WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 1888
THE GATESHEAD TRAGEDY. - At the Gateshead County Police-court yesterday, William Waddle, who had been arrested at Yetholm, was charged with the wilful murder of Jane Beardmoor, at Birtley. In answer to the charge he said "Yes," and some formal evidence having been taken, the case was remanded for a week. Prisoner is described as presenting a most abject and pitiful sight when placed in the dock. His head was sunk almost on his breast, his knees shook, his fists were clenched, and during the whole time he was in the dock he kept rubbing his clenched hands together. He never once looked up, but kept his eyes half closed without apparently fixing his gaze on any object. This demeanour generally suggested the idea that he was bereft of his reason.
A SEVENTH HORRIBLE CRIME.
ANOTHER WOMAN KILLED
NEAR THE HOME OFFICE.
Horror succeeds horror in our colossal complex of cities. Ere the East-end of London has ceased to shudder over the dreadful discoveries of last Sunday morning, revolting evidence of another ghastly tragedy, enacted in this capital, has come to light in Westminster, on the Embankment, one of our noblest thoroughfares. Of the appalling "find" effected yesterday afternoon among the debris of the foundations laid down some years ago for an abortive National Opera House, premonitory signs and tokens have not been wanting; for it may be assumed that the woman's arms picked up at different times during the past few weeks had been severed from the headless, armless, legless trunk upon which a workman, engaged in excavating a vault on the above-mentioned site, suddenly came. This mangled relic of humanity, besides having been shorn of head and limbs, had suffered the peculiar mutilation inflicted upon the victims of the Whitechapel murders, and was in a state of decomposition justifying the belief that the crime which it mutely attests was committed at about the time when the first of the two amputated arms were seen floating on the surface of the river. The workmen employed in constructing the basement of the new police offices, however, are positive that the remains in question were not on Saturday afternoon in the place where they were found yesterday. Thither, therefore, they must have been conveyed and deposited between the hour at which the men knocked off work on Saturday and that at which they resumed labour on Monday morning. Throughout some three weeks the trunk of a murdered female must have been kept concealed by her assassin in some secret place until an opportunity accrued for its transfer without fear of detection to some temporarily deserted spot, such as that on which it was found.
The irony of Fate has willed it that this mangled fragment of what was once a woman should be hidden away in a cavity that will some day, in all probability, be a police-cell, and that is situate but a stone's-throw from the Home Office itself, the chief of which important State Department has troubled himself as little about the atrocities lately convulsing London with terror and indignation as if they had been old-world legends or modern sensational fictions. If, haply, Mr. Matthews was incredulous until yesterday as to the very existence of the crimes that have converted Whitechapel into a human shambles - and it may well be so, for he has manifested no interest in them, but rather an indifference that seems scarcely compatible with belief in their occurrence - a brief stroll, involving no fatigue worth speaking of, and but little expenditure of the Home Secretary's valuable time, would have enabled him yesterday afternoon to convince himself that at least one strange and savage crime has recently been perpetrated in this metropolis. The discovery on the Embankment, had it thus been brought home to Mr. Matthews' physical senses, might have suggested to his doubting mind that perhaps, after all, there had been some foundation in fact for the reports in circulation - which he had not deemed it worth his while to verify in person - respecting the Whitechapel butcheries, and might have conveyed to him a strong hint that, in declining to further the detection and arrest of their truculent author by an obvious and practical expedient for so doing, he has mistaken the duties of his high office, and proved himself conspicuously unfit to retain it. This, at any rate, is the view entertained of the Home Secretary's attitude by a vast majority of the British public. That the most experienced police officials entertain no serious objection to the offering of rewards on the part of our constituted authorities for the seizure of paramount malefactors is sufficiently demonstrated by the offer of a £500 reward promulgated, at the instance of the Corporation, by the Chief of the City Police. As a matter of fact, Sir James Fraser personally advised the Lord Mayor and Corporation to issue that offer. Moreover, eminent police officials of the Metropolitan force frankly avow their unrestricted faith in the utility of public rewards, whenever crimes of an unusually atrocious and ingenious character baffle the ordinary expedients adopted by the Executive for their detection. Sir Charles Warren will not commit himself further than to say that "the matter of rewards in these cases rests entirely with the Home Office;" but his experienced subordinates, with very few exceptions, are cordially in favour of Government rewards in such a terrible and mysterious conjuncture of abominable crimes as the present.
In the course of the adjourned inquest, held yesterday in the Vestry Hall, Cable-street, evidence was given which may be considered conclusive, as far as the identification of the "unfortunate" murdered in Berner-street is concerned. Mary Malcolm, a tailor's wife, resident near Holborn, deposed that the deceased was her sister, Elizabeth Watts, and that she herself, besides recognising the body, had received a supernatural intimation of the murder shortly after one o'clock on Sunday morning. Her account, elicited in evidence, of her slaughtered relative's life-story was indeed a sad and thrilling one, throwing a lurid light upon the countless "problematical existences" that count among the more awful secrets of this mighty, mysterious city. Of our million of upper and middle class folk, who "live at home at ease," how many have the least conception of the hardships, miseries, and degradations suffered daily and nightly, within a bowshot of their comfortable dwellings, by such utter outcasts as were in life this dead woman and her companion in fatal misfortune, the wretched creature slain and mutilated in Mitre-square? The former had endured every variety of privation, humiliation, and pollution, moral and physical; the latter had times without number been in so abject a state of destitution as to be compelled to share the nightly refuge - a shed in Dorset-street - of a score or so of houseless waifs, penniless prostitutes like herself, without a friend, a name, or even a nickname. This once most unhappy wretch has been identified, but not by any real or fanciful designation, by some of her no less miserable associates, and by two City constables, who had arrested her on Saturday evening for drunkenness, a few hours before her assassination. She was still in custody at Bishopsgate-street Police-station at one a.m. on Sunday, at which hour she was released, and sauntered away along Houndsditch towards the place of her death, which must have occurred barely twenty minutes after her release from custody.
There is reason to believe that the monster of whom policemen and "Vigilants" are still eagerly but fruitlessly in quest attempted another outrage upon a woman of loose conduct some time between the date of Annie Chapman's murder and last Sunday morning. As we are informed, the metropolitan police have for several days past been in possession of every detail of this woman's startling narrative, a full account of which will be found in another column. Here we will merely observe that she was admitted ten days ago to a London hospital, in which a serious cut on her arm was treated; and that she has solemnly declared that she received the injury in question whilst protecting her throat from an attempt made to cut it by a man who, having engaged her in conversation and struck an immoral bargain with her, tripped her up, threw her heavily on the pavement, and attacked her, knife in hand, with murderous intent.
It seems, we regret to say, almost superfluous to add that no clue whatsoever to the hiding-place or individuality of the unknown assassin has as yet been obtained by the police authorities. Rumours, not realities, are still the order of the day in relation to the Berner-street and Mitre-court tragedies; whilst the inconceivably revolting discovery within sight of the Home Office windows "on horror's head horrors accumulates."
The next portion of this issue's report from "THE ALDGATE MURDER…" to "…and did no honest work whatever." is reproduced in "News from Whitechapel" pages 157 - 158. Immediately following that portion the Telegraph reported:
An alarming story was told to a detective yesterday, and it is understood that the Metropolitan police have for some time been cognisant of its details. If this statement be true, and there appears to be no reason to question it, then some time between the date of the Hanbury-street murder and last Sunday the bloodthirsty maniac who is now terrifying Whitechapel unsuccessfully attempted another outrage. The woman who so narrowly escaped death is married, but she admits having entered into conversation with a strange man for an immoral purpose. She alleges that he tripped her up, so that she fell upon the pavement. He made an effort to cut her throat, but she shielded herself with her arm, and in so doing received a cut upon it. Alarmed by his failure, and fearing her shrieks, the would-be murderer ran off, and the woman, when discovered, was removed to the hospital. She has since been discharged, and the wound upon the arm is still to be seen. The occurrence is alleged to have taken place ten days ago, in a bye-turning off Commercial-street. Unfortunately the woman was so much in liquor when she was assaulted that she cannot recollect the man's face or dress, and has been unable to give a description of him, which may account for the secrecy which has been maintained in regard to the attack. At the inquest upon Chapman, the victim of the Hanbury-street murder, all the evidence which was adduced was collected by the coroner, Mr. Wynne Baxter, assisted by his own officer and the Press. No intimation was given that the police possessed this information.
