeared to be under the influence of liquor they did not pay much attention to it, more especially as he produced a bottle, apparently of brandy, out of his pocket and offered them a drink. Mr. Ryan told him they were all teetotallers there, and got him to sign a temperance pledge. He signed the book as "J. Duncan; doctor; residence, Cabman's Shelter; Sept. 30, 1888." After doing this he said, "I could tell a tale if I wanted," and relapsed into semi-somnolence. Mr. Ryan called his attention to the fact that he had not filled in his proper residence, and the man replied, "I have no fixed place of abode at present. I'm living anywhere." After eating his chop and again offering the company a drink he disappeared, and has not since been heard of.
From different parts of London come stories of a similar character, though not so detailed. Several people have stated to the police that while in this or that public-house they heard a man declare that he was the Whitechapel criminal, but as this was invariably done under the influence of drink, and the person was always allowed to walk off before the confession appeared to strike the hearers as remarkable, little reliance can be placed on these tales. Among this kind of evidence must be classed the finding of an old pair of trousers, done up in a brown paper parcel, in an outbuilding in Kentish Town. The package was deemed to be similar to that carried by a man in whose company the Berner-street victim is supposed to have been seen in the course of Saturday night, but so little was the parcel or the trousers thought of that they were kicked into the roadway and afterwards carried away - or, at least, the trousers were - by an old beggar-man. It is alleged that some stains like blood were found on the paper covering, but their colour is doubtful. When the trousers had disappeared, the police were informed of the "find," and detectives are now searching for the man who carried off the ragged garments in case they should be of any use as a clue.
Immediately following on from the above, the next portion of this issue's report from "In the neighbourhood of…" to "…the victims remain unidentified." is reproduced in "News from Whitechapel" pages 95 - 96. The Telegraph then reported:
Yesterday, at the Vestry Hall in Cable-street, St. George-in-the-East, Mr. Wynne E. Baxter, coroner for East Middlesex, opened an inquest on the body of the woman who was found dead, with her throat cut, at one o'clock on Sunday morning, in Berner-street, Commercial-road East. At the outset of the inquiry the deceased was described as Elizabeth Stride, but it subsequently transpired that she had not yet been really identified. A jury of twenty-four having been empanelled, they proceeded to view the body at the St. George's Mortuary.
Detective-Inspector Reid, H Division, watched the case on behalf of the police.
William Wess [West], who affirmed instead of being sworn, was the first witness examined, and, in reply to the coroner, he said: I reside at No. 2, William-street, Cannon-street-road, and am overseer in the printing office attached to No. 40, Berner-street, Commercial-road, which premises are in the occupation of the International Working Men's Education Society, whose club is carried on there. On the ground floor of the club is a room, the door and window of which face the street. At the rear of this is the kitchen, whilst the first floor consists of a large room which is used for our meetings and entertainments, I being a member of the club. At the south side of the premises is a courtyard, to which entrance can be obtained through a double door, in one section of which is a smaller one, which is used when the larger barriers are closed. The large doors are generally closed at night, but sometimes remain open. On the left side of the yard is a house, which is divided into three tenements, and occupied, I believe, by that number of families. At the end is a store or workshop belonging to Messrs. Hindley and Co., sack manufacturers. I do not know that a way out exists there. The club premises and the printing-office occupy the entire length of the yard on the right side. Returning to the club-house, the front room on the ground floor is used for meals. In the kitchen is a window which faces the door opening into the yard. The intervening passage is illuminated by means of a fanlight over the door. The printing-office, which does not communicate with the club, consists of two rooms, one for compositors and the other for the editor. On Saturday the compositors finished their labours at two o'clock in the afternoon. The editor concluded earlier, but remained at the place until the discovery of the murder.
How many members are there in the club? - From seventy-five to eighty. Working men of any nationality can join.
Is any political qualification required of members? - It is a political - a Socialist - club.
Do the members have to agree with any particular principles? - A candidate is proposed by one member and seconded by another, and a member would not nominate a candidate unless he knew that he was a supporter of Socialist principles. On Saturday last I was in the printing-office during the day and in the club during the evening. From nine to half-past ten at night I was away seeing an English friend home, but I was in the club again till a quarter-past midnight. A discussion was proceeding in the lecture-room, which has three windows overlooking the courtyard. From ninety to 100 persons attended the discussion, which terminated soon after half-past eleven, when the bulk of the members left, using the street door, the most convenient exit. From twenty to thirty members remained, some staying in the lecture-room and the others going downstairs. Of those upstairs a few continued the discussion, while the rest were singing. The windows of the lecture-room were partly open.
