At a recent meeting of the Whitechapel District Board of Works the following resolution was passed: "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." In reply thereto Sir Charles Warren has sent the following:
"Sir - In reply to a letter of the 2nd inst. from the Clerk to 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 unwillingly, 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 murders now confronting us, however, the unfortunate victims appear to take the murderer to some retired spot and 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 the 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 is 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 It is most important for good results that our proceedings should not be published, and the very fact that you may be unaware of what the Detective Department is doing is only the stronger proof that it is doing its work with secrecy and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 times 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 and object.
"I trust that 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 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 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 Greatrex 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 them ignorant of their beats. I have seen this statement made frequently in the newspapers lately, but it is entirely without foundation. The system at present in use has existed for the last twenty years, and constables are seldom or never drafted from their districts except for promotion or for 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 our 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. - I am, Sir, your obedient servant,
"Metropolitan Police-office, 4, Whitehall-place, S.W., Oct. 3, 1888."
Mr. Matthews, the Press Association understands, was engaged for several hours yesterday at the Home Office, with reference to the murders in the East-end, and had prolonged interviews with Sir Charles Warren and others on the subject.
The next portion of this issue's report from "THE CRIME IN ALDGATE…" to "…whenever she could get it." is reproduced in "News from Whitechapel" pages 159 - 161. Immediately following on from that, the next portion of this issue's report from "THE WHITECHAPEL MURDER…" to "…Metropolitan Police Office, 30th Sept. 1888." is reproduced in "News from Whitechapel" page 107. Immediately following on from that portion, the Telegraph reported:
The Vigilance Committee express some surprise that in this handbill no mention whatever is made of a reward should the information given lead to the capture of the murderer. As no reward has been offered from the Home Office, the Metropolitan Police ignore not only what the people have collected among themselves, what private parties have offered, but also the reward of £500 issued by their colleagues, the City Police. In other respects, some members of the Vigilance Committee are of opinion that a notice in the above terms is insufficient. It should also be kept in mind that there are in and around Whitechapel hundreds of people who do not understand the English language, and who can neither speak it nor write it, but who by chance might be able to give valuable information if they only knew what the police really wanted. It is more than probable that the criminal is a man able to speak English, but it does not follow that he is an Englishman. Mrs. Long, who last saw Annie Chapman shortly before she was murdered in Hanbury-street, declares that the man whom she saw talking to the unfortunate woman was a foreigner, and it is quite possible that this man may still be living among his compatriots, who are ignorant that the police would like to know of suspicions they may entertain or suspicious circumstances they may have seen. Much importance is attached to a blood-stained knife which was found in Whitechapel-road, as detailed at the inquest, but nothing has yet been found to throw light on how it got there nearly twenty-four hours after the murder was committed. It was such a weapon as might have inflicted the wounds, but whether it really is the knife which the miscreant used cannot be ascertained. If it is, the finding of it in a doorway in Whitechapel-road would point to the inference that the man lives somewhere in Whitechapel. Another knife with bloodstains on it was found in the neighbourhood of Bow-street, and taken to the station there, but it is not supposed to be of any value as a clue.
As showing the vigilance with which the police all over London are watching for any suspicious signs an incident which occurred at Charing-cross is worth mentioning. A constable noticed a man leaving a coffee-shop carrying a bundle which appeared to have bloodstains upon it, and the man had also stains upon his hands. He was promptly stopped and interrogated, but he explained that he was a French polisher, and that the stains on his hands and on the parcel resulted from his work. These explanations having been found accurate he was allowed to proceed on his way. During yesterday afternoon two arrests were made in the East-end. In one case a man went up to an officer in the street, and said he "had assisted in the Mitre-square job." The constable took him to the Leman-street Police-station, where it was found that he was suffering from delirium tremens. He was detained in order that further inquiries might be made. About three o'clock a man went into a lodging-house in the High-street, Whitechapel, and asked permission to wash his hands. The suspicion of the inmates having been aroused by the stranger's behaviour, they communicated with the police, and the man was taken into custody. At Leman-street he declared that he had only just been discharged from the workhouse, and an officer was instructed to accompany him to investigate the truth of his statement. It was found to be correct and he was discharged. The other arrest is not considered of any consequence.
Under the supervision of the local vigilance committee, upwards of a score of citizen detectives went out on duty at twelve o'clock. The locality is divided into "beats," and by pre-arrangement those who have undertaken the assistance of the regular police meet periodically at central points during the night to report themselves. Noiseless boots, as from time to time suggested for the force, have been provided for the amateur policemen. The committee have passed a resolution expressing deep regret that their petition to her Majesty on the subject of a Government reward has elicited no reply from the Crown, and intimating their conviction that had the document been permitted to reach the Sovereign her Majesty would have given its prayer her gracious consideration. It is stated that no acknowledgement has been received from the Home Office of the letter sent by the committee to the Home Secretary on Monday last repeating the request that a reward should be offered. At about one o'clock this morning there was a rumour that an arrest had been made under somewhat sensational circumstances. On inquiry, however, it transpired that the only warranty for the startling report was that a man was taken out of a public-house in Whitechapel, where his appearance had excited suspicion. The police made inquiries which resulted in the release of the suspect after a very brief detention.
The next portion of this issue's report from "The following is the full text…" to "…are American forms of expression." is reproduced in "News from Whitechapel" pages 161 - 165. The Telegraph then reported:
Yesterday, at St. George's Vestry Hall, Cable-street, Mr. Wynne E. Baxter, coroner for East Middlesex, again resumed the inquiry into the circumstances attending the death of the woman who was found with her throat cut at one o'clock on Sunday morning last in a yard adjoining the International Working Men's Club, Berner-street, Commercial-road East.
