19 November 1888
MR. STUART CUMBERLAND'S EXPERIMENTS.
On Saturday evening a brilliant and distinguished company assembled at the Hotel Victoria, Northumberland-avenue, upon the invitation of Mr. Stuart C. Cumberland, to witness some of that gentleman's experiments indicating how far thought-reading, as it is called can be used in the detection of crime. Upon this point Mr. Cumberland has already given publicity to his views in these columns, the substance of which he repeated on Saturday. His contention is that when a person has committed a grave crime, the knowledge thereof becomes the dominant idea in the mind, and that if the criminal be suddenly confronted with something closely connected with the act, his mind communicates to his body an unconscious leaning towards the object in question which may be used to substantiate his guilt. Briefly, this was what Mr. Cumberland had to say to his audience, after which Mr. Vaughan, the eminent magistrate, was desired to take the chair, and the thought-reading experiments commenced in right good earnest. It was a most startling to one's idea of the fitness of things, to observe a well-known police magistrate making himself the smiling repository of the most blood-thirsty intentions of several amateur murderers and thieves, and, worse still, calmly sitting by while those atrocious crimes were being committed.
First of all, Mr. Walter Lumley communicated to the chairman his desire to murder Mr. Milner. On Mr. Cumberland being blindfolded, he seized Mr. Lumley by the hand, and with scarcely a moment's hesitation led him direct to where Mr. Milner was seated. Then followed a severer test of the thought-reader's powers. He again left the room, and during his absence Mr. Philip Callan proceeded, with the sanction and in full sight of Mr. Vaughn, to murder the Common Serjeant in a most brutal fashion, after which a member of the Russian Embassy robbed the body of the murdered man of a gold watch which he concealed in a distant part of the room. Mr. Cumberland was not long in arriving at the natural conclusion that the Irishman was the murderer and the Russian the robber. He very quickly led Mr. Collins to where his victim, Sir W. T. Charley, was discussing the circumstances of his recent murder, and, hauling him forth to the centre of the room, went through the precise incidents of the assassination, stabbing the Common Serjeant in the very places where Mr. Philip Callan had inflicted the fatal wounds. Mr. Cumberland was, however, less successful in discovering the whereabouts of the stolen watch, although ultimately he got it all right, amid the excited interest of the audience.
After Miss Julia Neilson had been detected, and arrested for the theft of a handsome diamond ring from a member of the Russian Embassy, which said ring she had artfully concealed about the person of Mrs. W. S. Gilbert, there was brought forward another horrible and inhuman crime, at the direct instigation of the Bow-street "beak" who in cold blood selected Mr. W. S. Gilbert out of three aspirants to "Jack the Ripper" fame to put an end to the mortal career of the Baron von Siedlitz, the other candidates for this atrocious and inhospitable deed being Mr. Theodore Lumley and Mr. B. L. Parjeon. Mr. Gilbert was polite, though, in the midst of his blood-thirstiness, for as he approached the Baron he inquired in a blood-curdling voice, "Will you kindly allow me to murder you sir?" This touch of Gilbertian humour was the prelude to the slitting of the Baron's weasand, which was accomplished in workmanlike fashion. Then Mr. Cumberland, still blindfolded, was brought into the room, and fixed upon Mr. Parjeon as the culprit, but soon discovered his mistake, and ran the guilty Gilbert face to face with the animated and cheerful corpse of the Baron.
Mr. Vaughn deferred the sentence in each case, consenting himself with thanking Mr. Cumberland most warmly on behalf of the audience for the clever and interesting experiments to which he had treated them. The murdered, murderers, thieves, and abetters then left, with the consciousness of having spent a very pleasant couple of hours.
On inquiry at both Commercial-street and Leman-street Police-stations this morning at twelve o'clock, the Central News was informed that no person was detained in custody at present, and that there was nothing fresh in connection with the case.
The funeral of the murdered woman Kelly took place, at the Roman Catholic Cemetery, Leytonstone, this afternoon, the remains being removed thither from the Shoreditch mortuary. Large crowds were present.
Three large wreaths were on the coffin, which bore the inscription, "Marie Jeanette Kelly, died November 9, 1888, aged 25 years." The car was followed by two mourning coaches.