8 October 1888
Within the last few days, stimulated by the long list of unavenged horrors with which the public has been surfeited, there has been much talk, though as yet it has not led to practical results, of the possibility of calling in to our aid the sagacity which nature has bestowed upon certain breed of dogs. A very natural and creditable repugnance rises in more tenderly constituted minds at the mere name of the species to which we should chiefly have to look - the bloodhound; but there is no great difficulty in proving that this compunction is unreasonable. To begin with, it is perfectly possible to train dogs of this species, not only to follow a certain and definite trail with undeviating fidelity, but to bring it to a conclusion which shall not shock the nerves of the most delicate philanthropist who ever opened a morning paper over his breakfast coffee. The bloodhound, in fact, like the well trained staghound, will, under proper teaching, bring his quarry to bay and "chide" him there without attacking him until help comes up. So certain is this, and so heavily has his sanguinary appellation weighed upon a noble and docile breed, that is seems very desirable that the name, when the rare gifts it covers are recognised, should be abandoned for the older one of sleuth or sleuth hound - a word derived from the Saxon sleuth, signifying the track of a deer, and no doubt the origin of the word "slot." The genuine bloodhound breed was large, strong, muscular, and broad chested, the upper lip large and pendulous; the expression stern and noble; the colour a deep tan, and generally marked with a black spot over each eye. This species, however, has now been crossed with other and smaller hounds, until the genuine bell mouthed tracker of fur and felons of the ballads and early poets is almost, if not quite, extinct. If, indeed, we could conquer the creditable modern repugnance to "let slip the dogs of war" even upon merciless villains, the breed might easily be revived, and its services enlisted in the cause of the civilisation which the East end atrocities of the last few weeks have disgraced. Says an authority, "The bloodhound has been employed at various times in every part of the Kingdom; in the clan feuds of Scotland, in the border contests on the debatable land between the two kingdoms, and in the unhappy Irish rebellion, its extraordinary powers have been taken advantage of, without much regard to the claims either of justice or mercy. The improvement of the breed of hounds for the purpose of the chase, and the introduction of a more regular system of police, aided, we may hope, by some amelioration in the feelings of the people, have annihilated the use of the dog in all the objects for which it was formerly employed." This is well enough in theory, but when miscreants hide their victims' mangled remains with impunity under the windows of the Foreign Office, and a ruffian accomplishes abominable deeds night after night in crowded neighbourhoods without a suspicion of his identity leaking out, the citizen mind naturally turns to hopes of assistance in quarters less expert in theories and more acute in practical methods than his energetic but ineffective detectives. One of the questions which would naturally arise in any consideration of the matter is whether it would be feasible or not in the streets of a crowded city, where footsteps are for ever succeeding footsteps, to utilise the services of the sleuth hound in the detection of heinous crime. No doubt the surroundings are such as would put the sagacity and powers of the animal to their utmost test, but those who, like myself, would not regard the case as at all hopeless. The sense of smell in these animals is so exquisitely acute and their discrimination so infinitely beyond the powers of human comprehension, that almost anything may be successfully asked of them. On one occasion, in an early Cuban revolt, when the negroes were in arms, a Spanish Government official was cruelly stabbed in the dark on his own verandah, and the assassin got safely away beyond the reach of ordinary detection. But these dogs were just then terribly popular, and though there was not one near at hand, a pair were sent for five miles away. They arrived nearly four hours afterwards, and being put upon the footsteps of the man at once "owned" them, and dashed off in pursuit with unwavering instinct through a crowded bazaar, across the wet rice fields beyond, over the stepping stones of a wide ford, through a couple of villages, and into the hills, 14 miles beyond, where they ran their man to bay in a deserted hut. Now, in such a case as this, it is absolutely certain that the miscreant would never have been brought to justice but of the help of the indomitable four footed assistants of the cause of justice; and in the existing circumstances in the metropolis and the freedom with which every sort of criminal appears to be escaping just at present through the stiff, tape tied fingers of our police, it is a serious question whether the nice susceptibilities of the very compunctions ought to debar us from the use in extremities of what appears to be our only means of putting a stop to the monstrous things we all bewail." The very fact of the importation of a dozen Cuban hounds into Jamaica in 1796 struck a death blow at the cruel and spreading Maroon insurrection. One of the objects of that amiable rising was to kill all the white men, and distribute the English women among the negro leaders, but then the sleuth hounds arrived the game was found to be not worth the candle, the mere terror of their presence, the vast increasing dread of their swift, unknown, remorseless pursuit was more than effective in restoring order and harmony to a chaotic society than all the statute books in the cellars of Government House and all the cannon in the Kingston citadel to boot. I am not bloodthirsty (says "An old Tracker" in the Globe), and having followed through some of the fairest places in the world with constant admiration and pleasure the leadership of these strong and gentle dogs in sport and woodcraft, it is with something very like remorse that I commend them to such sad and ignoble duties. But so much is certain, that circumstances call for unusual remedies, and if the sleuth hound has hitherto been chiefly associated in recent popular fancy with the perversion of justice and the oppression of liberty it is less his fault than the fault of those who misuse or overlook instincts and acumen of which the heavy detective biped knows absolutely nothing.
It is reported that Detective Inspector Marshall went to Guildford yesterday morning to bring to London a woman's leg, which had been discovered near the railway there. We learn also that Superintendent Berry, of Guildford, has been in communication with the authorities at Scotland yard with reference to the remains, which, it is considered, may be portions of the young woman whose trunk was discovered at Whitehall.
Mr. Edward Deuchar has communicated some information to the police which may afford a clue to the discovery of the man who deposited the body of the woman in Whitehall and the arm in the Thames. Mr. Deuchar is a commercial traveller, and a little over three weeks ago he went on a tram car from Vauxhall Station to London Bridge. He noticed a man on the car carrying a parcel. He would not have taken particular notice of the parcel but for the fact that there was a terrible smell emanating from it. The olfactory organs of most of the passengers were affected by the extraordinary stench which pervaded all the car. A lady gave her husband, who was sitting next to the man, some lavender to hold to his nose. The parcel seemed to be heavy. The man carried it with extreme care under his arm. It was tied up in brown paper. The top of it was under his arm while he held the corner end in his hand. Mr. Deuchar says the man looked ill at ease and agitated. He described him as powerfully built man of rough appearance, with a goatee beard, and rather shabbily dressed. Mr. Deuchar is confident that he could recognise him again. The car went on, and when at the Obelisk, St George's circus, several persons alighted. Mr. Deuchar still remained in the car, but when about 30 yards past the Obelisk, said, "This stink is awful; I can't stand it any longer," and proceeded to go out. Just at that moment the suspicious looking individual with the parcel asked the conductor, "Have we passed the Obelisk yet?" and then jumped out. Mr. Deuchar, when he had descended and walked some distance towards London Bridge, called a policeman's attention to the retreating form of the "man with the stinking parcel," and told him to "keep an eye on him."
A late telegram from our Guildford correspondent says:- Some sensation was caused in Guildford today by the report that remains which were discovered on August the 24th in a brown paper parcel, lying on the railway near the Guildford station, were supposed to be part of the trunk of a woman found in the vault of the new police headquarters at Whitehall. It will be remembered that the remains found at Guildford consisted of a right foot and a portion of a left leg from the knee down to the ankle. The police doctor examined the limbs at the time, and considered them to be those of a woman, but the flesh had either been roasted or boiled. No clue had been found to solve the mystery, but after the discovery at Whitehall Superintendent Berry, of the Guildford Borough Police Force, communicated with the authorities at Scotland yard, with the result that Detective Inspector Marshall, who has the mystery in hand, proceeded to Guildford yesterday, and had the remains disinterred. He conveyed them in the evening to London, for careful examination by Drs. Bond and Hibbert.
At the resumed inquest on the body of the woman murdered in Berner street, Whitechapel, the evidence previously given by two witnesses to the effect that the deceased had something the matter with the roof of her mouth was controverted by Dr. Phillips, who said that a renewed examination by himself and Drs. Brown and Blackwell had proved that no part of the palate, hard or soft, was defective. The identity of the deceased is thus once more somewhat open to question. No arrests of any importance were made yesterday.
Practically nothing of any moment transpired yesterday in connexion with the Aldgate murder. As originally surmised, the "confession" of the young fellow William Bull, who gave himself into custody on Tuesday, came to nothing, and he was discharged at the Guildhall Police Court after the alderman had severely censured him for the silly practical joke he had played upon the police.
Early in the morning the police began to post at the stations facsimile copies of a postcard and letter which purport to have been written by the murderer, and these bills were eagerly read and discussed by large crowds. So far the police admit that they have practically no clue, but the activity at the headquarters of the City Police in Old Jewry betokens that the City authorities are fully alive to the responsibility resting upon them. The proceedings at the resumed inquest yesterday on the body of the Berner street victim have again thrown some doubt on the identity of the person murdered - indeed, the mystery seems to deepen as time goes on. The deputy of the lodging house where the deceased was said to have slept, as well as the man Kidney, who said he had lived with the deceased for about three years, both stated at the inquest on Wednesday that they were certain the body was that of Elizabeth Stride, and they gave what was considered to be conclusive evidence on that point to the effect that the roof ot he deceased's mouth was defective. It was evident at the time that the doctors were somewhat surprised at the statement, and since Wednesday they have made another examination of the body, and have totally disproved the evidence of the witnesses mentioned. The doctors yesterday stated that they could find no trace of any injury to the palate. Such testimony cannot be doubted, but it certainly seems strange that the man Kidney could, by any possible means, have been mistaken; and, in addition, especially as the Clerk of the Swedish Church in the East End swore that he had known the deceased for the past 17 years as Elizabeth Stride. This witness also produced a register which contained the name of Elizabeth Stride - or Gustafsdotter, as she was called before marriage - and, in reply to the coroner, he explained that all Swedes on arriving in his parish gave the necessary particulars to him as a matter of custom. Another significant circumstance which tends to show that all doubt is not at an end was the fact that, although the coroner's officer at the second and third days' hearing, in charging the jury, said that they were to inquire into the circumstances connected with the death of Elizabeth Stride, he yesterday informed them that they were to inquire into the death of a "person unknown."