In response to the offer of the reward of £500 by the Chief Commissioner of City Police, a mass of suggestions and of theories have been received; but so far nothing of a tangible character has been obtained, and the communications do not contain a tittle of real evidence, negative or otherwise. Although no clue has been secured, Mr. McWilliam, chief of the City police detectives, does not despair. He has the reputation of not being easily discouraged, and the City of London detectives have one advantage over the Scotland-yard officers, for they are not tempted to drop one inquiry when a fresh startling event in a measure supersedes the earlier crime. Mr. McWilliam has an able staff at his command, and the City uniform police are an intelligent set of men, willing and able, if necessary, to render really efficient assistance to the detective department. Pending inquiries Superintendent Foster deemed it advisable to detain for some hours at headquarters, Old Jewry, an individual whose strange conduct had excited suspicion, but the answers to detailed questions proved satisfactory, and the man was handed over to the care of his friends, after having been kept in the police-office from Monday night until five o'clock yesterday evening. His behaviour had been so extraordinary that an investigation was unavoidable. He had entered a restaurant in Milk-street, Cheapside, where he was known, and called for a glass of beer, which he drank. In an altercation which followed he produced an instrument for injecting morphine and a small knife. His light overcoat, which he carried on his arm, had some stains upon it, and he is stated to have exclaimed, "If that coat could speak it would be worth £100. I lent it to a man last Saturday." He then punctured his wrist with the injector, and the attendants thought it prudent to ask the police to remove him. This course was taken, with the result above stated.
From Commercial-road to Aldgate a marked difference is observable in the state of the streets, especially from eleven o'clock in the evening until one in the morning, clearly evidencing that the minds of people are thoroughly alarmed. Not only are tradesmen complaining that their business is suffering through the reluctance of residents to leave their houses after dark, but there exists, in addition, a widespread fear of further outrage. One trade, and one alone, appears to derive pecuniary advantage from the Reign of Terror. Many people take a trip from the West through Whitechapel and back on the top of an omnibus merely to say that they have passed through the scene of so many tragedies, and in this way the returns of the omnibus companies may have been increased. To the residents of Whitechapel no advantage has accrued. The central streets still maintain their busy appearance, but the dark thoroughfares and alleys on either side are deserted at an early hour. Among the class to whom the victims belonged the misery of intense fear is augmented by hunger and want of shelter. In the darkness and cold of last night there could be seen at street corners or trying to screen themselves in doorways from the wind, groups of these ill-clad and fallen creatures, looking very miserable and forlorn, and afraid to venture away from the most frequented thoroughfares, where only they felt safe. Many of them lingered as long as they could - until moved on by a constable - about the railings around a church or a chapel, as if in the belief that within the shadow of a temple of worship there was some protection even for them. The spectacle was a very sad one. In the earlier part of the evening the news of another shocking discovery, this time in Westminster, created much excitement, but the local tragedies still remained the absorbing topic. During the day still further additions were made to the police force, not only in the number of men available for patrol duty, but in the detective strength. Unoccupied houses are being searched, and any hint which the detectives may receive is acted upon, even in places where it is dangerous for a detective to be known. Inspector Abberline daily receives a large number of letters containing suggestions and statements of persons who imagine they have seen suspicious circumstances about such and such a man. These have been followed up as far as possible, but in every case have led to no good result. The very fact that so many people were convinced that the victim was Elizabeth Stride, while in reality her name is Mrs. Watts, shows how difficult it is to get at the truth when a panic is spread over a district. As yet the police have no clue whatever to lead them to the lair of the murderer, but there is a widespread feeling - founded presumably rather on the apprehension of evil to come than on anything tangible - that he is still about the Whitechapel district. It is under this belief that the police are gradually searching the unexplored places of the neighbourhood. These investigations up to now have not been successful.
A member of the Vigilance Committee informed our representative last night that a great deal of information about the state of the streets, and suspicious men who frequent them, had been collected by them, and they believed that at least some of it might turn out of value. Although many people think differently, he and some of his colleagues consider that the murders were not the work of one man, or, at all events, that he had associates. Their belief is that at least four or five men were engaged in the murderous plot, and it was in the hope of inducing one of them to turn informer that the committee were so anxious that the Home Secretary should offer a reward. This opinion, however, was formed when what is now known as the "medical requirement" hypothesis gained credence. Several members of the committee even thought they were on the track of the gang, but investigations have neither substantiated the theory nor led to the unravelling of the mystery. Nevertheless, the Vigilance Committee, under the presidency of Mr. George Lusk, continues to meet daily, and focus, as it were, the sentiments of the inhabitants.
During the day four persons were arrested on the chance that they might have had something to do with the Berner-street murder, but the only items against them were their own bravado or their suspicious looks. It has become customary for shabbily dressed men who frequent public-houses in the neighbourhood of Whitechapel to proclaim in their cups that they know a great deal about the murders, and as some one in the place generally informs the police, a constable, for form's sake, is obliged to take the braggart to the police-station, where it is, without exception, found that the boasts are utterly untrue. The men taken to the station were in every case discharged. One arrest was effected as far away as Hampton-wick. An individual, apparently a gentleman in reduced circumstances, called on Monday night at an inn, and asked for a lodging. He was admitted, but not long after a remark was made by one who saw him that he was somewhat of the description circulated of the Whitechapel murderer. Mr. Honeycomb, the landlord, also thought he saw a slight resemblance, and sent for the police. A constable of the T Division was called in, but nothing was done in the matter, as the man's account of himself was considered satisfactory. Yesterday morning, however, the visitor's appearance seemed changed to the landlord, and the conclusion come to was that he had shaved his whiskers off during the night. The police were again sent for, and another T Division constable took charge of the man. He was brought across the Thames to Kingston police-station, and there stated that he obtained from the British consul a free passage from Brussels to London, where he landed on Saturday and stayed during the night. Sunday night he spent at the Sun Hotel, Market-place, Kingston, and on Monday night he went to the King's Head, Hampton-wick, where the unfounded suspicions were aroused. He gave a full account of all his movements since his arrival, and said he had friends at New Malden who would corroborate his statement. These people were visited by the constable, and the statement made by the suspect being found to be pretty correct, he was accordingly released. In every case that has yet been laid before the police, the accused has been able to give answers sufficiently satisfactory to secure his liberation.
Immediately following on from the above, the next portion of this issue's report from "Among the many unfounded rumours…" to "…Metropolitan or City Police authorities." is reproduced in "News from Whitechapel" pages 158 - 159 . The Telegraph then reported:
Yesterday afternoon, in the Vestry Hall of St. George-in-the-East, Cable-street, Mr. Wynne E. Baxter, coroner for East Middlesex, resumed the inquiry into the circumstances attending the death of the woman who was found with her throat cut in a yard adjoining the clubhouse of the International Working Men's Education Society, No. 40, Berner-street, Commercial-road East, at one o'clock on Sunday morning last.
Constable Henry Lamb, 252 H division, examined by the coroner, said: Last Sunday morning, shortly before one o'clock, I was on duty in Commercial-road, between Christian-street and Batty-street, when two men came running towards me and shouting. I went to meet them, and they called out, "Come on, there has been another murder." I asked where, and as they got to the corner of Berner-street they pointed down and said, "There." I saw people moving some distance down the street. I ran, followed by another constable - 426 H. Arriving at the gateway of No. 40 I observed something dark lying on the ground on the right-hand side. I turned my light on, when I found that the object was a woman, with her throat cut and apparently dead. I sent the other constable for the nearest doctor, and a young man who was standing by I despatched to the police station to inform the inspector what had occurred. On my arrival there were about thirty people in the yard, and others followed me in. No one was nearer than a yard to the body. As I was examining the deceased the crowd gathered round, but I begged them to keep back, otherwise they might have their clothes soiled with blood, and thus get into trouble.
Up to this time had you touched the body? - I had put my hand on the face.
Was it warm? - Slightly. I felt the wrist, but could not discern any movement of the pulse. I then blew my whistle for assistance.
Did you observe how the deceased was lying? - She was lying on her left side, with her left hand on the ground.
Was there anything in that hand? - I did not notice anything. The right arm was across the breast. Her face was not more than five or six inches away from the club wall.
Were her clothes disturbed? - No.
Only her boots visible? - Yes, and only the soles of them. There were no signs of a struggle. Some of the blood was in a liquid state, and had run towards the kitchen door of the club. A little - that nearest to her on the ground - was slightly congealed. I can hardly say whether any was still flowing from the throat. Dr. Blackwell was the first doctor to arrive; he came ten or twelve minutes after myself, but I had no watch with me.
Did any one of the crowd say whether the body had been touched before your arrival? - No. Dr. Blackwell examined the body and its surroundings. Dr. Phillips came ten minutes later. Inspector Pinhorn arrived directly after Dr. Blackwell. When I blew my whistle other constables came, and I had the entrance of the yard closed. This was while Dr. Blackwell was looking at the body. Before that the doors were wide open. The feet of the deceased extended just to the swing of the gate, so that the barrier could be closed without disturbing the body. I entered the club and left a constable at the gate to prevent any one passing in or out. I examined the hands and clothes of all the members of the club. There were from fifteen to twenty present, and they were on the ground floor.
