Thursday, 4 October 1888
Yesterday afternoon Mr. Wynne E. Baxter, Coroner for the South-Eastern Division of Middlesex, resumed his inquiry at the Vestry-hall, Cable-street, St. George's-in-the-East, respecting the death of Elizabeth Stride, who was found murdered in Berner-street on Sunday morning last.
Detective-Inspector E. Reid, H Division, again watched the case on behalf of the Criminal Investigation Department.
Elizabeth Tanner stated:- I live at 32, Flower and Dean-street, Spitalfields, and am a widow. I am the deputy of No. 32, which is a common lodginghouse. I have seen the body in the mortuary, and recognize the features of the deceased as a woman who had lodged off and on at the lodginghouse for six years. I knew her by the name of "Long Liz." I do not know her right name. She told me she was a Swedish woman, but never told me where she was born. She told me she was a married woman, and her husband and children went down in the ship Princess Alice.
The CORONER. - When did you last see her alive? - Witness. - About 6:30 on Saturday afternoon. I do not know the name of her husband, or what occupation he had followed. When I last saw deceased she was in the Queen's Head publichouse, Commercial-street. I went back to the lodginghouse, and did not see any more of her. At that time deceased had no hat or coat on. I saw her in the kitchen of the lodginghouse, and then I went to another part of the building, and never saw her again until I saw her dead body in the mortuary this afternoon.
The CORONER. - Are you sure it is her? - Witness. - I am quite sure. I recognize the features, and by the fact that she had lost the roof of her mouth. She told me that happened when the Princess Alice went down.
The CORONER. - Was she on board the ship at that time? - Witness. - Yes; and it was during that time her mouth was injured.
The CORONER. - Was she at the lodginghouse on Friday night ? - Witness. - Yes; on Thursday and Friday nights; but on no other night during the week. She did not pay for her bed on Saturday night.
The CORONER. - Do you know her male acquaintances? Witness - Only one, and I do not know his name. She left the man she was living with on Thursday to come and stay at my lodginghouse. That is what she told me.
The CORONER. - Have you seen this man? Witness. - Yes; I saw him on Sunday evening.
The CORONER. - Do you know if she has ever been up at the Thames Police-court? - Witness. - I do not.
The CORONER. - Do you know any other place she has lived? - Witness. - Only Fashion-street.
The CORONER. - Do you know if she had a sister living in Red Lion-square? - Witness. - I do not.
The CORONER. - What sort of woman was she? - Witness. - She was a very quiet and sober woman.
The CORONER. - Did she stop out late at night? Witness. - Sometimes.
The CORONER. - Do you know if she had any money? - Witness. - I do not. On Saturday she cleaned the rooms for me, and I gave her 6d.
The CORONER. - Have you seen her clothes? - Witness. - Yes. I cannot say if the two handkerchiefs belonged to her. The clothes she was wearing were the ones she usually wore, and they were the same she had on on Saturday. I recognized the long jacket as belonging to her.
The CORONER. - Did she ever tell you she was afraid of any one? - Witness. - No; and I never heard her say that any one had threatened to injure her.
The CORONER. - Is it a common thing for people who have been lodging in your place not to come back? - Witness. - Yes; I took no notice of it. I was sent for to go to the mortuary.
A Juryman. - Do you remember the hour she came to the lodginghouse? - Witness. - I do not, although I saw her and took 4d. from her for her lodging. At that time she was wearing the long jacket I have seen in the mortuary. I did not see her bring any parcel with her.
Inspector Reid. - Have you ever heard the name of Stride mentioned in connexion with her? - Witness. - No.
A Juryman. - How long had deceased been away from your house before last Thursday? - Witness. - About three months; but I have seen her during that time - sometimes once a week and sometimes nearly everyday.
The CORONER. - Did you understand what she was doing? - Witness. - She told me she worked among the Jews, and was living with a man in Fashion-street.
The CORONER. - Could she speak English well? - Witness. - Yes; and Swedish as well.
The CORONER. - When she spoke English could you tell she was a foreigner? - Witness. - No.
The CORONER. - Was there much association between her and her country people? - Witness. - No.
The CORONER. - Have you ever heard of her having in childhood broken a limb? - Witness. - I have not heard her say. I have never heard her carry on a conversation in the Swedish language; but she told me herself she was a Swede.
