THE East-end fiend is still abroad, and two other victims have become his prey. On Sunday morning a woman was found with her throat cut and her body partially mutilated in a court in Berner-street, Whitechapel, close by the International Club situated in that locality. The discovery seems to have been made at one in the morning by Mr. Lewis Diemschitz, the steward of the club. Another member of the club, Mr. Morris Eagle, had passed through the court at twenty minutes to one, and had not seen anything unusual near the premises. Even if it was too dark to see the body of this woman it is impossible to suppose that Morris Eagle would not have tripped over it had it been there when he went into the club. The inference is therefore this: if the woman was murdered and mutilated where she was found, the deed was done in the short period of twenty minutes - the deed was done in the time which the police surgeon said a medical expert would take to do it. The residents in the court knew nothing about the murder. Neither they nor the people in the club heard or had seen anything that led them to suspect that foul play was going on around them. About three-quarters of an hour after this corpse was found, another was discovered in Mitre-square, Aldgate. It was that of a woman with her throat cut, but in her case the inevitable abdominal mutilation had been accomplished. A watchman was on duty in a counting-house in the square at the time the assassin was operating. Firemen were also on duty at a station close by. Yet nobody heard or saw anything likely to rouse suspicion. The silence and secrecy in which the atrocities were perpetrated wrap them in an impenetrable veil of mystery for the moment. As in former cases the murderer seems to have been almost miraculously successful in securing his retreat. His success in this respect seems to indicate a wonderful power of combination and organisation - an amazing gift for calculating the chances against the success of his schemes or purposes. In fact, the similarity of the murders leads to the conclusion that they have been committed by the one man or the one gang. The worst of it is that we do not know what a "gang" may mean. It might mean an organisation of great extent, or only the partnership between a criminal and his "pal." Recent events seem to suggest that there is more than one individual in the horrid business.
The public cannot fail to be impressed with one fact - the apparent bravado of the assassin. He seems to revel in brutality - and the more energetic the police become in tracking him, the more contemptuously does he defy their efforts. At first he seems to have lost nerve at the critical part of his operation. Now he holds the fancied interruptions of the police patrol in contempt, and commits his murder, and hacks his victim's body, almost within their sight and hearing. Nay, he does this in spite of the fact that Sir Charles Warren has trebled his patrols in the region of the murders, and that it is under the close supervision of a vigilance committee: Cui bono? The assassin it is clear can baffle all ordinary means of detection, and till he commits a singular act of indiscretion - which murderers usually do sooner or later - it appears to us very unlikely that he will ever be discovered. If he has a "pal" that will increase the chance of detection. If he has many and is a member of a gang, his secret will probably be betrayed when a suitable reward is offered as "blood money." The revolting details of the last murders need not be specified here.
We need not say that no plausible explanation of these crimes is as yet forthcoming. The new feature in them is the fact that one followed the other within the space of three-quarters of an hour. All the old features are present. The victims are women of the same class. As women of this sort are now on the alert in Whitechapel, we may infer that the assassin must appeal to them in some way that disarms suspicion. In other words he cannot suggest by his appearance that he is a bloodthirsty miscreant. Hence the police are justified in coming to the conclusion that whoever he may be, he is not a person of the "Leather Apron" class. For the rest, all that we know about him is that for some reason he selects one locality as his hunting-ground, that his fixed idea is to obtain possession of a certain portion of a woman's body, and that he perpetrates his atrocities at the end of the week, some time between Friday night and Sunday morning. Here we see a curious element of periodicity in the crime. This suggests the idea that if the murderer be a maniac at once lustful and bloodthirsty, he is a homicidal maniac of the type whose attacks only recur at regular intervals. The idea that he is a medical man, who for scientific purposes wants to obtain certain portions of the human body under unique conditions, is not quite compatible with the facts. Why should he want an indefinite number of specimens? Why should he want them at the end of each week? The notion that he means to sell them or issue them as illustrations to a book seems now to be abandoned even by the police. And rightly; for to sell the specimens would be to lose the market for them, and inevitably lead to suspicion being concentrated on the murderer. Sexual insanity, however, is, on the face of the facts, the only intelligible motive of the murder - but then the facts essential for the formation of a sound judgement are at present wanting. There are so few available facts that it is impossible to arrive at a very definite opinion as to the cause of these murders. Meantime the people of the East end are again becoming angry, first, because the police are unable to protect them, and, second, because the Government does not offer a reward for the discovery of the murderer.
