East London Advertiser
Saturday, 6 October 1888.
The two fresh murders which have been committed in Whitechapel have aroused the indignation and excited the imagination of London to a degree without parallel. Men feel that they are face to face with some awful and extraordinary freak of nature. So inexplicable and ghastly are the circumstances surrounding the crimes that people are affected by them in the same way as children are by the recital of a weird and terrible story of the supernatural. It is so impossible to account, on any ordinary hypothesis, for these revolting acts of blood that the mind turns as it were instinctively to some theory of occult force, and the myths of the Dark Ages rise before the imagination. Ghouls, vampires, bloodsuckers, and all the ghastly array of fables which have been accumulated throughout the course of centuries take form, and seize hold of the excited fancy. Yet the most morbid imagination can conceive nothing worse than this terrible reality; for what can be more appalling than the thought that there is a being in human shape stealthily moving about a great city, burning with the thirst for human blood, and endowed with such diabolical astuteness, as to enable him to gratify his fiendish lust with absolute impunity? The details of the two last crimes make it morally certain that they were committed by the same being who took the lives of the other unfortunate women. The victims belonged to the same class - wretched wanderers in the streets of the lowest type; they were killed under circumstances of a similar nature, and although mutilation did not occur in the case of the woman who was first killed, there is good reason for supposing that this was only because the murderer was interrupted in his ghastly task. It is owing to this fact, in all probability, that a second murder was perpetrated on the same night. Stopped before he could gratify his fiendish mania, and with fierce desire coursing through his veins, the ghoul slunk off to find another victim. When everything is shrouded in such impenetrable mystery it is impossible to advance a theory which can bear examination. But it is obvious that these new crimes go far to upset the theory advanced by the coroner, Mr. Baxter, that the murders were committed in order to supply an American publisher with specimens of internal female organs. There was, indeed, something intrinsically absurd about parts of Mr. Baxter's theory. It was, for instance, incredible that any medical book should be issued with portions of the human body attached in bags, or in some other manner. Booksellers do not sell books in this fashion. Moreover, no rational object would have been attained. A diagram would have answered the purpose equally well for medical use, and except as a ghastly and sensational means of advertisement the enormous sum paid for the actual organ would have been thrown away. There still remained the possibility, however, that part of Mr. Baxter's theory might have been false, and part true. The American might have required these organs, although not for the purpose suggested. But the murders of Sunday render any further conjectures on the theory superfluous. No man in his senses would have risked his life, while the attention of the whole of London was still aroused, by committing a similar crime in order to earn a paltry sum of £20. A man may be ready to kill a person for the first time to gain a much smaller sum, but he would certainly not do so when he knew that in consequence of the notoriety of the first crime he would certainly be arrested if he tried to sell his ghastly booty. We are, therefore, forced to return to the maniac theory as the only one which at all fits in with the barbarous circumstances attending the murders, and the complete absence of motive.
ALL the circumstances connected with the terrible East End murders are of a nature to stir up people's imagination in an exceptional degree. But even amid so much that is awe-inspiring and dramatic one fact that was elicited at the inquest on the unfortunate woman Stride or Watts was of a peculiarly thrilling nature. If anything were wanted to heighten the horrors of these tragedies it was the introduction of the supernatural element. This was supplied by the evidence of the murdered woman's sister. The coroner had evidently been informed that the witness had received what for want of a better word we will call an occult warning of her sister's death. He, therefore, pressed her closely on the point. At first she was disposed to deny the fact, but finally she admitted it, and stated its nature. She was lying awake in bed, when, to give her own words: "About twenty minutes past one on Sunday morning I felt a pressure on my breast and heard three distinct kisses." Now, this was just about the time at which the sister was giving up her life under the hands of the awful being in Berner-street. It was more than probable that Judas-like he first betrayed his victim with a kiss, and the pressure on the breast is what would naturally occur as he knelt over to cut her throat. Here then we have a representation of what was happening to the murdered woman reproduced at the same time in the mind of her sister. Of course it is quite possible that the circumstances she related only came into the mind of the witness after she had heard of her sister's death. But it could easily be ascertained whether she spoke of her presentiment to any of her neighbours prior to the news of the murder having reached her. If it could be satisfactorily proved that she did a very interesting case would be ready for the investigation of the Psychical Research Society. The late Mr. Edmund Gurney, in his "Phantasms of the Living," gives several instances of telepathy, or thought-transference, occurring at the moment of a person's death. At such a moment, according to the theory he advances, the sensations of a person are most likely to be transferred to any one with whom they have been closely connected during life. That thoughts can pass between two people during life by other channels than those at present recognised is now fairly well established. It would be interesting if a distinct case of thought-transference taking place at the moment of a person's demise could be authenticated. But the value of the evidence all depends upon whether Stride's sister related her experiences before she knew of her unfortunate sister's death. We shall be surprised if this proves to be the case.