The police at Arbour street station, Mile end, have received circumstantial information of an occurrence on Thursday night which may have some connexion with the Whitechapel murders. Mrs. Sewell, of 2 Pole street, Stepney green, at half past nine was on her way to attend a meeting. As she was passing along Redman's road, a very dark thoroughfare, a man suddenly sprang out in front of her. She was greatly alarmed, especially when she observed that he was holding in his hand up against his sleeve something which glittered. The man noticed her alarm, and as if to ingratiate himself, he said, "I did not hurt you, missus, did I?" Just them a young man came by, and the stranger took to his heels. The young man, in a tone of alarm, said to Mrs. Sewell, "Did you see what he had in his hand?" and the woman replied, "I saw he had something glittering." "Why," said the young man, "it was a huge knife, a foot long." The two followed the man, but failed to track him, and in the pursuit they lost sight of each other. Mrs. Sewell went on to the meeting, where she arrived in a state of the greatest nervous excitement. She said the mysterious man was rather tall, with red, bushy whiskers. She noticed that he was wearing a brown overcoat, and that he had with him a white dog. Her strange experience was communicated to the inspector on duty at the Arbour street police station, and at one o'clock yesterday morning, Mrs. Sewell was herself visited by police officials, who got her story from her direct.
Sir Charles Warren has, it is stated, been making inquiries as to the practicability of employing trained bloodhounds in special cases, in the streets of London; and, having ascertained that dogs which have been accustomed to work in a town can be procured, he is making immediate arrangements for their use in London.
A telegram from New York said:- The atrocious crimes committed in Whitechapel have aroused intense interest here. The following statement has been made here by an English sailor named Dodge. He says he arrived in London from China on August 13 by the steamship Glenorlee. He met at the Queen's Music Hall, Poplar, a Malay cook named Alaska. The Malay said he had been robbed by women of bad character in Whitechapel of two years' savings, and he swore that unless he found the woman and recovered his money he would murder and mutilate every Whitechapel woman he met. He showed Dodge a double edged knife, which he always carried with him. He was about 5ft 7in in height, 130lb in weight, and apparently 35 years of age. of course he was very dark. It was reported last evening that the police at Islington had effected an arrest in connexion with the Whitechapel murders, in Packington street, Essex road, and that the suspect was detained at the Upper street police station. An inquiry at this station elicited the fact that an arrest had been made at Packington street, but that it was in no way connected with the recent atrocities.
Yesterday afternoon, at the Vestry Hall, St. George's in the East, Mr. Wynne E. Baxter, coroner for the Southeastern Division of Middlesex, resumed the inquest on the body of Elizabeth Stride, who was found murdered in Berner street in Sunday morning last.
Superintendent Arnold, H Division, and Detective Inspector Reid, of the Criminal Investigation Department, watched the case on behalf of the police.
Dr. Phillips, divisional police surgeon, - You will recollect that on the last occasion I was asked to re-examine the body in regard to the palate. Along with Dr. Blackwell and Dr. Gordon Brown, I went to the mortuary and examined the body, and found none of the hard or soft palate wanting. At your request I examined some handkerchiefs. I have not been able to discover any blood upon them. The stains on the larger handkerchief, I think, are those of fruit. Neither in the hands nor on the body of the deceased did I find any grapes, or any connexion with them. I am of opinion that the deceased had not swallowed either a skin or a seed of a grape within many hours of her death. The abrasion on the right side of the neck which I spoke of was apparently only an abrasion, for on washing it was removed and the skin was found to be uninjured. The knife that was produced on the last occasion was delivered to me, properly secured, by Police Constable 282 H, and on examination I found it to be such a one as is used in a chandler's shop, and it is called a slicing knife. It has blood upon it, which has characteristics similar to that of a warm blooded animal. It has been recently blunted, and its edge turned by apparently rubbing on a stone, such as a kerbstone. It evidently before was a very sharp knife. Such a knife could have produced the incision and the injuries to the neck, but it is not such a weapon as I would have chosen as inflicting the injuries in this particular case, and if my opinion as regards the position of the body is correct, the knife in question would become an improbable instrument as having caused the incision. I have come to a conclusion both as regards the position of the victim and that of the inflictor of the deed, and I find that she was seized by the shoulders, placed on the ground, and that the perpetrator of the deed was on her right side when he inflicted the cut. I am of opinion that the cut was made from the left to the right side of deceased, and therefore arises the unlikelihood of such a long knife having inflicted the wound described in the neck, taking into account the position of the incision.
The Coroner - Was there anything in the cut which shows whether there was an incision with a point? - No, sir.
Have you formed any idea how the right hand of the deceased came to be covered with blood? - It is a mystery. There were small oblong clots of blood on the hand. I may say, sir, that I am taking it as a fact that the hand always remained in the same position as I found it - resting across the body.
How long had the deceased been dead do you think when you arrived? - Within an hour she was alive.
Would the injury take long to inflict? - Only a few seconds. It might be done in two seconds.
Does the presence of the cachous still remaining in her hand show that it was done suddenly, unexpectedly, without any struggle? - Some of the cachous were scattered about. I cannot draw anything from that. I have seen several self inflicted wounds more extensive than this one, but they have not usually involved the carotid artery. I gather that there seems to have been in this case, as in others that I have seen, some knowledge where to cut the throat to cause a fatal result.
Is there any similarity between Chapman's case and this case? - There is a very great dissimilarity. In Chapman's case the neck was severed all round down to the vertebral column, the vertebral bones being marked with two sharp cuts, and there had been an apparent attempt to separate the bones.
From the position you assume the perpetrator to have been in would he have been likely to get bloodstained? - Not necessarily, for the commencement of the wound and the injury to the vessels would be away from him, and the stream of blood - for steam it would be - would be directed away from him and towards the water way already mentioned.
Was there any appearance or any smell of chloroform? - There was no perceptible trace of any anaesthetic or narcotic. The absence of noise is a difficult question in this case under the circumstances to account for, but it must not be taken for granted that there was not any noise. If there was an absence of noise there is nothing in the case by which I can account for it.
A Juryman - That means that the women might cry out after the cut? - Not after the cut. But why did she not cry out while she was being put on the ground. She was in a yard and in a locality where she might cry out very loudly and no notice be taken of her. It was possible for the woman to draw up her legs after the wound, but she could not have turned over. The wound was inflicted by drawing the knife across the throat. A short knife, such as a shoemaker's well ground knife, would do the same thing. My reason for believing that the deceased was injured when on the ground was partly on account of the absence of blood anywhere on the left side of the body and between it and the wall. There was no trace of malt liquor in the stomach.
Dr. Blackwell, who assisted in making the post mortem examination, recalled, said - I removed the cachous from the hand of the deceased. That would account for nobody noticing them at the time. I think the hand would gradually relax while the woman was dying. When I was previously asked as to the possibility of the case being one of suicide I did not make myself quite clear. I meant that taking all the facts into consideration, and especially the absence of any instrument, it was impossible that the case could be one of suicide. I have seen more severe wounds inflicted by suicides. With respect to the knife found, I concur with Dr. Phillips that although it might possibly have inflicted the injury, it is an extremely unlikely instrument to have been used. It appears to me that the murderer, in using a round pointed instrument, would considerably handicap himself, as he would only be able to use it in a particular way. I am told that slaughterers always use sharp pointed instruments, but I do not mean to suggest that the crime was done by a slaughterer. I endorse all that Dr. Phillips has said with respect to the post mortem appearances. There were what we call pressure marks on the shoulders, which become better defined some time after death. They were not what are ordinarily called bruises; neither is there any abrasure of the skin. There is a mark on each shoulder, and they would be caused by the pressure of hands on the shoulders. It is rather difficult to say how long before death they were caused.
By the Jury - I saw no grapes or grape stems in the yard when I was called to see the body.
Mr. Sven Ollson, 32 Prince's square, St. George's in the East, said - I am clerk of the Swedish Church in Prince's square. I saw the body of the deceased last Tuesday, and recognise her as a person I have known for 17 years. She was a Swede, and her name was Elizabeth Stride, wife of John Thomas Stride, a carpenter. Her maiden name was Gustafsdotter, and she was born at Dorslander, near Gottenburg, on the 27th November, 1843. At the church we keep a register of all Swedes coming to this country who desire to be registered, and deceased was registered as an unmarried woman on the 10th July, 1866. She was not married at my church. In the registry I find a memorandum, undated, written by the Rev. Mr. Palmayer, in Swedish, stating that the deceased had been married to an Englishman, John Thomas Stride. I don't know when this entry was made, but it must have been many years ago. I know the hymn book produced. It is an old one published in 1821. There is no name in it, but I gave it to the deceased last winter. I believe the deceased was married to Stride in 1869. She told me that he was drowned in the wreck of the Princess Alice. At the time of his death she was very poor, and I gave her assistance.
The Coroner - Do you know that there was a subscription made for the sufferers by the Princess Alice disaster? - No.
The Coroner - I can tell you there was, and I can also tell you that there was no person of the name of Stride made application for relief. Don't you think that if her story had been true she would have applied? - I cannot say.
Have you ever seen her husband? - No; we gave her a little assistance before Stride died. Two years ago she gave me her address as Devonshire street, Commercial road, and she said that she was doing a little work in sewing. She spoke English fairly well. I believe she came to England a little before she was registered in 1866.
William Marshall, 64 Berner street, deposed - I am a labourer in an indigo warehouse. I have seen the body of the deceased at the mortuary. I saw deceased on Saturday evening in Berner street, about three doors off from where I am living. She was on the pavement opposite No 58. She was between Boyd street and Fairclough street. It was then about a quarter to twelve o'clock at night. She was standing on the pavement talking with a man. How did you know this was the same woman? - I recognised the deceased was the same woman by her face and her dress. She was not wearing a flower in her breast. She and the man were talking quietly. There was no lamp near. The nearest lamp was some yards off. I did not see the face of the man distinctly.
Did you notice how he was dressed? - Yes, he had a black small coat and dark trousers.