Did you discover traces of blood anywhere in the club? - No.
Was the steward present? - Yes.
Did you ask him to lock the front door? - I did not. There was a great deal of commotion. That was done afterwards.
The Coroner: But time is the essence of the thing.
Witness: I did not see any person leave. I did not try the front door of the club to see if it was locked. I afterwards went over the cottages, the occupants of which were in bed. I was admitted by men, who came down partly dressed; all the other people were undressed. As to the waterclosets in the yard, one was locked and the other unlocked, but no one was there.
There is a recess near the dust-bin. Did you go there? - Yes, afterwards, with Dr. Phillips.
The Coroner: But I am speaking of at the time.
Witness: I did it subsequently. I do not recollect looking over the wooden partition. I, however, examined the store belonging to Messrs. Hindley, sack manufacturers, but I saw nothing there.
How long were the cottagers in opening their doors? - Only a few minutes, and they seemed frightened. When I returned Dr. Phillips and Chief Inspector West had arrived.
Was there anything to prevent a man escaping while you were examining the body? - Several people were inside and outside the gates, and I should think that they would be sure to observe a man who had marks of blood.
But supposing he had no marks of blood? - It was quite possible, of course, for a person to escape while I was examining the corpse. Every one was more or less looking towards the body. There was much confusion.
Do you think that a person might have got away before you arrived? - I think he is more likely to have escaped before than after.
Detective-Inspector Reid: How long before had you passed this place?
Witness: I am not on the Berner-street beat, but I passed the end of the street in Commercial-road six or seven minutes before.
When you were found what direction were you going in? - I was coming towards Berner-street. A constable named Smith was on the Berner-street beat. He did not accompany me, but the constable who was on fixed-point duty between Grove-street and Christian-street in Commercial-road. Constables at fixed-points leave duty at one in the morning. I believe that is the practice nearly all over London.
The Coroner: I think this is important. The Hanbury-street murder was discovered just as the night police were going off duty. (To witness): Did you see anything suspicious? - I did not at any time. There were squabbles and rows in the streets, but nothing more.
The Foreman: Was there light sufficient to enable you to see, as you were going down Berner-street, whether any person was running away from No. 40? - It was rather dark, but I think there was light enough for that, though the person would be somewhat indistinct from Commercial-road.
The Foreman: Some of the papers state that Berner-street is badly lighted; but there are six lamps within 700 feet, and I do not think that is very bad.
The Coroner: The parish plan shows that there are four lamps within 350 feet, from Commercial-road to Fairclough-street.
Witness: There are three, if not four, lamps in Berner-street between Commercial-road and Fairclough-street. Berner-street is about as well lighted as other side streets. Most of them are rather dark, but more lamps have been erected lately.
The Coroner: I do not think that London altogether is as well lighted as some capitals are.
Witness: There are no public-house lights in Berner-street. I was engaged in the yard and at the mortuary all the night afterwards.
Edward Spooner, in reply to the coroner, said: I live at No. 26, Fairclough-street, and am a horse-keeper with Messrs. Meredith, biscuit bakers. On Sunday morning, between half-past twelve and one o'clock, I was standing outside the Beehive Public-house, at the corner of Christian-street, with my young woman. We had left a public-house in Commercial-road at closing time, midnight, and walked quietly to the point named. We stood outside the Beehive about twenty-five minutes, when two Jews came running along, calling out "Murder" and "Police." They ran as far as Grove-street, and then turned back. I stopped them and asked what was the matter, and they replied that a woman had been murdered. I thereupon proceeded down Berner-street and into Dutfield's-yard, adjoining the International Workmen's Club-house, and there saw a woman lying just inside the gate.
Was any one with her? - There were about fifteen people in the yard.
Was any one near her? - They were all standing round.
Were they touching her? - No. One man struck a match, but I could see the woman before the match was struck. I put my hand under her chin when the match was alight.
Was the chin warm? - Slightly.
Was any blood coming from the throat? - Yes; it was still flowing. I noticed that she had a piece of paper doubled up in her right hand, and some red and white flowers pinned on her breast. I did not feel the body, nor did I alter the position of the head. I am sure of that. Her face was turned towards the club wall.
Did you notice whether the blood was still moving on the ground? - It was running down the gutter. I stood by the side of the body for four or five minutes, until the last witness arrived.
Did you notice any one leave the yard while you were there? - No.
Could any one have left without your observing it? - I cannot say, but I think there were too many people about. I believe it was twenty-five minutes to one o'clock when I arrived in the yard.
Have you formed any opinion as to whether the people had moved the body before you came? - No.
The Foreman: As a rule, Jews do not care to touch dead bodies.
Witness: The legs of the deceased were drawn up, but her clothes were not disturbed. When Police-constable Lamb came I helped him to close the gates of the yard, and I left through the club.
Inspector Reid: I believe that was after you had given your name and address to the police? - Yes.
And had been searched? - Yes.
And examined by Dr. Phillips? - Yes.
The Coroner: Was there no blood on your hands? - No.
Then there was no blood on the chin of the deceased? - No.
By the Jury: I did not meet any one as I was hastening through Berner-street.
Mary Malcolm was the next witness, and she was deeply affected while giving her evidence. In answer to the coroner she said: I live at No. 50, Eagle-street, Red Lion-square, Holborn, and am married. My husband, Andrew Malcolm, is a tailor. I have seen the body at the mortuary. I saw it once on Sunday and twice yesterday.
Who is it? - It is the body of my sister, Elizabeth Watts.
You have no doubt about that? - Not the slightest.
You did have some doubts about it at one time? - I had at first.
When did you last see your sister alive? - Last Thursday, about a quarter to seven in the evening.
Where? - She came to see me at No. 59, Red Lion-street, where I work as a trousermaker.
What did she come to you for? - To ask me for a little assistance. I have been in the habit of assisting her for five years.
Did you give her anything? - I gave her a shilling and a short jacket - not the jacket which is now on the body.
How long was she with you? - Only a few moments.
Did she say where she was going? - No.
Where was she living? - I do not know. I know it was somewhere in the neighbourhood of the tailoring Jews - Commercial-road or Commercial-street, or somewhere at the East-end.
Did you understand that she was living in lodging-houses? - Yes.
Did you know what she was doing for a livelihood? - I had my doubts.
Was she the worse for drink when she came to you on Thursday? - No, sober.
But she was sometimes the worse for drink, was she not? - That was, unfortunately, a failing with her. She was thirty-seven years of age last March.
Had she ever been married? - Yes.
Is her husband alive? - Yes, so far as I know. She married the son of Mr. Watts, wine and spirit merchant, of Walcot-street, Bath. I think her husband's Christian name was Edward. I believe he is now in America.
Did he get into trouble? - No.
Why did he go away? - Because my sister brought trouble upon him.
When did she leave him? - About eight years ago, but I cannot be quite certain as to the time. She had two children. Her husband caught her with a porter, and there was a quarrel.
Did the husband turn her out of doors? - No, he sent her to my poor mother, with the two children.
Where does your mother live? - She is dead. She died in the year 1883.
Where are the children now? - The girl is dead, but the boy is at a boarding school kept by his aunt.
Was the deceased subject to epileptic fits? - Witness (sobbing bitterly): No, she only had drunken fits.
Was she ever before the Thames police magistrate? - I believe so.
Charged with drunkenness? - Yes.
Are you aware that she has been let off on the supposition that she was subject to epileptic fits? - I believe that is so, but she was not subject to epileptic fits.
Has she ever told you of troubles she was in with any man? - Oh yes; she lived with a man.
Do you know his name? - I do not remember now, but I shall be able to tell you to-morrow. I believe she lived with a man who kept a coffee-house at Poplar.
Inspector Reid: Was his name Stride? - No; I think it was Dent, but I can find out for certain by to-morrow.
The Coroner: How long had she ceased to live with that man? - Oh, some time. He went away to sea, and was wrecked on the Isle of St. Paul, I believe.
How long ago should you think that was? - It must be three years and a half; but I could tell you all about it by to-morrow, even the name of the vessel that was wrecked.
Had the deceased lived with any man since then? - Not to my knowledge, but there is some man who says that he has lived with her.
Have you ever heard of her getting into trouble with this man? - No, but at times she got locked up for drunkenness. She always brought her trouble to me.
You never heard of any one threatening her? - No; she was too good for that.
Did you ever hear her say that she was afraid of any one? - No.
