21 November 1888
THE QUESTION OF REWARDS
The Lord mayor, acting upon the advice of the Commissioner of City Police, has, in the name of the Corporation of London, offered a reward of £500 for the detection of the Whitechapel murderer, the last crime having been committed within the jurisdiction of the city. The following is the placard offering the reward:-
MURDER - £500 REWARD
Whereas, at 1.45 a.m. on Sunday, the 30th of September last. A woman name unknown, was found brutally murdered in Mitre square, Aldgate, in this City, a reward of £500 will be paid by the Commissioner of Police of the city of London to any person (other than a person belonging to a police force in the United Kingdom) who shall give such information as shall lead to the discovery and conviction of the murderer or murderers. Information to be given to the Inspector of the Detective Department, 26, Old Jewry, or at any police station.
JAMES FRASER, Colonel, Commissioner.
The Home Secretary, having had forwarded to him a cheque for £300, for the purpose of a reward being offered, had returned the cheque, with the intimation that such a course would not be attended with any useful result. Mr. Matthews' decision has been received with almost universal disgust, while the prompt action of the Lord Mayor in offering a reward for the apprehension of the Mitre square murderer has been received with general satisfaction. The sum offered by his lordship, together with £400 which two newspapers offer to supply, the £100 offer my Mr. Montagu M.P., and the £200 collected by the Vigilance Committee, make an aggregate sum of £1,200. It is probable that the reward will be increased to £2,000, as the Lord Mayor has been urged to open a subscription list, and some members of the Stock Exchange seem disposed to take the matter up. Colonel Sir Alfred Kirby, J.P., the officer commanding the Tower Hamlets Battalion Royal Engineers has offered, on behalf of his officers, a reward of £100, to anyone who will give information that will lead to the discovery and conviction of the perpetrator of the recent murders committed in the district in which his regiment is situated.
The "Daily News" American correspondent sends the following suggestion:-
Not many months ago a series of remarkably brutal murders of women occurred in Texas, the victims being chiefly negro women. The crimes were characterised by the same brutal methods as those of the Whitechapel murders. The theory has been suggested that the perpetrator of the latter may be the Texas criminal who was never discovered. A leading Southern newspaper thus puts the argument:-
In our recent annals of crime there has been no other man capable of committing such deeds. The mysterious crimes in Texas have ceased. They have just commenced in London. Is the man from Texas at the bottom of them all? If he is the monster or lunatic he may be expected to appear anywhere. The fact that he is no longer at work in Texas argues his presence somewhere else. His peculiar line of work was executed in precisely the same manner as is now going on in London. Why should he not be there? The more one thinks of it the more irresistible becomes the conviction that it is the man from Texas. In these days of steam and cheap travel distance is nothing. The man who would kill a dozen women in Texas would not mind the inconvenience of a trip across the water, and one there he would not have any scruples about killing more women. The superintendent of the New York police admits the possibility of this theory being correct, but he does not think it probable.
On Tuesday another horror was added to the list. About twenty minutes past three o'clock on Tuesday afternoon Frederick Wildborn, a carpenter employed by Messrs. J. Grover and Sons, builders, of Pimlico, who are the contractors for the new Metropolitan Police headquarters on the Thames Embankment was working on the foundation, when he came across a neatly done up parcel in one of the cellars. It was opened, and the body of a woman, very much decomposed, was found carefully wrapped in a piece of what is supposed to be a black petticoat. The trunk was without head, arms, or legs and presented a horrible spectacle. Dr. Bond, the divisional surgeon, and several other medical gentlemen were communicated with, and from what can be ascertained the conclusion has been arrived at by them that these remains are those of a woman whose arms have recently been discovered in different parts of the metropolis.
The building which is in course of erection is the new police depot for London. The prevailing opinion is that to place the body where it was found the person conveying it must have scaled the 8ft hoarding which encloses the works, and, carefully avoiding the watchmen who do duty by night, must have dropped it where it was found. The body could not have been where it was found above two or three days, because men are frequently passing the spot.