Elizabeth Tanner, examined by the Coroner, said: I am deputy of the common lodging-house, No. 32, Flower and Dean-street, and am a widow. I have seen the body of the deceased at St. George's Mortuary, and recognise it as that of a woman who has lodged in our house, on and off, for the last six years.
Who is she? - She was known by the nick-name of "Long Liz."
Do you know her right name? - No.
Was she an English woman? - She used to say that she was a Swedish woman. She never told me where she was born. She said that she was married, and that her husband and children were drowned in the Princess Alice.
When did you last see her alive? - Last Saturday evening, at half-past six o'clock.
Where was she then? - With me in a public-house, called the Queen's Head, in Commercial-street.
Did she leave you there? - She went back with me to the lodging-house. At that time she had no bonnet or cloak on. She never told me what her husband was.
Where did you actually leave her? - She went into the kitchen, and I went to another part of the building.
Did you see her again? - No, until I saw the body in the mortuary to-day.
You are quite certain it is the body of the same woman? - Quite sure. I recognise, beside the features, that the roof of her mouth is missing. Deceased accounted for this by stating that she was in the Princess Alice when it went down, and that her mouth was injured.
How long had she been staying at the lodging-house? - She was there last week only on Thursday and Friday nights.
Had she paid for her bed on Saturday night? - No.
Do you know any of her male acquaintances? - Only of one.
Who is he? - She was living with him. She left him on Thursday to come and stay at our house, so she told me.
Have you seen this man? - I saw him last Sunday.
Detective-Inspector Reid: He is present to-day.
Witness: I do not know that she was ever up at the Thames Police-court, or that she suffered from epileptic fits. I am aware that she lived in Fashion-street, but not that she has ever resided at Poplar. I never heard of a sister at Red Lion-square. I never heard of any relative except her late husband and children.
What sort of a woman was she? - Very quiet.
A sober woman? - Yes.
Did she use to stop out late at night? - Sometimes.
Do you know if she had any money? - She cleaned two rooms for me on Saturday, and I paid her 6d for doing it. I do not know whether she had any other money.
Are you able to say whether the two handkerchiefs now at the mortuary belonged to the deceased? - No.
Do you recognise her clothes? - Yes. I recognise the long cloak which is hanging up in the mortuary. The other clothes she had on last Saturday.
Did she ever tell you that she was afraid of any one? - No.
Or that any one had ever threatened to injure her? - No.
The fact of her not coming back on Saturday did not surprise you, I suppose? - We took no notice of it.
What made you go to the mortuary, then? - Because I was sent for. I do not recollect at what hour she came to the lodging-house last Thursday. She was wearing the long cloak then. She did not bring any parcel with her.
By the jury: I do not know of any one else of the name of Long Liz. I never heard of her sister allowing her any money, nor have I heard the name of Stride mentioned in connection with her. Before last Thursday she had been away from my house about three months.
The Coroner: Did you see her during that three months? - Yes, frequently; sometimes once a week, and at other times almost every other day.
Did you understand what she was doing? - She told me that she was at work among the Jews, and was living with a man in Fashion-street.
Could she speak English well? - Yes, but she spoke Swedish also.
When she spoke English could you detect that she was a foreigner? - She spoke English as well as an English woman. She did not associate much with Swedish people. I never heard of her having hurt her foot, nor of her having broken a limb in childhood. I had no doubt that she was what she represented herself to be - a Swede.
Catherine Lane: I live in Flower and Dean-street, and am a charwoman and married. My husband is a dock labourer, and is living with me at the lodging house of which the last witness is deputy. I have been there since last February. I have seen the body of the deceased at the mortuary.
The Coroner: Did you recognise it? - Yes, as the body of Long Liz, who lived occasionally in the lodging-house. She came there last Thursday.
Had you ever seen her before? - I have known her for six or seven months. I used to see her frequently in Fashion-street, where she lived, and I have seen her at our lodging-house.
Did you speak to her last week? - On Thursday and Saturday.
At what time did you see her first on Thursday? - Between ten and eleven o'clock.
Did she explain why she was coming back? - She said she had had a few words with the man she was living with.
When did you see her on Saturday? - When she was cleaning the deputy's room.
And after that? - I last saw her in the kitchen, between six and seven in the evening. She then had on a long cloak and a black bonnet.
Did she say where she was going? - No. I first saw the body in the mortuary on Sunday afternoon, and I recognised it then.
Did you see her leave the lodging-house? - Yes; she gave me a piece of velvet as she left, and asked me to mind it until she came back. (The velvet was produced, and proved to be a large piece, green in colour.)
Had she no place to leave it? - I do not know why she asked me, as the deputy would take charge of anything. I know deceased had sixpence when she left; she showed it to me, stating that the deputy had given it to her.
Had she been drinking then? - Not that I am aware of.
Do you know of any one who was likely to have injured her? - No one.
Have you heard her mention any person but this man she was living with? - No. I have heard her say she was a Swede, and that at one time she lived in Devonshire-street, Commercial-road - never in Poplar.
Did you ever hear her speak of her husband? - She said he was dead. She never said that she was afraid, or that any one had threatened her life. I am satisfied the deceased is the same woman.
By the jury: I could tell by her accent that she was a foreigner. She did not bring all her words out plainly.
Have you ever heard of her speaking to any one in her own language? - Yes; with women for whom she worked. I never heard of her having a sister, or of her having left a child at her sister's door.
