9 October 1888
EAST END ATROCITIES.
TO THE EDITOR OF "THE EVENING NEWS."
Sir - You kindly inserted a letter from me ("Medicus," Chelsea), on October 1, in reference to the Whitechapel murders. Perhaps you would be kind enough now to find space for the following remarks. It is not very long since I was professionally engaged for a few months in the very district where these murders have been perpetrated. And on many a dark night, accompanied by some poor shivering Jew, have I gone through narrow streets and alleys, that were badly lighted, or with no light at all. Here and there in corners and on doorsteps I could see the dim outlines of forms huddled up apparently in sleep, and, what between the almost total darkness of some spots, and the absence of police everywhere, I felt myself completely at the mercy of the murderer, should he care to work his fell deeds on me. In my last letter I said that the knowledge of the position of the organs in the body manifested by the Whitechapel murderer would be found outside the medical profession, among butchers, porters in dissection halls, and attendants in post mortem halls. I would now suggest that the butchers and slaughterhouse men of Whitechapel make strict inquiries among themselves as to any individual or individuals of their set who are known, or have been known to be afflicted with epilepsy. Secondly, the staffs in connection with the various dissection rooms throughout the city should make similar inquiries, and ascertain the whereabouts of any suspicious character who may have left their service within the past year or two.
I am, &c.,
Sir - Having thought a good deal about the recent Whitechapel murders, I think that had Constable Watkins india rubber bottoms on his boots he would have captured that fiend in human form. For it is possible for a person doing such a deed to hear the approach of a constable at lest five minutes, in the still of then night, before his arrival on the spot, in such a place as Mitre square, where there are exits by which the murderer might easily escape.
I am, &c.,
A Working Man.
Sir - I cannot help thinking that the horrible atrocities which have been perpetrated lately upon unprotected females, at present without any detection, reflects discredit upon our detective force. In saying this I do not mean to imply that the men themselves are at fault, but that the whole organisation of the department is carried on in such an absurd and confined manner. As an instance of this I may inform you that a client of mine who had reasons to suspect that some men had been systematically trespassing on, and stealing from his garden in one of our suburbs requested the inspector of police to have the premises specially watched. The result was that the following day a gorgeous policeman in full uniform was patrolling about in broad daylight, which course of action, I need scarcely state, gave the offenders all the information they wanted with respect to their having been discovered. On another occasion, also on which a friend of mine ( who is a J.P.) had occasion to complain at the same police station of the destruction of his hedges in a lane adjoining his premises by a horde of gipsies, who made it a regular halting place, a constable in full uniform was placed on special duty in the aforesaid lane with the result, of course, that the gipsies, being fully aware that the place was watched, did not come near it. Now, Sir, would it not be possible to increase the efficacy of our detective force in a very simple manner? There are, no doubt, hundreds of gentlemen, like myself, who would be only too glad to give their services, when required, to act as what I will term "special detectives." These persons, who, being entirely unknown and would could, if necessary, effectually disguise themselves, would surely do a great deal more towards the discovery of the offenders than a man who, in nine cases out of ten, is known to the person he is attempting to find, or if this is not so, can easily be detected by his general deportment and carriage. Of course this plan would entail a special detective being empowered with the same authority for the time being as a real detective, and they must also be furnished with some sort of authority which will immediately enlist the aid of an ordinary constable to their assistance, the reason for such assistance not being questioned. I am very glad to see that the respectable inhabitants of the neighbourhood of Whitechapel have formed themselves into a committee to assist the police. But, of course, unless they are vested with the necessary powers, this assistance will be of little avail. My system, if practicable (as I venture to say it is), would also put a stop to a great deal of illegality which is carried on in several places openly, and winked at by the police because they wish to keep themselves in good favour with the neighbourhood. Apologising for trespassing on your valuable space, my only excuse for so doing being that I feel, as an Englishman, the need of drastic reform in this quarter, I enclose my card.
I am, &c.,
An Ex-Superintendent of Special Constables and a Volunteer Officer.