Catherine Lane, 32 Flower and Dean-street, said:- I am a charwoman and am married to Patrick Lane, a dock-labourer. We live together at the lodginghouse and have been living there since the 11th of February of this year. I have seen the body of deceased in the mortuary and recognize it as "Long Liz," who lived in the same lodginghouse. Lately she had only been there since Thursday last. I have known her for six or seven years. During the time she was away she called at the lodginghouse, and I used frequently to see her in Fashion-street where she was living. I spoke to the deceased on Thursday between 10 and 11 in the morning. She told me she had a few words with the man she was living with and left him. I saw her on Saturday afternoon when she was cleaning the deputy's rooms. I last saw her between 7 and 8 o'clock on Saturday evening. She was then in the kitchen, and had a long jacket and black hat on.
The CORONER. - Did she tell you where she was going? Witness. - She did not. When she left the kitchen she gave me a piece of velvet and asked me to mind it until she came back. The deputy would always mind things for the lodgers, and I do not know why she asked me to mind the velvet for her. Deceased showed me the piece of velvet on the previous day. I know deceased had 6d. when she left, as she showed me the money, but I cannot say that she had any money besides that. Deceased did not tell me she was coming back. I do not think she had been drinking.
The CORONER. - Do you know any one who is likely to have injured her? Witness. - No. I have heard her say she was a foreign woman, and she told me that at one time she lived in Devonshire-street, Commercial-road. I have never heard her say that at one time she lived at Poplar. She told me she had had a husband and that he was dead. Deceased never told me she had been threatened, or that she was afraid of any one. I know nothing about her history beyond what I have stated. I am satisfied it is she. I could tell by her actions that she was a foreign woman and did not bring all her words out plainly. I have heard her speaking to persons in her own language.
A juryman. - Did you ever hear her say she had a sister? Witness. - No; never.
The CORONER. - Do you know what she had been doing lately? Witness. - I do not.
Charles Preston stated:- I live at 32, Flower and Dean-street, Spitalfields, and am a barber by occupation. I have been lodging there for about 18 months. I have seen the deceased there and identified her body on Sunday afternoon at the mortuary. I am quite sure the body is that of "Long Liz." I last saw her alive on Saturday evening, between 6 and 7 o'clock. At that time she was in the kitchen of the lodginghouse and was dressed ready to go out. She asked me for the loan of a clothes-brush. At that time she had on a black jacket trimmed with fur, and it is the same one I have seen in the mortuary. She wore a coloured striped silk handkerchief round her neck, and it was the same as I saw in the mortuary. I have not seen her with a pocket-handkerchief, and am unable to say if she had two. I always understood from the deceased that she was a Swede by birth and was born at Stockholm; that she came to England in the service of a foreign gentleman. I think she told me she was about 35 years of age. She told me she had been married, and that her husband was drowned at the foundering of the Princess Alice. I have some recollection that deceased told me her husband was a seafaring man. I have heard her say she had a coffeehouse at Chrisp-street, Poplar; but she did not say she had often been at the Thames Police-court. I have known her to be in custody on one Saturday afternoon for being drunk and disorderly at the Queen's Head publichouse, Commercial-road. She was let out on her own bail on the Sunday morning. That was some four or five months ago. I have never heard her say she had met with an accident. She did not tell me where she was going on Saturday evening, and never mentioned what time she was coming back. At times the lodgers did not pay for their beds until just before going to bed. When deceased was locked up it was late in the afternoon or towards the evening time. She has always given me to understand her name was Elizabeth Stride, and that her mother was still living in Sweden. I have heard her speaking fluently in a foreign language to persons in the lodginghouse.
Michael Kidney stated:- I live at 38, Dorset-street, Spitalfields, and am a waterside labourer. I have seen the body in the mortuary and it is that of a woman whom I lived with. I have no doubt whatever about it.
The CORONER. - Do you know what her name was? Witness. - Elizabeth Stride. I have known her for about three years, and she has been living with me nearly all that time.
The CORONER. - Do you know what her age was? Witness. - Between 36 and 38. She told me she was a Swede and that she was born at Stockholm; that her father was a farmer, and that she came to England for the purpose of seeing the country. She afterwards told me she had come to England as servant to a family.
The CORONER. - Had she any relatives in England? Witness. - Only some of her mother's friends. She told me she was a widow, and that her husband had been a ship's carpenter belonging to Sheerness. She also told me her husband had kept a coffeehouse at Chrisp-street, Poplar, and that he was drowned on the Princess Alice.