How old was he, do you think - young, old, or middle aged? - He seemed to me to be a middle aged man. He was not wearing a hat; he was wearing a round cap with a small peak to it, something like what a sailor would wear.
What height was he? - He was about 5ft 6in.
Was he thin or stout? - Rather stoutish.
Did he look well dressed? - Yes, sir, he looked decently dressed.
What class of man did he look? - He looked as if he worked at some respectable business. Everybody works at a respectable business. (Laughter.) - He did not look like a dock labourer nor a sailor. He had more the appearance of a clerk than anything I can suggest. I do not think he had any whiskers. He was not wearing gloves. He had no stick or umbrella in his hand. He had a cutaway coat.
Are you sure it was not me? (Laughter.) - No, sir. (Laughter.) I am sure deceased is the woman. I did not take much notice as to whether she had anything in her hand. I was standing at my door.
What attracted your attention to them? - I was first attracted by their standing there for some time, and he was kissing and cuddling her.
Did you overhear anything they said? - I heard the man say to the deceased, "You would say anything but your prayers."
Different people talk in a different tone and in a different way. Did his voice give you the idea of a clerk? - Yes, he was mild speaking. From the way he spoke I thought he was an educated man. I did not hear them say anything more. They went away after that. I did not hear the woman say anything, but after the man made the observation she laughed. When they went away they went towards Helen street. They walked in the middle of the road. They would not pass No 40 (the International Club) on their way. The woman was dressed in a black jacket and a black skirt. Neither of them appeared to be the worse for drink. I went indoors about midnight. I did not hear anything until I heard murder being called in the street just after one o'clock on the Sunday morning.
By a Juror - I was standing at my door from half past eleven till twelve. During that time it did not rain.
By Detective Inspector Reid - They were standing between my house and the club. They were standing there about ten minutes. They passed me in the road.
A Juror - Did you see the man's face as he passed you?
Witness - No; the woman was next to me, and the man had his arms round her neck. His face was turned towards me, but I did not take any notice of it, as I did not expect to come here. There is a gas lamp at No 70, Berner street.
Detective Inspector Reid - Were they hurrying along? - No, sir.
Was it raining at the time? - No, sir, not that I saw.
Sven Ollsson (recalled) - I find that the original entry of the marriage of the deceased is in the handwriting of Mr. Frost, who was the pastor for about eighteen years until two years ago.
James Brown deposed - I am a box maker, and live at 35 Fairclough street. On Sunday morning last, about 12.45, I went from my own home to get something for supper at the corner of Berner street, and was in the shop three or four minutes and then went back home. As I was going home I saw a man and woman standing against the wall by the board school in Fairclough street. As I passed them in the road I heard the woman say, "No, not tonight; some other night." That made me turn round, and I looked at them. I am almost certain that the deceased was the woman. I did not notice any flowers on her dress. The man had his hand on the wall, and the woman stood facing him with her back against the wall. I noticed that the man had on a long overcoat which came down nearly to his heels. It was rather a dark place. I went indoors, and when I had nearly finished my supper I heard screams of "Police" and "Murder." That was about a quarter of an hour after I had seen the man and woman. The man appeared to be about 5ft 7in in height, and was of average build. Neither of them seemed to me to be the worse for drink. When I heard the screams I went to the window, but could not see anyone. A policeman was standing at the corner of Christian street, and I heard a man tell him he was wanted, and he ran along Berner street.
Police constable William Smith, 452 H, deposed - On Saturday I went on duty at ten p.m. My beat was past Berner street. I went from the corner of Gower's walk, Commercial road, as far as Christian street, down Christian street to Fairclough street, Grove street, and back to Church lane, up there to Commercial road again. It takes about 25 minutes to half an hour to go round the beat. I was in Berner street at about 12.35. About one o'clock I saw a crowd of people outside the gate of No 40. I did not notice any disturbance, and heard no cries of "Police." There were two policemen there. I do not remember passing anyone on my way down Berner street. When I got there I saw the deceased, and went to the police station for an ambulance, leaving the other constables in charge. Dr. Blackwell's assistant arrived just as I was going away. I turned along Fairclough street, but saw no one. I saw a man and woman talking together in Berner street at 12.30. The woman was like the deceased. I feel certain that she is the deceased. She stood on the pavement, a few yards up Berner street, on the opposite side to where she was found. I noticed the man who was talking with her. He had a parcel wrapped in a newspaper in his hand. His height was about 5ft 7in. He wore a hard felt dark hat, and dark clothes. I did not overhear any conversation. They both appeared to be sober. The man was about 28 years of age, and was respectably dressed. I noticed the woman had some flowers in her dress. I did not see the man and woman more than once.
James Kidney was recalled, and recognised a hymn book belonging to the deceased. He found it in Mrs. Smith's room, next to his own. Mrs. Smith said deceased gave it to her to take care of when she left on Tuesday.
By Detective Inspector Reid - When deceased and I lived together she used to put a padlock on the door.
By the Coroner - When deceased went away on the Tuesday I found she had gone in and taken away some things. I did not know from examination that the deceased had anything the matter with the roof of her mouth, except that she had told me.
Philip Krantz said - I reside at 40 Berner street, and am editor of a Hebrew paper called the Worker's Friend. At the back of the ground floor I have an editor's room and printing office, with entrance from the yard. I was in my room on Saturday last, from about nine p.m. One of the members of the club came to me, and said there was a woman lying in the yard. Up to that time I had not heard any cry or scream or anything unusual. My window was not open. At the time the members of the club were singing upstairs, and I cannot say whether I should have heard anyone scream. When I went out I saw several members near a woman who was dead, but no one I know. Two of the members had gone to look for a policeman. It is not possible for any stranger to have escaped after my arrival without my noticing him, but he might have done so before.
The rest of the evidence was of a formal character, consisting of the proof of plans of the locality in which the murder was committed. Detective Inspector Reid deposed to being called from the Commercial street police station, where he resides, to the scene of the murders, arriving there at about a quarter to two o'clock. He detailed to the coroner the steps he took, in conjunction with the other officers under his command, to thoroughly search the neighbourhood for ant trace of the criminal. Every portion of the club house, 40 Berner street, and all the surrounding property, was carefully examined, but without any satisfactory clue being arrived at. Inquiries were still being vigorously pursued by the police.
The inquiry was then adjourned till next Tuesday fortnight, the 23rd inst.
At the Guildhall police court yesterday, before Mr. Alderman Stone, William Bull, 27, describing himself as a medical student, of 6 Stannard road, Dalston, was charged, on remand, on his own confession, with having murdered the woman who was found dead in Mitre square, Aldgate, on the morning of Sunday last. The facts of the case, which have already been reported, showed that the prisoner on Tuesday evening entered the charge room at Bishopsgate police station and made a statement, which Inspector Izzard, after cautioning him, wrote down. It was to the effect that on the night or morning of the murder he met the woman in Aldgate, and went up a dark street with her. He gave her half a crown, which another man took away from her. He had, he said, committed the murder, and could not put up with the suspense any longer. Inquiries had been made, and it was ascertained that the prisoner was very well connected, but he was not a medical student. Yesterday Inspector Izzard said that the inquiries had led to the most satisfactory conclusion. The defendant bore a most irreproachable character, and he had been in his present employ for a number of years. Alderman Stone said that he was very sorry he was unable to punish the prisoner in some way, as it was a most stupid and dangerous thing, now that these scares were about, for people to make such foolish statements. He thought prisoner ought to be thoroughly ashamed of himself for his conduct. He would be discharged.
At the Marylebone police court yesterday, before Mr. De Rutzen, George Payne, 42, who described himself as a labourer, and who spoke with a provincial dialect, was charged with being disorderly. Detective Sergeant Gurtner, F Division, said he received information about eleven o'clock on Thursday night that a man in the Harrow road had been heard to say that he had committed half a dozen murders in the East end of London and that he had come to the West end to commit half a dozen more. He had also made defiant remarks about the Home Secretary. The witness went after the man, whom he found, and having questioned him, took him into custody. There was great excitement in the neighbourhood. Mr. George Nash, the landlord of a beer house, No 51 Harrow road, said the prisoner entered his house and was supplied with half a pint of beer. At that time he appeared to be all right, but after a time the prisoner said he knew Mr. John Morley and the Home Secretary would like to get hold of him, but he was too clever for them. He had done five or six murders in Whitechapel, and now he thought he would come to the West end. The witness thought that even if what the man had said was not true he ought not to escape punishment for making the statement. The prisoner said he had not insulted anyone, and he appealed to the public at the rear of the court to say if he had insulted them. He lived at Whitechapel years ago, but he had not been there since. Mr. Dr Rutzen told the prisoner he was one of those mischievous fellows who go about and terrify people by boasting that he had done some horrible crime in the East end. He would have to pay a fine of 10s, or go to prison for seven days. The prisoner: Boasting, eh?
The British Medical Journal says :- "The theory started by the coroner (Mr. Wynne Baxter) - not altogether without justification on the information conveyed to him - that the work of the assassin was carried out under the impulse of pseudo scientific mania, is exploded by the first attempt at serious investigation. It is true that inquiries were made at one or two medical schools early last year by a foreign physician, who was spending some time in London, as to the possibility of securing certain parts of the body for the purpose of scientific investigation. No large sum, however, was offered. The person in question was a physician of the highest respectability, and exceedingly well accredited in this country by the best authorities in his own, and he left London fully eighteen months ago. There was never any real foundation for the hypothesis, and the information communicated, which was not at all of the nature which the public has been led to believe, was due to the erroneous interpretation by a minor official of a question which he had overheard, and to which a negative reply was given. This theory may be at once dismissed and is, we believe, no longer entertained even by its author."