How do you know that you finally left at a quarter-past twelve o'clock? - Because of the time when I reached my lodgings. Before leaving I went into the yard, and thence to the printing-office, in order to leave some literature there, and on returning to the yard I observed that the double door at the entrance was open. There is no lamp in the yard, and none of the street lamps light it, so that the yard is only lit by the lights through the windows at the side of the club and of the tenements opposite. As to the tenements, I only observed lights in two first-floor windows. There was also a light in the printing-office, the editor being in his room reading.
Was there much noise in the club? - Not exactly much noise; but I could hear the singing when I was in the yard.
Did you look towards the yard gates? - Not so much to the gates as to the ground, but nothing unusual attracted my attention.
Can you say that there was no object on the ground? - I could not say that.
Do you think it possible that anything can have been there without your observing it? - It was dark, and I am a little shortsighted, so that it is possible. The distance from the gates to the kitchen door is 18 ft.
What made you look towards the gates at all? - Simply because they were open. I went into the club, and called my brother, and we left together by the front door.
On leaving did you see anybody as you passed the yard? - No.
Or did you meet any one in the street? - Not that I recollect. I generally go home between twelve and one o'clock.
Do low women frequent Berner-street? - I have seen men and women standing about and talking to each other in Fairclough-street.
But have you observed them nearer the club? - No.
Or in the club yard? - I did once, at eleven o'clock at night, about a year ago. They were chatting near the gates. That is the only time I have noticed such a thing, nor have I heard of it.
Morris Eagle, who also affirmed, said: I live at No. 4, New-road, Commercial-road, and travel in jewellery. I am a member of the International Workmen's Club, which meets at 40, Berner-street. I was there on Saturday, several times during the day, and was in the chair during the discussion in the evening. After the discussion, between half-past eleven and a quarter to twelve o'clock, I left the club to take my young lady home, going out through the front door. I returned about twenty minutes to one. I tried the front door, but, finding it closed, I went through the gateway into the yard, reaching the club in that way.
Did you notice anything lying on the ground near the gates? - I did not.
Did you pass in the middle of the gateway? - I think so. The gateway is 9 ft. 2 in. wide. I naturally walked on the right side, that being the side on which the club door was.
Do you think you are able to say that the deceased was not lying there then? - I do not know, I am sure, because it was rather dark. There was a light from the upper part of the club, but that would not throw any illumination upon the ground. It was dark near the gates.
You have formed no opinion, I take it, then, as to whether there was anything there? - No.
Did you see anyone about in Berner-street? - I dare say I did, but I do not remember them.
Did you observe any one in the yard? - I do not remember that I did.
If there had been a man and woman there you would have remembered the circumstance? - Yes; I am sure of that.
Did you notice whether there were any lights in the tenements opposite the club? - I do not recollect.
Are you often at the club late at night? - Yes, very often.
In the yard, too? - No, not in the yard.
And you have never seen a man and woman there? - No, not in the yard; but I have close by, outside the beershop, at the corner of Fairclough-street. As soon as I entered the gateway on Saturday night I could hear a friend of mine singing in the upstair room of the club. I went up to him. He was singing in the Russian language, and we sang together. I had been there twenty minutes when a member named Gidleman came upstairs, and said "there is a woman dead in the yard." I went down in a second and struck a match, when I saw a woman lying on the ground in a pool of blood, near the gates. Her feet were towards the gates, about six or seven feet from them. She was lying by the side of and facing the club wall. When I reached the body and struck the match another member was present.
Did you touch the body? - No. As soon as I struck the match I perceived a lot of blood, and I ran away and called the police.
Were the clothes of the deceased disturbed? - I cannot say. I ran towards the Commercial-road, Dienishitz, the club steward, and another member going in the opposite direction down Fairclough-street. In Commercial-road I found two constables at the corner of Grove-street. I told them that a woman had been murdered in Berner-street, and they returned with me.
Was any one in the yard then? - Yes, a few persons - some members of the club and some strangers. One of the policemen turned his lamp on the deceased and sent me to the station for the inspector, at the same time telling his comrade to fetch a doctor. The onlookers seemed afraid to go near and touch the body. The constable, however, felt it.
Can you fix the time when the discovery was first made? - It must have been about one o'clock. On Saturday nights there is free discussion at the club, and among those present last Saturday were about half a dozen women, but they were those we knew - not strangers. It was not a dancing night, but a few members may have danced after the discussion.
If there was dancing and singing in the club you would not hear the cry of a woman in the yard? - It would depend upon the cry.
The cry of a woman in great distress - a cry of "Murder"? - Yes, I should have heard that.
