A Revolting Story of a Lodging House Keeper in Whitechapel
London, Oct. 13.
A sensation of the most enormous proportions was caused here by the statement made yesterday by a lodging house keeper who is located in Whitechapel district and claims that it was at her house that Jack the Ripper lived during his sanguinary escapades thereabouts. The woman who keeps the house came to Albert Backert, chairman of the vigilance committee, and in the presence of several witnesses told her story and afterward swore to it.
The woman, who is a respectable person, known to police to be quiet and conducting a thoroughly reliable place, says that during the period marked by the distinctive murders of the Ripper, a young man called at her house and engaged a bedroom. He stated to her, in reply to her questions as to his business and his ability to pay for the accommodations, that he had been to sea up to the time of his coming there, and that now he did not work at all, but was in receipt of an allowance from his father of £1 per week, and that his brother, who was a physician, gave him a further allowance of a trifle over this amount. When he took possession of the apartment the woman noticed that he had a great quantity of clothing of all kinds, including hunting breeches, as well as several revolvers, guns and many other articles not often found in the outfit of a working man. He asked for a door key, which was given him, and she noticed that he went out and came in at unusual and irregular hours of the night.
What first excited her suspicion that there was something unusual about him was the bloody condition in which she often found the towels sent to his room. She finally spoke to the man of this and remonstrated with soiling the articles in such a manner, and asking what had caused such a profusion of blood. He endeavored to explain the thing away by saying that he was very fond of painting, and in his preparations he was in the habit of wiping his brushes on the towels. This probably stained them so as to give the impression that it was blood. Further than this, the woman stated that she knows from her own knowledge that he sent several persons pieces of what appeared to be raw liver.
One afternoon she happened in his room for the purpose of attending to some of her household duties and there she saw him with a newspaper spread out upon his table and upon it a large piece of raw meat, which she at a distance took to be liver.
Upon another occasion, somewhat later than this, she saw the man do up a piece of this meat in a small box, tie it securely and address it to the chairman of the vigilance committee and leave the house with it under his arm. She never saw it or the box afterward. Further even than this, the woman affirms that she saw the man place small bits of flesh in envelopes, which he addressed to different news agencies and papers, and also to prominent members of the police. On two occasions he brought home with him blood stained aprons which he gave to her, and which she still has and is ready to turn over to the police, believing now that they belonged to two of his victims. She says that he always seemed to have ample money, and spent it with a degree of lavishness not often met with in that locality.
On the morning of the Castle alley murder, which was the last that Jack the Ripper has thus far committed, her lodger left and has not yet returned. The woman gives as her reason for not speaking earlier that she did not suspect the identity of the man until after he had got beyond her reach, and then she feared to go to the police, but the secret so weighed upon her mind that she could keep it no longer.