London, United Kingdom
Sunday, 28 October 1888
Sir Charles Warren is not an easy man to bully. Several people have lately been trying it on with him without much result. He has not laid down on the ground or shrieked "I give in," which it would seem that some people, who completely failed to appreciate his character, thought he would. He has not left Scotland Yard, and I have every reason for stating that he does not mean to. At one moment it did, indeed, seem likely, but that moment has gone by, and there is no reason now why he should even consider such a step. Certainly he is not likely to do so because some people, with not wholly disinterested motives, want him to. The moment of danger referred to was when he was in antagonism to Mr. Monro, and perhaps with a different Home Secretary things might have been different; but Mr. Matthews, with his legal adroitness in evading an issue, found other means of settling the difference, and as far as Sir Charles is concerned, his position is his own as long as he chooses to hold it.
Close of the Inquest.
The adjourned inquest on the remains recently discovered in the foundations of the new police buildings at Whitehall was resumed at the Sessions House, Westminster, on Monday afternoon, before Mr. Troutbeck.
The first witness called was Mr. Brown, the deputy foreman, who stated that on the Friday preceding the discovery he was in the vault, but saw nothing of the body. He must have noticed it had it been there.
Richard Lawrence, a labourer, said that on the Saturday prior to the discovery he was in the vault and left his tools there. He saw nothing of the remains. It was, however, very dark. On the Monday morning, about six o'clock, he visited the vault to fetch his tools, and, as on the previous occasion, he saw nothing to arouse his suspicions. The vault was not watched on Saturdays and Sundays.
Arthur Franklin, surveyor, deposed that he was in the vault on the Friday before the discovery, taking measurements. He saw nothing beyond a quantity of rubbish. The body might have been there without attracting his attention.
Mr. J. Waring, who described himself as the representative of a news agency, said that he visited the site of the buildings with a dog on the 18th inst. He gave a detailed description of the discovery of a woman's leg through the agency of his dog, as already published in the People.
Mr. W.H. Angle, a journalist, who accompanied Mr. Waring, gave corroborative evidence.
J. Hedges, a labourer, said he was the last person in the vault on the Saturday before the discovery. He went there for a hammer. He looked into the corner where the remains were unearthed, but saw nothing. He could not say how the earth was, as he only looked for the hammer for which he went in search.
DR. Bond said he was called on the 17th inst. by Sergeant Rose to Whitehall, where he found a leg and a foot, which he judged had been in the vault for several weeks. The foot was in an advanced stage of decomposition. The leg, however, was in a wonderful stage of preservation. It had been cleverly disarticulated, and corresponded in every way with the trunk, which he had previously examined. He had no doubt that the witness Hedges was quite wrong in what he said, and he was certain that the remains had lain in the vault for weeks uncovered and exposed to the air. Death, in his opinion, must have taken place about the end of August.
Mr. Herbert, of St. Thomas's Hospital, bore out Dr. Bond's evidence. He thought the limb must have belonged to a woman from 5ft 8in to 5ft 9in in height.
Police Constable Button and Sergeant Rose having given evidence, the coroner summed up very briefly. He said there was no evidence of identity beyond the fact established by the medical evidence, namely, that the remains were those of a well developed woman unaccustomed to manual labour. How she came by her death there was no evidence to show, but all pointed to the probability of a violent death. The body had been mutilated after death, and this also was strong presumptive evidence of crime.
The jury returned a verdict of found dead.
We were informed on Saturday that the young girl, Annie Eliza Burt, who was announced in the People to be missing from her home at Grove passage, Hackney, has, through the publicity given to the case, been discovered at Islington. The description published in the papers led the people in whose house she was lodging to communicate with the friends, and the latter are very thankful to the press for thus relieving their anxiety.
At the Berks County Petty Sessions on Saturday a tramp named Frederick Benham was charged with using threatening language. He went to the lodge of General Crutchley, near the Ascot racecourse, and, seeing the wife of the lodge keeper, said he was "Leather Apron," and threatened to kill her if she resisted him. The woman defended herself with a shovel, and the accused went away. Evidence having been given to show that the man was a lunatic, an order was made for his removal to Moulsford Lunatic Asylum.