Lewis Dienishitz, having affirmed, deposed: I reside at No. 40 Berner-street, and am steward of the International Workmen's Club. I am married, and my wife lives at the club too, and assists in the management. On Saturday I left home about half-past eleven in the morning, and returned exactly at one o'clock on Sunday morning. I noticed the time at the baker's shop at the corner of Berner-street. I had been to the market near the Crystal Palace, and had a barrow like a costermonger's, drawn by a pony, which I keep in George-yard Cable-street. I drove home to leave my goods. I drove into the yard, both gates being wide open. It was rather dark there. All at once my pony shied at some object on the right. I looked to see what the object was, and observed that there was something unusual, but could not tell what. It was a dark object. I put my whip handle to it, and tried to lift it up, but as I did not succeed I jumped down from my barrow and struck a match. It was rather windy, and I could only get sufficient light to see that there was some figure there. I could tell from the dress that it was the figure of a woman.
You did not disturb it? - No. I went into the club and asked where my wife was. I found her in the front room on the ground floor.
What did you do with the pony? - I left it in the yard by itself, just outside the club door. There were several members in the front room of the club, and I told them all that there was a woman lying in the yard, though I could not say whether she was drunk or dead. I then got a candle and went into the yard, where I could see blood before I reached the body.
Did you touch the body? - No, I ran off at once for the police. I could not find a constable in the direction which I took, so I shouted out "Police!" as loudly as I could. A man whom I met in Grove-street returned with me, and when we reached the yard he took hold of the head of the deceased. As he lifted it up I saw the wound in the throat.
Had the constables arrived then? - At the very same moment Eagle and the constables arrived.
Did you notice anything unusual when you were approaching the club? - No.
You saw nothing suspicious? - Not at all.
How soon afterwards did a doctor arrive? - About twenty minutes after the constables came up. No one was allowed by the police to leave the club until they were searched, and then they had to give their names and addresses.
Did you notice whether the clothes of the deceased were in order? - They were in perfect order.
How was she lying? - On her left side, with her face towards the club wall.
Was the whole of the body resting on the side? - No, I should say only her face. I cannot say how much of the body was sideways. I did not notice what position her hands were in, but when the police came I observed that her bodice was unbuttoned near the neck. The doctor said the body was quite warm.
What quantity of blood should you think had flowed from the body? - I should say quite two quarts.
In what direction had it run? - Up the yard from the street. The body was about one foot from the club wall. The gutter of the yard is paved with large stones, and the centre with smaller irregular stones.
Have you ever seen men and women together in the yard? - Never.
Nor heard of such a thing? - No.
A Juror: Could you in going up the yard have passed the body without touching it? - Oh, yes.
Any person going up the centre of the yard might have passed without noticing it? - I, perhaps, should not have noticed it if my pony had not shied. I had passed it when I got down from my barrow.
How far did the blood run? - As far as the kitchen door of the club.
Was any person left with the body while you ran for the police? - Some members of the club remained; at all events, when I came back they were there. I cannot say whether any of them touched the body.
Inspector Reid (interposing): When the murder was discovered the members of the club were detained on the premises, and I searched them, whilst Dr. Phillips examined them.
A Juror; Was it possible for anybody to leave the yard between the discovery of the body and the arrival of the police?
Witness: Oh, yes - or, rather, it would have been possible before I informed the members of the club, not afterwards.
When you entered the yard, if any person had run out you would have seen them in the dark? - Oh, yes, it was light enough for that. It was dark in the gateway, but not so dark further in the yard.
The Coroner: The body has not yet been identified? - Not yet.
The Foreman: I do not quite understand that. I thought the inquest had been opened on the body of one Elizabeth Stride.
The Coroner: That was a mistake. Something is known of the deceased, but she has not been fully identified. It would be better at present to describe her as a woman unknown. She has been partially identified. It is known where she lived. It was thought at the beginning of the inquest that she had been identified by a relative, but that turns out to have been a mistake.
The inquiry was then adjourned till this (Tuesday) afternoon, at two o'clock.