Though no satisfactory explanation has yet been given as to the cause of the atrocious murders systematically committed in Whitechapel, this long series of tragedies has at least (the Lancet remarks) served the good purpose of awakening the public conscience. It is worthy of note that the crimes have been committed in precisely the same district where, as sanitary reformers, we have often demanded the intervention of the authorities, and the more rigorous application of the Sanitary and other Acts by which the quarter could be improved. Undoubtedly great poverty, overcrowding, dirt, and bad sanitation have a lowering, brutalising tendency, which renders more probable the conception and the execution of such crimes as those that now absorb the public attention. Possibly the actual perpetrator of these sanguinary deeds has not himself endured, to the full extent, the misery and the squalor of the Whitechapel district; but his nature has probably been influenced by the degradation of the quarter he seems to frequent. In any case, we are glad to note that the public have associated the prevailing misery with the present appalling record of crime. There is already some talk of rebuilding a large portion of Whitechapel, and calculations have been to show that this can be done in a remunerative manner. For years past we have sought to draw public attention to the miseries of the poor, and especially the very streets where the murders were committed. Our efforts were not altogether fruitless; assistance was given, through our commissioners, to some extreme cases of distress, and one of our subscribers sent us £20 for this purpose. We had then published a special report on the exceptional distress prevailing in London. This report appeared on March 15, 1879, and contained a heartrending description of the children and inhabitants of George yard, where a woman was murdered on August 7 last. Some time previously the lodging houses in Flower and Dean street, where another victim, who was murdered last Sunday morning, was believed to have been in the habit of lodging, were fully described by our commissioners. One of the worst sweating dens described in our report published four years ago was in Hanbury street, where Annie Chapman was murdered and mutilated on September 7. This is the very heart of the sweating district, and Pelham street, where some of the worst cases were found, runs parallel with Hanbury street, and is only a few yards off. It cannot be said, therefore, that the public and the authorities have not had many opportunities of learning something of the dangerous condition of this district. Improvements have been effected, we acknowledge, and at the time the various reports we published were extensively quoted by the Press at large. Nevertheless, what has been done is altogether insufficient, and it does not reflect creditably on our boasted civilisation to find that modern society is more promptly awakened to a sense a duty by the knife of a murderer than by the pens of many earnest and ready writers.
On Saturday afternoon an extraordinary discovery was made in connexion with the mutilated remains of a woman which were found on the site of the new police headquarters near Cannon row, Westminster, on the 2nd. inst. Shortly before two o'clock Dr. Thomas Bond, the divisional surgeon, and Mr. Charles Hibberd, of Westminster Hospital, proceeded to the mortuary at 21 Millbank street, for the purpose of ascertaining whether the bones which Detective Inspector Marshall had on the previous evening brought from Guildford were anything to do with the trunk. It will be remembered that the bones were found on the railway, near Guildford Station, at an early hour on the morning of August 24, and that a local medical man, who examined them, expressed an opinion that they were human, although the fact of their having been boiled prevented him from judging whether they had formed part of the body of a man or of a woman. However, he was satisfied in his own mind that they consisted of a right foot and a left leg from the knee to the ankle, and after being kept for a few days at the police station, pending inquiries, the bones were buried in a wooden box, measuring about thirty inches in length and some nine inches in width. It was owing to the fact that the medical gentleman thought that the trunk had been mutilated on or about the date of the discovery at Guildford that the officers of the Criminal Investigation Department deemed it advisable to have the bones exhumed, and Inspector Marshall brought them to London in the same box in which they had been buried. All the necessary preparations had been made on Saturday for the examination, when Drs. Bond and Hibberd discovered that the bones were those of some animal and not of a human being, further experiments proving conclusively that they were the leg and foot of a bear. This, of course, put an end to the investigation, and Mr. Hibberd took the bones with him to Westminster Hospital, in all probability for use in the lecture theatre.
It is stated that the trunk and arm have been removed from the methylated spirits and thoroughly dried, instructions having been given for them to be photographed this morning. Constables have been stationed outside the mortuary since the remains were deposited there on Tuesday, in order to prevent any unauthorised person entering the premises. At the inquest, which will be opened by Mr. John Troutbeck at the Westminster Sessions house, at three p.m. today, evidence will be given of the finding of the parcel and its removal by the police, after which the all important medical testimony will be adduced. The inquiry will probably then be adjourned for a few weeks to await the result of further inquiries by the police.
In connexion with the mystery the detective police are most assiduously investigating cases of missing young women, and their attention has been specially directed to the remarkable disappearance of a girl named Lilly Vass, between 17 and 18 years of age, who left her home, No 56 Tettcott road, Chelsea, on July 19th last, and has never been seen or heard of since. On the 27th October (sic) Mrs. Vass, the mother of the young woman, applied to Mr. Biron, the sitting magistrate at the Westminster Police Court, and some publicity was given to the extraordinary disappearance of her daughter, who was stated to be of rather prepossessing appearance. The detective police have several times called on Mrs. Vass to obtain additional particulars about the girl, and at their request the mother accompanied an officer to the Millbank Mortuary to view the remains there. She was, however, quite unequal to the ordeal of making an inspection, and only saw the black flowered satine skirt in which the trunk was found. She could not recognise this, and was the more disposed to discredit the supposition that the remains were those of her daughter from the fact that one of the police officers told her that they belonged to a woman at least 26 years of age. In an interview a person had with Mrs. Vass at her house on Friday night she gave many additional particulars as to the disappearance of her daughter. She said that her daughter was in service with a lady in Sealcott road, Wandsworth common, and on July 19 she left home ostensibly to go back to her situation. "Although I had always found her a truthful girl, I am bound to say she deceived me in one respect," said Mrs. Vass. "She had left her situation, although she told me she had not. I think it was on the Monday she came home, and she left on the Thursday. She was then wearing a black straw hat trimmed with crape, and a very dark ulster with a velvet trimming front. She was a dark complexioned girl, fairly stout, quite of medium height - 5ft 5in certainly, and her dress was of black and white material - nothing like what I saw at the mortuary, but of course that goes for nothing. She had dark hair, fringed on the forehead, and her face was round and fresh coloured. We think she must have been enticed away. She was not a girl who kept a lot of company, and I believe the only person who ever wrote to her was a girl in service at Notting Hill. Lilly has kept her places two or three years at a time, but she had been with the lady at Wandsworth only about six months. If she is alive she must have been taken away right out of London, for we have looked and inquired everywhere for her, and we can get no tidings." Questioned as to how the girl left home, the mother went on to say :- "She told me, as I have already said, that she was going back to her place at Wandsworth, and that she thought she was going to travel with her mistress to the Isle of Wight. She left behind her mackinstosh and bag, and went away with nothing but the clothes she stood upright in. I was not surprised at this, because she explained that she had left her box with a charwoman of Chatham road, Wandsworth common. Everything pointed to the idea that she was going back to service, because she promised to send her brother a shilling to spend 'at a treat,' and to repay me a very small sum I advanced her. She was a girl not devoid of sense, but rather abrupt in manner. I think if she were alive she would write, even if she did not wish me to know here she was." Interrogated as to the possible identity of her daughter with the victim of the mysterious crime now being investigated by the A Division detectives, Mrs. Vass, somewhat distressed, said she hardly knew what to think - so many dreadful things were happening. Of course, recognition of the remains without the head was well nigh impossible, and so much depended on what the doctor said. Her daughter had fine arms, and her hand was rough from hard work. The only marks about the girl's body were on the neck, and they were the scars of old abscesses which had been lanced.
To the Editor of The Morning Advertiser.
The period of the year at which most of the elections to municipal offices take place appears to be a fitting one for asking your attention to the open provocation of immorality with which so many of our cities and towns abound. It is to the electors we must look for the use they make of the franchise in selecting those only who will manfully strive for the protection of their property and the security of their own families and the public morals. In the metropolis and many other centres of population certain streets swarm at night with those whose life is one of shame, and the boldness with which they ply their trade is greatly on the increase. The places in which they reside, or to which they resort, are rapidly multiplying. The knowledge of evil is thus spread out before the young of both sexes, and the downward path rendered both easy and attractive. Public decency is outraged, and proceedings tolerated which are a disgrace to our moral character and our Christian profession. Much, of not all, this display of profligacy it is in the power of civic, municipal, and parochial bodies to prevent. The law may and does require strengthening; but it is useless to cry out for more power whilst that which we have is not used; and it is in vain to expect that it will be used unless those having authority or influence are alive to the necessity. The purpose of this society is not to usurp the functions of those in whom the power resides, but to so raise the tone of public opinion as to encourage and enforce its exercise. It is ready, however, to aid in preventing, repressing, and rescuing through the instrumentality of local associations; and if necessary, by direct appeals to the law as circumstances may dictate. It would also point out that any two ratepayers may insist upon proceedings being taken, and under provisions of the law expressly devised for that purpose, to prosecute to conviction at the expense of the locality in which the mischief exists. The suppression of houses of ill fame, and the restraint of street solicitation, properly fall within the province of town councillors, overseers of the poor,. &c. The police authorities come in to aid the local officers. Proceedings in the first instance ought to be taken by those who suffer inconvenience from the presence of persons and places devoted to immorality, and the overseers, municipal authorities, and police should be ready to respond most vigorously to the calls of the public, and ought themselves to search out and proceed against this vice. Prostitutes, brothel keepers, and owners of premises rented for their purposes are alike subject to prosecution. Hitherto there has not been any general effort for repression and prevention, and interference has often been limited to the abatement of the nuisance, where it had become too open, by simply driving the perpetrators out of the district, rather than extended to such a punishment as may deter them from a repetition of the offence elsewhere. Thus, by leaving them to renew their misconduct in other localities, the authorities have incurred a tedious repetition of the process, oftentimes ending in the return of the offenders to their original haunts. Our desire on the present occasion is to gain your attention to the serious nature of the evil which prevails in our midst, and to express our hope that, in seeking election to positions of local power, you will bring this matter prominently to the notice of those whom you are preparing to represent, and in so doing receive their mandate that it shall not continue. The records of our courts of justice, the diaries of our clergymen and district visitors, the facts to which none can shut their eyes, all unite in testifying that immorality is so rife as to be eating out the nation's life, sapping the sources of our greatness, and provoking the indignation of that Power which may either preserve our prosperity or pronounce our destruction, according as we are found honouring the purity in which He delights, or practising the profligacy which He abhors.
We have the honour to be yours faithfully,
Central Vigilance Committee for the Repression of Immorality,
15 York Buildings, Adelphi.
Oct. 6, 1888.