MR. MONTAGU WILLIAMS has done well to call public attention to the infamous conditions under which "common lodging-houses" are allowed to exist. A more appalling description than that which he elicited of these dens of infamy cannot well be imagined. It is a disgrace to civilisation that to use the magistrate's own words, these haunts of robbers, homes of pickpockets, and hotbeds of prostitution should be permitted to flourish in the midst of what we boastfully call the capital of the civilised world. Fourpence, it appears, is the price of a single bed; eightpence, of what is technically known as a double. For those respective sums of money a single person, or a man and woman together, can pass the night. As many as ninety or a hundred people sleep under the same roof, numbers of them huddled together in the same room. No surveillance is exercised, and a woman is at perfect liberty to bring any companion she likes to share her accommodation. Well might Mr. Williams' remark that those lodging-houses 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. Is it any wonder that vice should ride rampant in such slums and that, bred and fostered by the hideous contagion, crimes of the most ghastly nature should spring from time to time into life to horrify society. The practical question is - What can be done to clean this Augean stable? Even the criminal classes must have places where they can lay their heads at night. It would, moreover, be a hard case if an honest, respectable couple, who perhaps have come up to London to seek work, should be refused a lodging. To insist that a lodging-house keeper should demand the "marriage lines" of every man and woman who seek shelter beneath his roof, would be, of course, ridiculous. But without demanding that any farfetched fads should be adopted, reforms of a practical nature might be introduced. The keepers of these lodging-houses know full well the character of the people who frequent their establishments and the police have an equally accurate knowledge on the point. It could be easy, therefore, to cancel the licences of all such houses, and the law should be stringently carried out in this direction. If loose women were to be prevented from frequenting "common lodging-houses", their companions, the thieves, burglars, and murderers of London, would speedily give up resorting to them.
DR. SAVAGE'S article on "Homicidal Mania" in the Fortnightly Review for October will attract universal interest at the present moment. Dr. Savage gives us an exhaustive classification of the various mental states which lead to murder, and draws a marked line between "an insane tendency to kill and a tendency to kill as met with in the insane." People who have the education of children entrusted to them will do well to note that the former tendency often results from careless bringing-up. Thus Dr. Savage gives a ghastly instance of a child who commenced his career - the story reads like an extract from Miss Edgeworth's "Moral Tales" - by pulling off the wings of flies. After a time this amusement palled, and the pleasing child took to baking frogs. He next turned his young intelligence to capturing birds and boring out their eyes. And later on nothing would satisfy him but ill-treating other children. Altogether Dr. Savage's reminiscences of childhood do not tend to increase our confidence in these imps, a love for whom is supposed to be the index of every well-regulated mind. "I have known children," he writes, "kick cats and dogs to death, or set light to them, or pour boiling water over them, the fiendish pleasure being increased if the young of the animals were thus reduced to starvation." Who, after reading this, will not feel a hidden qualm as he fondles some blue-eyed flaxen-haired little urchin, that stands at his knee and looks as though it were a gentle little angel newly arrived from the soft fleecy regions of the sky? As might be expected we find that natural heredity has much to do with these bloodthirsty propensities. Professor Benedikt of Vienna, it appears, has been for some time making an exhaustive comparison of the brains of criminals, and has devoted especial attention to the cerebral development of murderers. He has weighed, measured, and done everything but taste the brains of scores of malefactors. The result of his experience is that he has demonstrated satisfactorily that the brain of a murderer frequently resembles that of a lower animal "in certain definite ways." There is a strong similarity between the convolutions of a monkey's brain and those of some criminals. What the particular class of criminal may be we are not told, but it is fair to suppose that thieving and a monkey like convolution of brain go together. It is a terrible thought, though no new one, to feel that one's chance of spending half one's life in prison depends on an extra twist or so in the internal organs of the head. According to Professor Benedikt murderers brains have a special likeness to those of bears. A man with a bear-shaped brain should therefore be avoided - unfortunately there is considerable difficulty in telling the shape of your friend's brain while he is alive. The number of interesting, though blood-curdling theories, brought forward by Dr. Savage, are enough to form the material for a score of "shilling dreadfuls".
THE Whitechapel murderer is still at large, and the police have frankly confessed that they have no clue. This is what was to be expected. Nothing can come from nothing, and the police have no basis to go upon. They do not even know the kind of class from which to select the criminal. They have not a single notion of his whereabouts. They do not know his motive, except so far as our guessing psychologists have enabled them to decipher it. He has left no material trace, and practically no moral trace. All the supposed guides, such as the pawn-tickets, afford no real means of discovering his identity. The articles pawned are in the hands of the police, and the pawnbroker declares that they were left by a woman. But the police cannot even trace the identity of the woman by the name on the tickets. For the rest we are absolutely in the region of surmise.
