Friday, 12 October 1888
Yesterday morning Mr. S. F. Langham, the City Coroner, resumed the inquest at the mortuary in Golden-lane respecting the death of Catherine Eddows, [Eddowes] otherwise Conway or Kelly, who was found murdered in Mitre-square on the morning of Sunday, 30th ult.
During the inquiry, Major Henry Smith, the Assistant Commissioner of the City Police, Mr. M'William, the Inspector of the City Detective Department, Mr. Superintendent Foster, and Mr. F. W. Foster, architect and surveyor, of Old Jewry, who produced plans of the square were present.
The first witness examined was Dr. George William Sequeira, of 34 Jewry-street, Aldgate, who stated that he was called on Sunday, the 30th ult., to Mitre-square, and was the first medical man to arrive, being on the scene of the murder at five minutes to 2. He saw the position of the body, and he entirely agreed with Dr. Gordon Brown's evidence given on the opening of the inquest.
By Mr. Crawford (the City Solicitor). - He was acquainted with the locality and knew the position of the square. It would probably be the darkest corner of the square where the body was found. There would have been sufficient light to enable the murderer to commit his crime without the aid of any additional light.
Mr. Crawford. - Have you formed any opinion that the murderer had any design with respect to any particular part? - I have formed the opinion that he had no particular design on any particular organ.
Mr. Crawford. - Judging from the injuries inflicted, do you think he was possessed of great anatomical skill? - No, I do not.
Mr. Crawford. - Can you account for the absence of any noise? - The death must have been so instantaneous after the severance of the blood vessels and the windpipe.
Mr. Crawford. - He did not think that the clothes of the assassin would necessarily be bespattered with blood. When witness arrived life had been extinct probably not more than a quarter of an hour, judging from the condition of the blood.
Dr. William Sedgwick Saunders, of 13, Queen-street, Cheapside, examined, said he was doctor of medicine, Fellow of the Institute of Chemistry, Fellow of the Chemical Society, and public analyst of the City of London. He received the stomach of the deceased from Dr. Gordon Brown, carefully sealed, and the contents had not been interfered with in any way. He had carefully examined the stomach and its contents, more particularly for poisons of a narcotic class, with negative results, there not being the faintest trace of any of these, or any other poison.
By Mr. Crawford. - He was present during the whole of the post mortem examination. Having had ample opportunity of seeing the wounds inflicted, he agreed with Dr. Brown and Dr. Sequeira that they were not inflicted by a person with great anatomical skill. He equally agreed that the murderer had no particular design on any particular internal organ.
Annie Phillips, living at 12, Dilston-grove, Southwark-park-road, was the next witness. She stated that she was married, and that her husband was a lamp-black packer. She was the daughter of the deceased, who had always told witness that she was married to Thomas Conway, witness's father. She had not seen him for 15 or 18 months. The last time she saw him was when he was living with witness and her husband at 15, Anchor-street, Southwark-park. Her father was a hawker. She did not know what became of him after he left. He left without giving any particular reason for going, but he did not leave witness on very good terms. He did not say that he would never see her again. He was a teetotaller. He and her mother did not live on good terms after the latter took to drink. She had not the least idea where her father was living. He had no ill will against the deceased, so far as witness knew. She was told that her father had been in the 18th Royal Irish. He left her mother solely because of her drinking habits. He was a pensioner and had had a pension since witness was eight years old. She was now 23. It was seven or eight years ago since her father lived with her mother. Witness frequently saw her mother after they separated; her mother applied to her for money. The last time she saw her mother alive was two years and one month ago. She did not see her on the Saturday, the day previous to her death. Witness used to live in King-street, Bermondsey - that was about two years ago. On removing from there witness did not leave any address. She had two brothers, Conway being their father. Her mother did not know where to find either of them; the information was purposefully kept from her. She supposed that that was in order to prevent her mother from applying to them for money.
By a juryman. - It was between 15 and 18 months ago since her father lived with witness and her husband. Her father knew at the time that her mother was living with Kelly.