We have received a large number of letters, from all parts of the kingdom, indicating the widespread and intense interest which has been aroused by these unparalleled crimes. Our correspondents belong to all sorts and conditions of people. Their suggestions are interesting, if not important. Several gentlemen of the medical profession express regret that in the case of the woman Chapman the coroner should have been led astray, "intentionally or otherwise," as to the object for which the crime was said to have been committed. "The alleged value of £20 in such a case," writes "A Surgeon," "is a gross exaggeration, and it is also a shameful thing that a public officer should have been, I fear purposely, misled upon so serious and painful a subject." "Citizen," "St. John Carr," "A Scotchman," and others advise the police to avail themselves of the aid of bloodhounds, and "Citizen" is convinced that "had a good dog been put on the scent in either case at the moment of the discovery of the bodies, the criminal would have been hunted down." Many correspondents who write from the East-end, including "One More Unfortunate," "A Mariner," and "One Who Knows," believe in a searching and efficient register of strangers, and "in every person being compelled to give an account of himself at common and other lodging-houses." Quite a little army of "Special Constables" offer their services in patrolling the East-end and in assisting at a house-to-house investigation of any district at some given moment, "more particularly," says "One of the X Division," "in the event of another murder, which we may surely expect after such successful daring and such an appetite for blood." "A. E. Gower," "W. S." (Derby), and "H. C. W," think the police should patrol their beats silently with the aid of "rubber boots," and "A Surgeon" (T. L.) calls our attention to the fact that "the Sheffield police are supplied with boots not only waterproof, but soft in the sole, which make no noise, and are cheap and durable." Much indignation is expressed against "the action, or want of action" (as "D. C. L." expresses it) of the Home Secretary, "in regard to whose strange apathy" "A Poor Woman" asks, "Does this unpopular but powerful Minister think that because the victims belong to the class termed unfortunate they are of no account? What would he have done if the poor creatures had been rich and titled dames of the West-end"? "Spes" advises the police "to look for the murderer in an empty house where a caretaker is not likely to be suspected of harbouring him." "An Old Detective" says "if the man is taken he will be taken red-handed. The assistance of the class of woman he attacks would be useful, and a clever officer in woman's clothes is an idea which has probably been acted upon." We select from some hundreds of other letters the following for publication:
SIR - With regard to the recent murders, will you kindly allow me a little of your space to urge upon Mr. Matthews the desirability of, even thus late in the day, issuing a Government notification, and for reasons which hitherto I have not seen advanced? Private rewards are all very well so far as they go; but they must be deficient in one particular, which the Crown alone can supply. When rewards were offered for the discovery of a murderer their character was twofold - the money and the promise of a pardon to any accomplice not the actual murderer. The objection to a money reward, that it often went into wrong hands, is tantamount to an assertion that the promise of pardon was in some cases, at least, the inducement to people to give information; and in the present case such a promise might have that effect.
Without attempting to go over the whole of the ground which the promise of pardon to accomplices would cover, I may point out that it is difficult to suppose, even if different hands have committed each of the murders, and taking the case of Annie Chapman alone, that there is not some one who has a well-founded suspicion of the murderer of that ill-fated creature. If he lives in the neighbourhood of the deed he would return home to a waking neighbourhood, if at a distance he would still return to a waking one; and it is almost incredible he should be living such an isolated life that there is not a human being who has some knowledge of his blood-stained hands, and, probably, his blood-stained features and garments, and of the steps he has taken to hide the traces of his guilt. But, if two or more of the murders have been committed by the same person, the supposition of complete ignorance or suspicion of the murderer becomes still more untenable. Why, then, has no information been given? I say simply because, in the first place, there was some one, relying upon the accumulation of horrors, who waited for a Government reward, offered in the usual terms, and who dares not give now the information which three weeks ago his cupidity induced him to withhold. Maybe there is someone who has lodged and fed and clothed the murderer, intending to hand him over to justice as soon as he could do so with profit and impunity to himself. By so harbouring the criminal any such person has rendered himself liable to severe penalties, which no doubt he richly deserves, as an accomplice after the fact; by his own conduct he has placed a seal upon his lips, and unless the Government remove that seal a secret of incalculable value may perhaps be carried to the grave. That such a secret is in existence I submit is very probable.
I therefore urge upon the Home Secretary to notify the promise of pardon to any accomplices in one or more of these murders in the usual terms. Further, there is this to be said in favour of such pardon - if money rewards have a tendency to get into wrong hands, it is possible for a pardon only to reach the right ones. - I am, Sir, your obedient servant.
London, Sept. 28
SIR - As it is necessary that something out of the ordinary must be done to capture the being who perpetrates these awful deeds, I venture to send the following proposition, in the hope that it may be of some use, or that some more useful suggestion may be gained through it.
For instance, say that a square mile, or any distance that would cover the worst parts of the neighbourhood, where the lowest classes live, and where these crimes have been committed, were divided into so many temporary stations, where an inspector and constable could be, and that every man sleeping in this specified area should be compelled, before going to his bed, to report himself, or not be allowed to enter his lodging until he could show that he had done so. Of course this would mean a great number of police to strictly enforce the regulation. - I am, yours truly,
Rivermere, Old Windsor, Oct. 1.