Did you know of no man with whom she had relations? - No.
Inspector Reid: Did you ever visit her in Flower and Dean-street? - No.
Did you ever hear her called "Long Liz"? - That was generally her nickname, I believe.
Have you ever heard of the name of Stride? - She never mentioned such a name to me. I think that if she had lived with any one of that name she would have told me. I have heard what the man Stride has said, but I think he is mistaken.
The Coroner: How often did your sister come to you? - Every Saturday, and I always gave her 2s. That was for her lodgings.
Did she come to you at all last Saturday? - No, I did not see her on that day.
The Thursday visit was an unusual one, I suppose? - Yes.
Did you think it strange that she did not come on the Saturday? - I did.
Had she ever missed a Saturday before? - Not for nearly three years.
What time in the day did she usually come to you? - At four o'clock in the afternoon.
Where? - At the corner of Chancery-lane. I was there last Saturday afternoon from half-past three till five, but she did not turn up.
Did you think there was something the matter with her? - On the Sunday morning when I read the accounts in the newspapers I thought it might be my sister who had been murdered. I had a presentiment that that was so. I came down to Whitechapel and was directed to the mortuary; but when I saw the body I did not recognise it as that of my sister.
How was that? Why did you not recognise it in the first instance? - I do not know, except that I saw it in the gaslight, between nine and ten at night. But I recognised her the next day.
Did you not have some special presentiment that this was your sister? - Yes.
Tell the jury what it was? - I was in bed, and about twenty minutes past one on Sunday morning I felt a pressure on my breast and heard three distinct kisses. It was that which made me afterwards suspect that the woman who had been murdered was my sister.
The Coroner (to the jury): The only reason why I allow this evidence is that the witness has been doubtful about her identification. (To witness) Did your sister ever break a limb? - No.
Never? - Not to my knowledge.
The Foreman: Had she any special marks upon her? - Yes, on her right leg there was a small black mark.
The Coroner: Have you seen that mark on the deceased? - Yes.
When did you see it? - Yesterday morning.
But when, before death, did you see it on your sister? - Oh not for years. It was the size of a pea. I have not seen it for 20 years.
Did you mention the mark before you saw the body? - I said that I could recognise my sister by this particular mark.
What was the mark? - It was from the bite of an adder. One day, when children, we were rolling down a hill together, and we came across an adder. The thing bit me first and my sister afterwards. I have still the mark of the bite on my left hand.
The Coroner (examining the mark): Oh, that is only a scar. Are you sure that your sister, in her youth, never broke a limb? - Not to my knowledge.
Has your husband seen your sister? - Yes.
Has he been to the mortuary? - No; he will not go.
Have you any brothers and sisters alive? - Yes, a brother and a sister, but they have not seen her for years. My brother might recognise her. He lives near Bath. My sister resides at Folkestone. My sister (the deceased) had a hollowness in her right foot, caused by some sort of accident. It was the absence of this hollowness that made me doubt whether the deceased was really my sister. Perhaps it passed away in death. But the adder mark removed all doubt.
Did you recognise the clothes of the deceased at all? - No. (Bursting into tears). Indeed, I have had trouble with her. On one occasion she left a naked baby outside my door.
One of her babies? - One of her own.
One of the two children by her husband? - No, another one; one she had by a policeman, I believe. She left it with me, and I had to keep it until she fetched it away.
Inspector Reid: Is that child alive, do you know? - I believe it died in Bath.
The Coroner: It is important that the evidence of identification should be unmistakable, and I think that the witness should go to the same spot in Chancery-lane on Saturday next, in order to see if her sister comes.
Witness: I have no doubt.
The Coroner: Still, it is better that the matter should be tested.
Witness (in reply to the jury): I did not think it strange that my sister came to me last Thursday instead of the Saturday, because she has done it before. But on previous occasions she has come on the Saturday as well. When she came last Thursday she asked me for money, stating that she had not enough to pay for her lodgings, and I said, "Elizabeth, you are a pest to me."
The Coroner: Has your sister been in prison? - Witness: Yes.
Has she never been in prison on a Saturday? - No; she has only been locked up for the night.
Never more? - No; she has been fined.
A Juror: You say that before when she has come on the Thursday she has also come on the Saturday as well? - Always.
The Coroner: So that the Thursday was an extra. You are quite confident now about the identity? - I have not a shadow of doubt.
Mr. Frederick William Blackwell deposed: I reside at No. 100, Commercial-road, and am a physician and surgeon. On Sunday morning last, at ten minutes past one o'clock, I was called to Berner-street by a policeman. My assistant, Mr. Johnston, went back with the constable, and I followed immediately I was dressed. I consulted my watch on my arrival, and it was 1.16 a.m. The deceased was lying on her left side obliquely across the passage, her face looking towards the right wall. Her legs were drawn up, her feet close against the wall of the right side of the passage. Her head was resting beyond the carriage-wheel rut, the neck lying over the rut. Her feet were three yards from the gateway. Her dress was unfastened at the neck. The neck and chest were quite warm, as were also the legs, and the face was slightly warm. The hands were cold. The right hand was open and on the chest, and was smeared with blood. The left hand, lying on the ground, was partially closed, and contained a small packet of cachous wrapped in tissue paper. There were no rings, nor marks of rings, on her hands. The appearance of the face was quite placid. The mouth was slightly open. The deceased had round her neck a check silk scarf, the bow of which was turned to the left and pulled very tight. In the neck there was a long incision which exactly corresponded with the lower border of the scarf. The border was slightly frayed, as if by a sharp knife. The incision in the neck commenced on the left side, 2½ inches below the angle of the jaw, and almost in a direct line with it, nearly severing the vessels on that side, cutting the windpipe completely in two, and terminating on the opposite side 1½ inch below the angle of the right jaw, but without severing the vessels on that side. I could not ascertain whether the bloody hand had been moved. The blood was running down the gutter into the drain in the opposite direction from the feet. There was about 1lb of clotted blood close by the body, and a stream all the way from there to the back door of the club.
Were there no spots of blood about? - No; only some marks of blood which had been trodden in.
Was there any blood on the soles of the deceased's boots? - No.
No splashing of blood on the wall? - No, it was very dark, and what I saw was by the aid of a policeman's lantern. I have not examined the place since. I examined the clothes, but found no blood on any part of them. The bonnet of the deceased was lying on the ground a few inches from the head. Her dress was unbuttoned at the top.
Can you say whether the injuries could have been self-inflicted? - It is impossible that they could have been.
Did you form any opinion as to how long the deceased had been dead? - From twenty minutes to half an hour when I arrived. The clothes were not wet with rain. She would have bled to death comparatively slowly on account of vessels on one side only of the neck being cut and the artery not completely severed.
After the infliction of the injuries was there any possibility of any cry being uttered by the deceased? - None whatever. Dr. Phillips came about twenty minutes to half an hour after my arrival. The double doors of the yard were closed when I arrived, so that the previous witness must have made a mistake on that point.
A Juror: Can you say whether the throat was cut before or after the deceased fell to the ground? - I formed the opinion that the murderer probably caught hold of the silk scarf, which was tight and knotted, and pulled the deceased backwards, cutting her throat in that way. The throat might have been cut as she was falling, or when she was on the ground. The blood would have spurted about if the act had been committed while she was standing up. The Coroner: Was the silk scarf tight enough to prevent her calling out? - I could not say that.
A hand might have been put on her nose and mouth? - Yes, and the cut on the throat was probably instantaneous.
The inquest was then adjourned till one o'clock today.
August Nochild, fifty-two, described as a tailor, giving an address at Christian-street, Whitechapel, was charged at the Guildhall yesterday, before Mr. Alderman Stone, with assaulting Sarah McFarly, and unfortunate, by attempting to strangle her in Holborn-circus. - Prosecutrix stated that she lived with a friend in Upper Rathbone-place. She met the prisoner about half-past twelve yesterday morning in New Oxford-street. He asked her to go to his house in Whitechapel. She refused to go, when he seized her by the throat, and said, "I will murder you, if you don't. I have murdered the women in Whitechapel, and I would like to do another." She screamed, and a police-sergeant coming up she gave prisoner in custody. - Sergeant Perry, 77, deposed that he was in Holborn about one o'clock yesterday morning when he noticed Nochild speaking to the woman. He then saw the prisoner suddenly seize prosecutrix by the throat, and heard cries of "Murder" and "Police." Witness ran towards them, and caught hold of the defendant. The woman charged prisoner with assault, and witness took him into custody. Both of them were under the influence of drink. - Mr. Alderman Stone did not think there was any foundation for the charge, and dismissed the case.