By Mr. Crawford. - She was not sure that her father was a pensioner of the 18th Royal Irish. It might have been the Connaught Rangers. [Mr. Crawford observed that there was a pensioner of the 18th Royal Irish named Conway, but he was not the Conway who was wanted.] The deceased last received money from witness about two years and two months ago, when she waited upon witness in the latter's confinement. Witness had never had a letter from her mother. She had seen Kelly and her mother together in the lodging-house in Flower and Dean-street; that was about 3 ½ years ago. Witness knew that they lived together. Her father was living with her two brothers, but she could not say where. She could not give the slightest clue as to their whereabouts. Her brothers were aged 15 and 20. Witness did not know that her mother had recently been intimate with anyone besides Kelly in the lodging house.
Detective-sergeant John Mitchell (City Police), the next witness, replying to Mr. Crawford, said that he had made every effort, acting under instructions, to find the father and the brothers of the last witness, but without success. He had found a pensioner named Conway belonging to the 18th Royal Irish, but he was not identified as the Thomas Conway in question.
To the CORONER. - Every endeavour possible has been made with a view to tracing the murderer.
Mr. Crawford. - Do not go into that. I am sure that the jury believe that, and that the City Police are doing everything they can with that object.
Detective Baxter Hunt (City Police), replying to Mr. Crawford, stated that acting under instructions he had discovered the pensioner Conway belonging to the 18th Royal Irish. Witness had confronted the man with two of the deceased's sisters, who had failed to recognize him as the man who used to live with the deceased. Witness had made every effort to trace the Thomas Conway and the brothers referred to, but without result.
By a juryman. - The reason the daughter had not seen the man Conway, whom witness had traced, was that she had not at the time been discovered.
Mr. Crawford intimated that the daughter should see the man.
Witness, in reply to a juryman, stated that the Conway whom he had discovered last received his pension on the 1st inst.
By Mr. Crawford. - He is quartermaster-sergeant.
Dr. Gordon Brown at this point was recalled.
Mr. Crawford. - The theory has been put forward that it is possible for the deceased to have been taken to Mitre-square after the murder. What is your opinion about that?
Dr. Brown. - I think there is no doubt on the point. The blood at the left side of the deceased was clotted, and must have flowed from her at the time of the injury to the throat. I do not believe the deceased moved in the slightest way after her throat was cut.
Mr. Crawford. - You have no doubt that the murder was committed on that spot? - I feel quite sure it was.
Police Constable Lewis Robinson stated that about half-past 8 o'clock on the night of the 29th ult. he was on duty in High-street, Aldgate, where he saw a crowd of persons. He then saw a woman, who was drunk, and who had since been recognized as the deceased. She was lying on the footway. Witness asked if any one in the crowd knew her or where she lived, but he received no answer. On the arrival of another constable they took her to Bishopsgate Police-station, where she was placed in a cell.
Mr. Crawford. - No one in the crowd appeared to know the woman. Witness last saw her on the same evening at about 10 minutes to 9 o'clock in the police cell.
Mr. Crawford. - Do you recollect whether she was wearing an apron. - Yes, she was.
Mr. Crawford. - Could you identify it? - I could if I saw the whole of it. A brown paper parcel was produced, from which two pieces of apron were taken and shown to the witness, who said, - To the best of my knowledge and belief that is the apron.
By a juryman. - The woman smelt very strongly of drink.
James Byfield said he was station sergeant at Bishopsgate Police-station. He remembered the woman referred to by the last witness being brought to the station at a quarter to 9 on the evening of the 29th ult. She was very drunk. She was placed in a cell, and was kept there until 1 o'clock the next morning. She was then sober, and was discharged after giving her name as Mary Ann Kelly and her address as 6, Fashion-street. In answer to questions put to her by witness, she stated that she had been hopping.
By a juryman. - He believed that nothing was given to her while she was in the cell.
By Mr. Crawford. - He did not notice that she was wearing an apron.
Constable George Henry Hutt, 968, said he was gaoler at Bishopsgate Police-station. On Saturday night, the 29th ult., at a quarter to 10 he took over the prisoners, among whom was the deceased. He visited her several times in the cell until five minutes to 1 o'clock, when he was directed by Sergeant Byfield to see whether any of the prisoners were fit to be discharged. The deceased was found to be sober, and was brought from the cell to the office; and after giving the name of Mary Ann Kelly she was discharged. He saw her turn to the left after getting outside the station.
