Sir - Whoever has had any special intercourse with our detective force must have been struck with its great inferiority in the detection of crime and search after criminals as compared with the French. Nor is the reason far to seek which explains this deficiency. The requirements and the remuneration of an English policeman preclude the likelihood of obtaining any large number of efficient detectives. The first consideration in the selection of a French detective is a marked manifestation of intelligence. Secondly, a capability of a metamorphism so complete that the very mother who bore him should hardly recognise her own son, when such a disguise is found necessary. Beside this there is always a willingness to obtain, if possible, a man specially acquainted with the haunts and habits of the class under surveillance; whilst, wherever it is practicable, the incognito is preserved, and when the criminal is fairly run to earth, the final act of arrest is consummated by an officer in uniform. Here everything which prevails in Paris is ignored. The first consideration in the selection of a policeman is height, size, and weight. The nearer six feet the better. This sine quid non secured, the next thing demanded is, "Is he sound in wind and limb, and about fit for a boxing competition, or fitted to play the part of a gladiator?" As for any special intelligence, that cannot be expected at the wages of a country waggoner, little more than half the money paid to a decent blacksmith, carpenter, or bricklayer. There is not a gamin in any of our large towns who estimates the nous of our police as much above the amount possessed by a tailor's dummy. The miserable fiasco which has been displayed in connection with the search into the four murders in the East end, is just what might have been expected by any one who will look at the mode of procedure. A man known to be a policeman puts in an appearance, this puts every one of the original herd upon the alert, and at once it is game of chess between a few fourteen stone raw country men in livery (for the detective is well known to every prig in London) pitted against the intellect of the keenest blades in the criminal world. We have seen the detective hidden, as he thought, beneath the garb of an impenetrable disguise. Trousers cut to the regulation pattern,a shooting jacket or office coat (into which one hand is permanently glue), a billycock hat, and often a bright necktie, shoes with thick, heavy soles and broad ponderous heels, with a switch or cane carried much after the fashion of a market drover; whilst, if a pair of gloves are mounted, they are worn as though they were a curiosity which had just been picked up. Add to this the strut and country look of official importance, and you have the average detective just as he appeared on several occasions to the writer, notably on one where a high class of intelligence was demanded, when a gigantic forgery was committed upon the Imperial Bank of Austria, in which some of the noblest houses in Vienna were implicated, including Count Buol, the then Chancellor of the Exchequer, and who, in consequence, committed suicide. The agents in this matter were aristocrats, and tried to get their false notes and coins made in Paris; but soon found France too hot. London was next tried - warning had been forwarded from Paris; but it is infra dig, to receive suggestions here from any one not on the official staff, and the warning was disregarded. At last, through the representations made to the Foreign Office, a movement was made, and the sort of man described above put upon the trail of accomplished gentlemen who kept a splendid equipage of livery servants. Six months after the whole had been made and were out of the country, our brilliant athletes awoke to a sense that there was something to do, and they commenced by looking for some poor wretch out at elbows, half starved and vegetating in a common lodging house. The real criminals at the same time having the entree to the saloons of the great. This experience does not stand alone. That a reform is wanted the fact that nearly every great crime remains undetected must prove to the meanest capacity. If permitted to do so through your columns, I will suggest such alterations as will satisfy most that the chances of detection can be indefinitely multiplied.
I am, &c.,
Geo. Savage, Die Sinker.
Greenleaf lane, Walthamstow, September 28.
Sir - Much has been said concerning the Whitechapel murders. Might I venture to offer a few remarks on the subject. When I was a student it was the practice to employ porters, one for the dissecting room, and one for the post mortem room. Now these men, with constant association of the internal organs of the human body, had a good chance of picking up a little knowledge. We also know that these men are very illiterate, and that they have to do a deal of dirty work for a small wage, and perhaps a wife and family to keep at home, especially the post mortem porter who generally has to return all organs of the body back to their place and sew the body up. Now,sir, we have heard the coroner's statement regarding the offer of £20 for certain portions of the human body. Might not this offer have reached the ears of one of these porters? Possibly he may have been discharged, and be in urgent need of money. In any case, no doubt, £20 would be a Godsend to such a man. Would it not be well for the police to inquire at the two hospitals - whichever they are - respecting such porters, find out if one of them has been discharged, or if not make inquiries respecting the character of them, whether they were at their post at the times of the murders, or if not where they were and what they were doing. I should be sorry to injure any one branch of industry, but I think at the present time it is necessary to think of all things possible in order to elucidate such horrible crimes.