Yesterday Arthur Williams, whose address was given in Beaconsfield-terrace, Leytonstone, was brought before Mr. Curtis Bennett, at Hammersmith, on a charge of having been found wandering in High-road Chiswick, apparently insane. It appeared that the prisoner went to the Chiswick police station and referred to the Whitechapel murders, stating that he knew where to find the man. As he appeared strange in his manner the police detained him. The prisoner said he did not know what he had done. He made no assertion but what he could substantiate. A written statement was handed to the magistrate who read it. The following are extracts: "I am Williams. Will you send to Whitehall-place and tell them that I am going on to Feltham. It is of no use to employ men unless they are men of education. You will find the ordinary constable smoking his pipe, not looking after the Whitechapel murderer. Why do they not pay them as they do in France?... You will make a good pump if you have a good handle... Colonel Warren is no use; Monro is the man to look after them. I know the man well, and will find him out. I do not want the reward, but shall go mad soon if he is not found out. I am off to Hounslow and Feltham at once." - Mr. Curtis-Bennett, after reading the whole of the document, said it was an incoherent statement. - The daughter of the prisoner came forward and stated that her father had had a sunstroke, and drink always affected his mind. - The Prisoner: I was not drunk yesterday. - The daughter said her father left home on Sunday. - Mr. Curtis-Bennett observed that he appeared to have wandered to Chiswick. He accepted the prisoner's recognisances for his good behaviour for six months, his friends expressing their willingness to take him home.
[Sketch map of location of body]
The encircled cross indicates the spot where the body was found. The double lines show the extent of the hoarding around the new Police Offices and the road, completed but unopened, leading from Cannon-row to the Embankment.
BODY CUT TO PIECES.
SCENE OF THE SEVENTH MUTILATION.
A horrible discovery was made yesterday afternoon in the new police buildings between Parliament-street and the Embankment. Shortly after one o'clock several workmen, on opening a bundle which they found hidden in one of the darkest archways of the vaulted foundations of the structure referred to, laid bare the remains of a woman. The corpse was a mere trunk, both head and limbs having been severed in an apparently brutal and unskilful manner. Evidently the remains were those of a young and well nourished woman, and there is every reason to fear that they form part of some person who has been murdered and made away with by an atrocious miscreant. In fact, there are strong grounds for believing that the arm found on Sept. 11 in the Thames, near Grosvenor Railway Bridge, was cut from the mutilated trunk which has been unearthed. The police were at once communicated with at King-street Station, and in a very few minutes Chief Superintendent Dunlap and Chief Inspector Wren went and viewed the remains, and took immediate steps to collect all the available evidence bearing on the case.
It seems tolerably certain that the remains were deposited in the place in which they were found between Saturday night and Monday morning. The difficulty and danger which the wretch must have encountered in bearing the body to the portion of the buildings where it was hidden increase the horror and mystery surrounding the whole proceeding. It is on the site of what was intended for the National Opera House that the new central police buildings are being erected by Messrs. J. Grover and Sons, of New North-road, N. Their exact location is between Parliament-street and the Embankment, or immediately eastward of the Clock Tower and St. Stephen's Club. When finished they will cover a considerable area of ground, and have an imposing appearance. At present only the foundations and a portion of the first storey have been built, and the place is surrounded by a high hoarding. The ground structure consists of a vast labyrinth of brick passages, archways, and vaulted chambers. As was pointed out by the foreman of the works, there are really but two possible modes of ingress to the archway where the body was found, namely, either over the high hoarding from the Embankment side, or from a little alley-way called Cannon-row, almost opposite the Home Office in Parliament-street. The difficulties of access to the ground are so great from the side facing the Embankment that the officials connected with the works regard them as well-nigh insuperable to a person loaded with so heavy a bundle as the remains must necessarily have been. Besides, it would have been far easier, from the Embankment side, to have thrown such a parcel into the river. But one avenue of approach therefore practically existed, and that was from the obscure corner at the north end of Cannon-row, over the seven foot hoarding of which the miscreant must have clambered with his awful load so as to get within the area enclosed by the builders. When there, instead of throwing the body into the large open well dug to supply water, or secreting it beneath some of the countless heaps of soil and rubbish lying about, he conveyed it, almost fifty yards, through a network of partly underground passages to a remote corner of the building. Although there are a large number of men employed on the works, very few of them, it is said, would have readily found their way through the intricate vaults to the spot where the mutilated trunk was concealed. To a stranger venturing alone among these dark corridors there would seem to be a danger of failing to find his way out again. Unfortunately no night-watchman is kept at the place, and any one once within the hoarding after dark or working hours could safely move about at leisure free from all observation. That the body was only placed in the building between Saturday night and Monday morning there appears to be little or no room for doubt. On Friday afternoon last, about three o'clock, Mr. Eraut, clerk of the works, Mr. Brown, the foreman, Mr. Franklin, surveyor, Ludgate-hill, and several others were engaged in taking measurements. Whilst doing so they had occasion to go into the archways where the remains were discovered, and Mr. Brown himself states, and is confirmed by others, that he actually stood in the corner where the corpse lay and measured the wall. Had the trunk been there at the time it would not only have been seen, but would have been otherwise indicated by the decomposed condition of the remains. Being one of the darkest and most out-of-the-way spots in the works some of the employés made use of it for the purpose of hiding their tools when they "knocked off" for the day. As the carpenters and others have lost various articles, and on one occasion the office on the grounds had been broken open and plundered, the men took this means to prevent the tools being stolen. When the men quitted work last Saturday afternoon one of the last about the place was a labourer, named Ernest Hedge. Part of his duty was to see things put to right ready for Monday morning and to nail up the openings in the hoarding. In order to do so he says that about five p.m. on Saturday he went into the middle vaulted archway between Cannon-row and the Embankment and procured one of the carpenter's hammers, lighting a match for that purpose. At that time he is perfectly sure there was no bundle of any kind in the spot, nor was there when he replaced the tool.
Between Saturday night and Monday morning, therefore, the remains must have been secretly deposited in the vaulted chamber of the basement arches of the new police-buildings, at a spot not eighty yards removed from the Home Office. On Monday morning, at six o'clock, a carpenter named Fred Wildbore, who made the place the store-room for his kit, went to fetch his tools from where he had laid them on Saturday afternoon. In doing so he also lighted a match, and noticed in a sort of alcove or recess at the opposite corner of the blind archway, what looked like some cast-away garment of a workman. Shallow trenches for drains have been dug along the archways in question, and the rough soil and builders' debris are heaped about in all directions. It was in the corner, and partly concealed by a bank of dirt, that the garment lay, and it might have been, he thought, part of one of the labourers' attire. Yesterday morning Wildbore casually looked at it again, saw it was a bundle, noticed an unpleasant odour, and spoke to some of the workmen about it. Three of the labourers fancied it might be some thieves' plunder, and at the dinner hour determined to drag it out. George Budgen picked the bundle up and carried it about a dozen yards into a partially-lighted corridor, daylight streaming down through the rough scaffolding boards overhead. The bundle was done up in some black stuff, and was firmly tied and bound with strong twine. Several persons gathered around to see what the contents were as Budgen proceeded to cut the string. To their horror they uncovered the trunk of a well-formed woman. The corpse was deprived of head and limbs, the legs with the lower portion of the body above the pelvis having been cut away. A representative of The Daily Telegraph, who saw the remains within half-an-hour of their discovery, states that the body, placed on its back, was wrapped in a skirt of some stuff like black mohair, and the steel dress improver was included in the parcel. The flesh had a dark reddish hue, as if it had been plentifully sprinkled with antiseptic, such as Condy's fluid. Decomposition, however, had made rapid strides within, for the remains were in an advanced state of putrefaction. The criss-cross marks of the cords had sunk deeply into the skin, but otherwise there were no appearances of wounds except where the rough edges indicated the brutal, bungling manner in which the head, limbs, and lower part of the body had been dissevered. Evidently the corpse was that of a mature, well-formed, and perhaps an unmarried woman, not over forty years of age, and who was probably alive about twenty days ago. The remains might have weighed over 50lbs, no light load for even a strong man to carry any distance. Two constables were placed in charge of the body, and Detective Inspector Marshall, aided by several colleagues, instituted the most searching inquiries on the spot. Sir Charles Warren was quickly notified, and instructions were issued to inform the coroner and summon Dr. Bond to view the body before it was further moved. Subsequently the police took the statements in King-street of the officials and employés at the works, including those of Messrs. Grant and Brown, Mr. Charles Cheney, the assistant-foreman, the carpenter Wildbore, and half a dozen of the labourers, including Budgen and Hedge. Their account coincides with the circumstances already narrated above. During the afternoon Divisional-Surgeon Dr. Bond examined the remains, and the coroner for the district, Mr. Troutbeck, ordered their removal to the mortuary in Millbank-street. Although the police were fairly certain, after the discovery of the young woman's arm at Grosvenor Bridge, about three weeks ago, that a crime had been committed, still it was impossible to hold an inquest upon a limb. The law requiring that a "vital part" could only form the subject of a coroner's inquiry, this will now take place at once. One of the breasts (the left) of the body appeared either to have been surgically operated upon at some period of the deceased's lifetime, or else the process of decomposition at that part of the body became abnormally active from some as yet unexplained cause. It is intended by the police to photograph the remains in the course of to-day, after which they will be disinfected and a post-mortem examination will be made by Dr. Bond and a medical colleague. From the general character of the trunk, the police are of opinion that the arm found at Pimlico was severed from the remains now discovered, As to the second arm found near the Blind School, in the Lambeth-road, on the 28th ult., the authorities are quite positive that it was not amputated recently, and in fact they have received some assurances as to the source from which the bones in question were derived.
