Friday, 8 April 1892
The Title by Which Deeming Was Known.
THINK HIM THE RIPPER.
A London Dressmaker Makes Some Startling Disclosures
IS HELD FOR WIFE-MURDER
The Nonchalant Fiend Tries to Make Love to Girls at the Inquest.
HE LIVED IN AMERICA ONCE.
MELBOURNE, April 7.-Notwithstanding the fact that the jury in the case of Mrs. Deeming, who was murdered at her home at Windsor, a suburb of this city, yesterday returned a verdict of willful murder against her husband, Deeming to-day shows the same characteristics that have marked him since his arrest. When the verdict was announced Deeming received it with a defiant air. It yet remains for him to be examined before aM agistrate (sic) and committed for trial. He will then be indicted for the crime, after which trial, conviction and execution are expected to follow speedily. His approaching fate does not seem to affect him in the least, and he is in turn jocular or insolent. The more the man is studied the deeper becomes the belief of many persons that he is utterly without conscience and equally devoid of fear. Others, however, think that his conduct is mere bravado, and that when he finds the nose tightening about his neck he will become an abject coward.
All his known murders have been of women and children, and it is said that he has killed men. Everyone believes that if he has he has done it through treachery, striking them from behind in the dark. Every day evidence comes to light to show the character of the man, and it is a matter of surprise, cunning though he was, that he should have pursued his career of crime so long undetected. A man who worked with Deeming years ago stated that he was then known among his fellow-workers as a vindictive and treacherous character, and that he went by the nick-name of "The Demon."
At the inquest yesterday the name of the murdered wife, together with those of her four children, who was found under the floor of Dinham villa, at Rain Hill, near Liverpool, was mentioned at the hearing for the first time, and she was identified by witnesses by means of a photograph.
The coroner received a note signed "Lilly." The writer said the Coroner must treat Deeming with greater impartiality. If he did not get justice the writer would take the Coroner's life in open court. The letter is supposed to have been written by a crank or to be a hoax.
Despite his semblance of ease, Deeming in periods of abstraction is visibly haggard. He has lost flesh, and his features are becoming pointed. The Jail Warders keep a close watch upon him at all times, for it is believed that he will kill himself if he gets a chance. He has been closely guarded ever since his arrest in the Southern Cross gold fields of West Australia. The only disused cabin in the steamer Ballarat, which brought him from Perth to Melbourne, that could be allotted to Detective Cawsey, who had him in charge, was on the second-class deck, the door being within four feet of the bulwarks. It was, therefore, necessary to take extra precautions to prevent Deeming from throwing himself overboard. There were 200 marines on board the steamer, four of whom were sworn in as special constables to assist Detective Cawsey in keeping an unceasing watch over the prisoner. Despite all the precautions taken many persons believe that Deeming, who is as cunning as a weasel, will yet outwit his keepers and do away with himself.
That his vanity is overwhelming was shown during the inquest. During the reading of the evidence against him, every word of which led him nearer the gallows, he indulged in a prolonged scrutiny of the public who filled the galleries of the City Court room, and then, turning to those near him, he audibly remarked:
"These are all good-looking girls in the front." He straightened up, adjusted his collar and necktie and said: "I wish I had better clothes; I would be more presentable."
He studiously paid no attention to the evidence except at times, when he laughed at certain statements that were made.
The newspaper reporters were busily preparing verbatim reports of the proceedings, and the representative of the Associated Press, who was present with the correspondents of other press associations, prepared his cable messages in the court-room. After a time Deeming noticed the messengers of the cable company passing and repassing and said:
"What have people abroad got to do with a murder committed here?"
When Miss Rounseville, his Sydney fiancée, went to the table to sign her testimony, Deeming called to her, saying:
"Katite, come to me."
Miss Rounseville paid not the least attention to him.
In nearly every place that Deeming has been he has shown a really valuable collection of weapons of various kinds. At the inquest there were produced a battle-axe and a knife which Surgeon Mullins thought might have inflicted the wounds that killed the last Mrs. Deeming.
The Age publishes a Sydney telegram saying: "While Deeming was in business here, with his wife and children living in this city, he married a young woman under an alias. He destroyed the license directly after the marriage ceremony was performed, visited the deceived woman thrice weekly for a month and then deserted her. This woman now recognizes the identity of Deeming by the published description of him."
When the taking of testimony was concluded the Coroner ordered Deeming to stand up. The prisoner, however, took no notice of the command, apparently having fallen asleep. A policeman who was standing near by then shook Deeming, and he woke with a start, looking up at the officer in an inquiring manner. The Coroner repeated his order for the prisoner to arise, and when he had done so the Coroner said:
"What is your name?"