THE WHITECHAPEL HORRORS.
HORRIBLE MURDER OF A WOMAN NEAR COMMERCIAL ROAD.
ANOTHER WOMAN MURDERED AND MUTILATED IN ALDGATE.
ONE VICTIM IDENTIFIED.
BLOOD STAINED POST CARD FROM "JACK THE RIPPER."
A HOMICIDAL MANIAC
HEAVEN'S SCOURGE FOR PROSTITUTION.
Two more ghastly tragedies were, yesterday, added to the appalling list of crimes with which the East-end of London has been associated during the last few months; and there is every reason to believe that the whole series is the work of one man. The first of the two murders was committed in a yard turning out of Berner-street. The body was discovered by a Russian Jew named Diemschitz, about one o'clock yesterday morning, on his return from the neighbourhood of Sydenham, where he had been selling cheap jewellery. He drove into the yard, which is situate next to a working man's club, of which he is steward, and noticed that his pony shied at something which was lying in a heap in a corner of the yard. Having fetched out a friend from the club, he looked more closely into the matter, and then found a woman lying on the ground, dead, with her throat cut clean to the vertebrae. The body was quite warm, and blood was still flowing freely from the throat, so it is pretty certain that the murder must have been committed within a very few minutes of the time when Diemschitz discovered the body. Indeed, all the facts go to show that it was the arrival of Diemschitz in his trap which disturbed the murderer, and we may safely assume that, but for this disturbance, the miscreant would have proceeded to mutilate the body in a similar way to that in which he mutilated the bodies of the two unfortunate women, Mary Anne Nichols and Annie Chapman. The wound in the throat is almost identical with the throat wounds of the other victims - a savage cut severing the jugular and carotids, and going clean down to the vertebrae. It bears, if we may be permitted to use the phrase, the trade-mark of the man who has so infamously distinguished himself before, and leaves no room for doubt that the three murders were committed by one and the same person.
Having been disturbed in his first attempt, yesterday morning, the murderer seems to have made his way towards the City, and to have met another "unfortunate," whom he induced to go with him to Mitre-square, a secluded spot, lying off Aldgate, and principally occupied by warehouses. He took her to the south-western corner of the square, and there cut her throat, quite in his horribly regulative way, and then proceeded to disembowl her. He must have been extremely quick at his work, for every portion of the police beat in which Mitre-square is included, is patrolled every ten minutes or quarter of an hour, the City beats being much shorter than those of the Metropolitan Police. Police-constable Watkins 881 passed through the square at about 1.30 or 1.35, and is quite certain that it was then in its normal condition. Within a quarter of an hour he patrolled it again, and then found a woman lying in the corner with her throat cut from ear to ear. On closer examination he found that her clothes had been raised up to her chest, and that the lower portion of the body had been ripped completely open from the pelvis to the sternum, and disembowelled, just as were Mrs. Nichols and Annie Chapman. Indeed, this last murder is in its main features an almost exact reproduction of the horrible tragedies of Buck's-row and Hanbury-street, and, humanly speaking, it is absolutely certain that it also was committed by the same man. There were certain deviations from the murderer's ordinary plan, but they are not inexplicable, or very significant. He gashed her face in several places, but there is evidence to show that the woman at the last moment suspected his design, and struggled with him, and it is not improbable that he stabbed her in the face before cutting her throat and committing the other atrocities.
This brief summary of the facts connected with the two tragedies which startled London, yesterday, brings us then face to face with the almost indubitable fact that there exists somewhere in the East-end, at this moment, a fiend in human shape, who has committed at least four murders, if not six. The two wretched women - Mary Ann Smith and Annie Tabram, who were done to death in George's-yard, and were the first of the East-end victims, may or may not have been murdered by the slaughterer of Mrs. Nichols, Mary Annie Chapman, and the two unfortunates whose mangled remains were found yesterday in Berner-street and Mitre-square. In Smith's case the death wound was given by some blunt instrument which was thrust into the lower part of the body, and the woman Tabram was savagely stabbed in thirty-nine places. We may charitably assume that the Whitechapel fiend, whose handiwork we are now describing, had no hand or part in these two crimes; though even on this assumption it is more than probable that the impunity with which these atrocities were committed tempted him to enter upon that more horrible sphere of action in which he is now startling the whole country.