Charles Preston deposed: I live at No. 32, Flower and Dean-street, and I am a barber. I have been lodging at my present address for eighteen months, and have seen the deceased there. I saw the body on Sunday last, and am quite sure it is that of Long Liz.
The Coroner: When did you last see her alive? - On Saturday morning between six and seven o'clock.
Where was she then? - In the kitchen of the lodging-house.
Was she dressed to go out? - Yes, and asked me for a brush to brush her clothes with, but I did not let her have one.
What was she wearing? - The jacket I have seen at the mortuary, but no flowers in the breast. She had the striped silk handkerchief round her neck.
Do you happen to have seen her pocket-handkerchiefs? - No.
You cannot say whether she had two? - No.
Do you know anything about her? - I always understood that she was born at Stockholm, and came to England in the service of a gentleman.
Did she ever tell you her age? - She said once that she was thirty-five.
Did she ever tell you that she was married? - Yes; and that her husband and children went down in the Princess Alice - that she had been saved while they were lost.
Did she ever state what her husband was? - I have some recollection that she said he was a seafaring man, and that he had kept a coffee-house in Chrisp-street, Poplar.
Did she ever tell you that she was taken to the Thames Police-court? - I only remember her having been taken into custody for being drunk and disorderly at the Ten Bells public-house, Commercial-street, one Sunday morning from four to five months ago.
Do you know of any one who was likely to have injured her? - No.
Did she ever state that she was afraid of any one? - Never.
Did she say where she was going on Saturday? - No.
Or when she was coming back? - No.
Did she say whether she was coming back? - She never said anything about it. She always gave me to understand that her name was Elizabeth Stride. She never mentioned any sister. She stated that her mother was still alive in Sweden. She apparently spoke Swedish fluently to people who came into the lodging-house.
Michael Kidney said: I live at No. 38, Dorset-street, Spitalfields, and am a waterside labourer. I have seen the body of the deceased at the mortuary.
The Coroner: Is it the woman you have been living with? - Yes.
You have no doubt about it? - No doubt whatever.
What was her name? - Elizabeth Stride.
How long have you known her? - About three years.
How long has she been living with you? - Nearly all that time.
What was her age? - Between thirty-six and thirty-eight years.
Was she a Swede? - She told me that she was a Swede, and I have no doubt she was. She said she was born three miles from Stockholm, that her father was a farmer, and that she first came to England for the purpose of seeing the country; but I have grave doubts about that. She afterwards told me that she came to England in a situation with a family.
Had she got any relatives in England? - When I met her she told me she was a widow, and that her husband had been a ship's carpenter at Sheerness.
Did he ever keep a coffee-house? - She told me that he had.
Where? - In Chrisp-street, Poplar.
Did she say when he died? - She informed me that he was drowned in the Princess Alice disaster.
Was the roof of her mouth defective? - Yes.
You had a quarrel with her on Thursday? - I did not see her on Thursday.
When did you last see her? - On the Tuesday, and I then left her on friendly terms in Commercial-street. That was between nine and ten o'clock at night, as I was coming from work.
Did you expect her home? - I expected her home half an hour afterwards. I subsequently ascertained that she had been in and had gone out again, and I did not see her again alive.
Can you account for her sudden disappearance? Was she the worse for drink when you last saw her? - She was perfectly sober.
You can assign no reason whatever for her going away so suddenly? - She would occasionally go away.
Oh, she has left you before? - During the three years I have known her she has been away from me about five months altogether.
Without any reason? - Not to my knowledge. I treated her the same as I would a wife.
Do you know whether she had picked up with any one? - I have seen the address of the brother of the gentleman with whom she lived as a servant, somewhere near Hyde Park, but I cannot find it now.
Did she have any reason for going away? - It was drink that made her go on previous occasions. She always came back again. I think she liked me better than any other man. I do not believe she left me on Tuesday to take up with any other man.
Had she any money? - I do not think she was without a shilling when she left me. From what I used to give her I fancy she must either have had money or spent it in drink.
You know of nobody whom she was likely to have complications with or fall foul of? - No, but I think the police authorities are very much to blame, or they would have got the man who murdered her. At Leman-street Police-station, on Monday night, I asked for a detective to give information to get the man.
What information had you? - I could give information that would enable the detectives to discover the man at any time.
Then will you give us your information now? - I told the inspector on duty at the police-station that I could give information provided he would let me have a young, strange detective to act on it, and he would not give me one.
What do you think should be inquired into? - I might have given information that would have led to a great deal if I had been provided with a strange young detective.
Inspector Reid: When you went to Leman-street and saw the inspector on duty, were you intoxicated? - Yes; I asked for a young detective, and he would not let me have one, and I told him that he was uncivil. (Laughter.)
You have been in the army, and I believe have a good pension? - Only the reserve.
A Juror: Have you got any information for a detective? - I am a great lover of discipline, sir. (Laughter.)
The Coroner: Had you any information that required the service of a detective? - Yes. I thought that if I had one, privately, he could get more information than I could myself. The parties I obtained my information from knew me, and I thought someone else would be able to derive more from them.
Inspector Reid: Will you give me the information directly, if you will not give it to the coroner? - I believe I could catch the man if I had a detective under my command.
The Coroner: You cannot expect that. I have had over a hundred letters making suggestions, and I dare say all the writers would like to have a detective at their service. (Laughter.)
Witness: I have information which I think might be of use to the police.
The Coroner: You had better give it, then.
Witness: I believe that, if I could place the policeman myself, the man would be captured.