Deeming did not answer the question, but turned to Mr. Lyle, his solicitor, and said:
"I will say nothing."
Mr. Lyle thereupon addressed himself to the Coroner, saying: "He says he won't answer any questions."
The Coroner then put some formal questions and was proceeding to sum up, when he was interrupted by Mr. Lyle, who said: "The abnormal offspring of a mother's womb has a defence which will open a question the whole English-speaking race must face and which has already been dealt with by some European countries. In the meantime my first duty is to secure him a fair trial."
The Coroner, resuming, said that the evidence against the prisoner was entirely conclusive and clearly pointed to his guilt of the terrible charges which were made against him. Not a link in the chain of evidence was missing, and the clearest proof that the murder was premeditated was the appalling familiar and peculiar mode adopted by the prisoner in burying the body of his unfortunate victim.
The jury was out half an hour, and during their absence Deeming laughed and chatted gayly with the lawyers, officers and others about him. He seemed to be in a very cheerful frame of mind, and did not in the least appear to realize the serious position in which he was placed.
After awhile, apparently becoming somewhat weary over the delay of the jury, he turned to Mr. Lyle and asked:
"What are we waiting for?" and called out to one of the witnesses: "What, you naughty girl."
He appeared to grow more restless as the jury continued over their deliberations and spoke to one of the court officials in regard to the length of time it took them to arrive at a conclusion, and in a jocular manner said: "Shall I go and assist the jury with their verdict?"
Deeming seemed to be considerably relieved when at length the jury appeared, and he settled himself in a comfortaple (sic) position to watch and listen. The grave look on the faces of the men did not seem to affect the prisoner, and even when the foreman of the jury, in response to questions of the Court, announced that Deeming had been found guilty of willful murder, the accused man never faltered. On the contrary, he still maintained his usual demeanor, and if anything the air of bravado which he had assumed throughout the proceedings was more pronounced than ever. This was made evident by a remark which he uttered as soon as the verdict had been made known. Turning to one of the persons standing near him, the prisoner in audible tones flippantly commented on the verdict, saying: "I could have done in two minutes what has taken them so long to decide."
The Coroner intimated that Deeming would be placed on trial of the murder of his wife on April 22, and added: "I shall now issue a warrant."
The prisoner, in an insolent tone, replied:
"You can put it in your pipe and smoke it."
This remark called forth a loud chorus of "Ohs" from the large crowd which packed the galleries of the court-room to their utmost limit.
The prisoner was then taken back to jail. When he entered his cell Deeming appeared to become unnerved. He staggered across the cell and fell heavily on the cot. His face took on a look of ghastly pallor and he stood in a state of utter collapse. The sudden and unlooked for change in Deeming's condition alarmed his guardians, and the officials of the prison were at once apprised of what had happened and steps were taken to give him some relief. A stimulant was administered and under its influence the prisoner gradually revived.
In an interview which he had with his solicitor Deeming supplied Mr. Lyle with abundant material for his defence at the coming trial. The facts which he gave dated from the time of his birth and included much information regarding his infancy. During his conversation with the solicitor the prisoner remarked: "The world produces moral as well as physical monstrosities."
The remarks made by Deeming's solicitor in court to-day in regard to the question which the defence would open and the lawyer's minute inquiries as to the prisoner's birth and the circumstances connected with his early childhood, are taken by many persons who are closely watching the case as foreshadowing the line of defence which will be adopted at the trial - that Deeming's nature had received a malignant impress prior to his birth, which had influenced and marked all his actions during his life and had left him mentally incapable of overcoming the homicidal impulses with which he was afflicted; in fact, that he was what the prisoner himself had described as a "moral monstrosity." Deeming wants his brother Albert to communicate with him for the purpose of assisting the defence.
LONDON, April 7.-A dressmaker, living in the East End of London, has recognized a portrait of Deeming as that of a man who courted her under the name of Lawson in the autumn of 1888. She states that they were walking together on the night of September 29 and parted from each other at 11 o'clock. The following morning the shockingly mutilated bodies of the women Stride and Eddowes were found in the Whitechapel district.
Considerable speculation has been indulged in as to the possibility of Deeming being the notorious Whitechapel "Jack the Ripper." The last letter sent by Deeming's Melbourne victim to her mother showed that Deeming was skilled in the use of medicine, and it is believed by many that if occasion arose he would have shown that he was equally skilful in the use of surgical instruments. One of the physicians who conducted the post-mortem examination on the bodies of the Rain Hill victims said that these murders showed that the person who committed them had a good knowledge of anatomy, and that the blow that caused death was just sufficient, and no more, to sever the carotid artery.