There ought to be an immediate response to the appeal which the Bishop of Bedford makes this morning on behalf of the particular class of women in the East end who have been the victims of the recent tragedies. There are already penitentiaries and mission houses in which younger women can be received, and, amongst such excellent work is being done. But for older women there are no places of reception, no means of reformation. Many of these poor middle aged creatures are driven to a life of sin from sheer starvation, and would gladly leave it if opportunity offered. The Bishop of Bedford was for ten years rector of Spitalfields, and speaks with authority on questions affecting East end life. He is of opinion that £2,000 properly administered would be ample for the purpose he has in view, and he has no doubt about the experiment turning out a success. If the public will provide the funds he himself will undertake the responsibility of conducting the proposed Home in conjunction with others who are anxious to see it established. Now when we are confronted with such a pressing need, and when we have such an excellent opportunity of meeting it, we shall be foolish indeed if we do not bestir ourselves to provide the exceedingly moderate amount for which the Bishop of Bedford asks. His lordship not only points out the right course, but specially cautions us against a wrong one. Certain well meaning people have suggested the foundation of a Night refuge in which these miserable people might take shelter when they were without the means of paying for a night's lodging elsewhere. But the Bishop of Bedford declares emphatically that it is not the fact that many of these women are to be found in the streets all night because other doors are closed against them, and he says also that a Night Refuge would simply attract more of these miserable women into the neighbourhood and so increase the difficulties of the situation. There seems to be wisdom in what the Bishop says, and we trust his appeal will be speedily responded to.
Strange things happen in the Whitechapel "doss houses," but how strange we had no idea until this morning. Yesterday it seems two young people, a man and a woman, were charged at Worship street Police court, with a theft committed in one of the "doss houses." They were accused, a contemporary says, of having robbed one Carl Edwin Hillman of "a purse containing £4 and a pair of trousers." It is only in Whitechapel that purses are to be found with such a miscellaneous assortment of contents.
A TRIAL IN EPPING FOREST.
A TRAINED HOUND ON THE TRACK OF DEER AND MAN.
THE CASE OF FISH, THE BARBER.
BLOODHOUNDS FOR THE LONDON MURDERS.
(From our Special Correspondent.)
It was stated in all the public journals on Saturday, that Sir Charles Warren, "having ascertained that dogs which have been accustomed to work in a town can be procured, is making arrangements for their use in London." It is most improbable that Sir Charles Warren has committed himself to any such statement. On the contrary, the inquiries which the Chief Commissioner has been making have doubtless convinced him that no such bloodhounds as described above exist. That conclusion is the result of careful investigation into the whole question of tracking down murderers by the aid of Bloodhounds, which I have been making for several days, and in which I have been kindly aided by leading experts on the subject, either through personal interviews or by the light of what they have written in reply to inquiries put to them with direct reference to the Whitechapel crimes. But before attempting to summarise the mass of evidence now before me, which goes to prove that no such bloodhounds are to be found, it will be well to set forth, very briefly, what happened two days ago during several hours which I spent in Epping Forest for the purpose of testing actually what can be done by perfectly bred bloodhounds. Here, however, I pause to point out, what is well known to bloodhound experts, that, as a matter of fact, the animals in question are traduced.
in the sense of their being hounds with a specially developed faculty for following blood in preference to any other body scent. The hound may, of course, be trained to follow blood, just as he is trained to follow various kinds of game or vermin, or human beings who may have no blood whatever externally about their persons. The Bloodhound is really the Sleuthhound, so often described by Sir Walter Scott and other writers, the word "sleuth" being undoubtedly a form of "Slot," the footmark of a deer, by the scent of which the escaping game is readily pursued by the so called bloodhound.
I applied to Mr. Percy Lindley, who is a breeder, for permission to see his hounds at work. They are perfectly bred bloodhounds, all belonging to the same strain, the dam's sire being the famous Champion Nestor, and her dam Daphne, while the rest of their progenitors bear names which are famous in the "Kennel Book." The portrait at the head of this article - a very faithful one, although it somewhat suggests a learned judge with a full bottomed wig - has been specially executed for this purpose by Mr. Julian F. Weedon, who has illustrated the "Deer Hunting" in the Graphic of last week, in which curious sport I have already tried to interest your readers.