Apologising for troubling you,
I am, &c.,
Up till the time of writing we are unable to gratify our readers with the information that the Whitechapel fiend has fallen under the clutches of the police. The air is heavy with theories as to what manner of man the assassin is, but scientific reasoning tends to the adoption of the one we suggested on September 10 last. To the medical faculty it is a well known fact that epilepsy is often induced by erotic desires and of course no convulsions are necessary to constitute an attack. During the epileptic seizure instead of convulsions there may be a substitution of suicidal or homicidal impulse. All this does not of course account for the apparent cunning shown by the murderer, but it is possible that when he is discovered his methods are more open and simple than the difficulty of finding him leads the public to suppose. It is presumed that a bloodstained person perambulating the streets would not escape detection, and it will be remembered that the murder of Annie Chapman was committed at the dawn of day. To account for the immunity of the assassin, it is supposed he must have some private dwelling near the scene of his operations, but as is pointed out by a correspondent of ours today he might easily wear dissecting gloves and a black mackintosh, and both could be taken off and wrapped up in a few seconds.
Again there is a chance that the murderer may cut the woman's throat first from behind and thereby escape the great spurt of blood which rushes forth when the carotid is severed. The throat wounds are all from left to right, and could easily be inflicted by a man fondling a woman, having his left arm round her neck, and suddenly bringing up his knife to her throat with a stab and drawing the blade towards him. This theory exactly accounts for the nature of all the throat wounds, and would be accordant with the supposition that the murderer has no blood on his clothes. But again there is a difficulty, and that is that at least on the front of the body of the woman murder in Berner street, there is no blood which might be expected to be found had she been standing when the wound was inflicted. If she were on the ground when first struck, the wound must have been made by a lefthanded person or by an awkward thrust of the right hand in a direction across the breast of the murderer. In the meantime all cases of persons, and especially of butchers and slaughtermen, who have been treated for epilepsy or homicidal mania should be investigated by the police.
Apropos of the Whitechapel murders we are getting all the old tales of Burke and Hare and Bishop and Williams retold. No morning paper has yet reprinted De Quincy's essay on murder, but we may expect it any day now, and indeed, we have already seen large slices from it somewhat disguised and palmed off as original matter. That by the way. When the Whitechapel murderer is found - if he be ever found - he will probably enrich our language with his name. Burke, and Boycott have both provided us with a verb, though the first is rather hard upon a certain Edmund.
We cannot congratulate Mr. Horace Smith, the magistrate presiding over Dalston Police Court, yesterday, upon his views as regards the due adjustment of punishment to offence. A young man named Henderson was charged before him with assaulting an unfortunate woman named Rosa Goldstein, and threatening to "rip her up, the same as a few more had been done." The prosecutrix, "who appeared with surgical bandages about her head and seemed weak from loss of blood," stated that on Saturday night she was going home when the prisoner made proposals to her, which she refused, when he struck her three times on the head with the buckhorn handle of his stick, causing blood to flow freely, and rendering her partially insensible.
So far as can be gathered from the published report of the case there was practically no defence, save that the prisoner was under the influence of liquor at the time, and Mr. Smith proceeded to give his sentence: "If it had not been that you were drunk," he told the prisoner, "and may not have known exactly what you were doing, I should have dealt very severely with you." As it was, however, the merciful magistrate considered that the offence was not "wilful wickedness," and contented himself with imposing a fine of forty shillings, or a month's imprisonment. If this misplaced leniency does not prove a direct incentive to others to go and do likewise, it will be surprising.
We were told yesterday in The Evening News that on Sunday afternoon delicately reared women daintily picked their way through the crowded streets leading to the spots of the latest murders. They were escorted by men probably as carefully bred as they were themselves, men who have unflinchingly faced the tiger in the jungle, braved the swarthy foe in treacherous Indian mountain passes, carried the Gospel at the risk of their lives to the benighted brethren, or help to win and keep that greater Britain which excites the wonder and envy of other nations. Well, we know that history repeats itself not only in its most salient political facts, but in its minor social incidentals. "Pepys," "The London Spy," The Tatler and the "Rake's Progress" give us vivid pictures of a noisy rout of Pall Mall beaus and belles, country fly catchers, and London scamps passing up and down the corridors of Bethlehem, mocking its unhappy inmates with brutal jests or investigating and gossiping about their delusions and extravagances with unfeeling curiosity. Sir Richard Steele took three schoolboy friends out for a frolic and did not think the junketings complete unless he showed them, in addition to the lions, the tombs, and other sights, Bedlam, "which are entertainments to raw minds because they strike forcibly on the fancy." Carey's hero of "Sally in our Alley" takes his sweetheart to Bedlam, and Carey himself, who watches them through the livelong day, manages to extract from the doings of the shoemaker's apprentice and Sally one of the sweetest of love songs in the English language - one of the most perfect pictures of humble life.