The first murder discovered was that in the little yard in Berner-street, off Commercial-road. About a hundred yards down Berner-street, on the right hand side, are the rooms of the International Working Men's Educational Society, a club used principally by Russians, Poles, and Jews generally. Adjoining is the entrance to the yard, where Messrs. Walter Handley and Co., sack manufacturers, and Mr. Arthur Dutfield, van and cart builder, carry on business. The entrance to the yard is by a double gate. The right hand side of the yard is occupied for some distance by the house occupied as the International Society's Club, which has a private entrance to the yard.
In this yard, almost against the International Clubhouse, the body of the first victim was found. She lay within three feet of the public street, along which the public must have been passing at the time. Her feet were towards the gate and her head was in the gutter running down along the yard.
The body was discovered by Mr. Diemschitz, the steward of the club, who had driven into the yard about one o'clock on Sunday morning. The pony he was driving appeared to avoid the north side of the yard, and Mr. Diemschitz imagined there must be some dust heap or something of that sort which his horse was trying to escape. He poked with the butt end of his whip, and found some bulky substance lying near the wall. Striking a match, he saw the body of a woman, and immediately entered the club and gave the alarm. The concert going on in the club was immediately stopped, and the members flocked out to see whether another "Whitechapel horror" had been committed. Their investigation too plainly discovered the fact, and several members started off to communicate with the police. It was nearly two o'clock yesterday morning before a constable was found, and he, along with some comrades who were early on the spot, conveyed the body to the mortuary connected with the workhouse of St. George's-in-the-East.
The yard off Berner-street is almost exactly in front of a Board school, and is immediately adjoining the International Society's rooms. Although Messrs. Handley and Co. and Mr. Dutfield carry on their business there it is not entirely devoted to commercial purposes. The International Club has an entrance to it, and there are in it three cottages, occupied as dwelling houses by foreigners. People were, therefore, likely to be passing in and out about the time the murder was committed, say shortly after midnight. The inhabitants of these cottages had not then retired to rest. Some of their lights were burning and the International Club were having a concert. The inhabitants of the court, or several of them, were lying awake listening to the German songs. Suddenly the singing was stilled on the announcement made by Mr. Diemschitz.
The woman was found lying on her left side face downwards, her position being such that, although the court at that part is only nine feet wide, a person walking up the middle might have passed the recumbent body without notice. The condition of the corpse, however, and several other circumstances which have come to light, prove pretty conclusively that no considerable period elapsed between the committal of the murder and the discovery of the body. The gates at the entrance to the court having been closed, and a guard set on all the exits of the club and the cottages, the superintendent of the district and divisional surgeon were sent for. In a few minutes Dr. Phillips was at the scene of the murder, and a brief examination sufficed to show that life had been extinct some minutes. Careful note having been taken of the position of the body, it was removed to the parish mortuary.
In her right hand were tightly clasped some grapes, and in her left she held a number of sweetmeats. Both the jacket and the bodice were open towards the top, but in other respects the clothes were not disarranged. The linen was clean and in tolerably good repair.
That any one should have selected for the commission of a murder such a comparatively frequented spot, at such an hour, shows considerable confidence on the part of the murderer that he was able by his dexterity to preclude all possibility of detection.
That the purpose of the assassin of the woman in Berner-street was to extract the uterus is almost certain despite the opinion of Dr. Phillips given further on. This is deduced from the way in which he went about his operations, so identical with what went before and after. He was disturbed in his fiendish operation, and the corpse of the poor woman escaped the horrible indignity of being eviscerated.
The woman now lying at the mortuary of St. George's-in-the-East appears to have been about 30 years of age. It is difficult to judge of the length of a person in a recumbent position, but she appears to have been about middle height. Her features are pinched like those of one who has suffered want, but her expression is not unpleasant. Her cheek bones have a tendency to prominence, and her nose is sharp and well chiselled, with a slight marking at the bridge, far removed, however, from the protuberance of the Roman organ. Her hair is auburn, her lips thick, the upper one especially so, with that sort of double fold often noticed in lascivious women. She has the appearance of being an Irishwoman, but might be a German. She lies there on the stone with a smile on her pale face, as if she had died without a struggle. Her right hand, however, is encrusted with blood, as if she had tried to thrust her murderer away. Her clothing is described by the police as, "Black diagonal cloth jacket, feather trimming, black alpaca skirt, black velveteen bodice, black crape bonnet, side-spring boots, white stockings." This seems all right enough except in regard to the "feather" trimmings. The trimming of the short dark jacket is imitation sealskin.