The CORONER. - You had a quarrel with her on Thursday? Witness. - No. I last saw the deceased alive on Tuesday week.
The CORONER. - Did you quarrel then? Witness. - No; I left her in Commercial-street as I was going to work.
The CORONER. - Did you expect her to meet you later on? Witness. - I expected her to be at home. When I got home I found that she had been in and gone out. I did not again see her until I identified the body in the mortuary. She was perfectly sober when I last saw her. She was subject to going away whenever she thought she would. During the three years I have known her she has been away from me altogether about five months. I have cautioned her the same as I would a wife.
The CORONER. - Do you know any one she has picked up with? Witness. - I have seen the address of some one with the family she was living with at Hyde Park; but I cannot find it.
The CORONER. - That is not what I asked you. Do you think she went away with any one else? Witness. - I do not think that, for she liked me better than any one else. It was drink that made her go away, and she always returned without my going after her. I do not believe she left me on Tuesday to go with any other man.
The CORONER. - Had she money at that time? Witness. - I do not think she was without a 1s. considering the money I gave her to keep the house.
The CORONER. - Do you know of anyone that was likely to have run foul of her? Witness. - On Monday night I went to Leman-street Police-station for a detective to act on my information, but I could not get one.
The CORONER. - It is not too late yet; can you give us any information now? Witness. - I have heard something said that leads me to believe, that had I been able to act the same as a detective I could have got a lot more information. When I went to the station I was intoxicated. I asked for a young detective. I told the inspector at the station that if the murder occurred on my beat I would shoot myself. I have been in the Army.
Inspector Reid. - Will you give me any information now? Witness. - I believe I could catch the man, if I had the proper force at my command. If I was to place the men myself I could capture the murderer. He would be caught in the act.
Inspector Reid. - Then you have no information to give? Witness. - No.
The CORONER. - Have you heard of a sister of deceased giving her money? Witness. - No, but Mrs. Malcolm, who stated she was sister to the deceased, is very much like her.
The CORONER. - Had deceased ever had a child by you? Witness. - No. She told me a policeman used to see her at Hyde Park before she was married to Stride. I never heard her say she had a child by a policeman. Deceased told me she was the mother of nine children. Two were drowned on the Princess Alice with her husband, and the remainder are in a school belonging to the Swedish Church. The school is somewhere on the other side of the Thames. I have also heard her say that some friend of her husband had two of the children. I thoroughly believe the deceased was a Swede, and came from a superior class. She could also speak Yiddish. Both the deceased and her husband were employed on board the Princess Alice.
Edward Johnston said:- I live at 100, Commercial-road, and am assistant to Drs. Kay and Blackwell. About five or ten minutes past 1 on Sunday morning, I received a call from constable 436 H. After informing Dr. Blackwell, who was in bed, of the nature of the case, I accompanied the constable to Berner-street. In a courtyard, adjoining 40, Berner-street, I was shown the figure of a woman lying on her left side. There was a crowd of people in the yard and some policemen. No one was touching the deceased and there was very little light. What there was came from the policemen's lanterns. I examined the woman and found an incision in the throat. The wound appeared to have stopped bleeding. I also felt the body to see if it was warm, and found it was all warm with the exception of the hands, which were quite cold. The dress was not undone, and I undid it to see if the chest was warm. I did not move the head at all, and left it exactly as I found it. The body was not moved while I was there. The knees were nearer to the wall than the head. There was a stream of blood reaching down to the gutter. It was all clotted blood. There was very little blood near the neck, as nearly all of it had run away in the direction away from the legs. As soon as Dr. Blackwell arrived I handed the case over to him.
The CORONER. - Did you look at the hands? Witness. - No. I saw the left hand was lying away from the body, and the arm was bent. The right arm was also bent. The left hand might have been on the ground.
The CORONER. - Was there any mark of a footstep on the stream of blood? Witness. - No. I was looking at the body and not at those around me. As soon as Dr. Blackwell came he looked at his watch. It was then 1:16. I was there three or four minutes before Dr. Blackwell.
The CORONER. - Did you notice the bonnet of deceased? Witness. - Yes, it was lying on the ground, beyond the head of deceased to the distance of three or four inches. I did not notice the paper in the left hand. The gates were not closed when I got there, but they were shortly afterwards.