The Coroner: You must know that the police would not be placed at the disposal of a man the worse for drink.
Witness: If I were at liberty to place 100 men about this city the murderer would be caught in the act.
Inspector Reid: But you have no information to give to the police?
Witness: No, I will keep it to myself.
A Juror: Do you know of any sister who gave money to the deceased? - No. On Monday I saw Mrs. Malcolm, who said the deceased was her sister. She is very like the deceased.
Did the deceased have a child by you? - No.
Or by a policeman? - She told me that a policeman used to court her when she was at Hyde Park, before she was married to Stride. Stride and the policeman courted her at the same time, but I never heard of her having a child by the policeman. She said she was the mother of nine children, two of whom were drowned with her husband in the Princess Alice, and the remainder were either in a school belonging to the Swedish Church on the other side of London Bridge, or with the husband's friends. I thought she was telling the truth when she spoke of Swedish people. I understood that the deceased and her husband were employed on the Princess Alice.
Mr. Edward Johnson: I live at 100, Commercial-road, and am assistant to Drs. Kaye and Blackwell. On Sunday morning last, at a few minutes past one o'clock, I received a call from Constable 436 H. After informing Dr. Blackwell, who was in bed, of the case, I accompanied the officer to Berner-street, and in a courtyard adjoining No. 40 I was shown the figure of a woman lying on her left side.
The Coroner: Were there many people about? - There was a crowd in the yard.
And police? - Yes.
Was any one touching the deceased? - No.
Was there much light? - Very little.
What light there was, where did it come from? - From the policeman's lantern. I examined the woman and found an incision in the throat.
Was blood coming from the wound? - No, it had stopped bleeding. I felt the body and found all warm except the hands, which were quite cold.
Did you undo the dress? - The dress was not undone when I came. I undid it to see if the chest was warm.
Did you move the head at all? - I left the body precisely as I found it. There was a stream of blood down to the gutter; it was all clotted. There was very little blood near the neck; it had all run away. I did not notice at the time that one of the hands was smeared with blood. The left arm was bent, away from the body. The right arm was also bent, and across the body.
Can you say whether any one had stepped into the stream of blood? - There was no mark of it.
Did you look for any? - Yes. I had no watch with me, but Dr. Blackwell looked at his when he arrived, and the time was 1.16 a.m. I preceded him by three or four minutes. The bonnet of the deceased was lying three or four inches beyond the head on the ground. The outer gates were closed shortly after I came.
Thomas Coram: I live at No. 67, Plummer's-road, and work for a cocoanut dealer. On Monday shortly after midnight I left a friend's house in Bath-gardens, Brady-street. I walked straight down Brady-street and into Whitechapel-road towards Aldgate. I first walked on the right side of Whitechapel-road, and afterwards crossed over to the left, and when opposite No. 253 I saw a knife lying on the doorstep.
What is No. 253? - A laundry. There were two steps to the front door, and the knife was on the bottom step.
The production of the knife created some sensation, its discovery not having been generally known. It was a knife such as would be used by a baker in his trade, it being flat at the top instead of pointed, as a butcher's knife would be. The blade, which was discoloured with something resembling blood, was quite a foot long and an inch broad, whilst the black handle was six inches in length, and strongly rivetted in three places.
Witness (continuing): There was a handkerchief round the handle of the knife, the handkerchief having been first folded and then twisted round the blade. A policeman coming towards me, I called his attention to the knife, which I did not touch.
Did the policeman take the knife away? - Yes, to the Leman-street station, I accompanying him.
Were there many people passing at the time? - Very few. I do not think I passed more than a dozen from Brady-street to where I found the knife. The weapon could easily be seen; it was light there.
Did you pass any policeman between Brady-street and where the knife was? - I passed three policemen.
Constable Joseph Drage, 282 H Division: On Monday morning at half-past twelve o'clock I was on fixed point duty opposite Brady-street, Whitechapel-road, when I saw the last witness stooping down to pick up something about twenty yards from me. As I went towards him he beckoned with his finger, and said, "Policeman, there is a knife lying here." I then saw a long-bladed knife on the doorstep. I picked up the knife, and found it was smothered with blood.
Was it wet? - Dry. A handkerchief, which was also blood-stained, was bound round the handle and tied with a string. I asked the lad how he came to see it, and he said, "I was just looking around, and I saw something white." I asked him what he did out so late, and he replied, "I have been to a friend's in Bath-gardens." I took down his name and address, and he went to the police-station with me. The knife and handkerchief are those produced. The boy was sober, and his manner natural. He said that the knife made his blood run cold, adding, "We hear of such funny things nowadays." I had passed the step a quarter of an hour before. I could not be positive, but I do not think the knife was there then. About an hour earlier I stood near the door, and saw the landlady let out a woman. The knife was not there then. I handed the knife and handkerchief to Dr. Phillips on Monday afternoon.