As she lies in the mortuary her dress is open over her bosoms, but her stays have not been undone. The left side of her face is much dirtied and bruised, as if she had been forcibly thrust down into the mud of the Court.
The cut in the woman's neck is not exactly as has been described by our morning contemporaries. It is not from ear to ear. The knife seems to have been stabbed in deeply at the left side to reach the external carotid, and to have emerged at the carotid on the right side. The superficial length of the wound is from three-and-a-half to four inches.
At the mortuary our reporter saw three men who had their suspicions raised on Saturday night by the conduct of a man and a woman in Settles-street, Commercial-road:
J. Best, 82, Lower Chapman-street, said: I was in the Bricklayer's Arms, Settles-street, about two hundred yards from the scene of the murder on Saturday night, shortly before eleven, and saw a man and woman in the doorway. They had been served in the public house, and went out when me and my friends came in. It was raining very fast, and they did not appear willing to go out. He was hugging her and kissing her, and as he seemed a respectably dressed man, we were rather astonished at the way he was going on with the woman, who was poorly dressed. We "chipped" him, but he paid no attention. As he stood in the doorway he always threw sidelong glances into the bar, but would look nobody in the face. I said to him "Why don't you bring the woman in and treat her?" but he made no answer. If he had been a straight fellow he would have told us to mind our own business, or he would have gone away. I was so certain that there was something up that I would have charged him if I could have seen a policeman. When the man could not stand the chaffing any longer he and the woman went off like a shot soon after eleven.
I have been to the mortuary, and am almost certain the woman there is the one we saw at the Bricklayers' Arms. She is the same slight woman, and seems the same height. The face looks the same, but a little paler, and the bridge of the nose does not look so prominent.
The man was about 5ft. 5in. in height. He was well dressed in a black morning suit with a morning coat. He had rather weak eyes. I mean he had sore eyes without any eyelashes. I should know the man again amongst a hundred. He had a thick black moustache and no beard. He wore a black billycock hat, rather tall, and had on a collar. I don't know the colour of his tie. I said to the woman "that's Leather Apron getting round you." The man was no foreigner; he was an Englishman right enough.
John Gardner, labourer, 11, Chapman-street, corroborated all that Best said respecting the conduct of the man and the woman at the Bricklayers' Arms, adding "before I got into the mortuary to-day (Sunday) I told you the woman had a flower in her jacket, and that she had a short jacket. Well, I have been to the mortuary, and there she was with the dahlias on the right side of her jacket.
She is the woman I saw at the Bricklayers' Arms, and she has the same smile on her face now that she had then.
The idea has got abroad that in some way it is sought to advance medical science by human vivisection, but however likely or unlikely the theory may be, it must not too readily be assumed that the two murders of yesterday morning had the same object. Dr. Phillips who was called to Berner-street shortly after the discovery of the woman's body, gives (so says Dr. Gordon, who has made a post-mortem examination of the other body) it as his opinion that the two murders were not committed by the same man. Upon this point Dr. Phillips is an authority. He it was who examined Annie Chapman and discovered the purpose of the murder. Since that he has been to Newcastle to investigate the brutal murder there, and he is qualified in some measure to speak of the manner of the assassin's workmanship.
Dr. Gordon, speaking of the Mitre-square murder, assured our representative that he was sure it was the work of a lunatic. Dr. Gordon has made his post-mortem of the Mitre-square body without waiting for the coroner's order. He knows that is out of the rule, but he thought under the circumstances that it was necessary, and he hopes he will be backed up by public opinion.
When the alarm of murder was raised a young girl had been standing in a bisecting thoroughfare not fifty yards from the spot where the body was found. She had, she said, been standing there for about twenty-minutes, talking with her sweetheart, but neither of them heard any unusual noises. A woman who lives two doors from the club has made an important statement. It appears that shortly before a
quarter to one o'clock she heard the measured, heavy tramp of a policeman passing the house on his beat. Immediately afterwards she went to the street-door, with the intention of shooting the bolts, though she remained standing there ten minutes before she did so. During the ten minutes she saw no one enter or leave the neighbouring yard, and she feels sure that had any one done so she could not have overlooked the fact. The quiet and deserted character of the street appears even to have struck her at the time. Locking the door, she prepared to retire to bed, in the front room on the ground floor, and it so happened that in about four minutes' time she heard Diemschitz's pony cart pass the house, and remarked upon the circumstance to her husband.