SIR - In the face of the half-dozen murders that have recently taken place in our midst without the slightest clue of any importance having been obtained by our detectives or police, it forcibly strikes one there must be a very weak point in our detective department which requires instant remedy. At the present time a man is required to be a certain height and to serve for a definite time as a constable before he is eligible as a detective, during which time he, of course, becomes well known, besides which this arrangement only opens our detective department to one class of men, whereas every class ought to be represented to properly carry out the work.
I should propose that anybody offering himself should be accepted, providing his references were satisfactory and he had a good knowledge of London, trained privately for a certain period, and when efficient he should be entrusted with the class of cases he seemed to show most aptitude for. In this way we should have many men of high education and varied experience only too glad to join the force from a love of the calling, who at the present time are debarred by the useless regulations regarding admission now in force. - I am, Sir, yours obediently,
31, Finsbury-square, and Houndsditch, Oct. 1
SIR - After the awful details of the two murders recorded in the papers, which occurred on Saturday night, surely some stronger measures should be taken to ensure no repetitions of such atrocities which are outrages on civilisation. These horrible mutilating murders may, and probably will go on for some length of time, as there seems to be no possible clue in any of the cases. What I should suggest would be that after dark in certain parts of London every policeman ought to have the right of stopping and searching anyone, to see if he carries a knife such as must have been used in all these hideous crimes. Surely no innocent man would object to this ordeal, and it might have the desired effect of bringing the guilty one to justice, or at any rate checking any further outrage of the kind. I do not know how far the authority of Sir Charles Warren goes, as head of the police, but in such a case surely additional power might be obtained from the Home Office. - Believe me, yours truly,
Connaught-square, Hyde park, W., Oct. 1.
SIR - Reading the account given by Morris the watchman, he remarks, "The strangest part of the whole thing is that I heard no sound. As a rule, I can hear the footsteps of the policeman as he passes by every quarter of an hour." Quite so, and so could any person whose intentions were evil. I have had many years experience in the City at night time, and have often noticed that a policeman's step could be heard a great distance, even from one end of a street to the other. The thought suggested is whether it would not be wise that policemen should be provided with a more noiseless material than iron and leather, especially when on night duty. - Yours truly,
123, St. Paul's-road, Bow, E., Oct. 1.
A meeting of the Whitechapel District Board of Works was held last evening, Mr. Robert Gladding presiding.
Mr. CATMUR said he thought that the board, as the local authority, should express their abhorrence of the crimes which had been perpetrated in the district, and that, although it was not in their province to suggest anything, it would be right that they should address the authorities really responsible. Proceeding, Mr. Catmur spoke of the evil effect which had resulted to the district in the loss of trade. Evening business had become practically extinct in many trades, women finding themselves unable to pass through the streets without an escort. Moreover, the inefficiency of the police was shown in the striking circumstance that but an hour or two later than the murders in Berner-street and Mitre-square the post-office in the immediate vicinity was broken into and property of the value of £100 taken from it.
Mr. NICHOLSON pointed out that while the local authority might not be responsible for the efficiency of the police, they were responsible for the proper lighting of the district. In one instance, which he mentioned, a court had been absolutely without light for nearly a week.
Mr. ABRAHAMS observed that he could not agree with the wholesale condemnation of the police, nor with any resolution which did not indicate a means of reform. He could, however, vouch, from his own personal experience, that the effect of these murders had been most injurious to business in Whitechapel; indeed, it was the most disastrous blow to the trade of the district that he had known in his experience of a quarter of a century.
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. The new system of police, whereby constables were frequently changed from one district to another, kept the policemen ignorant of their beats. This was one great cause of police inefficiency, and the inspectors themselves testified that what he said was correct. In days gone by constables were acquainted not only with the streets in their district, but also with all the houses.
The CHAIRMAN remarked that local bodies had no responsibility in these matters, as the management of the police had been taken away from them.
Mr. CARAMELLI thought the change in the condition of Whitechapel in recent years would suggest an entire revision of the police arrangements. Whitechapel was now a place for the residuum of the whole country and the Continent as well, but it was not so a generation ago.
After further discussion the following resolution was carried, on the motion of Mr. CATMUR, seconded by Mr. BARHAM: "That this board regards 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."
At Worship-street Police-court yesterday, among the night charges were some ten or a dozen prisoners arraigned for loitering and disorderly conduct, and in the course of the hearing of one case, against a man who was accused of assaulting Police-constable 337 H - the officer proved that at about three o'clock on Sunday morning the prisoner was loitering about in Commercial-street, Spitalfields. He was singing, and when spoken to knocked the officer down. The magistrate (Mr. Montagu Williams Q. C.) said that if ever there was a time at which he was inclined to deal severely with men who assaulted the police it was the present. The police had not merely to walk their beats, but to have eyes and ears for every one found about the streets at such hours. The present state of affairs was too horrible to continue, and the police must be supported in putting an end to it. He (the magistrate) would not allow a fine for assault on the police, and he sentenced the prisoner to fourteen days' hard labour.