Mr. George Baxter Phillips: I live at No. 2, Spital-square, and am surgeon of the H Division of police. I was called on Sunday morning last at twenty past one to Leman-street Police-station, and was sent on to Berner-street, to a yard at the side of what proved to be a club-house. I found Inspector Pinhorn and Acting-Superintendent West in possession of a body, which had already been seen by Dr. Blackwell, who had arrived some time before me. The body was lying on its left side, the face being turned towards the wall, the head towards the yard, and the feet toward the street. The left arm was extended from elbow, and a packet of cachous was in the hand. Similar ones were in the gutter. I took them from the hand and gave them to Dr. Blackwell. The right arm was lying over the body, and the back of the hand and wrist had on them clotted blood. The legs were drawn up, feet close to wall, body still warm, face warm, hands cold, legs quite warm, silk handkerchief round throat, slightly torn (so is my note, but I since find it is cut). I produce the handkerchief. This corresponded to the right angle of the jaw. The throat was deeply gashed, and there was an abrasion of the skin, about an inch and a quarter in diameter, under the right clavicle. On Oct. 1, at three p.m., at St. George's Mortuary, present Dr. Blackwell and for part of the time Dr. Reigate and Dr. Blackwell's assistant; temperature being about 55 degrees, Dr. Blackwell and I made a post-mortem examination, Dr. Blackwell kindly consenting to make the dissection, and I took the following note: "Rigor mortis still firmly marked. Mud on face and left side of the head. Matted on the hair and left side. We removed the clothes. We found the body fairly nourished. Over both shoulders, especially the right, from the front aspect under colar bones and in front of chest there is a bluish discolouration which I have watched and seen on two occasions since. On neck, from left to right, there is a clean cut incision six inches in length; incision commencing two and a half inches in a straight line below the angle of the jaw. Three-quarters of an inch over undivided muscle, then becoming deeper, about an inch dividing sheath and the vessels, ascending a little, and then grazing the muscle outside the cartilages on the left side of the neck. The carotid artery on the left side and the other vessels contained in the sheath were all cut through, save the posterior portion of the carotid, to a line about 1-12th of an inch in extent, which prevented the separation of the upper and lower portion of the artery. The cut through the tissues on the right side of the cartilages is more superficial, and tails off to about two inches below the right angle of the jaw. It is evident that the haemorrhage which produced death was caused through the partial severance of the left carotid artery. There is a deformity in the lower fifth of the bones of the right leg, which are not straight, but bow forward; there is a thickening above the left ankle. The bones are here straighter. No recent external injury save to neck. The lower lobe of the ear was torn, as if by the forcible removing or wearing through of an earring, but it was thoroughly healed. The right ear was pierced for an earring, but had not been so injured, and the earring was wanting. On removing the scalp there was no sign of bruising or extravasation of blood between it and the skull-cap. The skull was about one-sixth of an inch in thickness, and dense in texture. The brain was fairly normal. Both lungs were unusually pale. The heart was small; left ventricle firmly contracted, right less so. Right ventricle full of dark clot; left absolutely empty. Partly digested food, apparently consisting of cheese, potato, and farinaceous edibles. Teeth on left lower jaw absent." On Tuesday, at the mortuary, I found the total circumference of the neck 12½ inches. I found in the pocket of the underskirt of the deceased a key, as of a padlock, a small piece of lead pencil, a comb, a broken piece of comb, a metal spoon, half a dozen large and one small button, a hook, as if off a dress, a piece of muslin, and one or two small pieces of paper. Examining her jacket I found that although there was a slight amount of mud on the right side, the left was well plastered with mud.
A Juror: You have not mentioned anything about the roof of the mouth. One witness said part of the roof of the mouth was gone. - Witness: That was not noticed.
The Coroner: What was the cause of death? - Undoubtedly the loss of blood from the left carotid artery and the division of the windpipe.
Did you examine the blood at Berner-street carefully, as to its direction and so forth? - Yes. The blood near to the neck and a few inches to the left side was well clotted, and it had run down the waterway to within a few inches of the side entrance to the club-house.
Were there any spots of blood anywhere else? - I could trace none except that which I considered had been transplanted - if I may use the term - from the original flow from the neck. Roughly estimating it, I should say there was an unusual flow of blood, considering the stature and the nourishment of the body.
By a Juror: I did notice a black mark on one of the legs of the deceased, but could not say that it was due to an adder bite.
Before the witness had concluded his evidence the inquiry was adjourned until Friday, at two o'clock.
At Bow-street, yesterday, Henry Taylor, an army reserve man, was charged before Mr. Vaughan with assaulting Mary Ann Perry, and with threatening to stab her. - The prosecutrix said that the prisoner acted indecently in her presence about three o'clock in Clare-market. She went on and spoke to her sister, and the accused came up and knocked her down. He also produced a clasp knife with a blade about 3 in. long, and threatened to rip her up as the others had been. A crowd collected, and after threatening to stab any one who approached him he ran away, and was followed by a number of women calling out "Leather Apron." He got into Catherine-street, where he was stopped by Police-constable Benjamin Betts, 190 E, to whom he said, "Keep the cows off me, or I'll rip them all open." Betts took the knife away from him, and, seeing that the prosecutrix was bleeding at the nose, took him into custody for assaulting her. On the way to the station the crowd increased, and it was all that Betts, assisted by another constable, could do to get the prisoner to the station unmolested. There he was searched, and a razor was found on him. - Mr. Vaughan sentenced the defendant to two months' imprisonment for the assault, and ordered him to find one surety in £5 to keep the peace for three months.