Presuming that the body did not lie in the yard when the policeman passed - and it could hardly, it is thought, have escaped his notice - and presuming also that the assassin and his victim did not enter the yard while the woman stood at the door, it follows that they must have entered it within a minute or two before the arrival of the pony trap. If this be a correct surmise, it is easy to understand that the criminal may have been interrupted at his work. Diemschitz says he thinks it quite possible that after he had entered the yard the assassin may have fled out of it, having lurked in the gloom until a favourable moment arrived.
Files of people were allowed to pass through the mortuary, yesterday, in the hope that some clue would be obtained of the woman's identity. It was late in the afternoon, however, before any one was able to say they knew her. Eventually she was identified as Elizabeth Stride, familiarly known as Long Lizzie, who had been living at a common lodging-house, No. 32, Flower and Dean-street, and who plied her painful trade in the neighbourhood. She is said to have a sister in Holborn. She was a married woman separated from her husband, who resides in Bath.
Another account says: She left Flower-and-Dean-street between six and seven o'clock on Saturday night. She then said that she was not going to meet any one in particular. Stride is believed to be a Swedish woman from Stockholm. According to her associates, she was of calm temperament, rarely quarrelling with any one: in fact, she was so good-natured that she would "do a good turn for any one." Her occupation was that of a charwoman. She had the misfortune to lose her husband in the Princess Alice disaster on the Thames some years ago. She had lost her teeth, and suffered from a throat affliction. It appears that she was identified at the mortuary, yesterday morning, by John Arundel and Charles Preston, who reside at 32, Flower-and-Dean-street.
A third account says the victim was an unfortunate, named "Wally" Warden, who had lived in Brick-lane.
Lewis Diemschitz, who is a steward of the International Working Men's Educational Society, has made the following statement: "I am a traveller in the common jewellery trade, and work only for myself. I have also been the steward for the International Working Men's Club for between six and seven years, and I live on the premises of the club. For some time I have been in the habit of going to Westow Hill, at the Crystal Palace, every Saturday, in order to sell my goods at the market which is there. I got back this Sunday morning about one o'clock, and drove up to our club-room gate in my pony cart. My pony is frisky and apt to shy, though not much, and it struck me when I was passing through the double gates into the yard that he wanted to keep too much to the left side against the wall. I could not make out what was the matter, so I bent my head to see if there were anything to frighten him. Then I spotted there was something unusual about the ground, but I could not tell what it was, except that it was not level. I mean there was something there like a little heap; but I thought it was only mud, or something of the kind, and I did not take much notice of it; still I touched it with my whip, and then I was able to tell it was not mud. I wanted to see what it was, so jumped out of the trap and struck a match. Then I saw there was a woman lying there. At that time I took no notice, and I did not know whether she was drunk or dead. What I did was to run indoors, and ask where my missus was, because she is of weak constitution, and I didn't want to frighten her. I found my wife was sitting downstairs, and I then told some of the members of the club that something had happened in the yard, but I did not give any opinion as to whether the woman was dead or only drunk. I did not say that she had been murdered. One of the members named Isaacs came out with me. We struck a match, and then a horrible sight came before our eyes; we saw a stream of blood flowing right down to the door of the club. We sent for the police without delay, but it was some time before an officer arrived; in fact we had some difficulty in finding one. A man called Eagle, also a member of the club, went out to find a policeman, and going in a different direction to what we did, found a couple in Commercial-road. One of them was 252 H. One of the constables blew a whistle. Several policemen immediately came on the spot, and one of them sent for a doctor. Two surgeons were soon with us, namely, Dr. Phillips, the police surgeon, of Spital-square and Dr. Kaye, of Blackwall. After that the police took the names of all the members of the club, and told us that we should all be ordered to give evidence. The police left about five in the morning.