Meanwhile, perhaps, the worst feature of the murders is the manner in which the panic seems to be growing, and is being aggravated by scoundrels to whom murders of the Whitechapel order only suggest further opportunities of mischief. People's imaginations are at work, finding dangers where there are none. Every forbidding-looking man is the object of suspicion; every unfortunate in Whitechapel fancies herself the prey of a malignant ruffian. Indirectly, perhaps the panic may lead to the discovery of the murderer. The man may be baulked of the usual prey by the extra care of the class from whom he selects his victims, and getting unwary and disappointed may at length be captured. From the evidence of the police, nothing, however, may be expected. It is clear that there is no detective force in the proper sense of the word in London at all, and that the constables are utterly unfitted for such work as is necessary to protect Whitechapel from these nightly visitations. What is likely to happen is this: there will be more murders, and the ruffian's heels may be tripped by chance if not by the foresight of the police. On the other hand, detective work of a specially superior and intellectual kind can be set in hand, and pushed vigorously and fearlessly may result in the discovery of the criminal. What we have to complain of especially is the inefficiency of the surgical examinations and coroner's inquiries which have hitherto been held. Owing to the scamping of detailed work we were led astray by the absurd theory of the American and his offer of £20 for specimens of an organ, while a whole body could be obtained for nearly as many shillings. Possibly to such a consideration may be added the off-chance that the offer of a reward of over £1,000 may stimulate the detective instinct enough to put the community fairly on the track of its enemy. The theory that the man has accomplices is, we are afraid, too remote and improbable to produce any good results. Accomplices would only hinder a man like the Whitechapel murderer in the execution of so deadly a purpose. The success of the murderer really depends on the ability with which a single mind has been concentrated on the purpose. Murders are generally clumsy affairs. They are committed by men who are drawn into them by circumstances, and have no time to think of a plan or suggest a means of escape. If they are done in hot blood the chances are strong of their being detected in flagrante delicto. If they are committed, say, by a burglar who is suddenly interrupted, and has no choice between his liberty and homicide, they are again liable to clumsiness of method and its consequences. Finally, if they are committed for any known or ascertainable motive there is always a probability of fixing the crime on a suspected person. But here there is no ascertainable motive, and therefore no suspected person - no plunder committed in haste, no folly which would give a clue to the authorities. The murderer has deliberately selected the most defenceless class of the community, and has chosen to slaughter them under circumstances which turn his own victims into his accomplices. There is so much in this of a deeply thought out plan that we have to consider whether the murderer is a maniac in the narrow sense of the word, and is not rather a man with a maniacal tendency, but with quite sufficient control of himself and of his faculties to impose upon his neighbours, and possibly to mix in respectable society unquestioned by a single soul. He is probably able to command solitude whenever he pleases, and that seems to be the only requisite for concealing his crimes.
TWO MORE WOMEN HORRIBLY MURDERED.
CONSTERNATION IN THE EAST END.
The alarm excited by the recent murders in Whitechapel was on Sunday revived and intensified by the discovery of two more murders, similar in their shocking details, which had been committed early that morning nearly in the same locality, and it is assumed by the same hand. The first occurred at Berner-street, Commercial-road, and the second, and by far the more horrible, owing to the mutilation to which the body was subjected, in Mitre-square, situated on the west side of Houndsditch, midway between Bishopsgate Within and Aldgate. In the former case, a woman, with her throat gashed and torn, was discovered in the back yard of 40, Berner-street, a short distance from Hanbury-street - the scene of the murder of Annie Chapman. The premises are occupied by the International Working Men's Club. The steward of the club (Lewis Diemshitz), on coming home early in the morning, found the body lying in a corner of the yard. In this case there was not the mutilation which was perpetrated upon the second victim, discovered an hour later in Mitre-square. It is announced by the police that in all probability the wretch was disturbed in his work, and made off in the direction of the City with the ghoulish thirst for blood still blazing within him; that he beguiled another hapless victim into a dark secluded spot, and then again fell to his butchery.
The murder in Mitre-square is similar in its brutality to that of Annie Chapman. The victim was an unfortunate woman, so poor that robbery could not possibly be suggested as a motive. The scene of the crime - Mitre-square, Aldgate - is an essentially business place during the day, but during the night it may be described as secluded. The arrangements of the City Police at this point - and, perhaps, owing to the late murders - are said to be very precise, and the circuit of the beat would not extend over 11 minutes. On this occasion the officer on duty was Police-constable Watkins. At half-past 1 o'clock Watkins handed a can of tea to the watchman at Messrs. Kearley and Tongue's, tea merchants, named George James Morris, a naval pensioner, telling him to make it hot in 10 minutes' time, when he would then be round again. Having made the circuit of the square, Watkins left, paraded his beat, and returned at a quarter to 2. On entering the square by Mitre-street, he observed, by the flickering light of the street lamp, something lying in the south-west corner, close to a hoarding, seven or eight feet high, running at the back of Messrs. Taylor and Co.'s, picture-frame makers, 8 and 9, Mitre-street. Getting closer to the object, he saw it was a woman, and at once shouted to the watchman to come over. The man immediately came, and, seeing how matters stood, without hesitation made his way to the main thoroughfare, freely blowing a constable's whistle on the route. In a few minutes a large number of police and others were on the spot, in addition to a constable named Pearce, a caretaker at a building about 25 yards from the scene of the crime. As the word passed along the line, officers from different routes came hurrying up; but, early intimation having been conveyed to Bishopsgate Police Station, Chief Superintendent Major Smith, Superintendent Foster, Inspector M'Williams, and Inspector Collard, immediately organised a "scouting" brigade, to detect and arrest any suspicious looking character. The efforts of the men, however, were unsuccessful.