Sir Charles Warren's report to the Home Secretary for the year 1887 was issued on Saturday. The Chief Commissioner says :-
The authorised strength on the 31st December, 1887, was 30 superintendents, 820 inspectors, 1363 sergeants, and 11868 constables: total 14081, being an increase of 2 superintendents, 168 inspectors, 196 sergeants, and a decrease of 89 constables since 31st December, 1886. of these four superintendents, 54 inspectors, 189 sergeants, and 1374 constables were employed on special duties for various Government departments, including special protection posts inside public offices and buildings, dockyards, and military stations, and by public companies and private individuals. The services of men thus employed were paid for to the receiver of the metropolitan police district by the departments to which the services were rendered. The details are given in return No 24. The number of police available for service in the metropolis, exclusive of those specially employed and whose services were paid for, was 26 superintendents, 766 inspectors, 1174 sergeants, and 10494 constables; total, 12460. An average of one fourteenth of the force, except special duties, sick &c., (791), is daily on leave, in accordance with the regulation granting one day's leave of absence to each man every fortnight. Of the remainder, 2488 men were employed on station and outside protection duties, and special duties under various Acts of Parliament, and after deducting the casualties (408) caused by the absence of men sick and in detached sick leave, there remained 8733 police available for duty in the streets. Under the existing system about 60 per cent of this number is required for night duty - from ten p.m. to six a.m. The remaining 40 per cent is detailed for duty in four reliefs in town districts from six a.m. to ten p.m. During the day the ordinary beat duty of the whole of the metropolis devolves upon some 1537 men. In addition to these numbers, however, 464 constables on "fixed points" and 79 at hackney carriage standings are on duty in the streets from nine a.m. to one a.m. The metropolitan police district, as established by 2 and 3 Vict., c. 47, extends over a radius of 15 miles from Charing cross, exclusive of the City of London, and the liberties thereof, and embraces an area of 688.31 square miles, extending from Colney heath, Hertfordshire, on the north, to Mogador, Todworth heath, in the south, and from Lark Hall, Essex, in the east, to Staines Moor, Middlesex, in the west. It will be seen that there is a great need for a very considerable augmentation, and this has been so reported by the superintendents. The ratable value of the metropolitan area for the year 1887-8 was £34,345,596, but of the enormous actual value property in charge of the police it is now impossible to form any estimate. The police rate is now fixed by 31 and 32 Vict., c. 67, at 9d in the £, of which 4d in the £ is paid by the Treasury. The total amount of police rate levied on the parishes for the year ended 31st March, 1888, produced £727,351, and the Treasury contributed £575,141 to the Police Fund during the year. The pay of the force alone, including chief constables and superintendents, inspectors, sergeants, and constables, was £1,096,277. The rapid increase both of buildings and population which has taken place in the metropolitan police district of late years has outrun the increase which it has been possible to make to the police force. It will be seen that since 1849, when the authorised strength of the police was 5493, of whom 5288 were available for police purposes, there have been built 500,852 new houses, while 3463 are in course of erection, 1833 miles of new streets have been added to the charge of the police, and the population has increased from 2,472,758 to 5,476,447. To meet this the available strength of those employed for the protection of public buildings in consequence of the dynamite outrages, is 8773. Those proposals made by the Commissioner during the year 1886, which have been carried into effect during 1887, can be practically reported on. A chief constable has again been appointed to each of the four police districts, and there is now an efficient chain of responsibility between the Commissioner and the constable, which has greatly conduced to efficiency in the police force. An assistant chief constable has been placed in charge of the candidates' class, now located at Kennington, and systematic instruction in police duties is now imparted to young constables. An assistant chief constable has been placed in charge of the mounted branch, acting under the chief constable, and a central expense saddlery store has been established at King street police station. This greatly increased the efficiency of the mounted men. An augmentation of inspectors and sergeants to the police force has enabled the Commissioner to reduce the number of hours of duty of those at the busy stations from twelve to eight hours. The telegraph service has been greatly extended, and an inner and outer circle established affording alternate routes for messages. The three assistant commissioners have had distinct duties assigned to them - (a) administration and discipline of the whole force, (b) civil business, (c) criminal investigation. The truncheon case has been abolished and truncheons are now carried in a side pocket. The pattern of truncheon has been revised, and it is now made of hard cocus wood. Boots are a matter of great concern, and a new pattern boot, of better quality, has been approved for issue in 1888. Divisional stores have been established to enable stable utensils and other such stores to be immediately issued in exchange for articles damaged or worn out; and the principle could be extended to accoutrements and small stores with great advantage. The standard of height for the admission of candidates, except in special cases, has been raised to 5 feet 9 inches, the examination for physique and education made much more rigid, and the limit of age for admission reduced to 27. The applications for entry are more numerous than ever.
I have to refer to the remarks of the superintendents on the subject of clubs, viz., that many of them are little better than unlicensed public houses. I think that all clubs should be placed under supervision. The duties of the police were exceptionally arduous and important owing to the various functions on the occasion of her Majesty's Jubilee; and her Majesty was graciously pleased to approve the issue of a special medal to members of the metropolitan police force in recognition of their services on that occasion. During the autumn attempts were made by unruly mobs to riot in the streets and Trafalgar square, which proceedings were successfully coped with by the police. Owing to the concentration of the theatres the thronging of the streets in the C division increases from year to year.
Common Lodging Houses - During the year 51 new houses were registered, 66 reopened, and 198 closed, leaving 959 registered houses under control at the end of the year, the same being apportioned to accommodate 31,351 lodgers. The above numbers show a decrease of 110 houses and a decrease of 1362 lodgers on the numbers of the preceding year.
Public Carriages - Licensing Branch - During the past year licences have been issued in respect of 7219 two wheeled hackney carriages (hansoms), 4027 four wheeled hackney carriages (clarences), and 2710 stage carriages; total 13,966 - an increase as compared with the year 1886 of 418 licences, made up of 199 hansoms, 30 clarences, and 189 stage carriages.
During the past year 1524 new vehicles were brought into use. This is the greatest number yet introduced in any single year. Of these 934 were hansoms, and the inspectors report that they were all of an improved make, very many of them being "Forders"; 265 were clarences, about the average number, and every considerable attention is said to have been bestowed upon the construction of most of them. Some are stated to have been far in advance of any vehicle of a similar description yet submitted for a licence. There are, however, it appears, still some builders producing sound and well built vehicles who cling to the old style, as if no improvements were possible or necessary. The remaining 325 vehicles submitted were stage carriages. Nearly all the omnibuses inspected for a licence were provided with "garden" or "cross" seats on the roof, built generally to give more comfort to passengers by extended seat room and enlarged capacity. Tramway cars are pressing themselves into public use, 69 additional cars having been licensed during the past year; and the very general attempts to secure new routes, with the constant complaints of overcrowding, show them to be very acceptable to, and much patronised by, the general public.
Public carriages - Lost Property Branch - The number of articles deposited during the tear was 22,480; in the previous year the number was 22.361. I had anticipated a decrease in the number of deposits in 1887, in consequence of there having been no exhibition at South Kensington, for although the Jubilee festivities in June last brought many thousands of visitors into London, who would probably not otherwise have come, the increase in the number of articles brought to the office that month was 106 only. During the year 12,575 deposits were restored to the owners, who paid awards to the drivers and conductors who deposited the property, amounting in the whole to £1963 9s 4d, including the following large sums:- one £23, one £20, one £15, two £10, four £8, and eight £5. 7239 letters and 4608 informations reporting the loss of property in public carriages were received during the year, each requiring a careful search in the registers before being answered. Amongst other means taken to trace owners of property is the sending notices to the occupiers of houses and managers of hotels and theatres, where the driver gives the number of the house ot the hotel or theatre where he was hired and discharged; and 2718 of these were sent out last year. In conclusion I would observe that I have every reason to believe that the office is much appreciated by the public, and that drivers and conductors are satisfied that their interests are properly attended to.
Night inspections have been continued by the inspectors in plain clothes, monthly, at uncertain periods, and they have resulted in 394 hackney carriages, 15 stage carriages, 35 horses, and in five cases of the harness having been reported as unfit for public use. The public complained of 18 hackney carriages, 12 stage carriages, and 22 horses during the year, and the usual steps were taken in each case. There were otherwise reported, as unfit by the police, in their general supervision, 1207 hackney carriages, 85 stage carriages, and 114 horses, also nine cases of defective harness. Forty nine hackney carriage licences were revoked, and seven suspended, and there were also one stage carriage licence revoked, all for various breaches of the Public carriage Act.
Drivers and Conductors - Licences were issued to drivers and conductors during the year as under:-
15,100 to hackney drivers, 5321 to stage drivers, and 1086 to conductors; total, 27,507; being an increase as compared to 1886 of 1187, and made up of 248 more hackney drivers, 468 more stage drivers, and 471 more conductors.
Thus of the 26,320 licences issued in 1886 the Commissioner had to consider 1233 cases on application for renewal in 1887, and 891 were renewed with a caution, 233 deferred for a time, 78 refused, and 31 revoked by a magistrate; total dealt with, 1233.
On the 1st of April, 1886, there were 42 and a half miles of cabs licensed, and about 17 miles of cabstands only. Up to the 31st of December, 1886, three and three quarters additional miles of cabstands were added, and during 1887 two more miles of cabstands were provided. Thus during the above period the cabstand accommodation was increased from 17 miles to 22 and three quarter miles, while the cabs licensed increased from 42 and a half miles to 44 and three quarter miles.