Denials have been made that Deeming was in England at the time these murders were committed. But as a matter of fact his whereabouts at exact periods has been a hard question to decide. The Whitechapel murders were committed on April 3, August 7, August 31, September 6, two on September 30 and November 9, 1888; July 10 and September 10, 1889, and February 13, 1890.
If the dressmaker is as correct as she is positive in her recollections, Deeming was in London during the autumn of 1888, when several of the murders occurred.
On the 7th of August, in that year, Martha Turner was found dead with thirty-nine stab wounds on a landing in the model dwellings known as George Yard Buildings, Commercial street, Spitalfields.
On August 31 another woman, belonging also to the unfortunate class and known as Mrs. Nichols, was murdered and mutilated in Buck's Row, Whitechapel.
On September 7 came the murder with which the dressmaker connected Deeming. Mrs. Chapman was the fourth victim and her body was found on the morning of September 8. her throat had been cut from ear to ear and the body cut open as if by a dissector. The body lay on the ground and a portion of the remains has been tied around the neck. Like the other women killed, she was a dissolute character and lived in a wretched and densely populated part of the city. There never was any doubt that he murder was committed by the same man who had perpetrated the other three, the victims all having been killed by a knife in an identical manner. The dressmaker says that the time Deeming left her company on the evening of September 7 was about an hour before the time at which medical testimony at the inquest indicated that the Chapman woman was probably murdered.
During the year 1888 Deeming's whereabouts until November were quite unknown.
The dressmaker's statement shows that for part of the time at least he was in London, and this again arouses the suspicion that he was there at the time the other murders of that year were committed. There was nothing to prevent him from being there from April to November, 1888, during which time seven of the murders were committed. It is known positively that he arrived in Beverley on February 16, 1890, five days after the last Whitechapel murder.
The dressmaker also says that she met Deeming or Lawson, as he was known to her, on the afternoon of September 30. They had a long conversation on the subject of the Whitechapel murders, and Deeming showed that he was conversant with every one of the horrible details. A remark was made concerning a suggestion in a newspaper that the murders in Whitechapel were committed shortly after midnight.
Deeming seemed to forget to whom he was talking and said to the girl: "Look at the time. I could not have committed the murders."
The girl was very much struck by this uncalled-for remark, and she has often since thought of it. Throughout the afternoon Deeming was very much agitated and eagerly read the newspaper comments of the crimes. A few days later he vanished and the girl never say him again. Though the remark inadvertently dropped by Deeming and his subsequent actions aroused a suspicion in the girl's mind that Deeming perhaps was the murderer, she did not until now communicate her suspicions to the police.
The police have been unable to trace Deeming's exact whereabouts at the time these murders were committed in Whitechapel. It is thought that with the clews furnished them by the girl some startling developments may be looked for and that the Whitechapel mysteries may at last be solved.
The chronology of Deeming's record, so far as ascertained, agrees with the dressmaker's story. It is as follows:
Frederick Bailey Deeming marries Miss Mary James and leaves England for Cape Town, 1880.
Deeming joined by his wife (now identified as Mary James) in Sydney, 1882.
Deeming received six weeks' imprisonment for theft, 1882.
Absconds from Sydney on charge of fraudulent insolvency, 1886.
Returns to England (August 11) and to Birkenhead, leaving that place and his wife after the birth of his fourth child, about four months afterward, 1889.
Deeming returned from South Africa in the spring of 1890. He had a formidable assortment of knives. Samuel Mercier of Rain Hill, who was well acquainted with Deeming, says: "Deeming represented himself to me to be a military man, and said he had fourteen scars on him." He went on to talk very glibly as to hand-to-hand encounters which he had gone through as inspector in the army. He would not call himself a soldier altogether, although he said that he 'had been under fire.' Deeming showed me various weapons, including swords, knives, spears and an assegai which he said he had got from Zululand. He particularly dwelt on a very handsome sword which was adorned with silver and a band of gold, and which he said he had fought two hours for. He next showed me a beautiful knife with a sheath made of woven silver wire, and said it had belonged to Cetewayo."
LIVERPOOL, April 7.-Dinham villa, the building in which Deeming, alias Williams, perpetrated the murder of his wife and four children, is to be demolished. Mrs. Hayes, the owner, says: "I could not expect people to again occupy the building. I will, however, build another house near, or on the site. The loss to me personally will be very great, but I have decided to bear the first cost rather than the last." It is not expected, however, that the demolition will take place until after Deemin is disposed of.
WINNIPEG, Manitoba, April 7.-It appears that Deeming was at one time a resident of the Northwest Territory under the name of Williams. In 1884, in the Province of Assinaboin, he commenced business as a watchmaker, but ultimately decamped with a large number of valuable watches entrusted to him.