By a juryman. - It was left to the discretion of the inspector, or acting inspector, to decide when a person who had been drunk was in a fit condition to be discharged.
By another juryman. - He visited the woman in the cell about every half-hour from 5 minutes to 10 o'clock until 1 o'clock. She was sleeping when he took over the prisoners. At a quarter past 12 o'clock she was awake, and singing a song to herself. At half-past 12, when he went to her, she asked him when she was going to be let out, and he replied, "When you are capable of taking care of yourself". She answered that she was capable of taking care of herself then.
By Mr. Crawford. - It was not witness, but Sergeant Byfield who discharged her. She left the station about 1 o'clock. In witness's opinion she was then quite capable of taking care of herself. She said nothing to witness as to where she was going. About two minutes before 1 o'clock, when bringing her out of the cell, she asked witness the time, and he replied, "Too late for you to get any more drink." She asked him again what time it was and he replied, "Just on 1." She then said, "I shall get a d----- fine hiding when I get home." Witness gathered from that that she was going home. He noticed that she was wearing an apron, and to the best of his belief the apron shown to the last witness was the one.
By Mr. Crawford. - It would take about eight minutes to walk from the police-station to Mitre- square - ordinary walking.
By a juryman. - Prisoners were not searched who were brought into the station drunk. Handkerchiefs or anything with which they could injure themselves would be taken from them.
George James Morris, the next witness called, said he was watchman at Messrs. Kearley and Tonge's tea merchants, in Mitre-square. He went on duty there at 7 o'clock in the evening.
THE CORONER. - What happened at a quarter to 2 o'clock? - Police-constable Watkins, who was on the Mitre-square beat, knocked at the door of the warehouse. It was slightly "on the jar." He was then sweeping the steps down towards the door, and as he was doing so the door was pushed. He opened it wide and he saw Watkins who said, "For God's sake, mate, come to my assistance." The constable was agitated, and witness thought he was ill. He had his lamp by his side lighted, and asked Watkins what was the matter. Watkins replied, "There is another woman cut to pieces." Witness asked where she was, and Watkins replied, "In the corner." Having been a police constable himself he knew what assistance was required. He went over to the spot indicated and turned his lamp on the body. He immediately ran up Mitre-street into Aldgate, blowing his whistle. He saw no suspicious person about at the time. He was soon joined by two police-constables, and he told them to go into Mitre-square, where there had been another terrible murder. He followed the constables there and took charge of his premises again. He had heard no noise in the square before he was called by Watkins. Had there been any cry of distress he would have heard it.
By a juryman. - He had charge of the two warehouses of Messrs. Kearley and Tonge. At the time in question he was at the one where the counting-house was; it faced the square.
By Mr. Crawford. - Before being called by Watkins he had had no occasion to go out of the offices or into the square. He was sure he had not quitted the premises before Watkins called him. There was nothing unusual in his door being open or in his being at work at a quarter to 2 o'clock on Sunday morning.
By a juryman. - His door had not been on the jar more than two or three minutes before Watkins called him.
Constable James Harvey (964 City police) stated that at a quarter to 10 o'clock on the night of the 29th ult., he went on his beat, which he described, and which took in Mitre-street. He saw no suspicious person about while on his beat, and he heard no cry or any noise. When he got into Aldgate, returning towards Duke-street, he heard a whistle, and saw the witness Morris with a lamp. The latter, in answer to witness, said that a woman had been ripped up in Mitre-square. Witness saw a constable on the other side of the street. They went to Mitre-square, where they saw Watkins with the body of the deceased. The constable who followed witness went for Dr. Sequeira, and private persons were dispatched for other constables, who arrived almost immediately, having heard the whistle. Witness waited there with Watkins, and information was at once sent to the inspector. As witness passed the post-office clock at Aldgate on his beat it was between one and two minutes to half-past 1 o'clock.