On the occasion of my recent visit, we were conducted to the spot where a deer "limping on three legs" had been seen two days after the last "Hunt." I saw the place where he had harboured. The "blemishes," as a forester called the crushed bracken at such a spot, were apparent enough, together with fewmishes and other indications of the former presence of the deer. Of course, the length of time which had elapsed since the last "hunt" and the amount of rain which had fallen in the interval brought the hound at once to " a fault." Some fresh casts were made, and eventually she drew on the slots of a deer which, from the size of the footprints, was declared to be a young one. This track she steadily followed, the fewmets becoming fresher and fresher as we proceeded, sometimes with great difficulty, through dense underwood. The pace of the hound eventually became as rapid as was possible, having regard to the fact that she was always on the slip. As she became more and more absorbed in her work, she got her nose right down to the ground, very much in the attitude of a pig eating from a trough, while her tail was curled in a way that seemed to indicate much nervous excitement. Eventually she went down a steep declivity to the edge of one of the forest brooks, whither the deer had evidently gone to drink. Here the experiment, which had demonstrated all that could be proved for the purpose of the special inquiry with which I was entrusted, and in deference to the Forest byelaws, was brought to an end. It had been established that a track of a particular deer, once selected, had been steadily worked out, notwithstanding the temptations to follow the thousands of other scents by which the track had been crossed. The trained hounds knew exactly what was expected of her when her attention was directed to a particular scent. This experience is, up to a certain point, a reply to the question as to whether or not Bloodhounds can be successfully used to track murderers; but it falls, as we shall see, very far short of answering the question as to whether it is possible to solve the Whitechapel mystery by their help.
A gentleman who had just joined us - I ought to state, however, that his person is not unknown to the hound whose working I describe - went ahead, by arrangement, about a quarter of a mile, but always through the pathless brushwood, while the hound was held behind by what old sporting writers call the "leam." As soon as, by the time which had elapsed, it was considered that the proposed quarry had got to the appointed distance, the hound was laid on his track. On finding the scent, she at once began to follow it eagerly. Coming to a brook, she was at fault for a moment or two, but, crossing it, she immediately showed signs of increased impatience, and, being now cast off, ran at a gallop, always mute, putting up a brace of birds in her course, and, quickly finding the object of her quest, at once gave tongue, when she was called off.
All this is, in a degree, curious and interesting at a moment when very many people are discussing - often with most imperfect information - the question which has suggested this inquiry. But I must admit that it does not advance very much the solution of the problem.
in the streets of a populous city?" To this I must reply that there is absolutely no proof that it is possible, though it may be highly probable under certain conditions, the first of which is evidently that the hounds should be specially trained in cities for city work.
First of all it may be well to dispose of what may be called the Blackburn myth. The popular notion which has been adopted without any inquiry by many journals of reputation is, that the Blackburn murderer, Fish, was traced by the hound Morgan through the streets of that busy town. The real facts are as follows: I am indebted for them to the conductors of the Blackburn Standard, to whom I wrote on the matter. On Sunday, April 16 1876, two dogs, a part bred bloodhound and a Clumber spaniel, were taken to scent the fields where the trunk of Emily Holland was found, and afterwards were conveyed to Lower Cunliffe, where the legs were discovered in a drain. These two places were rural localities. (I put the question, to which this is a reply, because it is obvious that a hound might work on clay or turf when he would be useless on street pavement.) At these places the dogs did not seem to obtain or follow any scent which might possibly have led them to the discovery of the other portions of the body. It should be mentioned, too, at this point, that the murder had been committed three weeks before this experiment was made. After this failure the dogs - I use the term advisedly - were brought to the shop of Fish, the barber, who had been suspected of the murder. His shop was certainly in the town of Blackburn, but of course, under the conditions described, this is immaterial. The part bred hound, on entering the premises, showed signs of extraordinary activity, ran about the lower apartments, and finally jumped on the slopstone in the back kitchen. This was examined, but no traces of blood were apparent. The dogs were then taken upstairs, and after smelling around, Morgan suddenly jumped before the chimney in the front room and sniffed. His owner, it is said, "understood what was the meaning of this proceeding of his dog," and Superintendent Potts reached his hand up the chimney, and, from the recess of the draught hole behind drew out a bloodstained newspaper, in which were a skull and other bones of the child. On the mythological version of this true story has been built up a fable, absolutely attributing to the bloodhound faculties which, marvellous as are those which he actually does possess, have certainly not yet been proved to exist. Among all the recent loose correspondence on the subject - and I have gone carefully through it all - I find only one alleged instance in which a hound is supposed to have tracked a man through the streets of an English town. The owner, who remains anonymous, writes to a contemporary to say that, in 1848, one of his hounds - not a bloodhound, but a beagle - ran down a rabbit stealer, finding him in a public house in the street of a neighbouring town.
