London, United Kingdom
19 September 1888
Little or nothing has come to light during the week to show that the perpetrators of the Whitechapel murders are likely to be discovered. Yesterday however a rumour was put about that something might come of the arrest of one Charles Ludwig Wetzel aged forty, a decently attired German, who professed not to understand English, and was charged with being drunk and threatening to stab Alexander Finlay of 51 Lenman street Whitechapel. At the Thames police court the prosecutor said that very early the previous morning he was standing at a coffee stall in the Whitechapel road when Wetzel came up in a drunken condition. In consequence the person in charge of the stall refused to serve him. Wetzel seemed much annoyed and said to witness "What are you looking at?" he then pulled out a long bladed knife and tried to stab witness with it. Wetzel followed him round the stall and made several attempts to stab him until witness threatened to knock a dish on his head. A constable came up and the German was then given into custody. The constable said that when he was called he found Wetzel in a very excited condition. The witness had previously received information that Wetzel was wanted on the city ground for attempting to cut a womans throat with a razor. On the way to the station he dropped a long bladed which was open and when he was searched a razor and a long bladed pair of scissors were found on him. Constable J. Johnson deposed that while on duty in the Minories he heard loud screams of "Murder" from a dark court in which there where no lights. This court leads to some railway arches and is a well known dangerous locality. The witness went down the court and found Wetzel with a woman. The former appeared to be under the influence of drink. The woman who appeared to be in a very agitated and frightened condition said "Oh policeman do take me out of this." The policeman brought them both out of the court and sent the man off. He walked with the man to the end of his beat when she said "Dear me, he frightened me very much when he pulled a big knife out." The policeman said " Why didn't you tell me that at the time!" and she replied " I was too much frightened." He then went and looked for the German but could not find him, and therefore warned several other constables of what he had seen. He believed the accused worked in the neighbourhood. The magistrates said it was clear the accused was a dangerous man and ordered him to be remanded for a week. Inquiries show that Wetzel is a Baker. On Sunday night last he lodged at a coffee house in Church street Minories but in consequence of his dirty habits the proprietor would not allow him to remain the next night. He then went to a Hotel in Finsbury where he had previously lodged and remained there until about one o' clock in the morning but the landlord would not allow him to stay the night. He produced a number of razors and acted in such a manner that some of the inmates were frightened at his conduct. The landlady of this hotel stated that on the day after the last murder in Whitechapel Wetzel called early in the morning and washed his hands stating that he had been injured. another person has alledged that there was blood on the mans hands, but as to this the landlady could not speak. Wetzel walks lame having a stiff leg.
The Whitechapel Murder still remains a mystery. Several persons have been apprehended on suspicion but almost immediately discharged including the "Leather Apron" on whom the fancy of the neighbourhood fixed at once. If the Police have any clue they have prudently not taken the public into their confidence.