Chief Constable Howard, submitting reports of the superintendents of divisions in No 2 (Northern district), says:- "There is a small but steady decrease in crime, and if the efforts of the police were seconded by the public generally this would be shown year by year in a more marked degree. Unfortunately, however, this is not the case; in fact, owners of property get, if possible, more careless, houses are left altogether unattended for days and weeks together, warehouses and shops (closed frequently most insufficiently) on Saturday at midday remain unvisited until Monday morning, and then too often it is discovered that advantage has been taken of the obvious indifference by predators who are ever on the alert. It would be most unfair to blame the police in such cases; their duty is, in the streets, to examine and protect as far as they can the outside of buildings, but if windows are left open and doors improperly fastened, very often, too, out of sight of the constables on the beat, the blame for what results from such negligence must lie with the owners themselves. It is marvellous, under the circumstances, and looking at the size of the metropolis and its scattered suburbs, that there are not more cases of burglary and housebreaking, and I think the police can fairly take credit for the efforts made to prevent them. That they do not spare themselves in such efforts the record of the year fully shows, and it may be sufficient to allude to two cases which occurred in the division of this district to prove that. Barker, a constable of the S division, in his attempt to arrest some burglars, was attacked by them and left senseless on the railway; he escaped with his life, but one of his legs was cut off by a passing train. Holland, a constable of the D division, was shot down in the enclosure near the parish church of St. Marylebone by burglars who had attempted to enter that building, and although his life was spared he is maimed and lame for life. The public generously acknowledges meritorious actions of this kind whenever they occur, and are not sparing of something more substantial than praise to reward the men who guard them, but it would be impossible for them to know the numerous instances in which the activity and zeal of the constables and their officers have been the means of preserving both life and property. The commendations and rewards by judges and magistrates have not been less frequent than in former years, and Constable Jenkins, of the E division, who formerly received from the Royal Humane Society the Stanhope gold medal for saving life, was again awarded a bronze medal for gallantly jumping into the Thames to save a woman from drowning. Constable Leonard, of the same division, was also awarded a medal and certificate in rescuing a drowning man in the Thames. In fact both praise and rewards are always forthcoming when such actions are brought to notice, and that the recognition of their services is thus made plain cannot fail to have the best effect, counteracting as it does to a considerable extent a great deal of unmerited abuse which they at times labour under. I believe, however, the force generally are well aware that they possess in the fullest degree the confidence of the citizens of London, whose servants they are, and in spite of what is said at one time or another, I believe that confidence is as freely given as it is fully deserved. If anything is wanted to prove that, attention might be drawn to the events of the last quarter of the year. Of the behaviour of the police during many weeks, even months, of great excitement and much anxiety, I need say but little, it is fresh in the memory of all; but I believe had such a state of affairs existed in any other city nothing but the presence of an armed force would have satisfied the public. That the excitement was allayed and the attempt at disorder suppressed without loss of life, and without a single bond fide charge of misconduct being brought against the Metropolitan Police, must be to them a cause for very great satisfaction."
Superintendent Steggles, in his report of for the E, or Holborn, division, writes:- "The manner of conducting the various saloons, restaurants, public and beer houses, &c., coming with the provisions of the Licensing Acts has been good, as is instances by the fact that in only one case was it necessary to take proceedings, and that was dismissed with a suitable caution to the keeper by the magistrate."
Superintendent Steed, of the K division, says:- "Eight summonses were taken out against persons under the Intoxicating Liquors Acts for various offences against the licences, six convictions following. This shows a marked improvement as compared with former years."
Superintendent Braunan, of the L division, writes:- "I am pleased to be able to show a marked decrease in the number of persons charged with drunkenness during the year, being 329 less than in the previous year, notwithstanding that Carter street subdivision has been attached to the L division for six months longer than in the preceding year. I am bound to say that the improvement is partly due to the care exercised by licensed victuallers, who have shown every desire to prevent drunkenness as far as possible."
Interesting as the annual report is the Commissioner of Police if the Metropolis must always be, circumstances combine to attract public attention to this year's issue in a special way. The report which Sir Charles Warren has just issued comes before the people of London in the midst of a series of events unparalleled in the history of London crime, and when many are inclined to complain of the failure of the force up to the present time to obtain any trace of the mysterious criminal who is so badly wanted. Furthermore, the period of the Trafalgar square riots and the turbulent proceedings of the unemployed, which period falls within the purview of the present report, was marked by a great deal of hostile feeling against the police on the part of the many persons misled by the clamour of unscrupulous agitators. Nor has that feeling wholly died away, we fear, in certain quarters. At a time, therefore, when there is a tendency to twit the force with present failure, and when also the winter season is at hand with all its possibilities of renewed disorder, it is well that the confidence our citizens have in their police should be restored or confirmed by facts and figures as to the positive amount of good work which the force has accomplished in the course of the important Jubilee year, 1887. The appearance of the Commissioner's report is then distinctly opportune, and its contents are worth the consideration of everybody who cares to descend from the cloudy region of vague generalities about the conduct of the police to the form ground of unimpeachable statistics as to the actual work which that much maligned body of public servants has really done.
On the 31st of December, 1887, the total number of the force was 14,081, there having been an increase in the number of superintendents, inspectors, and sergeants, and a decrease (though much smaller) in the number of constables as compared with the year before. Of the total number, the best part of 2000 have been on special duties for Government departments, such as protecting public offices and buildings, dockyards, and military stations, as well as on similar duties on the premises of private individuals and public companies. The mention of these special duties is important, inasmuch as their fulfilment has entailed a reduction of the number of police available for service in the metropolis to 12,460. Of the available strength an average of one fourteenth has been daily on leave, while of the remainder 2488 men have been employed on "station and outside protection duties and special duties under various Acts of Parliament." After deducting the casualties caused by sickness, there have been 8773 police available for duty in the streets. The existing system allots 60 per cent of these for night duty, which extends from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. and 40 per cent for duty in the daytime. What is the extent of the district for the safety of which these 8773 policemen are responsible by day and night? The metropolitan police district extends (exclusive of the City of London and its Liberties) over a radius of 15 miles from Charing cross. When one considers the extent of this area, the rateable value of it, which, last year, was £34,346,596, the immense value of the property within it which cannot possibly be estimated, and the enormous growth both of buildings and of population year by year, it becomes plain that the present numbers of the force are far from adequate for the efficient performance of its functions. As the Commissioner observes in the report - "It will be seen that there is a great need for a very considerable augmentation, and this has been so reported by the superintendents." In point of fact, the London of today, with its 5,476,447 inhabitants and 8773 police to protect them, is in far worse case than the London of 1849, when 2,473,758 persons had an available strength of 5288 police to look after their safety. The facts and figures he adduces in proof of the necessity of a considerable augmentation may be commended to the thoughtless persons who wonder why the Commissioner does not place a policeman at point duty at the corner of every slum in Whitechapel. As Sir Charles Warren points out, the strength of the force does not permit any considerable drafting of police into one district without a corresponding denudation of other quarters, which have as much right to police protection as any district in the East end.
During the period covered by the report a variety of proposals made by the Commissioner have been carried into effect. The absolute success of some of the changes introduced by Sir Charles Warren has not been unanimously admitted by persons acquainted with the practical working of the force. To discuss these questions within our present limits is obviously impossible. It is sufficient to point out that new brooms, if they sweep clean, are not always as handy to the grasp of the sweeper as the older implements. It is, therefore, quite possible that much to which objection has been taken, and which may not at first appear to be any improvement on previous methods, may, after a lapse of time and a longer trial, prove as valuable as its advocate believes it to be. Against certain particular reforms - for example, the augmentation of inspectors and sergeants, which has reduced the number of hours on duty of those at the busy stations from twelve to eight hours - there can, surely, be nothing to be said. The abolition of the truncheon case in favour of a convenient side pocket, and the introduction of hard cocus wood as the material of which truncheons are now made, are also useful changes. Much has been said of late, and with considerable reason, of the facility afforded for the escape of criminals by the noise made by the policeman's boots. The audible tread with which "92 X" paces his beat, though infinitely consolatory to the nervous householder who happens to be kept awake at night by the presentiment that there are burglars about, is much to be deplored by reason of the warning it gives to the evildoer of the approaching advent of his natural enemy. "Boots," as the Commissioner justly observes, "are a matter of great concern," and therefore we should be glad to know that the new pattern boot, of better quality, which has been approved for issue in the present year is provided with an inaudible sole. To any such improvement, however, the Commissioner makes no reference. It is satisfactory to learn that in spite of the grumblings and growlings of which so much has been heard of late, and although the physical and educational qualifications for admission to the force have been raised considerable, the applications of candidates are more numerous than ever. There being, then, no lack of recruits, and it having become now painfully evident that the force is inadequate to the due and satisfactory discharge of its duties, it is much to be regretted that it has not received the necessary addition to its strength. Not because the recent fiendish murders would have been prevented or their perpetrator discovered if the force had been increased to the extent the Commissioner and his superintendents desire; for it is highly probable that if it had been even doubled we should have had to record the same failures which we all now deplore. But when a case is clearly made out for an augmentation of the number of constables, in order that the lives and property of the citizens may receive sufficient protection, there ought to be no hesitation on the score of cost and consequent taxation in doing what is plainly required. It is never wise to work an establishment always at its greatest power, which implies that there is no reserve for emergencies; and that, it seems, has been the case with the Metropolitan Police. Such a course is in the end found to be false economy, for instead of saving the pockets of the ratepayers it is certain to result some time or other in making heavier demands upon them, and entailing greater expenditure than would have been otherwise required. If the authorities who are responsible for the present state of things had had the courage to make such an addition to the force as the information in their possession showed to be necessary, they would have been spared some of the obloquy which is now cast upon them.
