23 October 1888
ARREST AT BOW
An arrest has been made at bow, but whether it has any important bearing on the case has not transpired. The particulars connected with the arrest are as follow: - At about nine o'clock yesterday morning a man entered the Gordon Chambers - a lodging-house near Bow Church - and asked permission for a wash. This was granted him. He was afterwards observed to take off a pair of white overalls, and then seen to be drying his waistcoat by the fire, a stain having apparently been washed out from the garment. Afterwards he offered to sell the overalls for 3d. This offer receiving no response he went out. He, however, returned at midnight, this time being quite differently attired. The authorities of the house had now become suspicious, and they communicated with the police, with the result that the man was arrested at about one o'clock this morning, he being conveyed to the Bow-road Station. At that time there was no evidence against him beyond the suspicion resulting from his conduct.
ELIZABETH STRIDE"S DEATH
VERDICT OF THE CORONER"S JURY
A SISTER"S INDIGNATION
The inquest on the body of Elizabeth Stride, who was known by her companions as "Long Liz," the victim of the Berner-street murder, was concluded by Coroner Wynne E. Baxter at the St. George's Vestry-hall, Cable-street, E., to-day.
The police have, at all events, been able to clear up the uncertainty with regard to the identification of the deceased. As will be remembered, a Mrs. Malcolm, of Red Lion-street, identified the deceased as her sister. That sister, however, came forward to-day and convinced Mrs. Malcolm of her mistake. Mrs. Elizabeth Stokes is this sister. She resides at 5, Charles-street, Tottenham. She said - I was formerly the wife of a Mr. Watts, a wine merchant at Bath. I have not seen my sister for years. I have come here to clear my character. My sister has made a dreadful and cruel statement about me. Her evidence was all wrong. She identified the deceased woman as myself, and said that I had been a curse to the family for many years. Her statements (continued the witness, addressing the Jury) have caused me a great deal of trouble, and I am sorry, gentlemen, that there is a sister in my family who would make such statements.
Inspector Reid said the record of the death of Thomas Stride, the husband of the deceased in 1884, had been found in the books of Stepney Infirmary. A police-constable named Stride also said that he had recognised the body as that of the woman who had married his uncle.
The Coroner then summed up the case to the Jury. Alluding to the points connected with the identification of the deceased, the Coroner said : - "Our trouble was principally occasioned by Mrs. Malcolm, who, after some hesitation, and after having had two further opportunities of viewing the body, positively swore that the deceased was her sister - a Mrs. Elizabeth Watts, of Bath. It has since been clearly proved that she was mistaken, notwithstanding similar visions, which were simultaneously vouchsafed at the hour of the death to her and her husband. If her evidence be correct, there are points of resemblance between the deceased and Elizabeth Watts which almost remind of The Comedy of Errors. Both had been courted by policemen, they bore the same Christian name, and were of the same age, both lived with sailors, both at one time kept coffee-houses at Poplar, both were nicknamed "Long Liz", both were said to have children in charge of their husband's friends, both were said to be subject to epileptic fits and both had lost their front teeth."
"In the absence of motive, the age and class of the woman selected as the victim, and the place and time of the crime," said the Coroner in conclusion, "there is a similarity between this case and those mysteries which have recently occurred in this neighbourhood. There has been no skilful mutilation as in the cases of Nichols and Chapman, and no unskilful injuries as in the case in Mitre-square - possibly the work of an imitator; but there has been the same skill exhibited in the way in which the victim has been entrapped, and the injuries inflicted, so as to cause instant death and prevent blood from soiling the operator, and the same daring defiance of immediate detection, which, unfortunately for the peace of the inhabitants and the trade of the neighbourhood, has hitherto been only too successful."
The Jury then after a short consultation, returned a verdict of wilful murder against some person or persons unknown.
It will be remembered that in the interview referred to the Lord Mayor referred to London as the "cesspool of Europe," and quoted the Whitechapel murders as a proof of this. Finding that this caused offence he denied it. But now the Belgian papers give him the "retort courteous." We await the issue.