Very little additional information has been elicited by the authorities regarding the identity of the victim of the atrocious crime whose dismembered remains were found on Tuesday afternoon in the new Police buildings, on the Embankment at Westminster. Dr. Thomas Bond, the divisional surgeon, and his colleague, Dr. Hibbert, again inspected the remains yesterday morning, at the mortuary, Millbank-street, in order to compare them with the woman's arm found near Grosvenor Bridge, Pimlico, on the 11th ult., and which was brought from Ebury-street for that purpose. The coroner, Mr. Troutbeck, was present at the time. It appears little doubt was left in the minds of the two medical gentlemen that the limb belonged to the body. A most careful examination of the remains led them, it is understood, to the conclusion that the deceased had been a rather tall and remarkably well-formed woman. Her age was set down as between twenty-five and thirty years. With regard to the amputation of the arm, the operation had been performed after death in a semi-skilful manner, though in all probability not by a person having a knowledge of anatomy. Whether they had any opinion as to the presumable cause of death, the doctors were disinclined to state. Fortunately, in the interests of justice, Ebury-street mortuary is a model one in very many respects, and there are ample means for preserving remains there for a considerable time, in order to ensure identification. The reverse is the case at Millbank-street, for the mortuary is in the yard attached to a dwelling-house and shop, and it is almost devoid of the proper modern appliances. A few wooden partitions have been run up, but there is neither sufficient room to conduct post-mortem examinations, nor means for ensuring the most ordinary sanitation and assisting in the ready and safe identification of the dead.
It will be recollected that, when the arm was found at Grosvenor Bridge, reference was made to the fact that it was that of a person in all likelihood moving in a good position in life. Not only was the hand remarkably well shaped, but the fingers were long and taper, the filbert-shaped nails being carefully trimmed and kept. The police have now ascertained that the skirt in which the trunk was wrapped, instead of being of mohair, was of richly-flowered moire silk. Both breasts also were in the normal condition of a healthy person, the apparent injury to the left being due to the natural processes which had set in after death. Owing, therefore, to the tall, well-formed, and well-dressed appearance the woman must have presented when alive, as well as the circumstance that she was presumably from her hands a lady, both the police and coroner are very sanguine that her identity will yet be established. Such a person, it is argued, must have had friends and been known to many, and they have every hope that inquiries will, notwithstanding the difficulties, be set on foot resulting in the deceased's identification. Careful search was made throughout yesterday by the workmen and police at the Cannon-row buildings to see whether any further portions of the body had been secreted in the vaulted archways or among the many mounds of builders' déris. No trace, however, of any kind was found within the area of the works, or, indeed, anywhere else in the vicinity. The police are convinced that the body must have been conveyed by way of Cannon-row to where it was found either on the Saturday or Sunday night, and that it must have been taken there by someone either living near, or who knew something of the surroundings. A painstaking search is now being made by the officials, under the direction of Chief Superintendent Dunlap, Chief Inspector Wren, and Detective-Inspector Marshall, of the neighbourhood. The twine with which the skirt around the remains was tightly and securely tied is of the ordinary stout sort used in tying parcels. It corresponds, it is said, exactly with that found around the wrapping in which the arm was enclosed. The coroner having given an order, the moire silk skirt has been closely examined by the police, and adhering to it a small piece of bloodstained newspaper has been discovered. Beyond that nothing further was found, but an effort is being made to trace the house likely to have sold the skirt. In order to disinfect the trunk, which was in an advanced stage of decomposition, the mortuary keeper was instructed to put it in spirits, and it will now be kept in that fluid until finally disposed of. To-day a photograph is to be taken, so as to preserve, as far as possible, the means of identification. Coroner Troutbeck will empanel a jury at the Sessions House, Westminster, at three p.m. on Monday next, and proceed to hold an inquest on the remains. The jury will view the portions of the body at the mortuary, Millbank-street, and thereafter evidence will be taken at the Sessions House, when Drs. Bond and Hibbert will make their report.
A singular, and what might have been a most serious and fatal accident, happened yesterday morning between nine and ten o'clock at the new police buildings, and just above the spot where the body was found. Huge scaffolding has been erected to carry on the building operations, and on one of these what is called "a Scotch crane" had been mounted. Just before ten a.m. a second engine, weighing 23 cwt., to work another crane alongside of the first, was being hoisted up; when near the top, a height of 70 ft., the back leg of the hoisting derrick broke and the new engine went crashing through the scaffolding to the ground, smashing several huge granite blocks into atoms in its fall. The three men on the scaffold at the time had narrow escapes, but, providentially, none of them were thrown down, and the engine-driver, who fared worst, escaped with a few slight bruises about the leg. Inspector Marshal and several policemen happened to be within the building at the moment searching the archways in the basement, and the crash of the falling materials caused them to rush out. Fortunately all of them also escaped injury. Mr. Brown, the foreman of the works, however, was so unnerved by the catastrophe, as well as by the discovery of the previous day, that he had to go home. The engine and derrick are completely shattered, and the loss sustained is about £600. Had it not been for the strong nature of the vaulted archways which withstood the shock of the falling timbers, several of the police, and those assisting them in searching the basement, must have been killed. Large numbers of persons yesterday went and looked at the scene, talking chiefly of the dreadful discovery of the mutilated human remains.