Thomas Coram said:- I live at 67, Plummer's-road, Mile-end, and am employed at a cocoanut warehouse. On Sunday night I was coming away from a friends at 16, Bath-gardens, Brady-street. I was walking on the right hand side of the Whitechapel-road towards Aldgate. When opposite No. 253 I crossed over, and saw a knife lying on the doorstep. No. 252 was a laundry business, and there were two steps leading to the front door. I found the knife on the bottom step. That is the knife I found (witness being shown a long-bladed knife). The handkerchief produced was wrapped round the handle. It was folded, and then twisted round the handle. The handkerchief was blood-stained. I did not touch them. A policeman came towards me, and I called his attention to them.
The CORONER. - The blade of the knife is dagger-shaped and is sharpened on one side. The blade is about 9in. or 10in. long, I should say.
Witness. - The policeman took the knife to the Leman-street Police-station, and I went with him.
The CORONER. - Were there many people passing at the time? Witness. - I should think I passed about a dozen between Brady-street and where I found the knife.
The CORONER. - Could it easily be seen? Witness. - Yes; and it was light.
The CORONER. - Did you pass a policeman before you got to the spot?
Witness. - Yes, I passed three. It was about half-past 12 at night.
Constable Joseph Drage, 282 H, stated:- At 12:30 on Monday morning I was on fixed-point duty in the Whitechapel-road, opposite Great Garden-street. I saw the last witness stooping down at a doorway opposite No. 253. I was going towards him when he rose up and beckoned me with his finger. He then said, "Policeman, there is a knife down here." I turned on my light and saw a long-bladed knife lying on the doorstep. I picked up the knife and found it was smothered with blood. The blood was dry. There was a handkerchief bound round the handle and tied with string. The handkerchief also had blood-stains on it. I asked the last witness how he came to see it. He said, "I was looking down, when I saw something white." I then asked him what he did out so late, and he replied, "I have been to a friend's in Bath-gardens." He then gave me his name and address, and we went to the police-station together. The knife and handkerchief produced are the same.
The CORONER. - Was the last witness sober? Witness. - Yes. His manner was natural, and he said when he saw the knife it made his blood run cold, and added that nowadays they heard of such funny things. When I passed I should have undoubtedly seen the knife. I was passing there continually. Some little time before a horse fell down opposite the place where the knife was found. I assisted in getting the horse up, and during that time a person might have laid the knife down on the step. I would not be positive that the knife was not there a quarter of an hour previously, but I think not. About an hour previously the landlady let out some woman, and the knife was not there then. I handed the knife to Dr. Phillips on the Monday afternoon. It was then sealed and secured.
Dr. George Baxter Phillips said:- I live at 2, Spital-square. I was called at 1:20 Sunday morning to Leman-street Police-station, and from there sent on to Berner-street to a yard at the side of a club-house. I found Chief-Inspector West and Inspector Pinhorn in possession of a body, which had already been seen by Dr. Blackwell, who arrived some time before me. The body was lying on the near side, with the face turned towards the wall, the head up the yard and the feet towards the street. The left arm was extended, and there was a packet of cachous in the left hand. A number of these were in the gutter. I took them from the hand and handed them to Dr. Blackwell. The right arm was over the belly. The back of the hand and wrist had on it clotted blood. The legs were drawn up, with the feet close to the wall. The body and the face were warm and the hand cold. The legs were quite warm. Deceased had a silk handkerchief round her neck, and it appeared to be slightly torn. I have since ascertained it was cut. This corresponded with the right angle of the jaw. The throat was deeply gashed, and there was an abrasion of the skin about 1 ¼ in. in diameter, apparently stained with blood, under her right brow. At 3 p.m. on Monday at St. George's Mortuary, in the presence of Dr. Rygate and Mr. Johnston, Dr. Blackwell and I made a post-mortem examination. Dr. Blackwell kindly consented to make the dissection. Rigor Mortis was still thoroughly marked. There was mud on the left side of the face and it was matted in the head. We then removed the clothes. The body was fairly nourished. Over both shoulders, especially the right, and under the collar-bone and in front of the chest there was a bluish discolouration, which I have watched and seen on two occasions since. There was a clean cut incision on the neck. It was 6in. in length and commenced 2 ½ in. in a straight line below the angle of the jaw, ¾ in. over an undivided muscle, and then, becoming deeper, dividing the sheath. The cut was very clean, and deviated a little downwards. The artery and other vessels contained in the sheath were all cut through. The cut through the tissues on the right side was more superficial, and tailed off to about 2 in. below the right angle of the jaw. The deep vessels on that side were