Diemschitz being then asked to describe the body as well as he could, said: "In my opinion the woman was about 27 or 28 years old. Her skin and complexion were fair." This is not correct, according to the latest accounts that we have received, but the man was evidently too frightened at the time to be able to remember. "Her clothes were in decent order, but her neck and throat had been fearfully gashed and presented a frightful spectacle. There was a cut between two and three inches wide in it. All her clothes were black, even to the bonnet, which had crape on it. Her hands were tightly clenched, and when they were opened by the doctor I saw immediately that one had been holding sweetmeats and the other grapes. I should not like to say whether or not she had been knocked about at all in the face; but speaking roughly, she seemed to me to be a more respectable sort of woman than we generally see about these parts. I conclude this because it appears that nobody about here had ever seen or heard anything about her before. The police removed the body to the mortuary at Cable-street. When I first of all came across the woman, she was lying on her left side, her left hand was on the ground, while the right was lying across her breast. Her head was on the ground of the yard, while her feet pointed towards the entrance. The body was only a yard or so within the entrance. I keep my pony and trap in Cable-street, but I am in the habit of going to the club first to leave my goods there." The above is an accurate statement of what Diemschitz told our representative. Diemschitz is a Russian Jew, but he speaks English perfectly. He is a man with more intelligence than is usually to be found amongst men of his class, and in every way is a credit to the neighbourhood in which he resides. This may not seem to be a compliment; but we mean it as such, for our informant is, so far as we are able to judge, an honest, truth-speaking man, on whose evidence we feel that we are able to rely. OTHER IMPORTANT STATEMENTS. The next person whose information we intend to place before our readers is Morris Eagle. He is likewise a member of this club, which has attained a notoriety hardly enviable. His evidence is shortly this: I frequent the club. I went into it about 12:40 on this night that you are asking me about, which was about 20 minutes before the body was discovered. I had been in the club before that evening, and had left the premises at midnight in order to see my girl home, with whom I was keeping company. I saw my sweetheart to the door of the house where she was living, and then walked back to the club through little small streets. On my way I saw nothing to excite my attention. There were numbers of persons about of both sexes, and several prostitutes; but there are always a lot of people in the streets, and they are generally very lively at this time of night. I can swear that there was nothing in the streets to arouse my suspicions or the suspicions of any other man in his senses. After seeing my girl home, I went back to the club in Berner-street. The front door was closed, so I went round to the back door on the left-hand side. Later on I went over the same ground with Diemschitz. There is nothing unusual in members of the club going in to the club by the side door; in fact we often do so, when we go in to the club late at night, so as to prevent the knocking at the door, which might be a nuisance to the neighbours. There is no light of any sort in the yard, though there are lights in the street, as there are in every other street. In the club we had a rare good time. We were singing songs and all that sort of thing. Then there was a sudden scare among us; Diemschitz came in and said a woman had been murdered outside. I ran into the yard immediately and I saw in the yard a stream of blood. There was a general hue and cry for the police. I and others went off to find the officers, so I had no opportunity of seeing the body. Besides, I did not want to look at it, as those sights make me feel ill.
The next person in importance to Eagle, on whose information we may look forward to getting a clue to the perpetrator of these outrageous crimes is Isaac M. Kozebrodsky. Kozebrodsky was born in Warsaw, and can only speak English very imperfectly. His information, which we are obliged to give very shortly, is this: "I came into the club about which you are asking me at half-past twelve o'clock. Shortly after I came in Diemschitz asked me to come out into the yard, as he saw there was something unusual had taken place there. So I came out with him, and he then pointed out to me a stream of blood, which was running down the gutter in the direction of the gate, and flowed from the gate to the back-door. The blood in the gutter extended to between six and seven yards. I immediately went for a policeman, and ran in the direction of Grove-street, but could not find one. Then I went into the Commercial-road, where I found two policemen. I brought them back with me, and they sent for a doctor. The doctor arrived shortly afterwards, and with him came an inspector. While the doctor examined the body I saw that there were some grapes in her right hand and some sweets in her left hand. To the best of my recollection she had on a dark jacket and a black dress, and in her bosom she had a small bunch of flowers."
Our next informant was Joseph Lave, a man just arrived in England from the United states. Lave is now living at the club, till such time as he can find permanent lodgings. What he tells us is this: "I was in the yard of the club this morning about twenty minutes to one. At half-past twelve I had come out into the street to get a breath of fresh air. There was nothing unusual in the street. So far as I could see I was out in the street about half an hour, and while I was out nobody came into the yard, nor did I see anybody moving about there in a way to excite my suspicions."
