7 September 1888
THE WHITECHAPEL MURDER.
WATCHING BUCK'S ROW.
This morning, at one o'clock, two reporters commenced a watch in Buck's-row, which terminated at eleven o'clock, and from what they then observed, coupled with the evidence already given, they came to the conclusion that the police are altogether wrong in their assumption that the murder was committed on the spot where the body was found. This seems to be absolutely impossible, for the following reasons. In the first place, Buck's-row is a decently wide thoroughfare, running at right angles from Baker's-row to Brady-street. Buck's-row is in every sense thoroughly respectable, every tenant being an old inhabitant, and of good class. In addition to well-to-do artisans, the row contains a mission hall, the factor of Messrs. Schneider and Sons, and the factories and warehouses of Messrs. Torr, and Browne and Eagle, together with the private residence of the Rev. Henry North Hall, the curate of St. Mary, Whitechapel. There are watchmen at night at these factories, and many of the private residents were awake at the time the deceased was murdered, but none heard any cries for help on Friday morning.
It has been stated that the street is a dark one, but this is altogether wrong, for it is well lighted at all hours of the night by the great lamps outside the brewery of Messrs. Mann and Crossman, in addition to the ordinary street lamps, and it seems inconceivable that such a well-lighted street would be selected for the crime.
Winthrop-street, on the other hand, is very narrow and very dark, and tenanted by many of the worst characters in London, and there seems to be no doubt whatever that the murder was committed there, and the body brought round the corner and left a few yards up Buck's-row. The extensive nature of the injuries and the absence of blood in Buck's-row, as proved by the police, also goes to show that the murder was not committed there, and if this be so there was probably a second party cognisant of the murder, if not a participator in it. It may be stated that a thorough search of the houses in Winthrop-street, has not been made by the police yet, and there is good reason to believe that had this been done at the outset a clue to the murder and the actual spot where it took place would have been discovered.
The police system of particular beats and regular time for certain constables to be upon those beats is thoroughly well-known by the criminal classes, and the medical evidence gives colour to the theory that Constable Neil was watched, and the moment he had passed through Buck's-row the body was carried there and left where he found it half an hour afterwards on his return along that beat; and as the body was not cold the murder was committed perhaps three-quarters of an hour before the discovery of the victim.
The whole of the inhabitants of Buck's-row are of one opinion, viz., that the murder was not done there, and as many of them know the locality well, having lived there for 20 or 30 years (the youngest inhabitant three years), some respect might, it is thought, be shown to their knowledge.
The inhabitants of Buck's-row are about to suggest to Sir Charles Warren that had the police been smarter in their action the murderer might have been traced at once, and the terrible scandal of three undiscovered murders in Whitechapel within a few months avoided. It will also be urged upon him the necessity of augmenting the police force, for it appears that the whole neighbourhood of the London Hospital is infested by bands of thieves who daily commit robberies in broad daylight with impunity, the courts and alleys in the locality giving them ready means of escape.