uninjured. From this it was evident that the haemorrhage was caused through the partial severance of the left carotid artery. Decomposition had commenced in the skin. Dark brown spots were on the anterior surface of the left chin. There was a deformity in the bones of the right leg, which was not straight, but bowed forwards. There was no recent external injury save to the neck. The body being washed more thoroughly, I could see some healing sores. The lobe of the left ear was torn as if from the removal or wearing through of an earring, but it was thoroughly healed. On removing the scalp there was no sign of bruising or extravasation of blood. The skull was about a sixth of an inch in thickness, and the brain was fairly normal. The left lung had old adhesions to the chest wall, the right slightly. Both lungs were unusually pale. There was no fluid in the pericardium. The heart was small, the left ventricle firmly contracted, and the right slightly so. There was no clot in the pulmonary artery, but the right ventricle was full of dark clot. The left was firmly contracted so as to be absolutely empty. The stomach was large, and the mucous membrane only congested. It contained partly-digested food, apparently consisting of cheese, potato, and farinaceous powder. All the teeth on the left lower jaw were absent. On Tuesday I again went to the mortuary to observe the marks on the shoulder. I found in the pocket of the underskirt of the deceased the following articles - key as if belonging to a padlock, a small piece of a pencil, a pocket comb, a broken piece of a comb, a metal spoon, some buttons, and a hook. Examining her jacket, I found that, while there was a small amount of mud on the right side, the left was well plastered with mud. I have not seen the two pocket handkerchiefs. I will answer any questions put to me, but as there is another case pending I think I had better stop here.
The CORONER. - What is the cause of death? Witness. - It is undoubtedly from the loss of blood from the left carotid artery and the division of the windpipe.
The CORONER. - Did you examine the blood at Berner-street? Witness. - I did. The blood had run down the waterway to within a few inches of the side entrance of the club.
The CORONER. - Were there any spots of blood on the wall? Witness. - I could trace none. Roughly estimating it I should say there was an unusual flow of blood considering the stature and nourishment of the body.
At this point the inquiry was adjourned until Friday morning.
The following correspondence has been sent to us for publication:-
"Office of the Board of Works, Whitechapel District, 15, Great Alie-street, Whitechapel, Oct. 2.
"Sir, - At a meeting of the Board of Works for the Whitechapel District a resolution was passed, of which the following is a copy:-
'That this Board regards with horror and alarm the several atrocious murders recently perpetrated within the district of Whitechapel and its vicinity and calls upon Sir Charles Warren so to regulate and strengthen the police force in the neighbourhood as to guard against any repetition of such atrocities.'
"And by direction of the Board the copy resolution is forwarded to you in the hope that it will receive your favourable consideration
"ALFRED TURNER, Clerk.
"Colonel Sir Charles Warren, G.C.M.G."
"TO THE OCCUPIER.
"On the mornings of Friday, 31st August, Saturday 8th, and Sunday, 30th September, 1888, women were murdered in or near Whitechapel, supposed by some one residing in the immediate neighbourhood. Should you know of any person to whom suspicion is attached, you are earnestly requested to communicate at once with the nearest police-station.
"Sir, - In reply to a letter of the 2nd inst. from the Clerk of the Board of Works for the Whitechapel District transmitting a resolution of the Board with regard to the recent atrocious murders perpetrated in and about Whitechapel, I have to point out that the carrying out of your proposals as to regulating and strengthening the police force in your district cannot possibly do more than guard or take precautions against any repetition of such atrocities so long as the victims actually, but unwittingly, connive at their own destruction.
"Statistics show that London, in comparison to its population, is the safest city in the world to live in. The prevention of murder directly cannot be effected by any strength of the police force; but it is reduced and brought to a minimum by rendering it most difficult to escape detection. In the particular class of murder now confronting us, however, the unfortunate victims appear to take the murderer to some retired spot and to place themselves in such a position that they can be slaughtered without a sound being heard; the murder, therefore, takes place without any clue to the criminal being left.
"I have to request and call upon your Board, as popular representatives, to do all in your power to dissuade the unfortunate women about Whitechapel from going into lonely places in the dark with any persons - whether acquaintances or strangers.
"I have also to point out that the purlieus about Whitechapel are most imperfectly lighted, and that darkness is an important assistant to crime.
"I can assure you, for the information of your Board, that every nerve has been strained to detect the criminal or criminals, and to render more difficult further atrocities.