There is no lack of evidence that, under favourable conditions, the bloodhound may be trained to a high rate of efficiency in tracking the human subject. Thus the popular notion arising out the vague "blood" superstition is disposed of by the following anecdote, which has just been supplied to me for publication: A gentleman of King's Heath, near Birmingham, bought a blood hound puppy from the well known breeder, Mr. Collingham Tinker, of Harborne, which was sent into Devonshire, where it was chained up as guardian of a tanyard. The manager, on hearing the dog bark one night, went round the premises, but seeing nothing to arouse his suspicion returned to his house. The hound, however, would not be pacified until the manager had returned to him and let him loose, when he immediately picked up a scent and started off at full speed, giving tongue all the way. The pace was too great for the manager, but he followed the line from the cry. After going three miles he found the dog baying at the foot of a tree, in the branches of which was a man with two rolls of leather. This young hound is own brother to the bitch whose working in Epping Forest I have described above. A fit pendent to this comes in the shape of the assurance which I have just got from a great authority, that a successful breeder of bloodhounds in the North of England is, even now, in the habit of keeping his hounds in good manhunting training, by using mendicants and tramps as the quarry. Assuring one of these needy persons that the hounds "won't hurt him," and bestowing on him half an hour's start and a small consideration for consenting to be hunted, the breeder casts off in the stipulated time. The hounds generally find the voluntary fugitive barking up a tree in terror, or else consuming beer in a public house where he has taken refuge, and uttering horrible curses against his temporary employer for misleading him.
The facts which I have thus collected, partly by personal experience, seem to point to the indubitable conclusion that unless a hound were brought on the scent immediately after the commission of a murder, he would have no chance of following it. And then, if that condition were fulfilled, he must be so thoroughly trained as to the nature of the task which he is expected to perform that he would prefer the strongest scent of the murderer to the strongest scent of the victim, even were the latter weltering in blood. Finally, it is not absolutely proved - although it is probable - that even a hound specially trained for London murder work would be able to perform it successfully. And it is certain that no such specially trained dog at present exists. But there is every reason why such hounds should, at a comparatively early date, be found in London's police stations.
BLOODHOUNDS IN HYDE PARK.
IMPORTANT AND INTERESTING TRIALS THIS MORNING.
SIR CHARLES WARREN HUNTED.
BARNABY AND BURGHO AT WORK.
CERTAIN HOPES OF THE CAPTURE OF THE MURDERER NEXT TIME.
To the Editor of "The Evening News."
Sir - I see from this morning's papers that official information has been supplied to the Press upon the subject of the bloodhounds that have been brought to London to track the Whitechapel murderer. I presume I shall not be making an indiscreet disclosure by giving you an account of a trial run that was made this morning in Hyde Park in the presence of the Chief Commissioner of the Police. I will preface the description by a few remarks showing how bloodhounds have been introduced in this matter. It has long been the opinion among breeders and exhibitors of dogs that the keen scenting power of the bloodhound should be more generally employed in the detection of crime. The chief objection to the proposal has been one of a sentimental nature. An important number of the public abhor the idea of employing a means that calls upon harrowing thoughts of the days when escaped slaves were tracked by bloodthirsty dogs, and the very name bloodhound possesses a terror for many minds. These objections may be dismissed in a couple of words as far as they affect the hounds Sir Charles Warren has summoned to London. In the first place, the dogs used for hunting slaves in South America were not bloodhounds at all but a variety of crossbred, mastiff type predominating; secondly, the title bloodhound is an unfortunate misnomer as applied to the animals we recognise nowadays by this name, for our bloodhound is the descendant of French St. Hubert hounds, as anybody can recognise who has seen the same bred in France, where it is still used for its natural purpose, hunting in packs deer and other quarry. I have already fully explained this in the columns of the Stockkeeper and Fancier's Chronicle, and advocated calling the bloodhound by his old name, St. Hubert, which is correct and not repellent.
Last Thursday, an eminent veterinary surgeon in the S.W. district was summoned by telegraph to attend Sir Charles Warren to advise upon the question of employing bloodhounds for the discovery of the Whitechapel murderer. His views being favourable to the plan he was instructed to procure hounds. He immediately communicated with two well known breeders, who were known to have trained their hounds to hunt men. Mr. Hood Wright offered his famous Hector II, that so distinguished itself at the Warwick Dog Show trials, upon condition that should any harm come to it he should be compensated to the extent of £100. Mr. Edwin Brough (not Braugh as his name has been misspelled) replied he would bring to town two thoroughly trained, viz., Champion Barnaby and Burgho, if his expenses were paid. The second offer was accepted. They arrived last Saturday in time for what was expected by the police would take place on Sunday night. They were kennelled by Mr. W.K. Taunton. Yesterday (Monday) at 7 a.m. they were tried in Regent's Park by the owner and the veterinary surgeon. They were out again last night and hunted on the leash in the dark.