I at once absolve the visitors mentioned by my colleague of the intention of indulging in brutal jests about what they saw, but I am by no means prepared to credit them with the intention of extracting poetry from the scenes through which they passed. Least of all do I suspect their minds of being so raw as to have their fancy forcibly struck by the pictures of squalid poverty of utter degradation that form the backgrounds to the sensation scenes they came to inspect. And yet there is poetry enough in these to move the most callous; unfortunately it happens to be the poetry of Dante's "Inferno," and Dante's "Inferno" is much too strong for modern squeamish mental digestions. We have, however, improved upon the wisdom of the ostrich, we do not bury our heads in the sand lest we should see and hear, but we look and listen, and, apparently awe stricken, raise our hands to Heaven in supplication as id we did not know that Heaven will only help those that help themselves.
Well may the cynic laugh at seeing such a play as that which I saw last night at the Pavilion Theatre in the Whitechapel road. It is called "The Golden Ladder," and is from the pens of Messrs. George Sims and Wilson Barrett. It deals with the heroism of a clergyman who sacrifices health and comfort, who incurs a hundred dangers to convert, to save a handful of Polynesians, when, forsooth, there are within a stone's throw of that playhouse thousands and thousands of our white brethren and sisters more degraded by far than the objects of the missionary's care; thousands and thousands leading lives compared with which those of the blacks must be holy and cleanly. If the latter herd like cattle it is because they know no better, or would not have known better but for the European's interference. The denizens of Osborne place, of Flower and Dean street, of half a dozen other thoroughfares I could mention in that locality, have the difference between their wretchedness and the affluence of their fellow men thrust upon their notice every hour, every minute of the day. With the battle of life hopelessly lost almost before the first effort is made - for the babe at the mother's breast in that neighbourhood sucks in despair as well as vice - is it a wonder that they get reckless, though not so reckless as to barter their lives - if they barter their honour - for a meal and for a shelter?
For it has come to this, that these unfortunates do not even dare ply their revolting trade any longer, that the dread of the murderer's knife keeps them huddled together within the quasi protecting shadow of the unspeakable home. During my eight hours perambulation,yesterday, I heard not once, but half a dozen times the terrible wail of "Who knows but what it may be my turn next?" They know that more of them are doomed, knowing that the pittance required to keep body and soul together can only be obtained in one way, knowing furthermore that in default of this pittance they will be turned out in the chill autumnal night to wander hither and thither - perchance to return no more.
Does this mean that the owners of these lodging houses are altogether merciless? I think not. But they also have liabilities, and to meet these they must be firm. Where and how are they to draw the line? Consideration for one must mean in their care consideration for many, and such consideration must eventually end in ruin.
Meanwhile, those who have this wretched fourpence wherewith to stave off - if only for one night - the attack of the fiend that stalks abroad, appear to be merry, but the gaiety, to him who listens carefully, appears hollow. It sounds like the "Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die." As one passes through the whitewashed dormitories, with nothing but the faint flicker of the farthing rushlight - cut into three for economy's sake - to guide one, the heartrending picture has its comic side also. The profane jest is, of course, not wanting, but, for all that, the homely humour of the people pierces through now and then. In one of the houses in Flower and Dean street we were shown into a women's dormitory containing about eighteen very narrow beds arranged in two rows. It was too dark to distinguish the sex of the sleepers covered up to the neck, and as I was under the impression that we were in a men's dormitory I expressed myself to that effect. "There is a gentleman who can only distinguish man from woman when both are dressed," came the remark. I apologised for my mistake and intrusion and retired.