Mary Malcolm's suspicion "that the woman who had been murdered was her sister" because, when she was in bed, she fancied the poor creature came and kissed her three times, has evidently inspired many of our most recent correspondents with suggestions for calling in the aid of Spiritualism and other more or less occult agencies. "A Clairvoyant" is of opinion that "if Ripper's letter were submitted to an efficient medium, the writer might be discovered." "Spiritualist" writes "that there are both male and female practitioners who might be of great service. Of course it is the fashion to scoff at Spiritualistic revelations; but there are on record many authentic cases in which the acute and sensitive medium has been enabled to unravel mysterious occurrences as dark at the outset as is the black and awful mystery that surrounds these current London tragedies. "Inquirer" asks "the Spiritualists of London" to "investigate these murders in their own way, and see what they make of them. If they can, as they unblushingly affirm, call spirits from the vasty deep, why not at once communicate with the unhappy women who have been hurried all untimely to their last account?" "S." writes: "I have read at different times, and also have been told, that when under the influence of mesmerism the medium can described what has taken place on any day and at any locality at the will of the mesmerist. If this is so, cannot mesmerism be applied in tracing the murderer?" "W. H. Bakes," "Fleet-street," and "S. Smithers" refer to the fact that murders similar to those in the East-end have been committed in America and Texas, and that it might be worth while for the police to keep this fact carefully in mind. "X. Y. Z." says: "The Whitechapel fiend is the prototype of the brutal hero of an old Indian story which appeared some time after Cooper's Indian stories gave the romance its title of 'Nick of the Woods.' It recounts the doings of a poor Quaker settler whose farm in the backwoods was burnt, and his wife and children killed, by the Red-Indians, and himself scalped and left for dead. He, however, lived, but with a distorted mind, and, becoming a trapper and hunter, he waged deadly warfare against the Indians. He killed many of them in the woods, and even in their own wigwams, and upon the body of every Indian he cut a deep cross over the region of the chest with a sharp hunter's knife. The Indians thought their race was being destroyed by an evil spirit. This was concerted revenge for wrongs done him by the red race. In all probability the Whitechapel fiend is inspired with the same kind of blind revenge upon all women of the class. Possibly he may have read the story of Nick of the Woods, and has made it his model. If this theory is correct modest women need have no fear." Several correspondents mention strange out-of-the-way places in the metropolis, "dark, unfrequented corners that invite to crime," and "Revenge" describes "a court in Chelsea," attached to a common lodging-house, "where doorless outbuildings in dark places might have been designed purposely for murderous work," and he advises that "the police should have special powers to close these places." "R. Roberts" asks for "more light - the electric light in particular." "Mentor" says "the worst places are the least lighted." Hundreds of letters refer to "the medical question" in all its phases. They are interesting as indications of the public belief that the murderer is a maniac under the influence of some terrible physical misfortune; as are also an almost equal number which express the belief that the murderer is "mad on religion - thinks himself a divine instrument of vengeance." Edward Dillon Lewis, in a long letter discussing the subject from the point of view of what for a better term he calls speculative jurisprudence," is convinced, for reasons which we have not space to print, that "the perpetrator of these several outrages is a man of foreign origin. The celerity with which the crimes were committed are inconsistent with the ordinary English phlegmatic nature; but entirely consistent with the evidence given in some more or less similar cases abroad. The mutilation 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 various special trades abroad. The character of the knife used, as suggested by the medical evidence at the inquests, is similar in kind to the instrument known as the French 'Cook's Knife'; or, at least, is, in the circumstances, more consistent with its use by a foreigner than an Englishman." The following letters are selected from among vast numbers which reach us by every post:
SIR - I see that all suggestions that bloodhounds be used in the hunt after the Whitechapel murderer are received with almost ridicule. This appears to me a mistake. Granted that their instinct has greatly deteriorated, and also that under certain atmospheric conditions (which are unknown) scent will not lie on stone, still there are many hounds in England, and many bassets and dachshunds in Germany who would have probably run down the murderer. The errors which have been set forth are, first, that scent is necessarily a foot-scent. The blood on the man's hands would do nearly as well. There are authentic instances in which a sheep's carcase removed in a cart has been tracked for twenty miles. Probably we have now no hounds capable of that, but such scenting power is not needed. Second, the idea was started by Dr. Phillips - admittedly in ignorance - that the body and not the murderer would be hunted. This is also a grave error. It may happen; but two words, "Ware heel!" are ample to correct the mistake. Of this any one may satisfy himself with foxhounds. Third, that scent will not lie on stones. The fact is that no one has the slightest idea where and when scent will lie. I have seen boar-hounds, not remarkable for wonderful hunting powers, carry scent up Regent-street and Portland-place in the early morning, in either '81 or '82. I do not assert for one moment that bloodhounds will be able to do the work, but I know that there is more than a possibility of it. It depends more on the will-o'-the-wisp scent than the hounds. Still, it is so possible that scent may lie that they ought to be tried when the probable sequel to these six tragedies happens. I cannot too strongly urge that scent is not necessarily on the ground or a foot-scent. - I am, Sir, yours,
SIR - May I suggest that the police should pay close attention to the crews of steamers leaving for the Continent and out-ports on each Sunday morning. Tide served early yesterday morning from the piers in the river. These steamers return during the week, and many of the sailors have only too great a reason to bear animosity to the class of women from which these unfortunate victims come; while the fact that each successive murder has occurred on Saturday night or early on Sunday morning, and that all trace of the murderer has immediately disappeared, would point to the conclusion that his hiding-place, or rather abiding-place, was not far off. Let the night watchmen of the various wharves from which such steamers leave be questioned, as also the watermen at the various "stairs" from which the crews are sculled on board to vessels lying in the tiers. - I remain, Sir, your obedient servant,
SIR - It is a well-known fact that the Paris police employ disappointed or broken-down gentlemen, who have education, knowledge of life and logic (a rare virtue, and yet invaluable in a detective), and who, having spent their patrimony, are unable to carry out their profession, while the very idea of a situation is nauseous to them. These men are liberally treated in every respect, and are generally very successful.