The police have already made a search of the ground to see whether any other portion of the body had been hidden away within the area enclosed, but so far without success. To-day the pool or open well will be drained and a more careful investigation made, whilst the workmen will now be on the alert to watch for any traces of ground or debris having been turned over to conceal any portion of remains or traces of the crime. Mounds of soil and rubbish from old tenements strew the ground, so that the task will be no easy one. The present horrible discovery will no doubt recall to many people in the metropolis the somewhat similar dismemberment of the remains of the woman Harriet Lane, killed by the Wainwright brothers. In that case the body was disinterred that it might be more securely hidden elsewhere. Whilst being conveyed to the Borough a workman, who, prompted by curiosity, had discovered the horrible nature of Wainwright's bundle, followed the cab, and ultimately succeeded in attracting the attention of the police, and securing the capture of the murderer. A few years ago also there was the case of Kate Webster, who at Richmond murdered her mistress, and, fiend-like, cut the body up piecemeal, and tried to dispose of it in various ways by small portions. The brutal manner in which the present victim has been dealt with suggests an equally callous and ferocious murderer as living and moving about among the community. For weeks he must have kept the body concealed near either his office or apartments, waiting for favourable opportunities to make away with the body piecemeal. The smell must have attracted the notice of some one living or going about near the place, and only by the freest use of antiseptics could it have been prevented from attracting considerable attention. Again, the murderer must have purchased the antiseptics and disinfectants in considerable quantity, and possibly some chemist may be able to supply the police with a clue. It is to be hoped that every effort will be made to drag the criminal to justice, and that in a few days the public may learn of the arrest of this new monster in human shape.
It is satisfactory to state that, in view of the possibility of a discovery such as that made yesterday, the arm found at Westminster a short time ago was not buried, as had been supposed. It has been preserved in the usual way, and will be taken to the mortuary in which the trunk now lies. One of the first things which the surgeons will have to do to-day will be to test whether the dissevered limb belongs to the trunk found yesterday, and the result will be awaited with profound interest. The question naturally arises whether there is any connection between the present crime and the series of murders which have been perpetrated in Whitechapel? It is known that certain portions of the abdomen are missing, but there is also another theory equally well-founded. It is that the young woman of whose body portions are now coming to light in such a mysterious manner has been the victim of an unlawful operation, and in order to conceal this the miscreant has removed that portion of the body which would almost undoubtedly have decided such a point.
The question of a Government reward for the capture of the ferocious murderer of the unfortunates in Whitechapel is one which has engaged a great deal of public attention. Interest has been aroused, and a general desire manifested to ascertain whether the police or other officials have advised Mr. Matthews against yielding to the numerous and influential applications addressed to him on that subject.
At the headquarters of the City police, in the Old Jewry, Chief Commissioner Colonel Sir James Fraser and Chief Superintendent Major Henry Smith, as well as the other officials there, strongly favour the plan of offering monetary rewards in all cases of serious and undetected crimes. They totally dissent from the Home Secretary's expressed view, "that hitherto rewards have done more harm than good," and "are useless." Such, they state, is neither their experience nor, so far as they can judge, that of other police authorities. Indeed, so strongly was Sir James Fraser impressed with the wisdom of such a course, that he personally advised the Lord Mayor and Corporation to issue a substantial reward for the detection of the Mitre-square murderer. This, as is now well known, was done very promptly on Monday, and the substantial sum of £500 was offered by the City authorities. It is well known that no part of this money is payable to police officers. Yet Colonel Fraser and Major Smith contend that the reward will no doubt materially assist their research, inasmuch as it will stimulate the zeal of a large portion of the very classes who are most likely to know or have the best opportunities of learning something of the miscreant, his habits and haunts. Besides these there are, it is stated, many people who like the work of amateur detective, and the chance of the reward will no doubt keep them fully on the alert for any chance clue. Another view of the City police is that the offering of a reward clearly indicates to the public that the authorities are very much in earnest to secure the murderer's arrest, and this in a great measure restores confidence, and prevents the likelihood of panic in the East-end, to the disarrangement of all the methods and plans for watching and patrolling the district. It is hoped that the fact of a reward being published will make many of the people in the neighbourhood more keenly alive to the importance of communicating to the police the least clue in their possession, as by law the money goes to whoever gives the first information that leads to the unearthing and running-down of the criminal. The police further say that no one should hesitate to communicate at once with them, however slight or unimportant their discovery may seem to them to be, as very often it is only by piecing such communications together that a clue can be said to be fairly laid hold of.
At Scotland-yard Sir Charles Warren intimated "that the matter of rewards in all such cases as these rested entirely with the Home Office." So far and no further would he commit himself. Other prominent police officials connected with the Metropolitan force, however, frankly avowed their entire belief in the utility of public rewards whenever there was a serious and undiscovered crime to be detected. In their opinion it was of very material advantage, and enormously increased the chances of capture. The public were, no doubt, all equally anxious that enemies of society should be caught and punished, and the offer of a reward made it more particularly the business of a very large class of persons to devote their services actively and uninterruptedly in the same direction as those of the detective force. Very few police officials who have had much experience, it was said, do not lay great stress on the urgent necessity for a Government reward in the present instance, owing to the character and gravity of the crimes.
Mr. Matthews, it was learned at the Home Office, was still out of town. The decision, however, to offer no Government reward was intimated to be an exclusively departmental one, but whether the prompting first came from Mr. Matthews himself or was suggested by some subordinate official could not be ascertained. It was indicated, however, that he was solely responsible for the continued refusal to grant any Government reward. Perhaps now that the Home Secretary, were he at his post, might look from his windows and see the actual spot where the body of another victim to a crime was thrown, he might be yet inclined to alter his dictum and offer a substantial reward for the discovery of the atrocious miscreants still at large in the Metropolis.
We continue to receive a vast amount of correspondence upon the subject of these appalling crimes. In most cases the writers express deep regret and surprise at "the strange apathy of the Home Office," and all of our correspondents offer suggestions in regard to the motive of the criminal, or criminals, and "methods of capture." "Owen Banford," "S. M.," "G. Standerwick, " (Bristol), and a host of others follow up previous proposals to employ women as detectives. A lady writes from "The Boltons," and "A Terrified Woman" from Kensington, mentioning instances of "street ruffians" frightening them at lonely spots. "One man followed a young girl shouting, 'Stop, stop! I am not Leather Apron," and in another case a man started out of a dark corner "with a loud cry and flashing a knife." Several correspondents imply that "street prowlers" are trying to work up "a sort of reign of terror." "St. Aubin Hamilton," "T. L. Selder," "W. M. R.," "Clergyman," and "Detective" are of opinion that the crimes are committed by an organised gang working singly; that the Armstrong case has driven some "moral purity man" crazy, "and given him a mission to wipe out the social evil, or, at all events, to make such a stir as to arouse the authorities to a sense of their responsibilities"; that "such exciting revivalism as the Salvation Army movement may be responsible in a measure for the condition of mind of the criminal"; and, finally, that "in the event of this scent being wrong, a certain hospital should be visited with a view to obtaining a list of cases discharged incurable." Herbert F. Scott describes the silent boot referred to yesterday. "It is used," he says, "by the police of Leeds. The outer sole and heel, which are of leather, are pierced at intervals by studs or buttons of india-rubber, which are attached to a middle sole of the same material, the inner sole next the foot being of leather. These boots are perfectly silent, and have the additional advantage of being warm and entirely damp-proof, even in the worst weather." "G. C." has a fancy "that the perpetrator is a being whose diseased brain has been inflamed by witnessing the performance of the drama of 'Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde' - which I understand is now wisely withdrawn from the stage. If there is anything in this, let the detectives consider how Mr. Hyde would have acted - for there may be a system in the demonic actions of a madman in following the pattern set before him." "A reform of our police regulations and the management of our streets in the matter of what is called the social evil must follow - and that quickly - these terrible events, however little impression they may make on Mr. Matthews," writes "M. P.," and many other correspondents are of the same opinion. It is impossible to do more than give this general view of our letters from the public and to print the following:
SIR - I wish to assert my mite of protest against what would seem a lack of human feeling on the part of the Home Secretary - were we not cognisant of the fact identified in your admirable description of "Justice unhappily personified," as being utterly "helpless, heedless, and useless." With such qualifications it would seem that his conclusions must have emanated from another judgement, and if his adviser or advisers be of opinion that rewards are useless, and consequently should be dispensed with, let them call to mind the history of Carey, whose individual villainy at least resulted in the capture of the murderers of Lord Frederick Cavendish and Mr. Burke, the perpetration of which act most probably formed the goal of their ghastly ambitions, and let them judge if they can reasonably withhold a similar provision at the present issue, which, if successful in its object, as we anticipate, would not only rid the world of an incarnate demon - author of six and not two atrocities, if conjectures be correct - but would also prevent the recurrence of fresh victims, whose number bids fair, under the present circumstances, to become "legion"; and if unsuccessful, at all events, the glimmer of credit that may have been reflected on the present Government's home affairs will not be dispelled (as it might otherwise be) by such multitudinous horrors, the continuation of which (many will opine) already owes its origin to the abject weakness of one man, who fears to liberate fellow beings from this awful cloud of terrorism merely because of his timidity of stepping outside the barrier of conventionalism to break the "present rules" - since, perhaps, immediate precedent does not justify such a course.