In the meantime, Dr. Sequeira and Dr. Gordon Brown, divisional surgeon, were summoned, and made an examination of the body. The sight was a most shocking one. The woman's throat had been cut from the left side, the knife severing the main artery and other parts of the neck. Blood had flowed freely, both from the neck and body, on to the pavement. Apparently, the weapon had been thrust into the upper part of the abdomen and cut completely down, ripping open the body, and, in addition, both thighs had been cut across. The intestines had been torn from the body, and some of them lodged in the wound on the right side of the neck. The woman was lying on her back, with her head to the south-west corner, and her feet towards the carriage way, her clothes being thrown up on to her chest. There were tattoo marks on right forearm, 'T.C.'," On Tuesday night a labouring man, giving the name of John Kelly, and his address at a common lodging-house in Flower and Dean-street, entered the Bishopsgate-street police station, and stated that from what he had been reading in the newspapers he believed the woman who had been murdered in Mitre-square was his "wife." He was at once taken to the mortuary, and there identified her as the woman, to whom he subsequently admitted he was not married, but with whom he had cohabited for seven years. Kelly, who was considerably affected, and spoke quite unreservedly, subsequently gave a full statement as to his own movements and those of the ill-fated woman, as to whose identity he was quite positive. In this statement he was borne out by the deputy of the lodging-house, Frederick Wilkinson, who knew the woman well, and who had just seen the body. Kelly, in answer to questions, stated that the last time he saw her - referring to her as "Kate" - was on Saturday afternoon. Thomas Conway was the name of her husband; but he could not state whether Conway was dead or alive, or how long, in the latter case, she had been living away from him.
The woman murdered in Berner-street was identified as Elizabeth Stride, who had resided latterly in Flower and Dean-street, in a common lodging-house inhabited by men and women of the poorest class. Her occupation was that of a charwoman. She had the misfortune to lose her husband in the Princess Alice disaster on the Thames some years ago. She was identified at the mortuary on Sunday morning by John Arundell and Charles Preston, who reside at 32, Flower and Dean-street. At the inquest, subsequently held, she was identified by one of the witnesses, Mrs. Malcolm, as her married sister, Elizabeth Watts.
Lewis Diemstitz [Diemschutz], a Russian Jew, the steward of the International Working Men's Club, in the yard of which the murder was committed, made the following statement: "I have been steward of this club for six or seven years, and I live on the premises. It has been my habit, for some time past, to go on Saturdays to Westow Hill, Crystal Palace, where there is a market, at which I sell my wares. This morning I got back from Westow Market, as usual, about 1 o'clock. I drove up to the gate of the Clubhouse in my little cart, drawn by a pony, after being all day at the market. When I was passing through the double gates into the yard, I saw something on the ground, and struck a match. Then I saw that there was a woman lying there. At that time I took no further notice, and did not know whether she was drunk or dead. I ran indoors, and told some of the members of the Club that something had happened in the yard. One of the members, who is known as Isaacs, went out with me. We struck a match, and saw blood running from the gate all the way down to the side door of the club. We had the police sent for at once, but I believe it was several minutes before a constable could be found."
A man was brought to the Leman-street station on Sunday night, under circumstances which gave the police hopes at first that they had made an important capture. He was arrested, it seems, near Mitre-court, and could give no satisfactory account of himself. His appearance was anything but prepossessing. He was a short, thickset man of about 30, close shaven. Upon him was found 1s. 4½d. in money and a razor, and round his throat was a woollen scarf of a violet colour, upon which were several long hairs, evidently those of a woman. In reply to the inspector, he said that he had walked from Southampton, and belonged to the Royal Sussex Regiment (the very regiment, it will be remembered, whose cognisances was on the envelope found in the pocket of the Buck's-row victim). An examination of his boots, however, was not at all confirmatory of this statement, and he was taken to the cells for inquiries to be made about him. The man was ultimately released. There was another arrest made during the night, the prisoner being taken to Commercial-road police-station. The prisoner, however, readily furnished his name and address and apparently had no knowledge of the details of the murders. He was discharged upon his statement being verified. The man when taken into custody was in a very excited condition. At 3:15 on Monday morning a third man was arrested and likewise taken to Leman-street police station. He was also released in the course of the day. A description was circulated of a man who is stated to have accosted an "unfortunate" in the vicinity of Commercial-road on Saturday night, and to have threatened to cut her throat if she did not give him money. The woman gave him a shilling, and he then went away.
During Tuesday 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 a constable was called in, but nothing further was done in the matter, as the man's account of himself was considered satisfactory. On Tuesday 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 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.
The London Corporation has offered a reward of £500 in connection with the murder in Berners-street. A meeting of the Vigilance Committee which has lately been formed in Whitechapel was held on Monday morning, and a resolution was passed calling upon the Home Office to offer a substantial Government reward. A sum of £300 has been forwarded to the same department on behalf of several readers of the Financial News with a request that it may be offered in the name of the Government. To this request the following reply has been received: "I am directed by Mr. Matthews to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of this date containing a cheque for £300, which you say has been contributed on behalf of several readers of the Financial News, and which you are desirous should be offered as a reward for the discovery of the recent murders in the East-end of London. If Mr. Mathews had been of opinion that the offer of a reward in these cases would have been attended by any useful result he would himself have at once made such an offer, but he is not of that opinion. Under these circumstances, I am directed to return you the cheque (which I enclose), and to thank you and the gentlemen whose names you have forwarded for the liberality of their offer, which Mr. Matthews much regrets he is unable to accept. - I am, sir, your very obedient servant, E. LEIGH PEMBERTON."