In fact it is highly advisable just now to be profuse in apologies to the fairer sex in the neighbourhood of Whitechapel and Commercial road. More advisable still to give them a wide berth, if possible, for propinquity - let alone juxtaposition - intentional or not, is sure to raise an outcry, and Robert is very much on his mettle. He is evidently resolved to do something, and that something means clapping the "darbies" on. In less than seven minutes, and along a distance of about a hundred yards, I witnessed two captures last night. The first prisoner had done nothing, and the second had, as far as I could gather, had done less. A woman was standing outside a shop when a young man, apparently well dressed, came up to her - the woman asserted, stealthily. She gave a piercing yell, and followed it up by the statement that she had seen him loiter in Berner street during yesterday. That was enough. There and then the young man was marched to the police station. Nothing is more likely than "the accused" having been in Berner street, but why his presence should expose him to summary arrest is possibly patent only to Robert's method of deduction. the second victim of another Robert's zealousness was upon the face of it a tramp. He had retired to a secluded court and alley, and there changed his inexpressibles - that is if we may believe half a dozen children who raised a cry that there was blood on his clothes. He also paid the penalty of the panic. In fact it appears to be not only a reign of terror but a reign of error.
I will deal with the terror first as manifested by the haunted looks of the women as they pass dark corner. They are evidently under the impression that impunity had made the miscreant bolder, which no doubt is the case. But bold as he may have become he is not likely to make an attempt in a crowded thoroughfare without any preliminary courtship - save the mark - which he has hitherto deemed essential to the execution of his designs. Least of all is he likely to accost those who while yielding to his solicitations would seem a cut above al fresco amamtiveness. He has marked out a certain class, and the poorest of this class, as his prey; there is no reason as yet to think that he will deviate from his deep laid plan. Nevertheless the less poverty stricken seem to go in fear and trembling also. The others have absolutely deserted their dark haunts. The streets and lanes are deserted, and when at eleven o'clock last night I visited two lodging houses, more than half of the beds were already occupied, an unprecedented occurrence, according to the testimony of the deputy.
The error is the corollary of the terror, or, to put it in plain words, the wish is the father to the thought. It is hoped and believed that after the latest exploits the murderer will forsake the East and approach the West. He may abandon the scene of his former crimes; but for reasons already mentioned he will not venture into less squalid neighbourhoods. The theory which was broached when Mary Nicholls was done to death, namely, that the deed was committed in a house and that her body was removed subsequently, may be at once dismissed as untenable. Mary Nicholls and Annie Chapman were despatched where they were found. The first and foremost guarantee against detection is the accomplishment of the crime in the open air or, at any rate, not within four walls in the ordinary sense of the word. We may safely presume that such victims as the murderer would approach in the better class neighbourhoods would indignantly repulse his advances under the conditions he would hint at. Consequently one may take it for granted that at least one quarter of the metropolis is safe. This is but poor consolation, and is scarcely improved by the improbability of the criminal being a vagrant or even in poor circumstances. It makes detection all the more difficult. Dr. Forbes Winslow expressed himself to the above effect three weeks ago in an interview with a representative of The Evening News. Subsequent events have given more than a mere colour to the theory of the eminent specialist. Hence there will be little use in Robert's laying hands upon every outcast in or about the neighbourhood of Whitechapel. He must be looked for elsewhere. Mr. Louis Stevenson's book, "Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde," appeared too far fetched. One is gradually coming to the conclusion that the perpetrator of the East end crimes if he cannot change his personality as did the hero of the story, can at least disguise it so as to baffle discovery of his terrible doings by the inmates of his own home. We go further still, we maintain that the relations or friends of this scourge to humanity have no suspicion of having so accursed a creature near them. For we cannot, and will not, believe that they would not throw all other feelings to the wind in order to render this scourge harmless for the future, because we cannot, and will not, believe that this scourge is other than a homicidal maniac. As such no judge would inflict the utmost penalty of the law, and the disgrace of the scaffold would be spared the innocent relations.
The Central News says: As an indication of the terror which prevails in the East end of London among all classes of women, an arrest was made this morning, which, though suspicious in itself, has ostensibly no bearing on the murders.
A young respectable woman, named Amy Delling, was walking in the vicinity of Chambers street, Hoodman's fields, East, when a man spoke to her in passing. Something in his appearance excited her suspicion and she gave him into charge. Police constable 132H, after questioning him, proceeded to search him, much against the man's will, and found a loaded six chambered revolver in his possession. By this time a small crowd had collected, and some excitement prevailed. He was taken to Leman street police station, where he gave his name as Arthur Curtis, of 15 Finsbury street, East India road, Poplar, and stated that he was a sailor. He appeared to be slightly intoxicated, and gave no reason for having spoken to the woman. On being further searched nothing otherwise suspicious was found in his possession but a loaded revolver cartridge. He said he kept the revolver which he bought in New York for safety. He was charged and detained, and will be brought up before the magistrate today.