On both these occasions their performance gave the greatest satisfaction, and Sir Charles Warren, when he received the report, made an appointment to attend a trial himself this morning. Albert Gate, Hyde Park, at 7 a.m. was chose for the meet. At the quarter to the hour, I was the first on the ground, a few minutes later, a gentleman, one of the chief surgeons to the police, arrived; at 7, Mr. Brough, Mr. Taunton, and a friend came in a trap, with the two hounds. Six minutes later, Sir Charles Warren rode up on a stout cob, directly after the veterinary surgeon arrived, attended by his assistant. No time was lost in making a start. The morning was fine but misty, and a slight wind blew from the east. It felt like a fine hunting morning; but it turned out to be the contrary, again proving how difficult it is, until the hounds are on, to say if scent will lie.
Sir Charles immediately offered to act as the hunted man. No scent of any shape was used; the hounds were to hunt nothing but the plain boot of a man they had no previous knowledge of. The Chief Commissioner set off at a trot in the direction of Bayswater. After he had been given ample law, and had passed out of sight, Mr. Brough with a wave of his hat and an encouraging cheer, slipped the intelligent couple of hounds who galloped off carrying their heads low, with their long, pendulous ears sweeping the morning dew from the grass. They do not "open" at all, but hunt perfectly mute. Sir Charles had made a circle round which the hounds went at a fair pace, not fast; when he had traversed about half the circle he called to a constable to cross his track, which the man did. At this point the hounds checked, they made a careful slow cast, and Barnaby hitting it off, Burgho followed and they ran it closely till they "winded" their man some twenty yards from the track and then they were at fault, and we came up to them. Sir Charles having plenty of wind left decided to give us another run, and again the hounds were laid on but did not work so well, and it became apparent to us that it was a very bad morning for scent.
The Chief Commissioner then agreed that another of our party, Mr. H.B. Shepard, who is well up in drag and slowhound work, should give us a run. Mr. Shepard set off in a northerly direction. After he had gone 700 yards a baker's boy crossed, and directly after a man walked over the track. We next lost sight of our man in the mist. When we viewed him again, emerging from Kensington way, we laid on. The hounds swept along, only pausing a moment where the track had been soiled by the footsteps of the boy and the man. About half the distance they were at fault, and Burgho ran back, but Barnaby, casting forward, found and finished well. By this time the park was filling, so we called up the hounds. In spite of the scent not lying Sir Charles Warren was able to see sufficient to recognise the value of the hounds for the purpose. They hunted perfect strangers, and stuck to them when others crossed the scent. They had no scent but the odour of man and leather.
These hounds will be kept where they can summoned instantly and reach Whitechapel in less than half an hour. Should another murder take place the man who discovers the body must without a word to passers by repair to the nearest police station, whence the hounds will be wired for. If this be done as I describe the complication of tracks by many feet will be avoided, and I have no doubt whatever that the murderer will be run down.
Hounds that can hunt a boot with a bad lying scent will never check after a man who, in addition to his natural body odour, animated by excitement, will most probably get splashed by a little blood, and in addition to these advantages, the man, after having his hands in the abdomen will bear fresh and strong that sickly smell which, as surgeons know, clings to the hands for days and after repeated washing with carbolic soap, and, further, this murderer, by removing and retaining one of the organs when he takes the uterus or kidney, WILL BE ACTUALLY CARRYING THE DRAG FOR THE HOUNDS. Such an accumulation of scent particles these bloodhounds will track hours after the man has got away and if a hundred feet soil the track. I gather that it is believed by those best able to form an opinion that the man is a slaughterer, and that he is still in the immediate neighbourhood where his crimes have been committed. If he is a maniac, all his cunning, should he kill another poor creature, will not avail him against the sure hounds that will be laid on his track. Then, when London rings with the news of his capture, humanity will be under another obligation to the services of man's best friends, the most intelligent of the brute creation, our dogs.
I am, Sir,
Your obedient servant,
GEORGE R. KREHL.
Kennel editor of the Stock-keeper and Fancier's Chronicle, 139 Fleet street, E.C.
We hear from Mr. George R. Krehl, Kennel editor of the Stock-keeper and Fancier's Chronicle, that he forgot to mention in his letter that Mr. Mackusick has also placed three couples of bloodhounds at the service of the police.