By a juryman. - His beat took him down Church-passage to the end. He was there three or four minutes before he heard the whistle; it was then about 18 or 19 minutes to 2 o'clock.
George Clapp said he lived at 5, Mitre-street, Aldgate, of which he was the caretaker. The back part of the house looked into Mitre-square. On the night of the 29th ult., he and his wife went to bed at 11 o'clock. They slept in a back room on the second floor. During the night he heard no disturbance or noise of any kind. The first he heard of the murder in the square was between 5 and 6 o'clock on the following morning.
By Mr. Crawford. - The only other person in the house that night was a woman, a nurse, who slept at the top of the house on the third-floor.
Constable Richard Pearse, 922 City Police, said he lived at No. 3 Mitre-square. He went to bed on the night of the 29th ult. at about 20 minutes after 12 o'clock. He heard no noise or disturbance of any kind. He first heard of the murder at 20 minutes past 2 o'clock, when he was called by a police-constable. From his window he could plainly see the spot where the murder was committed.
By Mr. Crawford. - He was the only tenant of No. 3, Mitre-square, where he lived with his wife and family.
Joseph Lawende said that he lived at 45, Norfolk-road, Dalston. He was a commercial traveller. On the night of the murder he was at the Imperial Club in Duke-street, with Joseph Levy and Harry Harris. They went out of the club at half-past 1, and left the place about five minutes later. They saw a man and a woman standing together at a corner in Church-passage, in Duke-street, which led into Mitre-square. The woman was standing with her face towards the man. Witness could not see the woman's face; the man was taller than she. She had on a black jacket and bonnet. He saw her put her hand on the man's chest. Witness had seen some clothing at the police-station, and he believed the articles were the same that the woman he referred to was wearing.
The CORONER. - Can you tell us what sort of man it was with whom she was speaking? - He had on a cloth cap with a peak.
Mr. Crawford. - Unless the jury wish it I have a special reason why no further description of this man should be given now.
The jury assented to Mr. Crawford's wish.
The CORONER. - You have given a description of the man to the police, I suppose? - Yes.
The CORONER. - Would you know him again. - I doubt it.
By Mr. Crawford. - The distance between the Imperial Club and the top of Church-passage, where he saw the man and the woman standing together, was about nine or ten yards. He fixed the time of leaving the club at half-past 1 by reference to the club clock and to his own watch, and it would have been about 25 minutes to 2 o'clock when he saw the man and woman standing together. He heard not a word of their conversation. They did not appear to be in an angry mood. The woman did not appear to have put her hand on the man's chest as if she were pushing him away. Witness did not look back to see where they went.
Joseph Hyam Levy, of 1, Hutchinson-street, Aldgate, said he was a butcher. He was in the Imperial Club with the last witness, and the time when they rose to leave was half-past 1 by the club clock. It was about three or four minutes after the half-hour when they left. He noticed a man and a woman standing together at the corner of Church-passage, but he passed on without taking any further notice of them. He did not look at them. From what he saw, the man might have been three inches taller than the woman. He could not give any description of either of them. He went on down Duke-street, into Aldgate, leaving the man and woman speaking together. He only fixed the time by the club clock.
By the juryman. - His suspicions were not aroused by the two persons. He thought the spot was very badly lighted. It was now much better lighted than it was on the night of the murder. He did not take much notice of the man and woman.
By Mr. Crawford. - He was on the opposite pavement to the man and woman. There was nothing that he saw to induce him to think that the man was doing any harm to her.
Police-constable Alfred Long, 254 A, stated that he was on duty in Goulston-street, Whitechapel, on the morning of the 30th ult. At about 2:55 he found a portion of an apron (produced as before). There were recent stains of blood on it. It was lying in the passage leading to a staircase of 118 and 119, ordinary model dwelling-houses. Above it on the wall was written in chalk, "The Jews are the men that will not be blamed for nothing." He at once searched the staircases and areas of the building, but he found nothing. He then took the piece of apron to the Commercial-road Police-station, and reported to the inspector on duty. He had previously passed the spot where he found the apron at 20 minutes after 2, but it was not there then.
By Mr. Crawford. - Witness repeated as before the words which he saw written on the wall.