Rewards are in such cases, as we all know, efficacious, and it is the paramount duty of a Government to protect its own people, to instil into their minds respect for itself, and so consent to the simple petition of all - a petition which is fast becoming more than heartrending. - Yours faithfully,
London, W., Oct. 1.
SIR - In examining the chart representing the locality of the Whitechapel murders, published in your issue of to-day, it is curious to observe that lines drawn through the spots where the murders were committed assume the exact form of a dagger, the hilt and blade of which pass through the scenes of the sixth, second, first, and third murders, the extremities of the guard making the fourth and fifth. Further, the spot where the portion of the apron belonging to the victim of the Mitre-square tragedy was picked up lies in the imaginary line which forms the hilt of the dagger. Can this possibly afford a clue to the position of the next atrocity? - I am, Sir, your obedient servant,
London, Oct. 2.
SIR - In the midst of the general horror and indignation inspired by the recent outrages in Whitechapel, it seems to me that one point cannot be overlooked, namely, that in two cases at least (that of Annie Chapman and the latest of the poor victims), their lives might have been saved could they have found a shelter and a bed without being compelled to have recourse to their dreadful trade in order to pay for them. It is surely a most awful responsibility for a professedly Christian country to incur, that any woman, however low and degraded, should be driven to prostitution for want of the shelter which we do not deny to our dogs. If every woman in the kingdom would contribute one penny, such a fund might be raised that refuges might be established in every quarter of London where a homeless woman could obtain a bed by simply asking for it. I am writing in the hope that you may think it worth while to insert this suggestion in your valuable paper, as there are, no doubt, thousands who would be only too thankful to be able, at such infinitesimal cost to themselves, to diminish in any way the dangers and temptations of the unhappy class of "unfortunates." In the case of the "Women's Jubilee Fund" a large sum was collected by dint of a little loyalty and energy. It surely would not be too much to expect from the women of England a warm national response to a call dictated by religion and humanity on behalf of their erring sisters. - Believe me, Sir, your obedient servant,
Clapham, Oct. 2.
SIR - Just about twelve months ago an inmate of the lunatic asylum at Leavesden, near Watford, escaped while out with others in the charge of keepers. He managed to get into the Bricket Woods, and has since evaded capture. The local paper warned females against being out at night in the neighbourhood, as this man was dangerous only to women. The question is, whether the authorities in London have had this lunatic's description, as the fearful crimes of the East-end point to such a person. - Yours obediently,
St. Albans, Oct. 2.
SIR - Referring to your deeply valuable articles on police powerlessness and Home Office incapacity may I not point out what a bitter taunt the brutal callousness of our fossil-like Home Secretary is placing in the hands of the political opponents of the Government?
Should not those who uphold so strenuously and rightly the unity of the Empire be the first to declare in acts, as well as in words, that the same care is given to the protection of the poorest subject, as to the protection of the richest? Does it not make all men of thought blush with shame who listen to the common talk of the inhabitants of the East-end when such inhabitants express their belief that the callousness of the Government arises from the fact of the butcheries being wreaked on the poor and unfortunate. Again, Sir, I gratefully, for one, thank you for your plain speaking and cutting reproaches towards those in lofty official positions, and am, Sir, your obedient servant,
The Cottage, Loddiges-road, Hackney, Oct. 2.
Mr. Wynne Baxter yesterday resumed the inquest on the woman who was murdered in Berner-street on Sunday morning. Further evidence having been given as to the finding of the body, Mrs. Mary Malcolm identified the remains as those of her sister, Mrs Elizabeth Watts, the wife of a tradesman formerly living at Bath. Her husband abandoned her some eight years ago because of her misconduct. This witness added that she had a foreboding that her sister was murdered, for about the very hour when the crime is supposed to have been committed she felt a pressure on her breast and heard three distinct kisses. Dr. Blackwell, the first medical man who was called to the deceased, testified that it was impossible that she could have inflicted the injuries herself. The inquiry was again adjourned.
With respect to the second crime, which occurred in Mitre-square, a short time after the discovery in Berner-street, the victim being not only murdered but most horribly mutilated, the body has been recognised as that of a woman who was taken into custody for drunkenness on Saturday night, and only released at one o'clock on Sunday morning, less than an hour before her shocking death. She was also known to a few women of her own unfortunate class as a wretched creature who lived from hand to mouth, and commonly lodged in a shed off Dorset-street. Beyond this she cannot at present be identified, and nothing is known of her family, or even of her name. The police are still without a clue to the murderer.
Another horrible discovery was made yesterday - not at the East-end, but in the vicinity of the Victoria Embankment, not far from Westminster Bridge. The unfinished buildings upon which it was once intended to erect a National Opera House are in course of alteration to prepare them as the new police quarters, and here, early in the afternoon, a workman came upon the trunk of a woman's body, from which the head and limbs had been unskilfully severed. The remains are those of a young and well-nourished woman, and there are strong grounds for supposing that the arm which was found in the Thames, near Grosvenor Railway Bridge, three weeks ago, formed part of the same body. It is certain, moreover, that the corpse, which is extensively decomposed, was not there at five o'clock on Saturday afternoon, as the spot where it was afterwards found was at that hour inspected by a workman. A coroner's inquest will be opened at once.
The progress of the People's Palace at the East-end is one of the most gratifying facts of recent London life, and occasion more appropriate to be reminded of it than the present could not be imagined. There is so much of inevitable misery in the poorer quarters of a great city, crowded with men and women working at low wages for mere subsistence, that any bright spots appearing from time to time above the grimy surface deserve attention and record. In direct contrast to the almsgiving from the West, which has often demoralised East London, the Peoples' Palace represents the outlay of money by the rich
for the mental and moral elevation of the working classes - not for their physical relief. Yesterday the Palace completed a year's work. "Something like a million and a half of people," writes Sir EDMUND CURRIE, "have visited the institution during this time. In addition to the technical schools for poor boys, art, science, and general classes, the free library, the gymnasium, the swimming bath, the various clubs and societies, the regular bi-weekly concerts and entertainments, and the Sunday organ recitals, there have been held several flower shows, a dog show, a cat show, an apprentices' exhibition, a workmen's exhibition, a coopers' exhibition, a poultry show, a donkey and pony show, a series of treats and entertainments for poor children, and just lately a picture exhibition and six weeks' fête, attended by three hundred thousand persons paying one penny each. Every one of these shows and exhibitions has been a complete success, and such buildings as are already erected have been filled to repletion, and all without the slightest mischief or ill behaviour." As many, it seems, as seventy thousand people have attended during one week, and over twenty-seven thousand in one day. The swimming bath, the generous gift of the Earl of ROSEBERY, has been in constant use, and the library, albeit inadequately stocked with books, could not be more successful. Nightly the great Queen's Hall has been packed by thousands who came to listen to good music; while the gymnasium can scarcely hold the young fellows who swarm there for physical improvement, and the vacancies in the girls' dressmaking classes are eagerly watched for. It is these classes, and all the active work that they imply, which distinguish the Palace from many of the State institutions at the West-end. Beyond question, the British Museum, the National Gallery, and the South Kensington collection are, in their way, admirable; but, though visited by thousands of people, many stroll through them listless, because uninformed, and leave them untaught. The People's Palace, on the contrary, is a centre of many agencies and operations that are gradually ameliorating the poorest quarters of London, and forcing light into dark places.