WERE THE MUTILATIONS PERFORMED IN DARKNESS?
A SUPPOSED CLUE.
In Deeke (sic) street, opposite Mitre square, there is a club called the Imperial, the members of which are exclusively Jews. On the Sunday morning of the murder, between 1.30 and 1.40, three of the members named respectively Joseph Levy, butcher, 1 Middlesex street, Aldgate; Joseph Levander, commercial traveller in or manufacturer of cigarettes, whose business premises are in St. Mary Axe, corner of Bury street; and Mr. Henry Harris, furniture dealer, of Castle street, Whitechapel, left the club. They then noticed a couple - man and woman - standing by the iron post of the small passage that leads to Mitre square. They have no doubt themselves that this was the murdered woman and her murderer. And on the first blush of it the fact is borne out by the police having taken exclusive care of Mr. Joseph Levander, to a certain extent having sequestrated him and having imposed a pledge on him of secrecy. They are paying all his expenses, and one if not two detectives are taking him about. One of the two detectives is Foster. Mr. Henry Harris, of the two gentlemen our representative interviewed, is the more communicative. He is of opinion that neither Mr. Levander nor Mr. Levy saw anything more than he did, and that was only the back of the man. Mr. Joseph Levy is absolutely obstinate and refuses to give us the slightest information. He leaves one to infer that he knows something, but that he is afraid to be called on the inquest. Hence he assumes a knowing air. The fact remains, however, that the police, in imposing their idiotic secrecy, have a allowed a certain time to elapse before making the partial description these three witnesses have been able to give public, and thus prevent others from acting upon the information in the event of the murderer coming under their notice.
A correspondent, writing from Birkenhead, says:
There is one point about the Whitechapel murders which has not yet been commented upon - viz., that the murderer must have had light of some kind by which to carry out the ghastly mutilations, and at the same time avoid stepping in the blood. At the inquest on Annie Chapman the coroner laid stress upon the fact that the missing organ had been removed with considerable skill, and without one unnecessary cut, and the surgical evidence in the case of the Mitre square victim was to the same effect. Would any surgeon living undertake to perform a like operation in darkness, and with desperate haste?
The Central News says: Notwithstanding the apparently conclusive evidence given at the inquest by Michael Kidney as to the identity of the Berner street victim, many people have continued to believe that the poor creature was really Elizabeth Watts, wife of a former wine merchant at Bath. It will be remembered that Mrs. Mary Malcolm, of Red Lion square, swore positively that the deceased was her sister, Elizabeth Watts, whom she had last seen on the Thursday evening preceding the murder. The Central News caused inquiries to be made with a view to settle the question of identity beyond doubt, and as the result has succeeded in finding Elizabeth watts alive and well in the person of Mrs. Stokes, the hard working, respectable wife of a brickyard labourer living at Tottenham.
A reporter had some conversation, yesterday, with an old frequenter of lodging houses in the East end, whose experience may be worth relating in view of the theory that the series of murders is the work of a man with anatomical knowledge. The informant stated that during a period of several years spent in "doss houses" he has come in personal contact with men in reduced circumstances who have spent the earlier years of life in far different surroundings. Not only has he known resident in lodging houses those who were formerly prosperous tradesmen but professional men - in two or three instances surgeons, who from drink or misfortune had been compelled to seek such refuges as the "doss house" deputy could offer to them. The informant, moreover, considers that it would be a comparatively easy matter for an astute man to commit crimes such as those now under investigation, and to return to his lodging without exhibiting the slightest trace of his work. He thinks that the carrying of some kind of handbag by the supposed murderer is of some importance, and confirms the suspicions that the culprit is really in hiding within a very short distance of the scene of the murders.
A determined attempt to murder an "unfortunate" was made on Monday night in the Avenue Walram. A young man went to a place of bad repute with a woman about eleven o'clock, and after the two had been together in a room for about a quarter of an hour loud cries of "Murder" rang out through the house. Shortly afterwards the woman rushed downstairs holding her hands up to her throat, from which blood was spurting in streams. The owner of the house immediately ran out for the police, locking his door after him, and the would be murderer was captured as he endeavoured to escape through a window. The woman had, it appears, robbed her companion, who took out a large knife and gashed her throat. The "unfortunate" was conveyed to a hospital, where a cannula had to be put in her windpipe in order to enable her to breathe. Her condition is considered precarious.