Mr. Crawford. - Have you not put the word "not" in the wrong place? Is it not, "The Jews are not the men that will be blamed for nothing"? Witness repeated the words as he had previously read them.
Mr. Crawford. - How do you spell "Jews"? Witness. - J-e-w-s.
Mr. Crawford. - Now, was it not on the wall J-u-w-e-s? Is it not possible you are wrong? - It may be as to the spelling?
Mr. Crawford. - And as to the place where the word "not" was put? Witness again read the words as before.
By Mr. Crawford. - He had not noticed the wall before. He noticed the piece of apron first, and then the words on the wall. One corner of the apron was wet with blood. His light was on at the time. His attention was attracted to the writing on the wall while he was searching. He could not form an opinion as to whether the writing was recent. He went on to the staircase of the dwelling, but made no inquires in the house itself.
By a juryman. - The pocket-book in which he entered the words written on the wall at the time he noticed them was at Westminster.
The witness's examination was postponed, and the pocket-book was ordered to be produced.
Detective Daniel Halse (City Police) stated that on Saturday, the 29th ult., from instructions received at the Detective Office, Old Jewry, he told a number of police officers in plain clothes to patrol the City all night. At about two minutes to 2 on the Sunday morning he was at the corner of Houndsditch, by Aldgate Church, in company with Detectives Outram and Marryat, of the City Police. They heard that a woman had been murdered in Mitre-square, and they all ran there and saw the body of the murdered woman. He gave instructions to have the neighbourhood searched, and every man to be stopped and examined. He himself went by way of Middlesex-street, at the east end of the City, into Wentworth-street, where he stopped two men, who gave a satisfactory account of themselves, and he allowed them to depart. He came through Goulston-street about 20 minutes past 2, at the spot where the apron was found, and he then went back to Mitre-square and accompanied Inspector Collard to the mortuary. He there saw the deceased undressed, noticing that a portion of the apron she wore was missing. He accompanied Major Smith back to Mitre-square, where they heard that a piece of apron had been found in Goulston-street. He then went with Detective Hunt to Leman-street Police-station, where he heard that the piece of apron that had been picked up had been handed to Dr. Phillips. Witness and Hunt then went back to Goulston-street, to the spot where the apron had been discovered. He saw some chalk writing on the wall. He remained there, and Hunt went for Mr. M'William for instructions to have the writing photographed. Directions were given for that to be done. Some of the Metropolitan Police thought it might cause a riot if the writing were seen, and an outbreak against the Jews. It was decided to have the writing rubbed out. The people were at that time bringing out their stalls, which they did very early on the Sunday morning. When Hunt returned inquiry was made at every tenement in the dwelling referred to in Goulston-street, but no tidings could be obtained as to any one having gone in who was likely to be the murderer.
By Mr. Crawford. - At about 20 minutes after 2 he passed over the spot where the piece of apron was found. If it was there then he would not necessarily have seen it, for it was in the building.
Mr. Crawford. - Did any one suggest that it would be possible to take out the word "Juwes", and leave the rest of the writing there? - I suggested that the top line might be rubbed out and the Metropolitan Police suggested the word "Juwes." The fear on the part of the Metropolitan Police of a riot was the sole cause of the writing on the wall being rubbed out.
Mr. Crawford. - Read out the exact words you took down in your book at the time. - "The Juwes are not the men that will be blamed for nothing."
By Mr. Crawford. - The writing appeared to have been recently done. It was done with white chalk on the black facia of the wall.
By a juryman. - The spot where the writing was is the ground of the Metropolitan Police, and they insisted on having it rubbed out.
By Mr. Crawford. - Witness protested against it being rubbed out, and wanted it to be left until Major Smith had seen it.
By a juryman. - He assumed that the writing was recent, because from the number of persons living in the tenement he believed it would have been rubbed out had it been there for any time. There were about three lines of writing, which was in a good schoolboy hand.
By another juryman. - The writing was in the passage of the building itself, and was on the black dado of the wall.
A juryman. - It seems to me strange that a police constable would have found this piece of apron, and then for no inquiries to have been made in the building. There is a clue up to that point, and then it is altogether lost.