A terrible tragic ending has followed a practical joke, in which a man declared he was "Jack the Ripper." A young lady named Milligan, 21 years of age, has died at Kilkeel, County Down, under the following circumstances. A fortnight since, Miss Milligan was out walking with two lady visitors, and all three were startled by the sudden appearance of a man who, personating the Whitechapel monster, brandished a knife, exclaiming, "I'm Jack the Ripper." During the evening Miss Milligan became hysterical, and the next day fever set in which, notwithstanding the efforts of Dr. Wilson, terminated fatally. The sad event has caused much sympathy with the relatives of the deceased, and the police are on the look out for the man.
During the three days of the week following the Sunday on which the two murders were committed the following petition to the Queen was freely circulated among the women of the labouring classes of East London through some of the religious agencies and educational centres:-
"To our Most Gracious Sovereign Lady Queen Victoria.
We, the women of East London, feel horror at the dreadful sins that have been lately committed in our midst and grief because of the shame that has fallen on our neighbourhood. By the facts that have come out at the inquests, we have learnt much of the lives of those of our sisters who have lost a firm hold on goodness and who are living sad and degraded lives. While each woman of us will do all she can to make men fell with horror the sins of impurity which cause such wicked lives to be led, we would also beg that your Majesty will call on your servants in authority and bid them put the law which already exists in motion to close bad houses within whose walls such wickedness is done and men and women ruined body and soul.
We are, Madame, your loyal and humble servants."
The petition which received between 4,000 and 5,000 signatures, was presented in due form and the following reply has been received:-
I am directed by the Secretary of State to inform you that he has had the honour to lay before the Queen the petition of women inhabitants of Whitechapel praying that steps must be taken with a view to suppress the moral disorders in that neighbourhood, and that her Majesty has been graciously pleased to receive the same. I am to add that the Secretary of State looks with hope to the influence for good that the petitioners can exercise, each in her own neighbourhood, and he is in communication with the commissioners of police with a view to taking such action as may be desirable in assist the efforts of the petitioners and to mitigate the evils of which they complain.
I am, Madame, your obedient servant,
Mrs. Barnett, St. Jude's Vicarage, Commercial street, E."
Inquest on the Berner street Victim.
The coroner's inquiry into the death of Elizabeth Stride, who was murdered at Berner street, Whitechapel, early on Sunday morning, the 30th ult., was concluded on Tuesday at the Vestry Hall, Cable street, before Mr. Wynne E. Baxter, coroner for East Middlesex, and a jury. At the previous sitting evidence was given by Mrs. Malcolm to the effect that deceased was her sister, and that she was married to Mr. Watts, son of a wine merchant at bath, but had latterly led a dissipated life, and that she has regularly contributed to her support up to the week of the murder. She added that she had a presentiment of the crime, because while lying in bed at the hour of the occurrence she felt a peculiar pressure. On Tuesday Mrs. Watts herself appeared and flatly contradicted the statements of her sister. It was further shown that the murdered woman was the widow of a carpenter.
Mr. E. Reid, inspector of police, deposed:
Since the last sitting I have made inquiries and examined the books of the Sick Asylum, Bromley, and find therein an entry of the death of John Thomas Stride, carpenter, of Poplar, on the 24th October, 1884. The nephew of Stride is here to give evidence. I have also seen Elizabeth Watts, whose sister is now married and resides at Tottenham. She informed me that the whole of Mrs. Malcolm's statement is false, that she had not seen her sister for years, and believed her to be dead. It was not true that she saw her sister on the Monday before the murder. I have directed her to appear here as a witness today and she has promised to attend.
Police constable Walter Stride:
I recognise the photograph of the deceased as that of the person who married my uncle, J.T. Stride, in 1872 or 1873. He was a carpenter and the last time we saw him he lived in East India Dock road, Poplar.
Elizabeth Stokes, 5 Charles street, Tottenham, wife of Joseph Stokes, brickmaker, said:
I was formerly married to Mr. Watts, wine merchant, Bath.
The Coroner: He is dead?
Witness: I have a letter which I wish to show you.
(Witness was much agitated and said that the case had excited her greatly.)
Mrs. Mary Malcolm, of Eagle street, Red Lion square, Holborn, is my sister.
The Coroner, having read the letter handed to him, said it purported to have been written by "W.Y.Z." on board ship, and stated that the woman's husband was alive.
(To witness): Are you on friendly terms with your sister?
I have not seen her for years. She has given me a dreadful character, and said I was the curse of the family. I have not received a penny from her.
Her evidence is false?
All false. I can tell you the names of all of us/ There were Matilda, Thomas, James, Mary, and Elizabeth. I am positively sure that Mrs. Malcolm is my sister, who has given these cruel statements.