This is what may be called the positive side of the movement to improve the position of the poor. The negative side consists of the attempts made from time to time by Acts of Parliament to teach the owners and occupiers of houses the simplest laws of sanitation, cleanliness, and decency. The Whitechapel murders have forced upon the attention of the public the existence of low lodging-houses that are hotbeds of vice and crime. In this very part of the Metropolis there are streets so bad that a policeman dare not enter them alone, houses so abandoned to bad characters that no decent man or woman can frequent them. Remedies for this state of things are provided by the law, but it is not put in force. The vestries which are charged with the duty are sometimes timid, sometimes corrupt. Respectable neighbours are afraid to appear as prosecutors, lest they should bring down on themselves or their shops the vengeance of the disturbed "roughs." The only chance of redress lies in the application from Whitehall of a stringent remedy. If the vestries will not prosecute the infamous lodging-houses where women of bad character congregate, let the duty be taken up by the Public Prosecutor and the police. The PEABODY Trustees and some public companies have built excellent sets of flats where the labouring poor can obtain healthy homes, but these improved dwellings are of no use unless the vicious and criminal classes are driven from their unsavoury haunts into the light of day. Until we pull down the rookeries the rooks will not disperse. It is sometimes said that it is the duty of the rich people of London to provide the indigent with cheap homes; but this is only another form of the almsgiving from the West to the East that has already done so much harm. Why is this quarter of London so crowded? Why do men, women, and children compete with one another in occupations that at best can only bring them a bare subsistence? Why can the sweater always secure hands? Why is this labour market always overcrowded? Simply because it lies next door to the rich and benevolent West-end. There are many parts of the United Kingdom where the people are poor and have to live in wretched hovels, but their misery does not attract the attention that awaits the wretchedness of Whitechapel and Mile-end. They are within a drive of the most affluent set of men and women in the world. Accustomed to doing kindness in their country homes, to visiting the sick poor and comforting the old women of the parish, the English aristocracy have felt and acknowledged that the pariahs of the East-end are their neighbours. Royal Commissions have been appointed; picturesque story-writers have visited the localities; the voice of the Lord Mayor asking for money has been heard in the land; with the result that all over the United Kingdom the dependent and mendicant orders have pricked up their ears. Poverty-stricken in Liverpool, Glasgow, or Manchester - they never heard of lords and ladies, or princes and professional novelists, visiting and helping them; but they saw that here was a Tom Tiddler's Ground with gold and silver and copper to be picked up by lying and begging, and that all the chances of all London were before them. Hence the incursions of foreigners, the swarms of tramps from the country, and then the fierce rivalry of the newcomers beating down wages and streaming into already overcrowded slums. Thus misdirected philanthropy has as usual done a great deal of harm. Clergymen and ministers at the East-end testify that every big subscription list simply draws more people into the relieved district, intensifies the misery, and adds to the gains of the public-houses. What the West ought to give to the East is stricter sanitary regulations enforced with an iron hand, and institutions like the People's Palace, which bestow not alms but light, leading, and instruction. The more sternly we restrict out-door relief, the more rigidly we refuse alms, and the more strenuously we regulate lodging-houses, the more will the industries of East London tend to decentralisation. There are thousands of works that could be much better carried on out of London than within it; but the abundant labour and cheap lodgings of the East-end supply hands, and the masters, unvexed by the inspectors, will not leave the locality. We cannot do too much to diminish these temptations of employers and employed to swell the misery and increase the overcrowding.
Miss BEATRICE POTTER in a recent letter clearly pointed out the difficulties of proper inspection. She remarks that if we exercise a stricter supervision over the workshops of the sweaters we shall simply induce them to "give out" the work, and then it will be executed at home. This home work is the greatest difficulty in the way of women's labour. A mother does sewing even while she is "minding" two or three babies; she is not a regular sempstress, and cannot combine with others to ask for a fair day's wages; she simply does what she can, and takes whatever she can get for odd jobs at odd hours. Hence the low rate of pay all round, because the masters can rely on the exertions of women partly supported by husbands, and therefore willing to work for very little. Then there comes in the absolute impossibility of exercising any sanitary supervision over domestic work. No law can prevent a father and mother, sons, daughters, and infants, to the number of nine or ten, working all hours of the day and night in their own family bedroom, with flaring gaslight, and in a terrible atmosphere. Many of the foreign immigrants especially affect this condition of industry. How, then, can we strictly regulate the workshops of the sweaters if the result be the overcrowding of apartments turned by the thousand into workrooms defying the law? Miss POTTER has an heroic remedy - the utter prohibition of home work. She would, we presume, make it a penal offence for any employer to pay for work not done on his own premises; but when we consider that it would be the interest both of the seamstress and the sweater to evade the statute, we can hardly see how such a prohibition could be enforced. An army of detectives would be required to ascertain whether girls leaving a "shop" carried with them "materials" to make up at home. Besides, what can we reply to the poor mother who says, "I can make trousers at home, and mind my baby at the same time. Am I to neglect him, and work at a shop all day?" The fact is that no remedy strikes at the root of the evil - the cheapness of human labour and human life. Still we may mitigate the misery by compelling order, decency, and cleanliness, by refusing indiscriminate charity, and by discouraging the influx of foreigners and rustics to London and, above all, to its East-end.
WORSHIP-STREET. - EAST-END LODGING-HOUSES. Mary M'Carthy, a powerful young woman, well known at this court, was charged with stabbing Ann Mason in the face. - The prosecutrix said she was deputy of a lodging-house in Spitalfields, and the prisoner was a lodger. - The Magistrate (Mr. Montagu Williams, Q.C.): Is it one of the common lodging-houses one hears of? - Witness: Yes, sir. - Mr. Williams: Then tell me this: How many beds do you make up there? - Witness: Twenty-eight singles and twenty-four doubles. - Mr. Williams: By "doubles" you mean for a man and woman? - Witness: Yes, sir. - Mr. Williams: And the woman can take any man she likes. You don't know if the couple are married or not? - Witness: No, sir. We don't ask them. - Mr. Williams: Precisely what I thought. And the sooner these lodging-houses are put down the better. They are the haunt of the burglar, the home of the pickpocket, and the hotbed of prostitution. I don't think I can put it stronger than that. It is time the owners of these places, who reap large profits from them, were looked after. - The witness then continued her evidence, and said that because the prisoner had become quarrelsome the "missus" told her, the deputy, to refuse the woman's money for the future, and M'Carthy out of spite stabbed witness in the face and neck with a piece of a skewer. - Mr. Williams: Who's the "missus" you mention? - Witness: Mrs Wilmot. - Mr. Williams: Oh! A woman is the owner then. But she doesn't live there? - Witness: No, sir. In Brick-lane. - Mr. Williams: What is she? - Witness: A baker. - Mr. Williams: Has she any more of these common lodging-houses? - Witness: Yes, sir, two in Wentworth-street, close by where I am in George-yard. - Mr. Williams: And how many beds does she provide there? - Witness: Sixty or seventy, sir. - Mr. Williams: What is the price of a bed? - Witness: Fourpence and eightpence. - Mr. Williams: Eightpence for a double. Was she a double or single? - Witness: Double. She always had a man with her. - Mr. Williams: Is she married? - Witness: No; I don't think so. - Mr. Williams: Then the place is a brothel. - The inspector on duty in the court said that the beds were let for the night. - Mr. Williams: That makes no difference, whether let for a short time or for a night. The witness says that a woman can take any man in there, and so long as 8d is paid no question is asked. What is that but a house carried on for immoral accommodation? - Mr. Enoch Walker, vestry clerk of Shoreditch, said that he had had a good deal of experience with such places, but they could only be touched by one section of the Criminal Law Amendment Act. - Mr. Williams: Then I hope they will not be exempt from future legislation. They are places where, according to the witness, the thief or the criminal can hide all day for the payment of fourpence or eightpence for a bed each night. As a magistrate I have made it my business to go over some of these places, and I say that the sooner they are put down the better. In my humble judgement they are about as unwholesome and unhealthy, as well as dangerous to the community, as can well be. There are places among them where the police dare not enter, and where the criminal hides all day long. I have seen so much that I hope what I have said will do something to call attention to them. The prisoner, after the evidence of a police-constable had corroborated that of the lodging-house deputy, was sentenced to a month's hard labour. - She left the dock threatening the prosecutrix.