Below will be found "A Plausible Suggestion," signed "Medicus." The writer apparently had no knowledge at the time he despatched his letter of the statement made by a young man named Albert Baskert, of 13 Newnham street, Whitechapel, and therefore the coincidence is, to say the least, peculiar.
"Medicus" says that if the murderer wore a pair of dissecting gloves and an ordinary glazed mackintosh, his work could be accomplished, and the gloves and mackintosh wrapped up in a brief bag, and the man would immediately appear a respectable clerk returning late from the City.
It is a remarkable fact that the only man Mrs. Mortimer observed in Berner street, early on Sunday morning, carried a shiny black bag.
Air - All the accounts that I have read as yet about the Whitechapel murders describe the murderer as leaving the pot "reeking with blood," "soaked with blood," &c. Now, Sir, this is not at all necessary, neither is it likely, for if the perpetrator is familiar with dissecting or post mortem rooms, he will also be familiar with indiarubber dissecting gloves. If, therefore, he wore a pair of these, and also an ordinary black glazed mackintosh, his work could be accomplished, gloves and mackintosh doffed, rolled up, placed in a small brief bag, and behold! we have a respectable looking clerk returning late from the City. Both gloves and mackintosh are easily washed, and all traces of blood thus removed. I think, therefore, that the police may give up wandering about looking for man "reeking with blood." I am, &c., Medicus.
On Saturday night, about seven minutes to 12, I entered the Three Nuns Hotel, Aldgate. While in there an elderly woman, very shabbily dressed, came in and asked me to buy some matches. I refused and she went out. A man who had been standing by me remarked that these persons were a nuisance, to which I responded, "Yes." He then asked me to have a glass with him, but I refused, as I had just called for one myself. He then asked me if I knew how old some of the women were who were in the habit of soliciting outside. replied that I thought some of them who looked about 25 were over 35, the reason they looked younger being on account of the powder and paint. He asked if I could tell him where they usually went with men, and I replied that I had heard that some went to places in Oxford street, Whitechapel, others to some houses in Whitechapel road, and others to Bishopsgate street. He then asked whether I thought they would go with him down Northumberland alley - a dark, lonely court in Fenchurch street. I said that I did not know, but supposed they would. He then went outside and spoke to the woman who was selling matches, and gave her something I believe. He returned to me, and I bid him good night at about ten minutes past twelve. I believe the woman was waiting for him. I do not think I could identify the woman, as I did not take particular notice of her, but I should know the man again. He was a dark man, about 35 years of age, height about 5ft 6in or 7in. He wore a black felt hat, dark clothes (morning coat) and black tie, and carried a black shiny bag.
Appended is a copy of a bill issued by the City police authorities last night:-
MURDER - £500 REWARD
Whereas, at 1.45. a.m., in Sunday, the 30th of September last, a woman, name unknown, was found brutally murdered in Mitre square, Aldgate, in this City, a Reward of £500 will be paid by the Commissioner of Police of the City of London to any person (other than a person belonging to a Police Force in the United Kingdom) who shall give such information as shall lead to the discovery and conviction of the Murderer or Murderers. Information to be given to the Inspector of the Detective Department, 25 Old Jewry, or at any Police Station.
JAMES FRASER (Colonel), Commissioner
City of London Police Office, 25 Old Jewry,
October 1st, 1888.
The following letter was yesterday forwarded to the Home Office:
"Abchurch lane, London, E.C.
The Right Hon. Henry Matthews, Q.C., M.P.
In view of your refusal to offer a reward out of the Government funds for the discovery of the perpetrator or perpetrators of the recent murders in the East end of London, I am instructed on behalf of several readers of the Financial News, whose names and addresses I enclose, to forward you the accompanying cheque for £300, and to request you to offer that sum for this purpose in the name of the Government.
Awaiting the favour of your reply, I have the honour to be your obedient servant,
Harry H. Marks.
To this communication the appended reply was received:
October 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 consigned 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.
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 may give information that will lead to the discovery of the perpetrator or perpetrators of the recent murders committed in the district in which his regiment is situated. Sir Alfred Kirby has also expressed his willingness to place the services of fifty members of his corps at the disposal of the authorities, to be utilised in any way they may consider desirable at this juncture, either for the protection of the public or the detection of the criminals.
