29 September 1888
A matter that is thought to have a bearing upon the Whitechapel murders is being investigated by the Metropolitan Police. Early on Wednesday morning a man, apparently of about 33 years of age, accosted a woman in Whitechapel. At his request, she accompanied him for a short distance, when he suddenly caught her by the throat, and knocked her down. The woman states that her screams alarmed the man, who ran away. The description she gave of her assailant was a follows:- About 5ft. 6in. or 5ft. 8in. in height, small dark moustache. Dressed in light coat and dark trousers, black felt hat, and a scarf round his neck.
The police have succeeded in tracing the antecedents of Fitzgerald, the man who confessed to having committed the recent murders in Whitechapel, and who is at present under detention. They have ascertained definitely where he spent the night of the murder, as well as his movements on the following morning, and their information shows conclusively that he could not have committed the crime. He was accordingly liberated in the course of yesterday.
James Johnson, a pale looking man of 35, with a decided American accent, describing himself as a waiter of Birdhurst-road, St. John's-hill, Wandsworth, was charged before Mr. R. R. Bros, at the Dalston Police-court yesterday, with assailing Elizabeth Hudson by throwing her down on the pavement and threatening to stab her with a knife. - The Prosecutrix said:- At two o'clock this morning I was at the corner of Richmond-road, Dalston, when the Prisoner came up to me, threw me down, and at the same time pulled from his coat pocket a long knife (the witness indicated some eight or ten inches), and tried to stab me. I screamed, "Murder," and he ran away. - Mr. Bros: Are you sure he had a knife? - Witness: Yes, - Mr. Bros: How did he open it? - Witness: It was open, and had a sharp point. - Mr. Bros: Where did he take it from? - Witness: His outside coat pocket. It was something like a carving knife. - By the Prisoner: I did not put my hand in your pocket. You seized me and threw me down without saying a word. - Alice Anderson, said: I was accosted by the Prisoner in the Kingsland-road, between one and two o'clock this morning. It was near the Lamb public-house. He spoke to me, asking, "Where are you going?" I said, "Towards home." He asked, "Shall I come with you?" I replied, "If you please." Going along he tried to throw me down. I screamed, and ran away. - Mr. Bros: Was this in the open street? - Witness: Yes. He not succeed in throwing me down. I knocked at the nearest door, and he ran away. About a quarter of an hour after he had left me I heard screams, and on going in the direction whence they came, I found they came from Hudson. She was standing between the Lab and Swan public-houses, having just got up from the ground. She pointed to the man, who was running away. - By the Prisoner: Hudson and I were together when you first came up, but we separated. We did not ask you for money. We did not ask you to come home with us. We did not put our hands into your pockets. - Prisoner (to the Magistrate): These women would say anything. I would not a fly, much less a human being. These women accosted me, and one of them put her hand into my pocket before I knew where I was. - Police-constable 460J said: About a quarter to two this morning I heard screams of "Police" and "Stop him." I turned round and saw the Prisoner running along the road. I stopped him and asked him what was the matter? He said that two women had stopped him in the Kingsland-road, and wanted him to go down the mews with them, and because he refused they screamed, and he ran away. I took him back to Kingsland-road, where I saw the two women. Hudson said, "That is the man who tried to stab me." She said she would charge him. I took him the station. - Mr. Bros: Did you search? - Witness: Yes. - Mr. Bros: Did you find a knife? - Witness: No, sir. - Police-constable 183J: I was on duty in Englefield-road at two o'clock this morning, when I heard screams of "Murder," "Help," and "Stop him!" I ran towards Richmond-road, and saw Prosecutrix holloaing and saying a man had assaulted her and threatened to stab her. Prisoner did not ask the constables any questions. - Mr. Bros: Is anything known of the Prisoner? - Police-constable 460: Not yet, sir. - Prisoner (in reply to the Magistrate) said: I have no witnesses to bring. Every thing the females have said is entirely the other way about. They used dirty, insulting language to me. If they had not spoken to me I should not have said anything to them. I spoke to them going along. One of them put her hand in my pocket, and I gave her a shove, and she went down. She was so drunk she did not want much force. There is nothing against my character, but I asked the police not to make inquiries because my wife is so delicate. I have never been in a court of justice in my life. I work for my living. I had no knife in my possession. I never carry one - Mr. Bros: You will be put back for your inquiries, and can communicate with whom you please. - Subsequently, the Prisoner was again placed in the dock, and Mrs. Seaton, his landlady, said she had known him as a respectable man for a long time. When Prisoner was asked what he had to say, he said he could only repeat his former statement, with the addition that he came over to Kingsland to see a friend, and, not finding him, he went playing billiards. - Mr. Bros: Why did you run away? - Prisoner: Because I was ashamed of being mixed up in such a matter. - Police-constable 18 J R said he knew the Prosecutrix in this case as a disorderly woman, and had cautioned her not long before this matter occurred. - Mr. Bros discharged the Prisoner, remarking that he had got into an awkward scrape by his own silliness.
The police in this case state that they noticed when they went on duty on Thursday night they saw a very long chalk mark on the pavement in Kingsland-road, one directing point coming to the word "Look!" and, further on, "I am Leather Apron. Five more, and I will give myself up." Beneath this was a rude drawing of a man with a knife uplifted towards a woman.
BALMORAL, SEPT. 28.
The Queen went out yesterday morning, accompanied by Princess Alice of Hesse, and in the afternoon her Majesty drove with Princess Alice, attended by the Hon. Harriet Phipps.
Her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales, with Princesses Louise, Victoria, and Maud, and Prince Albert Victor of Wales, who arrived at Abergeldie yesterday, visited the Queen in the afternoon.
The Marquess of Hartington, who is staying at Mar Lodge, and Earl Cadogan had the honour of dining with the Queen and the Royal Family.
About half-past seven o'clock yesterday morning, a horrible discovery was made in Southwark, which tallies with the late discovery at Pimlico. It appears that a lad was walking along Lambeth-road, and, passing the Blind School, which has a garden protected by railing, he noticed a curiously-shaped paper parcel lying on the grass inside the railing. The lad obtained possession of the parcel, and on opening it found it to contain the arm of a woman. It was somewhat decomposed, and had lime thrown over it. The attention of a policeman of the L division was called, and the limb was given into his charge. A bricklayer, named Jim Moore, said to be a reporter:- "At about quarter-past seven this morning I was walking along Lambeth-road, when I saw a poy pick up a parcel through the railings which surrounded the Blind School. He was opening it when I went up, and saw the arm of a young woman, which had been put in lime." The licensed shoeblack who stands at the corner of a public house facing the Blind School, said:- Seeing some people round a parcel which had been fished out of the garden, I went over. The parcel lay opened, and I saw the arm of a woman which had been cut from the body. It was decomposed, and had been laid in lime. The fingers were clutched."