Sir Charles Warren, in his annual report, offers a suggestion with the principle of which we agree, but against the terms of which we feel bound to protest. Referring to clubs as in many cases "little better than unlicensed public houses," he recommends that all such places should be placed under police supervision. The advice is good, so far as it goes, but the comparison is odious. Sir Charles Warren, we are aware, holds decided views on the subject of temperance, but we acquit him of anything like a deliberate intention to cast a slur upon a lawful business and those who make their living by it. At the same time we venture to remind the Chief Commissioner that to class the public houses in the same category as the clubs on which he passes so significant an opinion is invidious and unfair. To describe these places as little better than unlicensed public houses appears to us to involve an entirely groundless and gratuitous reflection on the licensed houses. It is as much as to say that the club is a public house plus the abuses which might be expected if the public house were conducted without a licence. We cannot say what these abuses might be for the simple reason that they do not exist, save in the imagination of the Chief Commissioner, who has evidently conceived a fancy picture on the subject which is intimated in his report. This, we repeat, is unfair and unjust, for most assuredly there is no similarity between the public house as it is and the club, which Sir Charles Warren seems to regard as only a somewhat worse form of it. If, however, we have to reckon with rooted prejudice in an official mind, there is nothing for it but to regret the fact, and to resign ourselves to the position. Everybody should, however, be well aware that clubs of the kind alluded to in the report are organised, and work on a wholly different footing from the public houses, that they have been denounced over and over by the police and other authorities as dens of drunkenness, riot, and immorality which furnish practically unrestricted opportunities for indulgence in the evils and excesses against which the law has set up such elaborate and even irksome preventives in the case of the regularly licensed establishments. There is no more striking or ludicrous example of blundering legislation than that which has overburdened with all manner of intricate pains and penalties the business of the licensed victualler, who stolidly beholds the object with which these pains and penalties are imposed openly defeated by the operation of a multitude of shebeens, in which people can get drunk day or night without let or hindrance. Sir Charles Warren thinks that the clubs "should be put under supervision." No doubt, but surely this is, at least, a very ineffective proposal for dealing with a crying and an increasing evil. What is the use of supervision if nothing is to follow from the vague suggestion? The records of our police courts reek with the scandal of these destructive haunts, wherein not only drunkenness, but gambling and other forms of profligacy are tolerated, or rather sanctioned by the same laws which are so strained and stretched to suppress these causes of public demoralisation elsewhere. So far we are not aware that such "supervision" as the police, with their multifarious duties in other respects, have been exercise upon these clubs has had any corrective effect worth boasting of. Fines are inflicted and paid, the haunts continue to flourish, and the evil goes on without abatement. The day must come when for the sheer shame of the thing, so glaring and noxious an abuse will be checked or corrected. In the meantime it is to be hoped that authority, however strong its prepossessions may be, will draw a fair and reasonable distinction between the carefully managed and well conducted public house and the "drink trap" with which Sir Charles Warren appears to confound it. The Commissioner's report is itself an emphatic testimony to the character and conduct of the licensed business and those engaged in it. Several of the superintendents whose reports are appended bear witness to the decrease of drunkenness and to the exertions of the licensed victuallers in promoting the desirable result. Superintendent Brannan, of the L division, for instance, states that "the improvement is partly due to the care exercised by licensed victuallers, who have shown every desire to prevent drunkenness as far as possible." Superintendent Steggles, of the E division, reports that in his district "the manner of conducting the various saloons, restaurants, public and beer houses, &c., coming within the provisions of the Licensing Acts, has been good, as is shown by the fact that in only one case was it necessary to take proceedings, and that was dismissed with a suitable caution by the magistrate." The evidence might be indefinitely enlarged, but the individual testimony in the year's record is scarcely so important as the general returns, which may be seriously commended to the study of those inclined to swallow the pessimistic views of the teetotal platform with respect to the national progress of intemperance. The figures speak for themselves. Taking the last decade, we find that whereas in 1878 the total summonses issued against "drink houses" in the metropolitan police district was 319, the total in 1887 had fallen to 87. Again, while the total number of apprehensions for drunkenness in 1877 was 32,369 in a population of 4,450,000, the total of like apprehensions in 1887 was 20,658 in a population returned by Sir Charles Warren at 5,476,447. In other words, the arrests for drunkenness, having regard to the relative totals of population, had fallen to less than half. To take another set of totals, the number of licensed houses existing last year was 13,995, as against 20,658 the total number of arrests for drunkenness. This would give an average of about one and a half persons arrested for drunkenness in proportion to each licence. Now, we make bold to believe that in the mind of all impartial persons these figures will shed an instructive light on the moral condition not only of the metropolitan population, but upon the whole temperance question, and upon the agitation of which it the basis and the theme. It is preposterous in the face of such evidence to bewail the increasing evils of drunkenness, or to indulge in Lawsonite threnodies over the incapacity of the masses to govern their appetites and the consequent necessity for extirpating the evil by a mixture of coercion and confiscation. We are accustomed to the hardihood of assertion which distinguishes temperance oratory, but the boldest oracle of the United Kingdom Alliance will find it difficult to contest the conclusion which is so clearly set forth by the figures in the report. Having regard, first, to the absolute and very marked decrease of drunkenness, and next to the active and successful co-operation of the members of the trade in promoting the improvement, it may be fairly claimed that a clearer distinction might have been observed in the report between the public houses and the clubs to which they are likened. This, however, is, after all, a matter of expression. The point is what end the Chief Commissioner intends his proposed supervision shall serve. The evils of the so called "clubs" are notorious; they will continue until some practical remedy is applied. If suppression, which so many advocate, be considered an extreme step, restriction cannot be objected to, and both on grounds of public expediency and of individual justice, the least that can be done is to subject these places to the same responsibilities and the same control as is applied to public houses. Under the present system the public house has to bear, in addition to its own heavy liabilities, the odium thrown upon it by the drunkenness and immorality of which the club is the fons malorum. The club proprietor not only robs the licensed victualler of his business, he too often filches from him also his good name and character by making his business chargeable with drunkenness and disorder which, in fact, had their origin in the club. The worst of it is that the regular trader is helpless in face of this serious addition to his other burdens. Nor is the order recently issued by Sir Charles Warren likely to help him. In this decree the Chief Commissioner directs officers arresting drunken persons in or near a public house to note and report any facts which may tend to prove where and under what circumstances the accused obtained the liquor, with a view, if possible, of proceedings being taken against the publican concerned. This is a remarkable order. Like the suggestion with respect to the clubs, it involves a distinct addition to the duties of the police at a time when, as the Chief Commissioner himself complains, and as the grave evidence of particular facts makes it uncomfortably plain, the numerical strength of the force is inadequate to the duties it has already to discharge. The police are admittedly overworked; the order, if carried out, will increase their labours. And to what purpose? The evil with which it is proposed to grapple in a fashion of such roundabout and superfluous strategy is steadily diminishing. It is diminishing, as the authorities admit, through the aid and assistance of the men who are treated by this order as if they were the enemies of the law and the instigators of its violation. It is hard to understand how, with the testimony of his own subordinates under his eyes, the Chief Commissioner could have issued such an instruction, which is as cumbrous as it is unnecessary. There is no need to pursue the publican with involved tactics of this kind. Drunkenness is his most dreaded foe; it endangers his credit and imperils his means of living; he requires no stimulus in the way of added terrors to put him more upon his guard than he is at present. The Chief Commissioner no doubt means well, but his action is not in correspondence with his meaning, and the attempt to enforce it will certainly not disarm the criticism which expresses itself so strongly with respect the efficient discharge of the duties already cast upon an overworked and over burdened police force.
The perpetrator of the Whitechapel murders being still as far as ever from, being captured, the last hope of a great many people seems to be in the bloodhounds, which it is now officially announced Sir Charles Warren is preparing to employ. Indeed, the belief is gaining ground, such is the imitativeness of half insane criminals, that not impossibly more than one hand has been engaged in these butcheries. This, like a host of far more improbable theories, is quite open to discussion, since we know absolutely nothing regarding the fiends who committed the crime over which for weeks past London has been talking. This fact renders the difficulty of apprehending him ot them almost insurmountable, for unless the murderer was caught in the act it is hard to see how he could be hunted out. Even then, though the public would be sure to draw their own conclusions, it would be next to guesswork to affirm that he was the man who had slaughtered the women in Whitechapel. This is not a case of a person who is known or even suspected being followed up by the police. They have absolutely nothing to go upon. He has left no traces behind him, and has not, so far as is known, taken anything which belonged to his victims. Circumstantial evidence is therefore wanting, and hence, unless the inhuman brute is more than half insane, his chances of escape are every day getting more and more numerous. He has been compared to John Williams, the Irish sailor, who murdered the two families in Ratcliff highway, now more than seventy seven years ago. But, apart from the fact that robbery was Williams's object, he left damning evidence in the shape of a mallet and other tools which enabled the police to get on his track. No such relics are at our disposal at present. And this leads us to the remark that the hopes founded on the sagacity of the bloodhounds are so far destined to be disappointed, much though everyone would have wished a contrary state of matters. The reason is, in the first place, that even if hounds of the first metal are to be had, they cannot follow up a scent unless they have something belonging to the men they are pursuing put before them. If they had been at hand on the morning of the murders better work might have been expected. But a few hours after the bodies were discovered the place was trodden by hundreds, so that, apart from the fact that a slaughterhouse is at hand, and the smell of blood plentiful, the dogs, instead of running down the murderer, might have been just as apt to track a curate taking his tea, or a detective just come home to breakfast.