Mr. Phillips, a member of the City Corporation, representing a ward of Aldgate, has given notice of his intention to move at the next council meeting that the Corporation do offer a reward of £250 for the detection of the murderer of the woman found in Mitre square, which is within the City precincts.
The editor and proprietor of the Financial News have written to the Lord Mayor expressing a desire to add œ50 to any reward which may be offered in the City. The action of the City authorities in offering a reward is regarded with satisfaction in Whitechapel itself. The sum offered, together with œ400 which the directorate of two newspapers express their willingness to supply, the œ100 offered by Montagu, M.P., and the œ200 collected by the Vigilance Committee, make an aggregate sum of œ1,200. It is, however, more than probable that the reward will be increased to œ2,000, as the Lord Mayor has been urged to open a subscription list, and the members of the Stock Exchange seem disposed to take the matter up.
The Press Association: From inquiries this morning among prominent persons in the City, it would seem that the satisfaction at the offer of a reward by the City police is experienced on all hands. The refusal of the Home Secretary to allow any Government reward to be offered has given rise to very heated discussions, and it is the general and popular opinion that the right hon. gentleman has adopted a very unwise policy. His conduct is spoken of in no measured terms, not only at the Stock Exchange, but in other influential quarters, as it is suggested by some that it may have the effect of damping public ardour. On the other hand hand, it is asserted that popular indignation will be roused, and that the refusal of Mr. Matthews will lead to most of the private bodies in the City and elsewhere to adopt means of their own in the endeavour to unearth the murderer or murderers. So great is the interest and excitement becoming that on Thursday the Lord Mayor, who will preside at a meeting of the Common Council, will move that the Corporation do offer œ500 in addition to the police reward. Mr. Lewis Henry Phillips and Mr. Samuel Price, both common councilmen, have motions on the agenda for that day, the first proposing that a reward of œ250 be paid out of the City cash to any person by whose aid the perpetrators of the murders shall be convicted, and the second proposing that a reward of œ200 be offered for the same purpose. As, however, the Lord Mayor intends to propose a motion on the subject, these two gentlemen, who have shown such a deep interest in the matter, will withdraw their motions in favour of that of the Lord Mayor. It has been suggested that the Lord mayor and the Stock Exchange were about to open subscription lists for the purpose of offering a substantial public reward, but owing to the action of the Home Secretary, the Press Association is informed that the Lord Mayor's scheme will in all probability not be carried out, and for the same reason nothing has yet been done in that direction on the Stock Exchange, one of their number significantly remarking, "What is the use if the Home Secretary is opposed to it?" Public interest in the matter is increasing, and the placards posted in all the prominent positions announcing that the City Police have offered œ500 reward are eagerly read by crowds of people, most of whom, from their conversation, fully approving the action of the authorities, and expressing the confident hope that the murderer will be brought to justice very soon.
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.
A correspondent writes: There are most remarkable coincidences with regard to the times at which all the murders have been committed which demand particular attention. The first and third of the murders, those of Martha Turner and Mrs. Chapman, were committed on exactly the same date of two separate months - namely, the 7th of August and September, while the second and fourth murders had the same relative coincidence, both being perpetrated on the last days of August and September. If the same hand carried out these crimes, these facts seem to point to the idea that the criminal was one who had to be absent from the scene of his crimes for regular periods.
A correspondent recalls the successful employment of a blood hound in the detection of a barbarous murder at Blackburn twelve years ago. In this case two days at least had elapsed between the commission of the crime and its detection by means of the dog. Another relevant case is thus related in Jesse's "Anecdotes of Dogs": "A servant, discharged by a sporting country gentleman broke into his stables by night, and cut off the ears and tail of his favourite hunter. As soon as it was discovered a bloodhound was brought into the stable, who at once detected the scent of the miscreant, and traced it more than 20 miles. He then stopped at a door, whence no power could move him. Being at length admitted, he ran to the top of the house, and bursting open the door of a garret, found the object that he caught in bed, and would have torn him to pieces had not the huntsman, who had followed him on a fleet horse, rushed up after him." Bewick, after mentioning the detective qualities of the bloodhound, observes, rather unfortunately, that "as the arm of justice is now extended over every part of the country, and there are no secret recesses where villainy may lay concealed, these services are no longer necessary." Mr. Perry Lindley writes:
With regard to the suggestion that bloodhounds might assist in tracking the East end murderer, as a breeder of bloodhounds, and knowing their power, I have little doubt that, had a hound been put upon the scent of the murderer while fresh, it might have done what the police have failed in. But now, when all trace of the scene has been trodden out, it would be quite useless.