"You will agree with me that it not desirable that I should enter into particulars as to what the police are doing in the matter. It is most important for good results that our proceedings should not be published, and the very fact you may be unaware of what the Detective Department is doing is only the stronger proof that it is doing its work with secrecy and efficiency.
"A large force of police has been drafted into the Whitechapel district to assist those already there to the full extent necessary to meet the requirements; but I have to observe that the Metropolitan police have not large reserves doing nothing and ready to meet emergencies, but every man has his duty assigned to him; and I can only strengthen the Whitechapel district by drawing men from duty in other parts of the metropolis.
"You will be aware that the whole of the police work of the metropolis has to be done as usual while this extra work is going on, and that at such a time as this extra precautions have to be taken to prevent the commission of other classes of crime being facilitated through the attention of the police being diverted to one special place or object.
"I trust your Board will assist the police by persuading the inhabitants to give them every information in their power concerning any suspicious characters in the various dwellings, for which object 10,000 handbills, a copy of which I enclose, have been distributed.
"I have read the reported proceedings of your meeting, and I regret to see that the greatest misconceptions appear to have arisen in the public mind as to the recent action in the administration of the police. I beg you will dismiss from your minds, as utterly fallacious, the numerous anonymous statements as to the recent changes stated to have been made in the police force, of a character not conducive to efficiency.
"It is stated that the Rev. Daniel Greatorex announced to you that one great cause of police inefficiency was a new system of police whereby constables were constantly changed from one district to another, keeping the ignorant of their beats.
"I have seen this statement made frequently in the newspapers lately, but it entirely without fountain. The system at present in use has existed for the last 20 years, and constables are seldom or never drafted from their districts except for promotion or from some particular cause.
"Notwithstanding the many good reasons why constables should be changed on their beats, I have considered the reasons on the other side to be more cogent, and have felt that they should be thoroughly acquainted with the districts in which they serve.
"And with regard to the Detective Department - a department relative to which reticence is always most desirable - I may say that a short time ago I made arrangements which still further reduced the necessity for transferring officers from districts which they knew thoroughly.
"I have to call attention to the statement of one of your members that in consequence of the change in the condition of Whitechapel in recent years a thorough revision of the police arrangements is necessary, and I shall be very glad to ascertain from you what changes your Board consider advisable; and I may assure you that your proposals will receive from me every consideration.
"The Chairman, Board of Works, Whitechapel District."
An American, who refuses to give his name or any account of himself, was arrested last night on suspicion of being the East-end murderer. He is well dressed, rather tall, of slight build, and clean shaven. He accosted a woman in Cable-street, asked for her to go with him, and threatened that if she refused he would "rip her up." The woman screamed, and the man rushed to a cab. The police gave chase, got upon the cab, seized the man, and took him to Leman-street Police-station, where he asked the inspector in charge, "Are you the boss?" The man is detained at the police-station as well as two others who were conveyed there during the evening.
Most of the detectives belonging to the City and Metropolitan forces were busily engaged yesterday in investigating suggestions and information conveyed in letters addressed to the authorities by the general public.
Several arrests were made yesterday, but in nearly every instance the suspect was set at liberty on satisfying the police that their suspicions were groundless.
The statement made by the man Kelly on Tuesday night at the Bishopsgate-street Police-station identifying the Mitre-square victim as Kate Conway, a married woman, with whom he had cohabited for seven years, was confirmed yesterday. A sister of the murdered woman, to whom Kelly alluded in his statement, was inquired for at the address mentioned by him in Thrawl-street, Spitalfields, Sergeant Outram, accompanied by Kelly, conducting the investigations. Her name, it seems, is Mrs. Frost, and on being taken to the mortuary in Golden-lane she at once identified the body as that of her sister, Mrs. Conway. She stated that there is another sister, a Mrs. Jones, who lives in the neighborhood of Clothfair; but the latter has not yet been traced, nor have the son or daughter of the murdered woman.
At a very largely attended meeting of the Whitechapel Vestry last night, a discussion took place on the recent murders which had taken place within the district. On the motion of Mr. J. A. Teller, it was resolved "That this Vestry expresses its sorrow at the diabolical murders that have been lately committed in East London, and urges Her Majesty's Government to use their utmost efforts to discover the criminals."