Yesterday at Marylebone Police-court, a man, evidently of the artisan class, applied to Mr. De Rutzen for process against a gentleman living at Tottenham, for injury he had sustained through being arrested on suspicion of being the perpetrator of the Whitechapel murder. He had been helping in the repair of the organ at St. Saviour's Church, Warwick-road, Paddington, and was on his way home, when the person against whom he was applying said he (applicant) was "Leather Apron," and gave him into custody on suspicion of being the Whitechapel murderer. He was taken to the Carlton-terrace Police Station, where he was detained for three and a half hours. - Mr. De Rutzen told the applicant he could not grant him process in that court. If he had suffered any wrong by being locked up on suspicion of being the perpetrator of the murders in Whitechapel, and thought he could recover redress, he must bring an action in the county-court.
The man William Weddle, or Waddle, who disappeared from Birtley, near Gateshead, on the night of the murder of Jane Beetmoor, was, according to a telegram received by the Gateshead County Police yesterday, apprehended yesterday morning.
Mr. Wynne Baxter, coroner for East Middlesex, opened an inquest yesterday respecting the woman who was found dead with her throat cut in Berner-street, Whitechapel. Evidence was given by two or three members of a Socialist Club in the immediate vicinity of the scene of the crime. This club was kept open till past midnight, and the steward on returning at one o'clock on Sunday morning was the first to discover the body. The inquest was adjourned, it being understood that for the present the deceased must be described as a woman unknown, as the evidence of identity is not complete.
But little further information has been brought to light by yesterday's investigations concerning the two horrible murders in the East-end early on Sunday morning. Several persons of suspicious appearance were arrested in the course of the day; but, as they were able to give satisfactory explanations, they were released. The criminal is still at large. Sir James Fraser, Commissioner of the City Police, has offered a reward of £500 to any person who will give information leading to the conviction of the murderer of the woman whose body was found in Mitre-square, Aldgate. In reply to a letter in which a cheque was enclosed for £300 towards a reward fund, the Home Secretary has returned the cheque, reiterating his opinion that the offer of a reward in these cases would not be attended by any useful result.
John Brown, labourer, was brought up at the Westminster Police-court yesterday, charged with the wilful murder of his wife. He was remanded for eight days.
It is time that her Majesty's Government awoke to a proper sense of the responsibilities which weigh upon them as a consequence of the unprecedented series of atrocities that have produced almost a frenzy of panic at the East-end, and have spread alarm and apprehension throughout the length and breadth of this vast Metropolis. It is not assuredly the first time that a great city of the Empire has been angered and affrighted by the repeated occurrence of dreadful deeds of blood; still there is scarcely any analogy between the six appalling deeds of assassination and savagery which will be known in the black chronicle of crime as the Whitechapel Murders and former cases of aggravated homicide, cruel and revolting enough in themselves, but which had still, from the beginning, an ascertained and palpable motive. Nearly sixty years ago Edinburgh first and London afterwards were convulsed with dread and horror by the fiendish deeds respectively of BURKE and HARE and of BISHOP and WILLIAMS. Then, however, from the first it was suspected, and the suspicion was very soon justified by certainty, that the miscreants who committed these horrible acts, and who decoyed cripples, drunken men, imbeciles, and poor Italian boys to their lairs, first to stupefy and then to suffocate them with pitch-plasters, were, in the cant language of the period, a monstrous development of the body-snatchers or "resurrection men," who found it easier and safer to murder their victims than to rifle graves in order to sell the corpses to the surgeons, whose anatomical studies were impeded by obstructive legislation. Still the hanging of the ruffians implicated in these atrocities was not the only cause of the immediate and definitive cessation of the crime of burking. Parliament passed an Anatomy Act, which enabled medical men to obtain "subjects" without resorting to any illegitimate means; and the scum of humanity, who had hitherto been the purveyors of the dissecting-room, found their profitable but ghastly occupation gone. While they flourished the burkers were a terror; but their whereabouts was guessed at, their intentions were patent, their movements were watched, and they were at last hunted down and consigned to the gallows; and the burkers, thank Heaven, are an extinct race of demons in human form. In the Whitechapel murders we have not, beyond the equivocal medical hypothesis broached by the coroner in the case of ANNIE CHAPMAN, one single clue, or even fragment of a clue - beyond the finding of a portion of the apron of one of the victims - which is likely to guide us either to the direction of the assassin or assassins or the possible motive which may have prompted the commission of these unspeakable crimes. The anatomical theory is, we repeat, almost entirely untenable; and we are thus left to weave the merest figments of fancy, and to form unpleasant visions of roving lunatics distraught with homicidal mania or bloodthirsty lust; of abandoned desperadoes wreaking their thirst for slaughter on forlorn and hopeless women, the wretchedest and most pitiable of their sex, to satisfy some inscrutably foul and crapulous vendetta; or, finally, we may dream of monsters, or ogres, and chimeras in the shape of wretched beings who catch from each awful story the contagion of senseless crime, and, out of a horrid imitativeness, repeat the abominable acts which they have seen described.