Mr. Crawford. - I have evidence that the City Police did make a careful search in the tenement, but that was not until after the fact had come to their knowledge. I am afraid that that will not meet the point raised by you (to the juryman). There is the delay that took place. The man who found the piece of apron is a member of the Metropolitan Police.
The witness Long having returned with the pocket-book referred to, stated, in reply to Mr. Crawford, that the book contained the entry which he made at the time as to the words written on the wall. They were, "The Jews are the men that will not be blamed for nothing." The inspector made the remark that on the wall the word was "Jeuws." Witness entered in his book what he believed was an exact copy of the words.
Mr. Crawford. - At all events there was a discrepancy between what you wrote down and what was actually written on the wall, so far as regards the spelling of the word "Jews." Witness replied that the only remark the inspector made was as to the spelling of the word "Jews."
By Mr. Crawford. - The moment he found the piece of apron he searched the staircases leading to the building. He did make any inquiry of the inmates in the tenements. There were either six or seven staircases, one leading down, and the others upstairs. He searched every staircase, and could find no trace of blood or any recent footmarks. He found the apron at five minutes to 3, and when he searched the staircases it would be about 3 o'clock. Having searched the staircases he at once proceeded to the police-station. Before proceeding to the station he had heard that a murder had been committed in Mitre-square. When he started for the police-station he left Police-constable 190 H in charge of the building. He did not know the constable's name; he was a member of the Metropolitan Police. Witness told him to keep observation on the dwelling, to see whether any one left or entered it. Witness next returned to the building at 5 o'clock. The writing was rubbed out in witness's presence at half-past 5, or thereabouts. He heard no one object to the writing being rubbed out.
A juryman. - Having heard of the murder, and having afterwards found the piece of apron with blood on it and the writing on the wall, did it not strike you that it would be well to make some examination of the rooms in the building? You say you searched all the passages, but you would not expect that the man who had committed the murder would hide himself there.
Witness. - Seeing the blood there, I thought that the murder had been committed, and that the body might be placed in the building.
The juryman. - You did not search the rooms, but left a man to watch the building, and the whole clue seems to have passed away. I do not wish to say anything harsh, as I consider that the evidence of yourself and of the other members of the police redounds to the credit of all of you; but this does seem a point that requires a little investigation. You find a piece of apron wet with blood; you search all the passages, and then you leave the building in the care of a man to watch the front. Witness. - I thought the best thing I could do was to go to the station and report the matter to the inspector on duty.
The juryman. - I feel sure you did your best.
Mr. Crawford. - May we take it that you thought you would be more likely to find the body of the murdered person there than the assassin? Witness. - Yes.
By a juryman. - Witness was a stranger in the neighbourhood. No one could have gone out of the front part of the building without being seen by the constable left on the spot by witness.
The CORONER, in summing up, observed that the evidence had been of the most exhaustive character. He thought it would be far better now to leave the matter in the hands of the police, to follow it up with any further clues they might obtain, and for the jury to return a verdict of wilful murder against some person or persons unknown. It had been shown by the evidence of Dr. Gordon Brown that the murderer must have taken hold of the deceased woman and cut her throat, and by severing the vocal chords, prevented her from making any cry. All the evidence showed that no sound had been heard in connexion with the crime. The assassin had not only murdered the woman, defenceless as she was, but had so mangled the corpse as to render it almost impossible for the body to be identified. He thought they would agree that the evidence clearly showed that the woman was taken to the police-station for being drunk, and that she was discharged about 1 o'clock on the morning of the murder. After that two persons - a man and a woman - were seen talking together at the corner of Church-passage by the witnesses from the Imperial Club, and one of those witnesses had expressed his opinion that the articles of clothing which he had seen at the police-station were the same as those worn by the woman. She was discharged from the station at about five minutes after 1 o'clock. At half-past one a police-constable went round Mitre-square, and turned his lamp on to the corner, but saw nothing there. Just 14 minutes afterwards he found there the body of a woman who had been murdered, the evidence of the doctor showing that it must have taken five minutes to commit the murder and to have inflicted the injuries on the body. The murder must have been committed between 1:30 and 1:44, and, allowing five minutes for the crime to be committed, only nine minutes were left to be accounted for. The history of the case was a very painful one. It appeared that the deceased had been living first with Thomas Conway for seven or eight years. Her drinking habits had induced him to part from her, and the sister of the deceased had stated that she was not married to him. There was nothing to suggest that either Conway or Kelly had had anything to do with the murder, both of them seeming to be totally inoffensive men. It had been clearly proved that Kelly was in bed at the lodging-house at the time of the murder. He