A Juror: That must have been a mistake. Instead of referring to you she must have referred to some other person.
Another Juror: She referred to a sister with a crippled foot, and this person has crippled foot.
Witness: It was I that kept a coffee shop and was a disgrace to the family. It is infamy and lies, and I am truly sorry to think I have a sister in my family that has given me such a terrible and dreadful character. I hope the country at large will clear my character.
The Coroner: You have contradicted the statements.
Witness: It has put me to dreadful trouble. I am only a poor woman, and my husband, who is a cripple, is now outside. Why should my sister be allowed to tell such terrible falsehoods?
A Juror: We did not know at the time they were falsehoods.
Witness: You can see.
Coroner: We can see now.
Witness: I hope you will allow me my expenses.
The Coroner: Is Mrs. Malcolm here?
Officer: No, sir.
The Coroner, in summing up, remarked upon the coincidence between the habits of the murdered woman and those of the person described by Mrs. Malcolm. If her evidence was true, there were points of resemblance which almost reminded one of "The Comedy of Errors." Both had been courted by policemen; they bore the same Christian name, and were of the same age; both lived with sailors; both at one time kept coffee houses at Poplar; both were nicknamed "Long Liz"; both were said to have children in charge of their husband's friends; both were given to drink; both lived in East End common lodging houses; both had been charged with drunkenness at the Thames Police court; both had escaped punishment on the ground that they were subject to epileptic fits, although the friends of both are certain that this was a fraud; both had lost their front teeth; and both were leading very questionable lives. The murdered woman, it appeared, was born in Sweden in 1843, but having resided in England twenty two years could speak English fluently with a little foreign accent. At the time of her death she could have but a few pence in her pocket. It was shown that the man with whom she was seen shortly before was about 5ft 7in in height, and wore dark clothes, including an overcoat which reached nearly to his heels. There was no one among her associates to whom any suspicion attached, and it was not shown that she recently had a quarrel with any one. The ordinary motives of murder - revenge, jealousy, theft, and passion - appeared to be absent in this case, while it was clear from the accounts of all who saw her that night, as well as from the post mortem examination that she was not otherwise than sober. In conclusion, the coroner, while expressing regret that the time and care bestowed on the inquiry had not eventuated in a result which would be a perceptible relief to the metropolis - the detection of the criminal - was bound to acknowledge the great attention which Inspector Reid and the police had given to the case.
The jury found a verdict of wilful murder against some person or persons unknown, and that the murdered woman was the widow of John Stride, carpenter.
Sir Charles Warren recently took occasion to point out that the mere fact that detectives engaged in connection with the Whitechapel murders were following up clues without the circumstance coming to the knowledge of the public showed that they were doing their work in the proper fashion. Scotland yard is, in fact, on the alert night and ay, making as little noise as possible. Every day the authorities receive "information," which is never regarded as too trivial to be passed over without consideration. The facility for manufacturing nonsense signed "Jack the Ripper" has landed in Sir Charles Warren's office several communications bearing the appearance of childish jokes, but now and then there comes a statement which is carefully investigated. Such is the testimony of a seaman named Dodge, briefly referred to in our columns some time ago. Dodge states that he arrived in London on the 13th of August, having shipped at Shanghai as quartermaster on the steamer Glenorley (sic). A night or two after his arrival he, with one of his mates from the Glenorley, looked in at the Queen's Music Hall, High street, Poplar. where the men met a Malay cook, who was called Alaska. The Malay, in half drunken confidence, told he had recently landed in London and been paid off a long account. Going on the spree in the Whitechapel district, he had been robbed by a woman of all he had. According to Dodge's account the Malay, drawing a long knife sharpened on both sides, swore that he was going to look for the woman who had robbed him, and, if he did not find her, he would murder and mutilate every Whitechapel woman he met. He is described as 5ft 7in high, with straight black hair, black moustache, black eyes, good looking, and about 35 years old. Dodge went to sea again shortly after seeing the Malay, and he was in New York when, hearing that some one had been running amuck in Whitechapel, he thought of his Malay acquaintance. He told the story to the New York police, through whom it has been received in Scotland Yard.
A man named Graham was charged, on remand, at the Mansion House on Thursday, with committing the murders in Whitechapel. The prisoner had given himself up on his self accusation; he had been remanded that the state of his mind might be inquired into, and it was now stated that he had suffered from excessive drinking, but there was no trace of insanity.
Mr. Alderman Renals discharged him, regretting that there was no means of punishing him.