It is because the public are so thoroughly devoid of any scrap of trustworthy fact on which to build a plausible structure of probability, and it is equally because the detective police are to all appearance as impotent in their uncertainty as the community at large, that we call upon the Government to assume, and with a hearty good will, the duties which clearly devolve upon it in this unprecedented social crisis. And in doing so we wish it to be clearly understood that this is no case of a wagoner finding the wheels of his vehicle impounded in a morass and calling upon JUPITER to help him. Mr. MATTHEWS is certainly no embodiment of the idea of even the weakest type of a terrestrial JOVE; but from the Home Secretary were he as strong as he is feeble and as able as he is incompetent, we do not expect Administrative miracles. We have exposed, with justifiable plain speech, the notorious and shameful shortcomings of the Detective Department, or rather of the botched-up makeshift which does duty for a Detective Department, at Scotland-yard; but, even were Sir CHARLES WARREN seconded by a civilian Director of Criminal Investigation as astute, as sagacious, and as fertile as a VIDOCQ or a CLAUDE, we should still frankly acknowledge the possibility of there being crime so occult and criminals so cunning that the most lynx-eyed detective might for a while be baffled and perplexed in his quest. That which we exhort the Government to bear in mind, and which the public have a right to call upon the supreme authority to do, is that some measures be forthwith resorted to calculated to reassure the public mind and to inspire confidence in lieu of a widely-spreading feeling of mistrust, which may deepen into wrath, at what is not unnaturally thought to be the lethargy and supineness of the advisers of the Crown in presence of a dreadful and almost unexampled public peril. There is an uneasy impression abroad that those who are responsible may imagine, for the reason that this is the dullest period of the autumn, that Parliament is "up," that honourable Members are away shooting or deer-stalking or wandering about the Continent, or edifying provincial audiences by threadbare dissertations upon thrice-told political tales, that what passes in London cannot be of much moment. Unhesitatingly do we advise the Government to disabuse their minds of a most pernicious and perilous error. It is quite true that these shocking acts of massacre and mutilation have taken place in one small, sordid, and indigent quarter of an immense district which, during the last ten years, has been rapidly improving in the status of its dwellings and the character of its inhabitants, but of which the majority of the inhabitants of West and Central London know about as much as they do of the Hindoo Koosh or the Northern Territory of South Australia. It is also true that the half-dozen human creatures so foully done to death within so short a time in this restricted area were only poor penniless unfortunates; but their blood as loudly calls for vengeance as though that of as many titled-ladies had been shed in the palaces of Park-lane.
The duty of the Government is clear. It is bound to show that the capital of the Empire is not ruled only by vestries, boards of guardians and commissioners of police, but that above them all are the power, the prerogative, and the prestige of the Crown, as invoked and administered by the servants of the Crown for the benefit of the subject. We are, after all, and beyond all, the QUEEN'S lieges; and it is fitting, it is essential, it is imperative that when the occasion demands it and the safety of the subject is imminently in peril remedial action should be taken in the QUEEN'S name. Already the Vigilance Committee in Whitechapel have memorialised the Home Office in the hope of a Government reward being offered for the detection of the murderer or murderers; and to this reasonable request a rambling reply was made by the unsatisfactory functionary in Whitehall, treating the crimes themselves in a languidly official manner; making the inconsequent and unsupported allegation that money rewards for the discovery of offences did more harm than good, stating further that the Government saw no reason for departing from its practice of refraining from offering such a reward. Mr. MATTHEWS carries out his principle so far that he actually declines three hundred pounds tendered him by gentlemen in the City, who requested that it should be offered in the name of the Government. Small wonder that his peculiarly nonchalant response to a reasonable and respectful memorial has been followed by a petition, couched in the most loyal language, to the Throne itself. It is painful to think that our Sovereign Lady the QUEEN should be asked to lend her ear to so sorrowful and so sickening a tale; but it is her Majesty's Ministers who, personally, are called upon to make a practical acknowledgement and a tangible satisfaction to the prayer of the petitioners. It is the Marquis of SALISBURY, and not the easy-going gentleman at the Home Office, who can render the required recognition and give the help insisted upon. The Crown should offer a very large money reward for information which shall lead to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator or perpetrators of these unutterably abominable deeds; and we say deliberately that the amount of this reward should be reckoned not by hundreds but by thousands of pounds. "The eagle," says the old proverb, "does not catch flies"; and when the Imperial