The correspondent of the Irish Times states that a number of Irish constables have been withdrawn from Dublin for special duty in connection with the Whitechapel murders.
The Dublin Express understands that the police authorities at Dublin castle yesterday received a letter purporting to be from "Jack the Ripper," stating his intention to visit Dublin this week.
A man entered the Bull's Head public house, in New Oxford street, on Saturday night, and handed to the attendant behind the bar a parcel, which was placed on a side board to await the arrival of the proprietor or the manager. Some time afterwards one of the customers asked to see an evening paper, and, in extracting it from underneath the parcel, the latter fell to the floor, revealing three knives of the kind usually used by butchers. the knives were found to measure 20, 14, and ten inches respectively; the parcel also contained a leather sheath and strap to be worn round the waist. On Sunday information was given to the police at Bow street, and, during the absence of the manager, the stranger called and asked for his parcel, saying he had made a mistake. He was told to call for it yesterday; but up to a late hour he had not put in an appearance. Should he appear, he will be arrested by detectives, who are watching the house, and required to explain how the weapons came into his possession, and for what purpose they are intended. A man who saw the stranger enter the house with the parcel states that he was of small stature, and appeared to be a poor workman. The knives, which are quite new, do not give the name of the manufacturer.
The Press Association says that the man who left three knives at the Bull's Head tavern, Oxford street, called for them last night, and a detective being in waiting, he was arrested. He was taken to Bow street, but after satisfactorily accounting for himself was discharged. This morning a well dressed man was seen walking about Covent Garden Market carrying a small black bag. He was taken to Bow street, and after explaining his business he was discharged.
A Vienna correspondent, telegraphing last night, states that Dr. Bloch, a member of the Austrian Reicherath for the Galician constituency of Kokomes, has called his attention to certain facts which may throw a new light on the Whitechapel murders, and, perhaps, afford some assistance in tracing the murderer. In various German criminal codes of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, as also in statutes of a more recent date, punishments are prescribed for the mutilation of female corpses, with the object of making from the uterus and other organs the so called Dieblichter or Schlafslichter, respectively "thieves' candles" and "soporific candles." According to an old superstition still rife in various parts of Germany, the light from such candles will throw those upon whom it falls into the deepest slumbers, and they may, consequently, become a valuable instrument to the thieving profession. Hence their name.
In regard to these Schlafslichter quite a literature might be cited. They are referred to by Ave Lallement in his "Das Deutsche Gaunerthumm" published at Leipsic .in 1858; by Loffler in "Die Mangelhafte Justiz";by Thiele, and numerous others. They also played an important part in the trials of robber bands at Odenwald and in Westphalia, in the years 1812 and 1841 respectively. The Schlafslichter were heard of, too, at the trial of the notorious German robber, Theodor Unger, surnamed "the handsome Charley," who was executed at Magdeburg, in 1810. It was on that occasion discovered that a regular manufactury had been established by gangs of thieves for the production of such candles. That this superstition has survived amongst German thieves to the present day was proved by a case tried at Biala, in Galicia, as recently as 1875. In this the body of a woman had been found mutilated in precisely the same way as were the victims of the Whitechapel murderer. At that trial, as at one which took place subsequently at Zeszow which is also in Galicia, and in which the accused were a certain Ritter and his wife, the prevalence amongst thieves of the superstition was alluded to by the Public Prosecutor. In the Ritter case, however, the Court preferred harping on another alleged superstition of a ritual character amongst the Jews of Galicia, which, however, was shown to be a pure invention of the Judenhetzer. Dr. Bloch, who, for ten years, was a Rabbi in Galicia, and has made the superstitions of the Province his special study, affirms that the "thieves' candle" superstition still exists among robbers of every confession, and, as he believes, also of every nationality. He considers, however, that it prevails most amongst German thieves. Amongst other German laws, where the crime in question is dealt with, the Code Theresiana, chap. XXII, clause 59, may be referred to.
To the Editor of "The Evening News."
Sir - Will you kindly allow me in your columns to reply to many correspondents who have desired to be informed of the best way to befriend the poor women in Whitechapel, Spitalfields, and the neighbourhood, whose miserable condition has been brought before the public so prominently by the late murders?