Meanwhile, as no means of detection should be left untried, it would be well if a couple or so of trained bloodhounds - unless trained they are worthless - were kept for a time at one of the police headquarters ready for immediate use in case their services should be called for. There are, doubtless, owners of bloodhounds willing to lend them, if any of the police, which I fear is improbable, know how to use them.
Dr. Eldar Shepherd writes:
I cannot help thinking that these Whitechapel murders point to one individual, and that individual insane. Now necessarily an escaped, or even as yet recognised, lunatic. He may be an earnest religionist with a delusion that he has a mission from above to extirpate vice by assassination. And he has selected his victims from a class which contributes pretty largely to the factorship of immorality and sin. I have known men and women actuated by the best and purest motives who have been dominated by an insane passion of this kind, and who honestly believed that by its indulgence they would be doing good service. There are many such in our various asylums. I was myself all but the victim of an assassin who believed that he a mission to destroy me as the impersonation of all that was evil and hindered the progress of mankind. He was transferred from my asylum in Middlesex to that of the county where he had a proved settlement, and subsequently attacked and imperilled the life of its medical superintendent. A suggestion of this kind may be useful; certainly it can do no harm.
The Press Association states that all the men who have, so far, been arrested on the suspicion of having murdered Mrs. Stride and the woman whose remains are still unidentified, were released in the the course of yesterday. Up to the present no further arrests have been made, and despite the strenuous efforts that are being made by the police authorities, they seem as far off as ever from getting on the track of the murderer. Exhaustive inquiries made in the neighbourhood of Bow and Stratford at a late hour last night failed to elicit any reliable information as to the movements of "Long Liz" on Saturday night, and so far as is at present known she was last seen when leaving the common lodging house in Flower and Dean street at seven o'clock that evening. The mutilated remains of the poor woman who was first murdered and then violated with such atrocity in Mitre square still lie at the Golden lane mortuary awaiting identification. The body was viewed in the course of yesterday by a large number of persons, and considering the fact that there are marks which should render identification quite easy to those who were personally acquainted with the deceased, it is singular that so far she should continue unrecognised. Hopes, however, are entertained by the police that before today has elapsed, the identity will be established. This is a most important matter, as a belief is entertained by the authorities, that when once the name has become known it may afford an important clue in securing a description of the miscreant who still defies all efforts to track him to his lair.
In the early hours of the morning a rumour was afloat in the East end, to the effect that cries of "Murder" and "Police" had been distinctly heard as though proceeding from a woman, in the immediate neighbourhood of the International Working Men's Club, in Berner street, the scene of the murder of "Long Liz." The story, however, was contradicted by the night inspector in charge at Leman street, and our representative was unable to obtain any positive evidence in corroboration. Indeed, the report was contradicted by all the constables on duty in the vicinity at the time specified. Down to as late an hour as ten o'clock, last night, large crowds of people continued to assemble around the spots where the murders of Sunday were perpetrated, and so great was the crush at Mitre square that until a late hour it was found requisite to keep a considerable number of extra constables on duty. Towards midnight the streets in the district within the the limits of which six murders have now been successively perpetrated without detection began to assume a most deserted appearance. The one exception, perhaps, was the main thoroughfares, which were thronged with people as usual until the hour dictated by law for the closing of the public houses. The night air, it is true, was keen and cutting, but this alone did not account for the remarkable absence of anything in the shape of pedestrian traffic, which heretofore has invariably continued until and advanced hour in the evening. The appearance of the whole district conveyed the only too palpable fact that at the present moment the East end - and Whitechapel in particular - is panic stricken. By one o'clock the streets were absolutely denuded of the unfortunate women who are accustomed to roam about throughout the night, while revellers of the sterner sex were almost equally scarce. Wherever one went he had to listen to the same perpetual growl of the coffee stall keepers that their trade had gone; and when asked how they accounted for the fact, the invariable reply was "The murders." The answer was as brief as it was significant.
In the small hours of the morning our representative plodded through street after street, and still street after street without coming across a living soul of any kind beyond the solitary policeman on his monotonous round. The heavy, regular tramp of the valiant custodian of the peace alone disturbed the stillness of the night. It was, in all truth, a weary round, this perambulation of Whitechapel, its main thoroughfares, its back slums, and its environs, and the heavy showers which fell at intermittent periods did not tend to enhance the pleasures of the night.