The above, with other sums - including the £100 offered by Mr. Samuel Montagu, M.P., £100 offered by Colonel Sir Alfred Kirby on behalf of the officers of the Tower Hamlets Battalion Royal Engineers, and the £200 collected by the Vigilance Committee - make an aggregate sum of £1,200.
On Monday, at the St. George's Vestry Hall, Mr. Wynne E. Baxter, coroner for South-East Middlesex, opened the inquest on the victim of the outrage in Berners-street. Outside the building a large and excited crowd was gathered. Detective-Inspectors Abberline and Helson from Scotland-yard attended to represent the Chief Commissioner of Police, and Detective-Inspector Edmund Reid was also present for the local police.
The first witness called was William West, giving his address as 40, Berner-street, printer, who said that at the house where he lived was also the International Working Men's Institute and Club. There were two windows looking out into the street, and at the side was a passage which led into a yard and had two wooden gates. These were sometimes left open all night, but they were mostly closed. No one was employed to regularly close the gates. These were sometimes left open all night, but they were mostly closed. No one was employed to regularly close the gates. There was no thoroughfare through the yard, and anybody entering would have to go out the same way. He reached the club at about 9 o'clock in the evening, and left for home about a quarter past 12 o'clock; the club being the place where he worked, but he lived elsewhere. During the evening there had been a discussion going on in the hall of the club, about 100 persons being present. The discussion closed about half past 11 o'clock, and the bulk of the members left; as far as he could see about 30 remaining. The windows were open. The yard was very dark and had not a single lamp. When he left the club there was nothing to attract his attention. If there had been any object lying on the ground he might have missed seeing it. He did not remember meeting anybody in Berner-street. He had noticed low women standing about the end of Berner-street, but not near the club. - Morris Eagle, a traveller, said he was a member of the International Workmen's Club. After the discussion had ended he left the club and went through the front door. He returned at about 20 minutes to 1 o'clock, and found the front door closed. He then went through the gates into the yard to get into the club by the door which led into the passage leading to the yard. He noticed nothing. The width of the passage was about 9ft. 2in., and had there been a man and woman in the yard he must have seen them. He was often in the club late at night, but did not go into the yard often. He had never seen any low women in the yard. The members were all signing in their national language. A friend and he went downstairs once arm-in-arm singing. They saw nothing then, but shortly afterwards a man - Gidlemann, a member of the club - came upstairs and said: "Oh, there is a woman lying dead in the yard!" He went down at once and struck a match and saw a woman lying on the ground. She was dead, and there was much blood about. She had her throat cut. He got frightened, and could hardly look. The sight turned him sick. His friend Diemstitz and another member of the club went for a policeman, and he himself immediately ran to Commercial-road Police-station. They were all shouting out "Murder, murder! Police, police!" He found two constables at the top of Grove-street, Commercial-road. He was terribly excited and shouted out to them: "Oh there has been another terrible murder of a woman in Berner-street!" There were 70 members of the club, and on Saturday night 100 persons were present, about 30 of these being friends of the members. There were about six women, but they were all known. He had taken his young woman home. There was no dancing, Saturday not being dancing night. The noise would not, he should say, be so great as to prevent the cry of a woman in dire distress and in want of help being heard. - Louis Diemstitz, steward of the Workman's Club, said he lived on the premises, his wife assisting in the management. He was away on Saturday, returning at exactly 1 o'clock on Sunday morning. He had been out with a pony and cart which had contained goods sold by him. He rode right up to the gates by the side of the club, opened the gates, and drove in. On the way the pony shied and threw the cart against the wall. Looking down he saw a dark huddled mass on the ground. He got his whip and tried to lift it with the handle. That seemed impossible, and he immediately jumped down and endeavoured to strike a match. The night being very windy the match went out, but it gave sufficient light to enable him to see that there was a body lying on the ground. He had a candle lighted, and saw a woman lying on the ground in a pool of blood. He did not touch the body, but sent for the police, who almost immediately arrived. He obtained a young man who took hold of the woman's head and revealed a big gash in her throat. Nobody left the yard until the police had examined them and taken their names and addresses. When the doctor came he undid her dress and put his hand on her breast. He said, "Why she is quite warm now." There was, he should say over two quarts of blood on the ground. He did not see if the woman's clothes were turned up. - The inquest was then adjourned.