had heard that the deceased had been taken up by the police, and knowing what the custom was in the City, he assumed that she would return to him in the morning. They had, it appeared, been out hopping for some weeks, and had returned home on the Thursday, (the 27th ult.), taking a lodging for that night in Shoe-lane; and on the Saturday - the last time Kelly saw anything of her - she stated that she was going to see whether she could find her daughter. Something might turn on the fact that she did not see her daughter. According to the evidence, the deceased was going to Bermondsey to see her, but the daughter had left the address there without mentioning any other address to which she was going. It was possible that the deceased had gone to Bermondsey. What became of her in the interval between that and her being taken in charge there was nothing to show, but she had evidently been drinking. There could be no doubt that a most vile murder had been committed by some person or persons unknown, and he thought he might say by some person unknown. Dr. Brown believed that only one person was implicated. Unless the jury wished him to refer to any point in the evidence, there was nothing that need detain them further as far as that inquiry was concerned, and the police could be left with a free hand to follow up the investigation. A munificent reward had been offered by the Corporation, and it might be hoped that that would set persons on the track and cause the apprehension of the murderer.
Mr. Crawford. - Dr. Brown in his evidence expressed his belief as a medical man that only one person had committed the murder.
The Foreman (the jury having consulted for about a couple of minutes). - Our verdict is "Wilful murder by some person unknown."
The CORONER. - That is the verdict of all of you?
The Foreman. - Yes.
The CORONER afterwards stated that the jury desired him to thank Mr. Crawford and the police for the assistance which they had rendered in the inquiry, and he also wished to add his own thanks.
An arrest was made yesterday at Eltham, near Hythe. The master of the workhouse had his suspicions excited over a casual who answered the description of the man wanted. He was dressed in genteel style, with black coat, trousers and hat. Blood was found on the trousers and shirt, the cuffs of which had been ripped off. He gave three or four different names and most contradictory statements as to where he came from. Superintendent Maxted took the matter in hand, but it is expected that as a result of the inquiries then made the man will be released.
The revelations made at the inquest on the Mitre-square victim have caused a profound sensation in the East-end of London. It is stated that the order to erase the words on the wall was given by an officer in the Metropolitan Police Force, with the humane intention of averting an increase of the anti-Jewish feeling which is unfortunately but undoubtedly very general in the East-end of London. So real were the apprehensions of the police authorities in this way that on the Sunday night of the murders the chief police-stations in the East-end were reinforced by 50 constables each.
The inquest upon the body of the woman found murdered in Mitre-square terminated yesterday in the stereotyped verdict of wilful murder against some person unknown. Nothing has been learned in the course of the inquiry that can be expected to prove of material assistance in the discovery of the criminal, nor has any ground been shown for assuming that the police can be reasonably blamed for their failure to trace him. It would have been better to preserve the writing on the wall near the scene of the crime until an accurate copy could be taken, but it must not be forgotten that it is an assumption without any proof whatever that the writing was done by the murderer or had any connexion with the murder. The police have been the victims of an amiable tendency of human nature to vent upon somebody the annoyance caused by any untoward accident. The have been abused with a great deal of warmth, but with exceedingly little discrimination. It has been tacitly assumed that a murderer must always leave some clue to his identity and whereabouts, and that failure to discover them necessarily implies culpable stupidity on the part of those concerned in capturing him. This assumption has only to be clearly set forth to be recognized as baseless and absurd, yet without it the condemnation so freely bestowed upon the police is the mere expression of unreasoning petulance. The woman found dead in Mitre-square was shown to have been in custody for drunkenness on the previous evening, and, in fact, to have been released apparently sober only at 1 o'clock on the morning of the murder. It is more than probable that, though able to talk rationally at the moment of her discharge, she had not wholly shaken off the stupefaction of her debauch, and thus fell an easy prey. In the case of the whole group of murders which have caused such a panic at the East-end it is necessary to remember that the victims were in league with the murderer to evade to police, and consequently deprived themselves of the ordinary amount of protection secured to ordinary citizens by the patrolling of the streets. It is undoubtedly the case that the very regularity of the patrol secures to evildoers certain brief intervals of immunity from interruption; but there is no system without drawbacks, and no one has yet shown how police discipline can be maintained or police protection secured at a reasonable cost without some such system as that in vogue. It might, however, be possible to introduce a regulated variability into the movements of the police which, without placing them beyond the supervision of their superior officers, might render their appearance at a particular spot less easily calculable by intending criminals. It would certainly be possible to provide them with boots less admirably fitted than the regulation article to announce their approach.