There is, however, one fact that cannot fail to strike most forcibly even the most casual observer who cares to make an early evening survey of Whitechapel, with its multitudinous streets, alleys, and dark and tortuous passages. That is the convenient nooks and crannies, well in the shade, which almost at every turn seem to suggest themselves to an evil minded person as fit and suitable places for the perpetration of crimes such as those which within the last day or two horrified the metropolis. There is no mistaking the fact that if the East end is to be protected in the future against such outrages - for Whitechapel is but a duplicate of that vast area - the police force stationed there for that purpose ought at least to be doubled in strength.
In the course of a night's wanderings in these slums and backways, our representative conversed with not a few of the men whom he found on duty. Almost to a man, when questioned on the subject, they pointed out the impossibility of adequately performing all that was asked of them in the way of protecting the public from outrages such as those that are now disgracing the East end. Again and again attention was called to open staircases in huge piles of modern dwellings erected for the artisan, to dark secluded corners in every direction, and to this, that and the other in the way of affording scope for crime, until one's eyes become almost dazed from perpetually peering into veritable Cimmerian darkness. It was a positive relief to at length again emerge into broad, well lighted thoroughfares, and finally seek the welcome shelter of the Leman street police station and the pleasant company of the courteous officers in charge.
The City police had a considerable amount of information supplied them this morning as to the murder in Mitre square, which is in their district, and upon which they hope to trace the murderer. No further arrests have been made this morning.
A knife was picked up, last night, at the corner of Endell street, Long Acre. It was taken to Bow street Police station and examined. It measures about 12 inches in length, and about two inches wide at the haft, tapering off to a point.
The Central News says: Between the hours of midnight on Sunday and eight o'clock yesterday the Aldgate Post Office, situated at the corner of Duke street, Aldgate, was entered by thieves. It is supposed that the entrance was gained by the skylight. On reaching the second floor, which is occupied by the boy telegraph messengers, about £3, the wages of the lads, was taken, and their uniforms and other things about the room were scattered in all directions. Descending the staircase to the basement floor, all the postal orders and forms were disturbed, and some torn into shreds, whilst tills were forced open, and about £50 in gold and silver extracted. The safe, however, which contained nearly £400 in gold, was left untouched. Either in effecting their escape or in the hope that booty lay in the basement, two of the steps of the wooden staircase were torn up, but no other material damage was done, The thieves made good their escape.
The correspondent of the Daily News in New York telegraphs: Not a great many months ago a series of remarkably brutal murders of women occurred in Texas. The matter caused great local excitement, but aroused less interest than would otherwise have been the case because the victims were chiefly negro women. The crimes were characterised by the same brutal methods as those of the Whitechapel murders. The theory has been suggested that the perpetrator of the latter may be the Texas criminal, who was never discovered. The Atlanta Constitution, a leading southern newspaper, thus puts the argument:
"In our recent annals of crime there has been no other man capable of committing such deeds. The mysterious crimes in Texas have ceased. They have just commenced in London. Is the man from Texas at the bottom of them all? If he is the monster or lunatic he may be expected to appear anywhere. The fact that he is no longer at work in Texas argues his presence somewhere else. His peculiar line of work was executed in precisely the same manner as is now going on in London. Why should he not be there? The more one thinks of it the more irresistible becomes the conviction that it is the man from Texas. In these days of steam and cheap travel distance is nothing. The man who would kill a dozen women in Texas would not mind the inconvenience of a trip across the water, and once there he would not have any scruples about killing more women."
The Superintendent of the New York police admits the possibility of this theory being correct, but he does not think it probable. "There is," he says, "the same brutality and mutilation, the same suspicion that the criminal is a monster or lunatic who has declared war literally to the knife against all womankind, but I hardly believe it is the same individual."
PARIS, Monday night.
A surgical theory which is advanced here about the Whitechapel murders is that the murderer is a fanatical vivisectionist and disciple of Hoeckel, the German naturalist, who followed in the steps of Darwin in studying the origin of species and who advanced some startling ideas that have not yet been established. A naturalist's aim is visible in the way in which the knife was applied to the two unfortunate beings at Whitechapel. Perhaps there was not time to operate in an exactly like manner in the second series of murder.
|Dissertations: Albert Bachert|
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|Austin Axe Murders|
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