On Tuesday afternoon Mr. Wynne E. Baxter, the coroner, resumed the inquiry. Police-constable Henry Lamb said that on Sunday morning when he was in Commercial-road, at about 1 o'clock, two men came to him shouting out that there had been another horrible murder. The men pointed to Berner-street, and, seeing a lot of people moving about, he ran down to the club premises and found the body of a woman with her throat terribly cut lying on the ground by the side way. A brother constable had followed him, and witness immediately despatched him for a doctor. A young man who was standing by was sent to the police-station with instructions to inform the inspector. There were about 30 persons in the yard when witness arrived. He touched the woman's arm and face, and it was slightly warm. The woman was lying on her left side with her left arm under her. The right arm was across her breast. Her head was about 5in. or 6in. from the wall of the club premises. Her clothes were not disarranged, her boots not being even visible. There was no appearance of a struggle, and the woman looked as if she had been laid quietly down. There was a quantity of blood which had run to the door of the club, and was partially congealed. He could not say that blood was flowing from the throat then. Dr. Blackwell was the first doctor who arrived, and he was on the scene about 10 or 12 minutes after the discovery. He was sure that the body had not been touched by anybody. The doctor examined the body, the persons present, and the walls. After the evidence of a horsekeeper named Spooner, who went into the yard shortly after the body was discovered, Mary Malcolm, the wife of a tailor at Holborn, identified the body as that of her sister, whom she last saw alive on Thursday at a quarter to 7 in the evening. She had come to her at the place where she worked in Red Lion-street to ask for a little assistance, which the witness had been in the habit of rendering her for the last five years. She gave her 1s. and a little short black jacket, but that was not the one that was found on the body. She was only a few moments with her. Her sister did not say where she was going. She did not know where she was living, but understood it was in lodging-houses at the east-end of the Commercial-road. Deceased was quite sober when she came to see witness, but drink was unfortunately her failing. She was married, her husband being the son of Mr. Watts, a large wholesale wine and spirit merchant, Walcot-street, Bath. The husband was now in America, his father having sent him away owing to his wife's misconduct. That was seven or eight years ago. Her husband caught her with a porter and sent her home to witness's mother with the two children - a boy and a girl. The mother died in 1883, and the little girl was dead. The boy was sent to a boarding-school by the grandfather. The deceased always came to her every Saturday, when she gave her 2s. The Thursday visit was unusual, and she did not come on Saturday. It was the first time she had missed coming on the Saturday for two years, and witness thought it extraordinary. She used to meet her at 4 o'clock in the afternoon at the corner of Chancery-lane. Witness was there last Saturday at half-past 3, and waited until 5 o'clock. On Sunday morning she had a presentiment as she had not turned up the day before. She felt she must go into Whitechapel, and the police directed her to the St. George's mortuary. The presentiment was this: About 2 o'clock on Sunday morning she was lying in bed and there was a "kind of pressure," a heavy fall, and three distinct kisses on her face. Then, when witness read the account in the paper later on, she felt sure it was her sister who had been murdered. - The coroner said that to make quite sure that it was her sister, witness had better go to the corner of Chancery-lane at the same time next Saturday to see if, after all, she turned up. This the witness promised to do. - 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.
On Wednesday the inquest was resumed. - Elizabeth Tanner, the keeper of a common lodging-house, said she recognised the body of the murdered woman as that of "Long Liz," a person who had lodged with her for the last six years. She did not know her real name. The deceased had always spoken of herself as a Swedish woman, whose husband and children went down in the "Princess Alice" some years ago. Witness was with her last on Saturday evening at about half-past 6. She was quite certain that the body in the mortuary was that of "Long Liz," and no other person of that name had ever stayed at her lodging-house. Deceased had been away from the lodging-house for three months. She returned on Thursday, saying she had been at work with the Jews, and had been living with a man in Fashion-street. She could speak both Swedish and English very well. - Catherine Lane - a charwoman who, with her husband, lived in the same lodging-house at which the murdered woman slept - also identified the body as that of "Long Liz." She had heard the deceased speaking with women in her own language. She had never heard her speak of any sister. - Charles Preston, a barber, said he had been lodging in the same house as the deceased for 18 months. He knew her, and had seen the body in the mortuary. He was quite sure the remains there deposited were those of "Long Liz." He saw her on the Sunday previous to the murder, when she was wearing the black jacket he had seen in the mortuary. He always understood that she was a Swede, born at Stockholm. - Michael Kidney, a waterside labourer, said he recognised the body in the mortuary as that of the woman he had been living with. Her name was Elizabeth Stride, and he had known her for three years, during most of which time she lived with him. She was in the habit of going away when she thought she would. During the three years he had known her she had been absent different times amounting to some five months. He treated her as a wife, and on each occasion she returned to him without his going after her. Witness then gave particulars of the woman's antecedents corresponding to those given by preceding witnesses. - Mr. George B. Phillips, the divisional surgeon, deposed to having been called to the yard in Berner-street, where he saw the body. There was a deep gash in the throat and an abrasion an inch and a quarter in diameter, apparently slightly stained with blood, under the left clavicle. On October 1st the witness and Dr. Blackwell, in the presence of Dr. Reigate and Dr. Johnston, made a post-mortem examination. They found the body fairly nourished. Over both shoulders, especially on the right, under the collar bone, and in front of the chest, there was bluish discoloration which he had examined on two occasions since. The injury to the throat was a clean cut of six inches in length. There were no recent external injuries save that to the neck. In the pocket of the underskirt of the woman he found a key as if belonging to a padlock, a small piece of lead-pencil, a pocket comb, a metal spoon, some buttons, and a hook. There was a small mark on the left leg, which might have been an adder bite, as stated by a witness the previous day. - At this point another adjournment was made.
