Wednesday, 17 October 1888
A SUPPOSED CLUE
The startling story published yesterday with reference to the finding of a blood-stained shirt and the disappearance of a man from a certain house in the East End proves from investigations carried out by a reporter to-day to be not altogether devoid of foundation, though on Monday afternoon the truth of the statement was given an unqualified denial by the detective officers, presumably because they were anxious to avoid a premature disclosure of the facts, of which they had been for some time cognisant. The police have taken exceptional precautions to prevent a disclosure, and while repeated arrests have taken place with no other result than discharging the prisoner for the time being in custody, they have devoted particular attention to one particular spot in the hope that a few days would suffice to set at rest public anxiety as to further murders. A reporter to-day elicited the fact that from the morning of the Berner street and Mitre square murders the police have had in their possession a shirt saturated with blood, and they are evidently convinced that it was left in a house in Batty street, by the assassin. Having regard to the position of this house, its proximity to the yard in Berner street, where the crime was committed, and to the many intricate passages and alleys adjacent, the police theory has in al probability a basis of fact. The statement has been made that the landlady of the house was at an early hour disturbed by the movements of her lodger, who changed some of his apparel and went away, after instructing her to wash the cast off shirt. Although, for reasons known to themselves, the police during Saturday, Sunday, and Monday answered in the negative all questions as to whether any person had been arrested, there is no doubt that a man was taken into custody on suspicion of being the missing lodger from 22 Batty street, and that hew as afterwards set at liberty. The German lodginghouse-keeper could clear up the point as to the existence of any other lodger absent from the house under the suspicious circumstances referred to, but she is not accessible, and, it is easy to understand that the police should endeavour to prevent her making an statement. From inquiries in various directions this afternoon a further development is very likely to take place.
The description furnished to the Metropolitan Police of the suspected man who sailed from the Tyne has resulted in a satisfactory explanation of his identity.