So far as we can gather from the information we have collected, and from the persons we have interviewed, there is not the slightest tittle of evidence to show that the yard in question has been habitually used for immoral purposes. In fact, the traffic there is too great and two constant to allow of that secrecy, which is the companion of immorality. We trust, further, that we shall not be accused of catering to the morbid tastes of our readers if we describe more fully the geography of the place where this fatal tragedy has taken place. The yard in which the body was found is about ten foot wide. This width is continued for a distance of eight or ten yards at which point there occurs on the left hand side a row of houses which are set back a little, at which point the width is increased by two foot or more. The extreme length of the court is thirty yards, and it terminates in a workshop, which is now used as a dwelling-house. The exact spot, then, where this horrible murder was committed is overlooked on three sides, and as the gates were open it seems to the ordinary mind that it would be impossible for this fiend in human form to have committed his diabolical crime without having been detected. The windows of the club are within ten feet of the spot, while the cottages stand about opposite, and command a complete view of the spot where the murderous act was committed.
Abraham Hoshburg, a young fellow, living at 28, Berner-street, said: "Yes; I was one of those who first saw the murdered woman. It was about a quarter to one o'clock, I should think, when I heard a policeman's whistle blown, and came down to see what was the matter. In the gateway two or three people had collected, and when I got there I saw a short, dark young woman lying on the ground with a gash between four and five inches long in her throat. I should say she was from 25 to 28 years of age. Her head was towards the north wall, against which she was lying. She had a black dress on, with a bunch of flowers pinned on the breast. In her hand there was a little piece of paper containing five or six cachous. The body was found by a man whose name I do not know - a man who goes out with a pony and barrow, and lives up the archway, where he was going, I believe, to put up his barrow on coming home from market. He thought it was his wife at first, but when he found her safe at home he got a candle and found this woman. He never touched it till the doctors had been sent for. The little gate is always open, or, at all events, always unfastened. There are some stables up there - Messrs. Duncan, Woollatt, and Co.'s, I believe and there is a place to which a lot of girls take home sacks which they have been engaged in making. None of them would be there, though, after about one on Saturday afternoon. None of us recognised the woman, and I do not think she belonged to this neighbourhood. She was dressed very respectably. There seemed to be no wounds on the body.
The house which adjoins the yard on the south side, No. 38, is tenanted by Barnett Kentorrich, who, interrogated as to whether he heard any disturbance during the night, said: I went to bed early, and slept till about three o'clock, during which time I heard no unusual sound of any description. At three o'clock some people were talking loudly outside my door, so I went out to see what was the matter, and learned that a woman had been murdered. I did not stay out long though, and know nothing more about it. I do not think the yard bears a very good character at night, but I do not interfere with any of the people about here. I know that the gate is not kept fastened.
Mrs. Mortimer, living at 36, Berner-street, four doors from the scene of the tragedy, says: I was standing at the door of my house nearly the whole time between half-past twelve and one o'clock this (Sunday) morning, and did not notice anything unusual. I had just gone indoors, and was preparing to go to bed, when I heard a commotion outside, and immediately ran out, thinking that there was another row at the Socialists' Club close by. I went to see what was the matter, and was informed that another dreadful murder had been committed in the yard adjoining the club-house, and on going inside I saw the body of a woman lying huddled up just inside the yard with her throat cut from ear to ear. A man touched her face, and said it was quite warm, so that the deed must have been done while I was standing at the door of my house. There was certainly no noise made, and I did not observe any one enter the gates. It was soon after one o'clock when I went out, and the only man whom I had seen pass through the street previously was a young man carrying a black shiny bag, who walked very fast down the street from the Commercial-road. He looked up at the club, and then went round the corner by the Board School. I was told that the manager or steward of the club had discovered the woman on his return home in his pony cart. He drove through the gates, and my opinion is that he interrupted the murderer, who must have made his escape immediately under cover of the cart. If a man had come out of the yard before one o'clock I must have seen him. It was almost incredible to me that the thing could have been done without the steward's wife hearing a noise, for she was sitting in the kitchen, from which a window opens four yards from the spot where the woman was found. The body was lying slightly on one side, with the legs a little drawn up as if in pain, the clothes being slightly disarranged, so that the legs were partly visible. The woman appeared to me to be respectable, judging by her clothes, and in her hand were found a bunch of grapes and some sweets. A young man and his sweetheart were standing at the corner of the street, about twenty yards away, before and after the time the woman must have been murdered, but they told me they did not hear a sound.
Charles Letchford, living at 30, Berner-street, says: I passed through the street at half-past 12, and everything seemed to me to be going on as usual, and my sister was standing at the door at ten minutes to one, but did not see any one pass by. I heard the commotion when the body was found, and heard the policemen's whistles, but did not take any notice of the matter, as disturbances are very frequent at the club, and I thought it was only another row.