The truth is that the wordy talk of the last few days regarding what a bloodhound can do and might have done is based upon some rather ancient history. The erudite references to William of Deloraine, and the manner in which that cattle lifting hero managed to "baffle Percy's best bloodhounds," have really little bearing in the present circumstances. They refer to a wild, thinly populated country, where the scent lay easily, and the robber on whose track the dogs were laid perfectly well known. Equally little to the purpose are the stories of the Cuban bloodhounds employed to run down escaped slaves in the West Indies or in the Southern States of America, or those the very name of which carried such terror into the minds of the Maroons in the Jamaica rebellion of 1795 that they immediately surrendered. These dogs were in the first place a different breed from the ones now kept in England for mere fancy purposes, and in the second they were carefully trained, kept in practice, and had a very different country to work in than the streets of London. The hound which so effectually brought Fish, the Blackburn barber, to the gallows was also not a dog of the breed about which just at present we are hearing so much. Indeed, it was not a "sleuth hound" at all, but a mongrel, a bull mastiff with, perhaps, a trace of the bloodhound in him. No doubt at one time, when the dogs were carefully trained, and their every instinct strengthened, they could perform in an open country with what the old writers call "an unfoiled scent" very remarkable feats, though after all nothing more extraordinary than what the modern otter hound is capable of doing. Strabo describes them being used in an attack upon the Gauls, and when Balboa crossed for the first time across the Isthmus of Panama he was accompanied by some huge dogs, the memory of which still lingers as a legend among the Indians of New Grenada. In the clan wars of Scotland they were often employed in tracking fugitives, and, among others, both Wallace and Bruce are declared by the early chroniclers to have been so hunted. The former is said to have thrown off the sleuth hounds by killing a suspected follower, on whose corpse the dogs stood. This barbarous expedient, which was commonly put into execution, shows that their nose is not so unerring as that of the staghound, which has been known to follow the scent of an individual deer right through a herd of others. It can, moreover, be broken by the pursued person wading some distance down a stream, as Bruce did, and then ascending a tree overhanging the water. In the Irish rebellion in the reign of Queen Elizabeth the Earl of Essex is reported to have had as many as 800 bloodhounds employed with his army, though whether as fighting animals, utilised, as they are still in the Austrian army, as camp guards or as trackers, we are not told. Yet as late as last century the Buccleuch family had numbers for the purpose of terrorising the deer stealers and other poachers; they were generally used in Hayti at the close of last century; and, as everyone knows, they were until very lately, and even still, in demand throughout Cuba for the running down of escaped slaves. These Cuban dogs differ, however, very considerably from the English variety, having small pendulous ears and a much more pointed nose and ferocious appearance. The animal is never well trained, for it almost invariably springs upon the runaway, and as it is not particular as to the person so attacked, it is very clear that not even the very remote chance of a bloodhound leading to the capture of the Whitechapel murderer will reconcile the citizens of London to the risk of being torn to pieces or throttled by a ferocious brute just laid on a supposed criminal's track, while they, all unconscious of the stir, are taking their walks abroad.
In short, anyone familiar with the characteristics of the modern sleuth hound will regard with mingled apprehension and incredulity the latest move of the police. As Sir Charles Warren is a man of wide knowledge and broad travel, he is probably well aware of all this, and is only cautiously and tentatively trying them, to appease the public clamour raised by the vague though erroneous recollection of the Blackburn "bloodhound's" success, which has been resuscitated within the past week. Any dog fancier (who has no dogs to sell) could have told him that the hounds to be had in England are, with perhaps not a single exception, little better than shams. Whatever their ancestors were, the long disuse of their faculties have rendered them as dull and stupid as a dog can be. Without any instincts which can be utilised, the modern sleuth hound is now to a great extent merely a fashionable show dog, whose chief attraction is his blood curdling appearance. At the Warwick Dog Show two years ago one of the principal attractions was to have been a man hunt by bloodhounds. But, like Barnum's famous buffalo hunt near New York, it was ludicrous failure. The man was there, it is true, and ready enough to be hunted, but the hounds declined to run him down, for though willing, they were unable to do what was expected of them. Even the much abused, two legged detective as a rule displays better skill than these much vaunted dogs did at Warwick. It is, therefore, prudent, even at the risk of discouraging high hopes, to warn sanguine people that Sir Charles's hounds are not likely to put Sir Charles's men to shame unless they are put on the fresh uncrossed scent of a murderer early in the morning, though even then there is a peril of their bringing the wrong man to bay.
Notwithstanding the apprehensions which were entertained of further outrages in Saturday night, no fresh crimes of the sort were committed. During the evening much excitement prevailed owing to groundless rumours being generally circulated that the police had received a number of letters intimating that the murderer intended to resume his terrible operations. It is more than probable that the extraordinary precautions which the police had adopted may have deterred him from attempting fresh tragedies for the present; but the feeling is general that the last of his desperate deeds has not yet been committed. Meanwhile the police are displaying the utmost activity, and are receiving valuable aid from the volunteer police of the Vigilance Committee. On Saturday night and last night almost every nook and corner of the Whitechapel district was watched, and all persons of suspicious appearance were watched until further observation became unnecessary. The police and the men employed by the Vigilance Committee are very much on the alert, in proof of which it may be mentioned that in several instances plainclothes men strange to the neighbourhood have been watched by members of the Vigilance Committee, while the latter in their turn have been severely scrutinised by detectives. The police have received so called descriptions of the murderer from a number of persons who think they have seen him, but they differ so much that but little or no trust can be placed in them. The activity of the police is not confined to the Whitechapel district, but a sharp lookout is kept on other parts of the metropolis. Extra precautions are also taken in watching the parks. The streets adjacent to the scenes of the late tragedies were unusually quiet by midnight on Saturday, and the few members visible of the "unfortunate" class were in most cases walking in pairs. During yesterday a large number of people visited the district, but the police had no difficulty in preserving order.
An extraordinary statement bearing upon the Whitechapel tragedies was made to the Cardiff police yesterday by a respectable looking elderly woman, who stated that she was a spiritualist, and, in company with five other persons, held a séance on Saturday night. They summoned the spirit of Elizabeth Stride, and after some delay the spirit came, and, in answer to questions, stated that her murderer was a middle aged man, whose name she mentioned, and who resided at a given number in Commercial road or street, Whitechapel, and who belonged to a gang of twelve.
The New York Herald declares (according to a Reuter's telegram) that the seaman named Dodge, who recently stated that a Malay whom he had met in London threatened to murder a number of Whitechapel women for robbing him, said that he knew the street where the Malay stayed, but that he would not divulge the name until he learned what chance there was of a reward. He stated, however, that the street was not far from the East India Dock road, but he was not certain about the house where the man lived. Another man said he thought the Malay was now on a vessel plying in the North Sea. The following letter from the Home Secretary has been received by the president of the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee:-
Whitehall, Oct. 6., 1888.
The Secretary of State for the Home Department has had the honour to lay before the Queen the petition signed by you, praying that a reward may be offered by the Government for the discovery of the perpetrator of the recent murders in Whitechapel, and he desires me to inform you that though he had given directions that no effort or expense should be spared in endeavouring to discover the person guilty of the murders, he has not been bale to advise Her Majesty that in his belief the ends of justice would be promoted by any departure from the direction already announced with regard to the proposal that a reward should be offered by Government.
I am, sir, your obedient servant,
E. Leigh Pemberton.
The body of the deceased woman Kate Eddowes has been placed in a handsome polished coffin with oak mouldings. It has a black plate with gold letters with the following inscription:- "Katherine Eddowes, died Sept. 30th, 1888. Aged 43 years." All the expense in connexion with the funeral will be borne by Mr. Hawks, Banner street, St. Luke's. The City authorities, to whom the cemetery at Ilford belongs, have arranged to remit the usual fee.
For some days the inhabitants of Eltham, especially the female portion, have been alarmed at a strange looking man sleeping in the woods and fields, and occasionally emerging into solitary places to beg. Complaints were made to the police, many persons thinking he was the Whitechapel assassin. The police turned out to find him, and Sub Inspector Harris on Friday night found him asleep, covered over with grass, in a field abutting on Mottingham lane, Eltham. He was taken to the police station and charged with being found wandering abroad, and sleeping in the open air without visible means of subsistence. He gave the name of Bertram Knutson, aged 23, and said he was a Norwegian sailor. He was brought before Mr. Fenwick at the Woolwich police court on Saturday, and was told that he must not go about in the present disturbed state of public feeling alarming people in the woods and fields. The magistrate directed the police to take the man to the workhouse.
At the Birmingham Police Court in Saturday a man giving the name of Alfred Napier Blanchard, canvasser, from London, was charged on his own confession with the Whitechapel murders. The prisoner was arrested on the strength of a circumstantial statement he had been making in a public house. In court he denied any connexion with the murders, and explained his confession by pleading mental excitement, caused by reading about the tragedies. He was remanded till today, but the police do not consider his arrest important.
Mr. Lusk, the head of the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee, on Saturday evening deemed it advisable to direct the attention of the police to a mysterious stranger who had been prowling round his premises and his son's house. A full description was given by Mr. Lusk, his son, and a Mr. Bayless, the latter of whom subsequently stated that the man had the most diabolical looking face that he had ever seen. The fellow had been hanging about Mr. Lusk's house for three days, attempting to get from the neighbours an exact description of him, and it is believed that he is the same man who entered the bar of a tavern kept by one of Mr. Lusk's sons, and whose movements then were of so suspicious a nature, that he was actually followed with a view of arrest. The description given of this man is as follows:- Height 5ft 9in, aged 38 to 40, full beard and moustache, matted and untrimmed, dent on the bridge of the nose, florid complexion, wide nostrils, eyes sunken; dressed in rusty frockcoat, white turndown collar, black tie, no watch chain, deerstalker hat, and the left boot broken out at the left side, carried a brown stick with round top. This man is being actively searched for by the police authorities, and any information regarding him will gladly be received at any police station.
A new committee has been formed by Mr. Perkins, a wholesale manufacturer, one of whose factories faces the house, No 29 Hanbury street, the scene of the murder of Annie Chapman on the 8th ult. Already between 150 and 200 members have joined the new organisation.
A well known journalist and ex Parliamentary reporter, and formerly editor of an East end paper, living in South London, started as a female decoy from Peckham shortly before midnight on Saturday for Whitechapel, believing, in common with most others, that the early hours of yesterday morning would see the committal of another murder. After a peculiar experience he got as far as St. George's church in the Borough, where some woman came up and asseverated that he was a man, while a cabman offered a bet "a pound to a shilling on it." He thought that, under these circumstances, the best policy to pursue was to walk over to Southwark police station, inviting the cabman and some others to accompany him. At the station, where he was well known, the incident came to an end. It is understood that the gentleman in question depended solely for his safety upon an ounce of chemicals.
Since Saturday there have been a dozen arrests in connexion with the Whitechapel murders. In most of the cases the persons taken into custody were arrested on the information of private residents, and the police state that, though in several cases there appeared to be good ground for suspicion, the explanations which were forthcoming were satisfactory, and the suspected persons were released. The most important arrest, as it was thought, was a man who, last night, was in the neighbourhood of Commercial street, and whose movements were considered to be suspicious. He was followed by two private persons until they met a constable, who, on their information, took him into custody. On being searched at the Commercial street police station it was found that in a black bag which he was carrying were two razors and a strop. At first it was stated he gave false addresses, but it appears that he had come up from the country yesterday, and, having explained his movements, there was no reason for detaining him.