5 September 1888
A very funny incident occurred in connection with the latest Whitechapel murder yesterday. An American journalist, anxious to distinguish himself in his paper, sent another scribe hailing from the other side of the Atlantic down into Whitechapel to interview the natives on the subject of the murder, and get their ideas. They gave him them, which were to the effect that they believed the murder had been committed by a "wild looking man, wearing a leather apron," who had been seen about in Whitechapel lately, and was believed to be an escaped lunatic.
Filled with this splendid idea, the young man made some "beautiful copy," which his chief telegraphed off to New York forthwith, only to learn, a very little while afterwards, that his assistant had been thoroughly well hoaxed, and that the real murderer is, if not actually known to the police, believed to be within very easy reach of a warrant--and quite sane.
The appointment of Mr. Munro to the office held lately by Colonel Jenkinson has struck Scotland-yard with some surprise, and the report which we mentioned a fortnight ago to the effect that Sir Charles Warren contemplated resignation, again spread with much persistency. It is believed that, if he goes, he will succeed Sir Hercules Robinson at the Cape, and the Chief Constable of Manchester--a civilian--will succeed him.
How little Londoners know of what takes place in London. For instance--nine people were killed by vehicles or horses in the streets, and four by accidents on the railways in London--thirteen in all. And this is about the weekly average.
The unfortunate people who have gone hop-picking this year seem to have had a decided poor time of it. Many who went to the gardens in hope are walking back in despair, having got nothing to do. One lad who, with three others, last week, walked to Maidstone informs us that he found the "home-dwellers" were able to accomplish all the work there was to do, and his opinion is that Maidstone is the best place for hops this year ; but outsiders could get nothing to do. He went to Yalding, and there discovered that, for the most part, the hops were not considered worth picking. After trying many quarters for work, he started to walk back to London, having earning nothing during his stay in the hop district. His experience seems to be that of a great many more.
Up to this afternoon no one had been arrested in connection with the murder of Mary Ann Nicholls, who was found dead in Buck's-row. The reason of this is, our representative was informed, that the police have not yet gained evidence of a sufficiently strong character to warrant them in arresting anyone. The authorities are, however, still making investigations, and appear to be hopeful of tracking the perpetrators of the crime.
The crimes of ferocity recently committed in Whitechapel are similar to those which terrified the East-end nearly eighty years ago. The murders in Ratcliffe-highway, which alarmed London in the winter of 1812, are described with cunning hand in the postscript to De Quincey's essay, "Murder as a Fine Art." In the blood-thirstiness of the deeds, in the rapidity of succession, in the curious working around the same limited period, there will be found many points of resemblance between the recent deeds in Whitechapel and the exploits of John Williams in Ratcliffe-highway.
SIR C. WARREN AND MR. MATTHEWS.
WHY MR. MONRO RESIGNED.
Additional particulars respecting the state of affairs at Scotland-yard are to-day furnished by a news agency. It is stated that friction between the Home Secretary and Sir Charles Warren commenced about the time of the Trafalgar-square disturbances, the immediate cause being that Mr. Matthews showed favor to the Receiver of the Metropolitan District, against whom the Chief Commissioner had brought charges of disregarding police regulations and giving orders to superintendents without consulting his official superiors. It became necessary at length to bring the matter under the notice of the Cabinet, and Mr. W.H. Smith and Mr. Goschen were deputed by their colleagues to bring about a settlement of the points in dispute. Early in May, Mr. Smith, Mr. Goschen, Mr. Matthews, and Sir Charles Warren met in Downing-street, and as the result of a conference that lasted nearly all the afternoon, the Chief Commissioner was adjudged to have made out his case.
As to the disputes between Sir Charles Warren and Mr. Monro, it is said they arose out of representations made by the latter respecting the numerical weakness of the staff of the Criminal Investigation Departments, coupled with a request for the appointment of an assistant chief constable and a few additional subordinate officers. Sir Charles Warren was not a first inclined to accede to Mr. Monro's request, but ultimately, taking into account the fact that Chief Constable Williamson was at the moment absent through illness, he agreed to the appointment of
A gentleman of large Indian experience was recommended for the post, with the acquiescence of the Chief Commissioner, and the recommendation was formally made to the Secretary of State. But before the appointment had been actually made, Sir Charles Warren withdrew his recommendation, on the ground that circumstances came to his knowledge which made it undesirable that the gentleman in question should be appointed. The appointment was never made, and the question of creating the new post remains in abeyance.
This did not improve the relations between Sir Charles Warren and Mr. Monro. Matters reached a crisis early in July, when the Chief Commissioner and Mr. Monro went to the Home Office and had a lengthy interview with the Secretary of State, at which is was decided that Mr. Monro should immediately take leave of absence, with a view to his subsequent resignation. Nothing of an authoritative character has yet transpired as to the intentions of the Government in regard to Sir Charles Warren, and the offices at the Home Office and at Scotland-yard have been warned against giving information to the Press. Sir Charles Warren, who has been taking a very quiet holiday in the South of France, returns to Scotland-yard within the next few days.
It is stated, with some authority, that Mr. Monro, C.B., late Assistant-Commissioner of Police, has been installed at the Home Office as head of the Secret Inquiry Department.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE ECHO.
SIR,--I have read with painful interest the account of the Whitechapel-road murder recorded in The Echo last night, and beg to call your attention to the sad state of the road, as stated in the enclosed paper. Thousands who read The Echo have not the faintest idea of the terrible state of things which exist in these parts. Every night all through the year I have to pass through this road, and I am forced to say the poor fallen women and the girls are increasingly greatly. From New-road to Stepney-green, on the London Hospital side, there are scores of characters similar to those who met their death in George-yard and Buck's-row. The drink houses are the great attraction for these wretched women. Is it not high time that something be done to check this sad state of things?--Faithfully yours, JAMES SHARPLESS