Austin was suspected of being the Ripper by fellow soldier James Oliver, who had served with him in R Troop the Fifth Lancers. Oliver, of 3 Westfield View, Rotherham, went to the police with his suspicions about Austin and claimed he was a real woman hater. He had overheard him say that he would kill every whore and cut her inside out, and always had revenge against women brooding in his mind. Whenever the men in the regiment would talk about women, Austin could be heard grinding his teeth. Oliver said, 'Austin was a man who is most abstemious and will live on dry bread, he used many a day to save his money and live on what was knocking about in the barrack room'. Oliver, when shown copies of the alleged letters by the Ripper, believed the 'Dear Boss' letter (written with a steel pen) similar to Austin's handwriting, while the 'Saucy Jack' postcard (written with a quill) less so. He described Austin as about 40 years old, 5ft 8"tall, with light hair, a very long fair moustache and long tapering hands. He described his face as fresh, hard and healthy looking, with a small piece missing from the end of his nose, where it had been bitten off. He said Austin was a very powerful man, though not heavy or stout, and although not mad, was not right in his mind. Before joining the army he had been a sailor and though always respectably dressed, still had the appearance of a sailor more than a soldier. It was believed he had drawn his deferred pay, about £24.00 and claimed that he was going to make London his home. Efforts to find Austin by Inspector Abberline were without success.