I was for ten years rector of Spitalfields, and I know full well the circumstances of these poor creatures, and have been constantly among them by day and by night. A night refuge has been proposed, and it was but natural it should suggest itself as a means of benefitting the class. In my judgement it would serve no good end, and I earnestly hope nothing of the kind will be attempted. I am sure it would aggravate the evil. It is not the fact that many of these women are to be found in the streets at night because doors are closed against them. Another night refuge is not required. It would attract more of these miserable women into the neighbourhood and increase the difficulties of the situation. What is needed is a home where washing and other work could be done, and where poor women who are really anxious to lead a better life could find employment. There are penitentiaries and there are mission houses into which younger women can be received. The public generally are little aware of how much good work has been done of late among them. But for the older women, many of whom have only taken to their miserable mode of earning a living in sheer despair, and who would gladly renounce it, we have not the home, and it is of the utmost importance. one should be provided. It would in its management differ from the ordinary penitentiary. If entrusted with means to provide such a home, I would gladly undertake the responsibility of conducting it in conjunction with the clergy and others who are only too anxious to see it established. It has oftentimes saddened my heart to be unable to assist the older women, and to save those who were hopelessly falling into a life of sin. Such a home would be a fitting addition to the "Court house," the home for younger penitents, at Walthamstow, which bears the name of Mrs. Walsham How, and was founded by her in the time of my predecessor, the present Bishop of Wakefield. If anything is to be done, it should be done at once. Two thousand pounds would enable the experiment to be tried, and I have no doubt at all of its being a success.
Pray allow me space to say to ladies who have been moved to devote themselves to work in these parts that I should be delighted to hear from such, and to advise them where their services are most required, and how they can best give effect to their charitable intentions. It is my bounden duty to use my position and experience to turn to the best account the painful interest that has been excited by late events in the East end. I am, your obedient servant,
Bishop Suffragan for East London.
Stainforth House, Upper Clapton, October 8.
"Shall the Jews be blamed for nothing," was the inscription alleged to have been written on the wall in Goulston street by the perpetrator of the Mitre square murder. In view of this the following letter, received by us from a correspondent with a long experience of metropolitan slaughter houses, seems of peculiar interest.
Sir - Of the many theories that have been put forward as to the probable perpetrator of the East end tragedies, hardly any, to my mind, suggest the likeliest class of man to be capable of working in the silent, quick, and skilful manner that he evidently does, according to the medical evidence given at the various inquests. Having read the many letters in the "dailies" I feel that my views as to the manner of the committal and person committing them may be of some interest to you and your readers.
1. The person likely to commit an act of this description and in the peculiar manner, is a man who is thoroughly acquainted with and is practical in the Jewish method of slaughtering animals for human consumption, a business which is carried on in the immediate neighbourhood of the murders, and at the market in Deptford, which is in constant communication by rail or van with this locality at all hours day and night. My reasons for assuming this is that only a man having a perfect knowledge of how to deliver a cut so effectually and with such certainty as in these cases must know exactly the kind of knife to use, and I know of no more suitable instrument than the knife used by a "Jewish cutter" when slaughtering sheep or oxen. These knives are from twelve to eighteen inches long in the blade, about one and a half to two inches wide, with square end, very rigid, strong back, and made of finest steel, sharpened upon a hone to a razor edge. The mode of using it is as follows: The sheep or ox is cast turned on its back, the head drawn back to render the skin tense, the cutter is then called upon to do his work which is to cut the animal's throat with one heavy downward drawing cut, using the knife from heel to point so as to divide the whole of the vessels, windpipe and muscles, down to the vertebral column, the animal dying quickly and noiselessly from such a wound - a wound requiring to inflict upon so large an animal as an ox a perfectly suitable knife, skill and force to use it.
2. After the animal is dead the skin being removed by assistants from the abdomen of the carcass, a second person, called a "searcher," steps in and makes a longitudinal incision in the abdomen, immediately below the base of the chest, in this case a razor is used as a cutting instrument. The hand is passed through this opening, and two incisions are made in the diaphragm in order to pass the hand entirely round the cavity of the chest on either side, and feel for any attachment of the lungs to the walls of the chest. The organs of the abdominal cavity are examined by touch in a similar manner, and if it passes the examination as fit for Jewish consumption, it is marked by the searcher, and afterwards a sealer seals it with a small leaden seal.
In my opinion a man who has seen or carried out these functions has committed these crimes, from the fact of the certainty, cleanness, and depth of the cuts in the throats of the victims, the mutilations being so extensive, and evidently carried out by the sense of touch, for it is evident no light could have been used.
Should you publish this letter, I will conclude my argument in a second one tomorrow.
I am, &c.,