At the Shoreditch Vestry, yesterday, presided over by Mr. F. M. Wenborn, Metropolitan Board of Works, Mr. Barham called attention to the insufficient lighting of the parish, making special mention of certain sequestered places where the want of light would greatly facilitate the commission of some foul deed of robbery or even of murder. He asked that the General Purposes Committee should be empowered to inspect the places he had mentioned, and to take immediate steps to fix additional lamps where they were thus imperatively needed. An objection was raised to the taking of summary action, the objecting vestryman preferring that the matter should be dealt with with the usual routine of notice of motion and the like. Mr. Barham, however, and Mr. Waynforth showed the great urgency of vesting the committee with immediate powers. The Vestry finally agreed to Mr. Barham's suggestion, and afterward ordered the fixing of new lamps in certain dark parts of Commercial-street (the thoroughfare which runs from Shoreditch through Spitalfields into Whitechapel and which is not far from the scene of the recent murders), Scrutton-street, and other roads within the parish.
Sir, - In the absence of any definite clue to the perpetrator of the recent dreadful atrocities at the East-end of London, it seems desirable to consider the question from the point of view of what, for want of a better word, I may call speculative jurisprudence.
It will be admitted that if suspicion can be, with even reasonable conclusiveness, focused on a particular and, if possible, small class of persons, there may be a greater probability of the speedy detection of the perpetrator than by a more or less vague inquiry directed over a large and densely populated area. At the same time, assuming my hypothesis to be fallacious, there is no reason why, while investigating it within its own narrow limits, the wider inquiries now being pursued should be diminished.
There is, I think, a reasonably general consensus of educated opinion that the late several murders, with their exceptionally concomitant horrors, are the work of one and the same person.
Inquiry has also fairly established that the theory suggested that the murders and mutilation where to secure a particular organ of the victim's body is untenable.
Robbery, or the gratification of animal passion, or revenge in its ordinary personal acceptation being beyond the question, the solution of motive may have to be sought in some form of mania arising from one or other, possibly, of the following causes - viz., some wrong, real or imaginary, sustained at the hands of the class to which the poor murdered women belonged; or an insane belief as to the good to result to society by their extermination.
It is to be observed that homicidal mania, in the sense of an unrestrainable desire to kill merely, is not here present, the tendency being directed against a particular class exclusively.
These questions are, however, for the moment comparatively unimportant beside the more pressing one as to the direction in which the murderer or homicidal maniac is to be sought.
For reasons which I shall state concisely, I venture to suggest that the perpetrator of these several outrages is a man of foreign character.
The grounds for this conclusion are:- (a) That in the whole record of criminal trials there is, I believe, no instance of a series of crimes of murder and mutilation of the particular character here involved committed by a person of English origin; whereas there are instances in some foreign countries of crimes of this peculiarly horrible character.
(b) The celerity with which the crimes were committed is inconsistent with the ordinary English phlegmatic nature; but entirely consistent with the evidence given in some more or less similar cases abroad.
(c) The mutilation and removal of certain organs involved a degree of anatomical knowledge and skill which, according to high medical opinion, would not be likely to be possessed by an English slaughterman (to whom at first suspicion pointed); whereas this special skill is possessed, to a not inconsiderable degree, by foreigners engaged in the charcuterie and other kindred trades abroad.
(d) The character of the knife used, as suggested by the medical evidence at the inquests, is similar in kind to the instrument known as a French "cook's knife," or at least is, in the circumstances, most consistent with its use by a foreigner than an Englishman. In offering these opinions I do not desire to suggest what indeed my experience negatives, that a foreigner, as such, has any monopoly of brutality over an Englishman. There are forms of brutality which are committed by Englishmen which a Frenchman or an Italian, for instance, would never dream of. But there are also idiosyncrasies of crime which are, as it were, peculiar to particular countries, both in their conception and mode of execution.
EDWARD DILLON LEWIS
8, Bow-street, Covent-garden, W.C., Oct. 3.
Sir, - Another remarkable letter has been written by some bad fellow who signs himself, "Jack the Ripper." The letter is said to be smeared with blood, and there is on it the print in blood of the corrugated surface of a thumb. This may be that of a man or a woman.
It is inconceivable that a woman has written or smeared such a letter, and therefore it may be accepted as a fact that the impression in blood is that of a man's thumb.
The surface of a thumb so printed is as clearly indicated as are the printed letters from any kind of type. Thus there is a possibility of identifying the blood print on the letter with the thumb that made it, because the surface markings on no two thumbs are alike, and this a low power used in a microscope could reveal.
