28 September 1888
The man giving the name of Fitzgerald who, as stated in a late edition of the Daily News yesterday, gave himself up at Wandsworth Police Station for the murder of Annie Chapman in Hanbury street, Whitechapel, is still in custody. The man is a plasterer or a bricklayer's labourer. He says he been wandering from place to place, and is believed to have been more or less under the influence of drink lately. His description does not tally with that given at the inquest by witnesses of a certain man seen on the morning of the murder. It seems that Fitzgerald first communicated the intelligence to a private individual, who subsequently gave its purport to the police. A search was made, and the man was discovered in a common lodging house at Wandsworth. He is known to have been living recently at Hammersmith. His self accusation is said to be not altogether clear, and it is even reported that he cannot give the date of the murder, so that the authorities are disinclined to place much reliance on his statements. If the confession is found to contain any semblance of truth the prisoner will be charged before a magistrate.
As a consequence of the startling statement made by the Coroner in his summing up at the inquest, public interest in the fate of the unfortunate Annie Chapman has been stimulated afresh. The clue afforded by the Coroner is, of course, being followed up by the police, who have now had the information in their possession for a week, but it has not transpired whether it has yet led to any tangible result. The inquiries of the police would necessarily extend to America, and on that account it may be some time before fresh facts could be in the hands of the public. An important point yet to be made clear is as to whether the object of the murderer was the same in the cases of the woman Nicholls and of Annie Chapman. The Coroner in the former case, when he summed up last Saturday, appeared to think that it was, and at the time of expressing that opinion he must have been in receipt of an important communication from the sub curator of the Pathological Museum attached to one of the metropolitan hospitals, to which he referred in his summing up on the body of Annie Chapman. The opinion he expressed last Saturday regarding Nicholls' case thus carries weight. The "shabby genteel" man who was seen in Chapman's company shortly before her murder is being sought for, but up to the present it would appear without success.
From inquiries made at some of the great medical institutions it has been ascertained that requests similar to that of the American gentleman have before been made; but the peculiar conditions attaching to the requests could not possibly be complied with, unless the operation were performed before or immediately after death. Ever since the coroner communicated the facts to the police authorities no stone has been left unturned to follow up the clue, and active inquiries are still proceeding.
The Princess of Wales, accompanied by Princesses Louise, Victoria, and Maud, and Prince Albert Victor of Wales, arrived at Ballater by the 11.55 a.m. train yesterday. There were present on the platform Mr. J.F. Mackenzie, of Kintail, and Mrs. G. Pigot, from Glenmuick, with whom their Royal Highnesses conversed for a few minutes before leaving for Abergeldie, which was reached before one o'clock.