Friday, 19 October 1888
THE MURDERS IN LONDON.
Mr. George Lusk, builder, of Alderney-road, Globe-road, Mile-end has
received several letters purporting to be from the perpetrator of the
Whitechapel murders, but believing them to have been the production of
some practical joker, he had regarded them as of no consequence. It is
stated that a letter delivered shortly after 5 o'clock on Tuesday evening was accompanied by a cardboard box, containing what appeared to be a portion of a kidney. The letter was in the following terms:- "From Hell. Mr. Lusk. Sir, - I send you half the kidne I took from one woman, prasarved it for you, tother piece I fried and ate it; was very nice. I may send you the bloody knif that took it out if you only wate while longer. (Signed) 'Catch me when you can.' Mr. Lusk." The receiver was at first disposed to think that another hoax had been perpetrated, but eventually decided to take the opinion of the Vigilance Committee. They could, of course, give no opinion as to whether the kidney was human or not, but they decided to take the contents of the cardboard box to a medical man whose surgery is near. The substance was declared by the assistant to be the half of a human kidney, which had been divided longitudinally; but in order to remove any reason for doubt, he conveyed it to Dr. Openshaw, who is pathological curator of the London Hospital Museum. The doctor examined it, and pronounced it to be a portion of a human kidney - a "ginny" kidney, that is to say, one that had belonged to a person who had drunk heavily. He was further of opinion that it was the organ of a woman of about 45 years of age, and that it had been taken from the body within the last three weeks. It will be within public recollection that the left kidney was missing from the woman Eddowes, who was murdered and mutilated in Mitre-square.
Mr. Lusk states that a day or two before receiving the box he had sent to him a postcard, which he now considers of sufficient importance to make public. It is in the following words:- "Say Boss, - You seem rare frightened. Guess I'd like to give you fits, but can't stop time enough to let you box of toys play copper games with me, but hope to see you when I don't hurry too much. - Goodbye, Boss. Mr. Lusk, Head Vigilance Committee, Alderney-street, Mile-end." The letter and postcard are in the hands of the police.
It is stated that Sir Charles Warren's bloodhounds were out for
practice at Tooting yesterday morning and were lost. Telegrams have been
despatched to all the metropolitan police stations stating that, if seen
anywhere, information is to be immediately sent to Scotland-yard.
Another arrest has just been made in Whitechapel by the police. The man
arrested is about 35 years of age, and has recently been living in
Whitechapel. He is somewhat confused in his statements respecting his
whereabouts lately, and will be detained pending inquiries.
The force of police in private clothes specially selected to make the
house-to-house search in the neighbourhoods of Hanbury-street,
Commercial-street, Dorset-street, Goulston-street, Buck's Row, Brick-Lane,
Osborn-street, &c., completed their labours yesterday. They have
distributed many thousands of handbills, leaving them in every room in the lodging-houses. The greatest good feeling prevails towards the police, and noticeably in the most squalid dwellings the police had no difficulty in getting information; but not the slightest clue to the murderer has been obtained.
A memorial, signed by upwards of 200 traders of Whitechapel, has been sent to the Home Secretary through Mr. S. Montagu, M.P. It states that the traders in Whitechapel have for some years past been painfully aware that the protection afforded by the police has not kept pace with the increase of population in Whitechapel. Acts of violence and robbery have been committed in this neighbourhood almost with impunity, owing to the existing police regulations and the insufficiency of the number of officers. The universal feeling prevalent in their midst is that the Government no longer insures the security of life and property in the East of London, and that in consequence respectable people fear to go out shopping, thus depriving the traders of their means of livelihood. They ask that the police in this district may be largely increased, in order to remove the feeling of insecurity which is destroying the trade of Whitechapel.
The search in the vaults of the new offices on the Victoria Embankment for more remains connected with the headless and limbless trunk found there 16 days since, has not yet added any more to the knowledge of the police. The search the other night was conducted with one of the bloodhounds, owned by Mr. Sewell, and tried the other day in the park before Sir Charles Warren. There were only police-officers present, and the owner of the dog. The scene is described as a very weird one, for the only illumination of the dismal place was by candles, and the dog did not seem in the best form, this possibly arising from the strange surroundings. However, the officers, notwithstanding the lack of immediate success, will persevere in the search for further remains, both on this spot and elsewhere.
Mr. Bond has given his opinion that the leg just found belonged to the body and the arm already discovered, as it matches them. The period fixed for its having been underground, some six weeks, corresponds to the condition of the arm of the body. The suggestion has been raised that the leg has been buried since the discovery of the body; but as the place has been under constant police guard this is impossible. Moreover, it was seen that the earth was in the same condition as it was when the body was found 16 days ago, and the opinion is confirmed that the body itself must have lain there more than the days declared by the men. It is to be remembered that even when it was discovered it was not by the smell, for that was altogether unnoticed, and it is easy to account for the non-observance of any smell by the workmen when it is brought to mind that in such places deserted and starved animals frequently crawl to die, and, moreover, in the excavations of old foundations like those about Westminster there are frequently cesspools, which are all taken as a matter of course. A board leaning across the angle in the wall in which the body was found would have effectually concealed the parcel altogether, and it would not now have been brought to light but for the fact that some lost clothes were thought to have been discovered by an accidental survey of the dark recess. Thus the men may have given honest testimony, to the best of their belief, in saying that the parcel was not there on the last Friday and Saturday in September, the fact being that they had not observed it, and anyone who has seen the place can bear testimony that it would be easy to overlook anything so hidden in that darkest recess of a dark vault.
The police are still continuing their search for all particulars of missing young women from places at home or abroad, who answer the supposed description of the deceased person - namely, about 5ft. 8in., plump, not used to manual labour, well formed, with fair skin and somewhat dark hair, and who had suffered from pleurisy. It is regarded as important that this description should be before the public.
At the Guildhall before Mr. Alderman Renals, Benjamin Graham, 42, described as a glass blower, of 14 Fletcher's row, Clerkenwell, was charged on his own confession with having committed the Whitechapel murders. Detective Constable Rackley deposed that on Wednesday afternoon he was at Snow hill Police station, when the prisoner was brought in by a man who made a statement to the effect that the accused had told him that he was the assassin who was wanted for the recent atrocities in the East end. The witness asked the prisoner if he had anything to say. He replied, "I did kill the woman in Whitechapel and I shall have to suffer for it with a bit of rope." The accused was under the influence of drink. He was seen by a doctor, and then removed to the City of London Infirmary, at Bow. Detective Sergeant Bownes asked for a remand in order that the antecedents of the accused might be inquired into. The Alderman consented, and the prisoner was remanded.