Many hard things have recently been said about our detective system, some of them based upon misapprehensions. SIR CHARLES WARREN has pointed out that there is no foundation for the assertion that no one can be enrolled as a detective without first entering the regular police force and satisfying the regulations as to height. It is, however, admitted at the same time that the appointment of men to the Criminal Investigation branch who have not first joined the ordinary police is comparatively rare. It has been ascertained, we are told, that men applying to be appointed direct to detective duties have not as a rule possessed any special qualifications. This is rather curious, because ordinary police duties are not specially fitted to develop latent capacities for detective work, and one does not readily see why men with an ambition in that direction should not furnish at least as high an average as men who have merely enrolled themselves for common police duties. It would be a distinct advantage to recruit the detective department direct instead of through the ordinary police. Detectives promoted from the ranks are known to their comrades in uniform, and are recognized by them in the streets in a manner highly inimical to their efficiency for their own particular work. Moreover, they not only wear the regulation boots, known at a glance by every malefactor, but they are drilled and taught the regulation gait, by which they are no less easily identified. We hope that there are detectives so well fitted for their work that the department does not get credit for possessing them; but there are unquestionably a great many detectives who are only policemen in plain clothes, and, as such, are heavily handicapped in dealing with clever criminals. Suitable men could doubtless by obtained in any desired number by the Criminal Investigation Department if adequate inducements were offered. But if the inducements are just sufficient to make the ordinary policemen covet promotion to plain clothes, it is clear that applicants for enrolment in the detective corps are not likely to be persons of special intelligence. There ought, in fact, to be a complete separation between policemen and detectives. There is no reason why we should not have policemen in plain clothes as well as in uniform if they are found useful. But detectives ought to be recruited from a wholly different class of men, and ought to be organized upon an independent basis.
It is the want of an organization of this kind that lends whatever real force they possess to the criticisms so freely showered upon the police in connexion with the recent murders. Being what they are, we do not see that the police could have been expected to do better. But it must remain a theory at least tenable that a thoroughly trained detective with natural abilities of the right kind might have perceived indications which escaped the notice of the police. Trifles entirely without significance to one man may be of the highest importance to another. The Whitechapel murderer may have done his work with such diabolical dexterity as to leave no hint appreciable by even the finest human faculties. But we cannot be sure of this, because the finest human faculties were not brought into play. An ideal detective is not a stalwart person clothed with the visible authority of the law, and jotting down the results of a superficial inquiry in a note-book. He is an unobtrusive person moving about among the crowd, noting the demeanour of those about him and every circumstance of the scene, spending his days in the district, and entering fully into its everyday life. There may have been men of this class at work, and they may have been baffled in spite of all their efforts and all their sagacity. But we do not feel very much confidence that they were at work, nor do we find in SIR CHARLES WARREN'S letter any indication that the necessity for such men is recognized. On the other hand, as a correspondent has pointed out, the management of the dynamite business, which was highly successful, seems to indicate that there are a few men of the right stamp at the command of the Home Office. We only wish there were some authoritative assurance that there are enough of them, and that they are ready to avert another failure such as has so naturally perturbed and excited the East-end.