With regard to the present murders, there is a strong probability that the perpetrators thereof have a home to retire to, and that it is not by merely searching the slums that they will be found, but in better quarters. From Whitechapel he or they have gone to the City, and will, no doubt, if not caught, be soon heard of again in other parts - probably at King's-cross or Pimlico. This, at least, is my idea, based on sound inductive grounds. His modus operandi is, however, so simple that it is a matter of amazement that with nearly all the detective force drafted to Whitechapel (and by the by they are easily enough recognisable) he or they have not yet been caught red-handed by closely watching the movements of "unfortunates" late at night. - Yours obediently,
London, Oct. 1.
SIR - It would be interesting to know if the police are keeping a watch on the opium dens in Whitechapel. Excessive indulgence in that drug is known to cause homicidal mania, and the monster who is "wanted" may turn out to be a frequenter of these dens and an excessive indulger. - I enclose my card and remain your obedient servant,
London, Oct. 2.
SIR - I much deplore the sacrifice of life of my fellow-creatures, and would suggest that all congregations who love Christ will throughout the nation make it a point of special prayer to Almighty God that some truthful information may be forthcoming that will lead to the apprehension and conviction of the wretch who has committed these shocking murders in London. - I am, Sir, your obedient servant,
Wimpole Lodge, Colchester, Essex, Oct. 1.
SIR - There surely can be little doubt that the mysterious demon who has worked such havoc in the East-end is a dangerous maniac. It cannot be that he has just escaped from any lunatic asylum; otherwise he could have been tracked ere now. Is it possible, however, that he may have been some time ago "dismissed" from such an institution as "cured?" If so, could it not be ascertained from the journals of asylums whether any recently dismissed case ever at any time laboured under the appalling delusion with respect to prostitution with which this dangerous madman is possessed. What if not only his delusion, but his insanity, were due to a medical origin, in the first instance? And hence his murderous attacks on this poor and most unfortunate class of women. This clue might prove of some service. - Yours truly,
Endymion-road, Finsbury Park, N., Oct. 3.
SIR - A remarkable incident in connection with the above is that in no one instance has it been found that the victim made any noise or cry while being done to death. My assistant suggests a theory in reference to this very remarkable fact, which strikes me as having something in it, and as such ought to be made public.
The theory is that the murderer goes about with a vial of rum or brandy in his pocket drugged with an opiate - such as a solution of morphia, which is almost if not quite tasteless - that he offers a swig of it to his victims (which they would all be likely to greedily accept) when he meets them; that in about ten to twenty minutes the poison begins to do its work on constitutions well soaked with alcohol, and that then they are easily dispatched without fear of making any noise or call for assistance.
Having been out of town lately for my holidays, I have not closely followed the evidence at the inquests but there are two questions which would require clearing up, if there is anything in this theory - First, Have the stomachs of most of them been ripped open to do away with the evidence of poisoning in this manner; and, second, has any analysis of the contents of the stomachs been made? - Yours respectfully,
65, West Ferry-road, Millwall, E. Oct. 3.
Little additional information has come to light regarding the identity of the woman whose dismembered remains were found in the new police buildings on the Embankment on Tuesday. The medical men who have examined the trunk appear to have come to the conclusion that the arm which was lately found in the Thames belonged to it. The inquest will be opened on Monday.
Yesterday, at the resumed inquest on the body of the woman who was found murdered in Berner-street, Whitechapel, evidence was given by the inmates of a common lodging-house in Flower and Dean-street, who identified the remains as those of "Long Liz." They had known her for a considerable time, and were certain she was the woman. She had told them she was a Swede by birth, and that her husband was drowned in the Princess Alice, she escaping with some injuries. A man with whom she had lived during the last three years also recognised her as Elizabeth Stride. Among other testimony offered was that of a lad and a constable, who, shortly after midnight on Sunday, found in Whitechapel-road a knife about a foot long, such as is used by bakers in their trade. It was discoloured with blood, and the handkerchief which was bound round the handle was also bloodstained. Mr. Phillips, the police-surgeon, having given his account of the post-mortem examination, the inquiry was adjourned.
Two or three arrests were made yesterday in connection with the recent crimes, but none of them proved to be of any importance, and the police are still without a clue. The body of the woman who was murdered and so shockingly mutilated in Mitre-square has been positively identified as that of Catherine Eddowes, commonly known as Catherine Kelly. Some account of the wretched woman's more recent career will be found in another column.
William Bull, describing himself as a medical student, was charged at the Guildhall Police-court yesterday, on his own confession, with having committed the murder in Mitre-square. He now stated that he was mad drunk at the time he made the statement to the police. Mr. Alderman Stone remanded him, and refused an application for bail.
Sir Charles Warren has addressed a letter to the Whitechapel District Board of Works, replying to a resolution passed by that body calling upon him to strengthen and regulate the police force in the neighbourhood. The text of the document is published in another column.
A propos of Mr. Matthews' reluctance to offer a reward for the apprehension of the perpetrators of the appalling murders in the East-end of London, I may mention that not only is such a practice utterly unknown here, but it has been repeatedly denounced with horror and contempt on this side of the Channel. All the more noteworthy, therefore, is an article which appears to-day in the columns of a Parisian contemporary warmly advocating the adoption of such a measure by the French police authorities, and ridiculing the feeling prevalent here as obsolete and Quixotic. The writer argues truly that the first duty of the police is to protect the lives of the law-abiding portion of the Community, and to deprive would-be murderers of all opportunity of carrying out their fell designs. I have drawn your attention to this change of front because it has been brought about by the extraordinary and abnormal state of things in London; yet it is precisely at this moment that the Home Secretary declines to have recourse to means the efficacy of which is being recognised and honestly admitted by Frenchmen, hitherto strongly prejudiced against any offer of a reward for the detection of a criminal. Verily the rôles are being reversed!