hand is extended for the welfare of the realm it should be in a right Imperial fashion that the force and weight of its sway are felt. The Colonial Government of Victoria and New South Wales could offer a reward of thousands of pounds for the capture, dead or alive, of the notorious KELLY and his gang of bushrangers, and these miscreants were not a more imminent danger and a greater terror to the peaceful communities at the Antipodes than the sanguinary fiend or fiends who committed the Whitechapel murders are to the British Metropolis. The population which was almost paralysed with alarm by the outrages of KELLY and his band of desperadoes did not number more than a million, and it was less for their lives than for the dread of being carried off that they went to bed every night in fear and trembling, not knowing at what hour the bushrangers, armed to the teeth, might ride into the town to "bail up" the local branch bank or "stick-up" the local innkeepers. London is a city the population of which is verging upon five millions; it is guarded by a splendidly organised and disciplined police force, although one notoriously insufficient from a numerical point of view to cope with the enormous mass of crime that seethes in this huge capital. Of an efficient detective force, headed by an experienced chief, it is practically destitute. This is, in plain and unvarnished terms, the position of the Empire City of the World in the presence of its permanent enemies - the burglar, the garroter, and the cut-purse - and in the sporadic presence of the assassin. It is the blood-shedding pest who perturbs order at present, and we cannot tell at what day, what hour, what moment we may not have to record another deed of murdering and mangling done perchance in Whitechapel, but possibly even in Belgravia or in Tyburnia. At such a time it is imperatively necessary that the law-abiding people of the East-end, who may be counted by hundreds of thousands, should know that there is an unstinted solidarity of sympathy between them and their fellow-citizens in every part of the Metropolis. The civic authorities, with a commendable promptitude, strikingly in contrast with remissness elsewhere exhibited, promised a reward of five hundred pounds for information that will enable them to trace the author of these vile deeds. Through their commanding officer, Sir ALFRED KIRBY, the corps of Tower Engineers have also offered one hundred pounds for the same purpose. This is as it should be. It is expedient also that that intelligent and experienced force the City Police should be assured that all London has full confidence in their harmonious co-operation with the Metropolitan Police in the not yet hopeless task of unravelling this horrible skein of mystery; but the expression of such sympathy and such confidence will be increased fourfold if the Government come forward, as they should have done weeks ago, to offer a weighty reward for the discovery of the criminal or criminals; and, finally, if the public horror and the public anger receive due interpretation in a Royal Proclamation explaining and justifying the act of encouraging, by an Imperial premium, the inquest into these unparalelled deeds of bloodshed.
[BY SPECIAL WIRE;]
[FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.]
"Les Mystères de Londres" is the appropriate epithet which Frenchmen are giving to the series of terrible tragedies in the East-end of the British metropolis. One of our French contemporaries published this morning full particulars of the discovery of the two new murders, and this evening there is hardly a journal which does not supply its readers with some account of these appalling crimes. Nothing in any way equalling the sensation produced in London by this succession of mysterious murders has occurred here for many a year. It was some time ere the triple murder of the Rue Montaigne was fully brought home to Pranzini, and then it was suggested that he might also prove to have been the assassin of Marie Aguétant, another fair and frail woman living in the Rue Caumartin. As a natural consequence, other crimes were then by presumption laid at Pranzini's door. This is the only parallel to the "East-end murders" with which the annals of crime in the French metropolis have furnished us for a long time; but, as was subsequently shown, Pranzini was innocent of the murder of Marie Aguétant, with which the Spaniard Prado is now charged. Here, as in London, the police were at first baffled, and I may remind you that the assassin of M. Barrême, the Prefect of the Department of the Eure, who was killed in a railway carriage as he was returning from Paris to Evreux, has never yet been discovered. Indeed, the instances are by no means few in which the police-authorities have been finally compelled to own themselves beaten. At the same time, it may be pointed out that such a series of exceptionally shocking crimes has not occurred here for years, not have the Parisian detectives often so utterly failed in the effort to track the assassin to his lair. These last dreadful discoveries are already the subject of much comment here, and people sitting outside the cafés on the Boulevards this afternoon perused the different accounts with avidity. The weather seems to have settled again, for the day has been fine and sunny; but Summer has quite gone, and the fresh, almost chilly atmosphere, accompanying the fall of about twenty degrees Fahrenheit, which the thermometer has marked during the past four days, has "landed" us fairly in Autumn.