The inquest on the body of Catherine Eddows, alias Conway, alias Kelly, found murdered in Mitre-square, Aldgate, on Sunday morning last, was opened before Mr. S. F. Langham, the City coroner, at the City mortuary, on Thursday. - Eliza Gould, residing in the Minories, said she recognised the deceased as her sister. Her name was Catherine Eddows. She was a single woman, about 43 years of age, who had been living for some years with John Kelly. She last saw the deceased alive four or five weeks ago. Deceased used to get her living by hawking, and was of sober habits. Previous to living with Kelly, she had lived with a man called Conway, by whom she had two children. She did not know whether the deceased parted from Conway on good or bad terms. - John Kelly recognised the body as that of Catherine Conway, a woman with whom he had been living for seven years. He saw the murdered woman last on Saturday afternoon, in Houndsditch, where he parted from her on very good terms. She then said she was going to her daughter's and would return by 4 o'clock. She did not return, and he heard that she had been locked up for being drunk, but he made no inquiries. Witness was not aware that the deceased went out for immoral purposes; he certainly never suffered her to do so. She occasionally drank to excess. She had no money when she left him on Saturday afternoon; she was going to her daughter with a view of getting a little help, so that they might not both be compelled to walk the streets. He knew no one who was likely to injure her; nor was he aware that she had seen Conway recently. They arrived in London from Kent on Thursday, and slept in a Shoe-lane casual ward, having no money. On Friday afternoon witness earned sixpence, and it was decided at the instance of the deceased that he should have fourpence to pay for his lodging, while she kept twopence and went to the casual ward at Mile End. She was quite sober when she left witness on the Saturday afternoon. - The next witness examined was Frederick William Wilkinson, the deputy of the lodging-house at which the deceased woman and Kelly had lived for the last seven or eight years. They always seemed on very good terms; quarrelled occasionally; but their quarrels were not of a serious character. He thought deceased got her money by hawking in the streets and "cleaning" among the Jews. - Police-constable Watkins deposed that he was on duty in the neighbourhood of Mitre-square early on Sunday morning. His beat - which was described - would take 12 or 14 minutes; and he was patrolling from 10 o'clock on Saturday night until half-past 1 on Sunday morning, at which time he passed through Mitre-square and looked at the different passages, corners, and warehouses. There was no one about: if any person had been there, he must have seen them. Re-entering Mitre-square at 1:44 a.m. he saw the body of a woman lying on her back in the corner, with her throat cut and the abdominal viscera displayed. He ran across the road for help. He returned, accompanied by a watchman named Morris, whom he sent for assistance. There was nobody about at the time, and he heard no footsteps as of any person running away. - Frederick William Forster, an architect (whose plans were produced), gave evidence as to positions, distances, dimensions, &c. - He said it would take a quarter of an hour to get from Berner-street to Mitre-square. - Dr. Gordon Brown, surgeon to the City of London Police, said he was called shortly after 2 o'clock on Sunday morning, and reached Mitre-square about 2:18. His attention was called to the body of a woman lying in the position described by Police-constable Watkins. The fingers were slightly bent, and a thimble was lying on the ground near the right hand. There was a great disfigurement of the face, and the throat was cut across, below the wound being a neckerchief. The upper part of the dress was pulled open. The intestines were drawn out to a large extent, and placed over the right shoulder, and a piece of them about two feet in length was placed between the left arm and the body, apparently by design. The lobe of the left ear was cut completely through. There was a quantity of blood on the pavement near the left side of the neck. The body was quite warm, no death stiffening having set in, and death had certainly taken place within 30 or 40 minutes before he saw the body. Most of the injuries were inflicted after death. With regard to the injuries to the abdomen the front wall was laid open from the breast downwards. There were two incisions into the liver, and the left lobe of the liver was slit through for three or four inches by a vertical cut. The witness then explained in detail the other injuries inflicted, showing that the same organs had been removed as in former cases. When the body arrived at the mortuary in Golden-lane the clothes were carefully removed, and the piece of the ear dropped from them. The post-mortem examination was made on Sunday afternoon, and on washing the left hand carefully, he found a recent bruise the size of a sixpence on the back of the hand between the thumb and first finger. There were no bruises on the scalp, the back of the body, or the elbows. The face was very much mutilated. - The inquest was then adjourned for a week.
Sir C. Warren has addressed a letter to the District Board for Whitechapel, pointing out that the police are doing their utmost to prevent a repetition of the murders in that district, and urging that Board to impress upon women not to trust themselves with strangers in lonely places, and to improve the lighting of the district under their charge.
Assurances have been given by responsible officers of the medical schools attached to all the London hospitals, with two exceptions, that no such extraordinary application was ever made to them of the nature described by Mr. Wynne Baxter, the coroner, in his summing up at the inquest of the woman Chapman. At the schools of the University College Hospital and of the Middlesex Hospital the authorities decline to give any information as to whether the "American student" did prefer his singular request to them or not. From certain admissions of the gentlemen concerned there does not appear to be reason to doubt that to one or of these two institutions belongs the distinction of having given certain information to the coroner which he subsequently communicated to the Scotland-yard detectives, and upon which he based the theory which has caused such consternation. After Mr. Baxter had insisted that Mr. Phillips, the police divisional surgeon, should no longer withhold the most important part of his evidence respecting his post-mortem examination of the body of Annie Chapman, and when the report was published, it is clear that on the next day the coroner received a communication from an official connected with a leading London hospital, and that in consequence he attended at the pathological museum belonging to the institution, where some one made him acquainted with the outlines of a rumour which had circulated in the dissecting rooms during the past summer, and to which not the slightest importance was attached until the murder in Hanbury-street occurred and the startling medical evidence was published. The rumour, at most, appears to have been an idle one, and in respect of the sum mentioned to the coroner - namely, £20, as the price offered, and the object of the American, as stated by him - the story is discredited. At the Middlesex Hospital the official who on other points refused to elucidate the matter; characterised the tale, as far as the above details are concerned, as a silly story. Furthermore, at University College, where pains were taken to return an unqualified answer of "no information," it was hinted that the story as it has been made public had in some way, become mixed with error, and that it was very certain that it provided no explanation of the motive of the crime.