I would suggest - (1) That it be proved if it is human blood, though this may not be material; (2) that the thumbs of every suspected man be compared by an expert with the blood-print of a thumb on the letter; (3) that it be ascertained whether the print of a thumb is that of a man who works hard and has rough, coarse hands, or whether that of one whose hands have not been roughened by labour; (4) whether the thumb was large or small; (5) whether the thumb print shows signs of any shakiness or tremor in the doing of it.
All this the microscope could reveal. The print of a thumb would give as good evidence as that of a boot or shoe. I am , yours, &c.,
Sir, - Having been long in India and, therefore, acquainted with the methods of Eastern criminals, it has struck me in reading the accounts of these Whitechapel murders that they have probably been committed by a Malay, or other low-class Asiatic coming under the general term of Lascar, of whom, I believe, there are large numbers in that part of London. The mutilations, cutting off the nose and ears, ripping up the body, and cutting out certain organs - the heart, &c. - are all peculiarly Eastern methods and universally recognized, and intended by the criminal classes to express insult, hatred, and contempt; whereas, here the public and police are quite at a loss to attach any meaning to them, and so they are described as the mere senseless fury of a maniac.
My theory would be that some man of this class has been hocussed and then robbed of his savings (often large), or, as he considers, been in some way greatly injured by a prostitute - perhaps one of the earlier victims; and then has been led by fury and revenge to take the lives of as many of the same class as he can. This also is entirely in consonance with Eastern ideas and the practices of the criminal classes.
Hundreds of these men have resided long in that part of London, speak English well - although when necessary they cannot understand a word - and dress in ordinary English clothes.
The victims have been the poorest and most miserable, and probably only such would consort with the class of man I speak of.
Such a man would be quite safe in the haunts occupied by his fellow-countrymen, or, should he wish to escape, he could join a crew of Lascars on the first steamer leaving London.
Unless caught red-handed, such a man in ordinary life would be harmless enough, polite, not to say obsequious, in his manners, and about the last a British policeman would suspect.
But when the villain is primed with his opium, or bang, or gin, and inspired with his lust for slaughter and blood, he would destroy his defenceless victim with the ferocity and cunning of the tiger; and past impunity and success would only have rendered him the more daring and reckless.
At Bow street, Henry Taylor, an Army Reserve man, was charged with assaulting Mary Ann Perry, and threatening to stab her. The prosecutrix accused the prisoner of indecent behaviour in her presence in the Clare Market. He pulled out a knife and threatened to stab her. He afterwards knocked her down and ran away. He was followed by a large crowd calling out "Leather Apron". He ran into Catherine street, where he asked Police constable Betts, 190E, who stopped him, to keep the crowd off, or he would rip them up. He had an open knife in his hand, which Betts took away from him. On the way to the station the crowd increased, and an attempt was made to get at and assault the prisoner. It was with difficulty that Betts and another constable kept the crowd back. At the station a razor was found in the prisoner's pocket. Mr. Vaughan sentenced the prisoner to two months' imprisonment, with hard labour, and ordered him to find surety in £5 to keep the peace for the following three months.
At the Guildhall, William Bull, 27, was charged on his mown confession with having committed the murder in Mitre square, Aldgate. Inspector George Izzard said at 20 minutes to 11 on Tuesday night the prisoner came into the charge room at Bishopsgate Police station and made the following statement:-
"William Bull, No 6 Stannard road, Dalston. I am a medical student. I wish to give myself up for the murder in Aldgate on Saturday night last or Sunday morning. About 2, I think, I met the woman in Aldgate, I went with her up a narrow street, not far from the main road. I gave her half a crown. While walking along together a second man came up, and he took the half crown from her." The prisoner then said, "My poor head. I shall go mad. I have done it. I must put up with it." The inspector then said to him, "What has become of your clothing that you had on when you committed the murder?" He replied, "If you wish to know, they are in the Lea, and the knife I threw away." At this point he declined to say anything more. He was drunk. Inquiries had been made at the London Hospital. No such person as the prisoner was known there. He was out of employment. The prisoner's parents appeared to be most respectable people. His father stated that the accused was at home on Saturday night.
The prisoner - I said this when I was mad drunk. I never committed a murder; I could not commit such an act.
The magistrate - I shall remand you; and you have yourself to thank for the position you are in.
The prisoner was then removed to the cells.