13 August 1888
It is probable that Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde will not hold the boards of the Lyceum long, but will make way for the production of another of Mr. Mansfield's plays-A Parisian Romance.
SOLDIERS PARADE AT THE TOWER.
The murder of the young woman supposed to be Martha Turner, which occurred at George-yard-buildings, Whitechapel-road, is as much a mystery as ever, and up to the present there is no decided clue as to the perpetrator of the foul crime. The woman who was seen in the company of two soldiers, with whom was the deceased, has not been able to identify either of the men at the Tower as being her companion on the evening of the murder.
Inspector Reid and the other officers engaged in the case have in no way relaxed their efforts to trace the criminal, and this morning the Inspector, accompanied by "Pearly Poll," who was in the company of the murdered woman, proceeded to the Tower, where she was confronted with every non-commissioned officer and private who had leave of absence at the time of the outrage. They were paraded at the back of the Tower, unseen by the public - of whom to-day there is a large number frequenting the historic structure - and "Pearly Poll" was asked, "Can you see here either of the men you saw with the woman now dead?" "Pearly Poll" in no way embarrassed, placed her arms akimbo, glanced at the men with the air of an inspecting officer and shook her head. This indication of a negative was not sufficient. "Can you identify anyone?" she was asked. "Pearly Poll" exclaimed, with a good deal of feminine emphasis, "He ain't here."
The woman was very decided on this point, and the men were then dismissed, while the two upon whom the faint shadow of suspicion had rested were considerably relieved at their innocence being declared. As soon as the murder was known the suspected corporal was interviewed by the police and questioned. He had his bayonet with him when on leave at the time of the outrage; but this he at once produced, and no trace of blood was discovered upon it. His clothing too, was also examined, and upon it there was no incriminating bloodstain. After the parade our reporter saw Adjutant A.W. Cotton, the officer in command, who stated that all the men are now entirely exonerated. Indeed, the men were themselves most anxious to afford every facility to the police, and gave all the information in their power to assist the officers of justice in their investigation.
There have been many visitors to George-yard-buildings with the rather morbid purpose of seeing the place where the deceased was discovered. Here there is still a large surface of the stone flags crimson stained. It is at the spot where the blood oozed from the poor creatures heart. The police authorities regard as little short of marvellous the fact that no dweller in this model block heard any disturbance. Thinking this point ought to be cleared up, our reported again visited to-day Mr. Francis Hewitt, the superintendent of the dwellings, who, with his wife, occupies a sleeping apartment at nearly right angles with the place where the dead body lay. Mr. Hewitt produced a foot-rule, and measured the distance of his sleeping place from the stone step in question; it was exactly 12 ft. "And we never heard a cry," remarked Mr. Hewitt. Mrs. Hewitt remarked that early in the evening she had heard a single cry of "Murder!" It echoed through the building, but did not emanate from there. "But," explained Mr. and Mrs. Hewitt in a breath, "the district round here is rather rough, and cries of "Murder!" are of frequent, if not nightly, occurrence in the district.
The model dwellings at George-yard-buildings were erected about thirteen years ago, and Princess Alice, but a short time before her death, visited the poor residents there, and extolled the ingenious method of housing them. The structure was erected more as a philanthropic than as a commercial venture by Mr. Crowther, a gentleman well known in the district. The occupants are of the poorest class - described by the superintendent's wife as "the poorest of the poor, but very honest."