The Evening News publishes important information obtained by two private detectives. Their inquiries go to establish the fact that the perpetrator of the Berner-street crime was seen and spoken to whilst in the company of his victim, within 40 minutes of the commission of the crime, and only passed from the sight of a witness 10 minutes before the murder, and within 10 yards of the scene of the awful deed. When they began their quest, almost the first place at which the detectives sought evidence was No. 44, Berner-street, the second house from the spot where the body was found. This is the residence of a man named Mathew Packer, who carries on a small business as a greengrocer, and fruiterer. His shop is an insignificant place with a half window in front, of the sort common in the locality, and most of his dealings are carried on through the lower part of the window case, in which his fruit is exposed for sale, Mathew Packer after two or three interviews made and signed a statement in writing. On Saturday night about 11:45 a man and woman came, he says, to his shop window, and asked for some fruit. The man was middle-aged, perhaps 35 years; about 5ft. 7in. in height; was stout, square built; wore a wideawake hat and dark clothes; had the appearance of a clerk; had a rough voice and a quick, sharp way of talking. The woman was middle-aged, wore a dark dress and jacket, and had a white flower in her bosom. It was a dark night, and the only light was afforded by an oil lamp which Packer had burning inside his window, but he obtained a sufficiently clear view of the faces of the two people as they stood talking close in front of the window, and his attention was particularly caught by the white flower which the woman wore, and which showed out distinctly against the dark material of her jacket. The man asked his companion whether she would have black or white grapes; she replied "black." "Well, what's the price of the black grapes," old man?" he inquired. "The black are 6d. and the white 4d.," replied Packer. "Well, then, old man, give us half a pound of the black," said the man. Packer served him with the grapes, which he handed to the woman. They then crossed the road and stood on the pavement almost directly opposite to the shop for a long time - more than half-an-hour. It will be remembered that the night was very wet, and Packer naturally noticed the peculiarity of the couple's standing so long in the rain. He observed to his wife, "What fools those people are to be standing in the rain like that!" At last the couple moved from their position and Packer saw them cross the road again and come over to the club, standing for a moment in front of it as though listening to the music inside. Then he lost sight of them. It was then 10 or 15 minutes past 12 o'clock, Packer, who was about to close his shop, noting the time by the fact that the public-houses had been closed. With a view of testing the accuracy and honesty of Packer's testimony, the detectives obtained an order to view the body of the woman murdered in Mitre-square, and took Packer to see it, leaving him under the impression that they were taking him to see the Berner-street victim. On seeing the body he at once declared that it was not the woman for whom the grapes had been bought, and not a bit like her. The next evidence gleaned by the detectives was that of a Mrs. Rosenfield and her sister, Miss Eva Harstein, both residing at 14, Berner-street. Mrs. Rosenfield deposes that early on Sunday morning she passed the spot on which the body had lain, and observed on the ground close by a grape stalk stained with blood. Miss Eva Harstein gave corroborative evidence as to the finding of the grape stalk close to where the body lay. She also stated that, after the removal of the body of the murdered woman, she saw a few small petals of a white natural flower lying quite close to the spot where the body had rested. It will be remembered by those who have read the accounts of the murder and the proceedings of the police subsequent to it, that the passage in which the crime had been committed was washed down by the police as soon as the body was removed. The two detectives, reasoning that the grape-stalk had probably been washed away with the blood and dirt removed by the police, next proceeded to search the sink down which the results of the police washing had been put, and, amidst a heap of heterogeneous filth, they discovered a grape-stalk. It is a matter of common knowledge that some grapes were found in one hand of the murdered woman, so that the finding of this fragment of grape-stalk, though important as binding the links of the evidence closer together, was scarcely necessary to establish the fact that the victim had been eating the fruit immediately before her death. There is one seeming discrepancy between the story of Packer and the facts as published; it has been reported that a red flower was found in the murdered woman's bosom, and Packer states that she wore a white flower. This is sufficiently easy of explanation, since Packer does not say that the woman wore only a white flower, but that his attention was particularly drawn to the white flower from its standing out against the black of her dress, and the absence of the flower from her jacket when found by the police is unimportant in view of the evidence of Miss Harstein, who subsequently saw fragments of it in the passage.
It may be added that Packer declared to a reporter who visited him on Wednesday night that, except the private detectives, no detective or policeman had ever asked him a single question, or come near his shop to find out if he knew anything about the grapes the murdered woman had been eating before her throat was cut.