2 October 1888
DARING BURGLARY AT ALDGATE POST-OFFICE.-When the Post-office in High-street, Aldgate, a few yards from where the murder in Mitre-square took place on Sunday, was opened yesterday morning it was discovered that it had been entered by burglars and the safe forced. The safe contained an unusually large amount of money, 370l. being locked up in one of the drawers, and about 49l. being in an ordinary bowl just inside one of the compartments. Stamps to the amount of about 250l. were also in the safe. The burglars, after discovering the safe, proceeded to wrench open one of the sides. They were successful in this, and managed to reach the money in the bowl, and the stamps, which they took. The drawer in which the larger amount of cash was locked was subjected to very rough treatment, but fortunately it resisted the thieves' efforts. A sum of about 3l. belonging to the postmaster was also taken from an upper room in the house. The fact that the office had been broken into was discovered by a clerk on his arrival at eight o'clock yesterday morning. On entering the passage he saw that some of the stairs leading from the upper part of the house and over some steps by which the cellar is reached from the office had been forced up. He at once informed the police, who then found the damage to the safe. Careful examination by the police shows that the burglars first entered an empty warehouse in Duke-street, just round the corner, and then got into the post-office through the trap-door on the roof. For some time the safety of the office has been suspected by the police and the Post Office authorities, who have noticed the comparative ease by which it could be entered from the back on account of the adjacent premises being unoccupied. It is supposed that the robbery took place on Saturday night, for it seems astonishing that any thieves should have been daring enough to enter the premises after the great commotion caused by the discovery of the murder but a few yards away, and the consequent presence of so many police in the district.
The excitement caused by the two new murders at the East-end showed no sign of diminution yesterday. The City authorities have offered a reward of 500l. for the capture of the perpetrator of the murder in Mitre-square. The Home Secretary, having had forwarded to him a cheque for 300l., for the purpose of a reward being offered, has returned the cheque, with the intimation that such a course would not be attended with any useful result. Colonel Sir A. Kirby, an ex-sheriff of London, has expressed his willingness to contribute 100l. towards a reward. A number of arrests have taken place, but no importance is attached to them. Mr. Wynne E. Baxter, coroner for East Middlesex, opened an inquest yesterday on the body of the woman stated to be Elizabeth Stride, but who has not yet been fully identified. Evidence was taken as to the finding of the body, and the inquiry was adjourned until to-day.
Our New York Correspondent telegraphs that attention has been called by the Whitechapel murders to a series of brutal crimes remarkably similar which took place some time ago in Texas. It is supposed that the monster has quitted Texas and come to London.
The arrest was made yesterday at Yetholme, Roxburghshire, of William Waddle, of whom the police have been in search, on suspicion that he is the murderer of Jane Beatmoor, at Birtley, near Gateshead.
THERE is nothing new to report from the East End. The Police might telegraph "All quiet at "Mitre-square," much as the Russian General used to telegraph "All quiet at Shipka," and with much the same fatal meaning. The murderer has completed his crime for the week, and is apparently as far off detection as he stood when CHAPMAN was his latest victim. The inquest on the partially identified woman STRIDE has been opened, but the evidence taken yesterday adds little to our information. So little is known that, as we have seen, the jury who are inquiring into the woman's death cannot quite tell, as yet, whose body they have before them. Not one of the arrests promises to be of much importance. No mention is made of anything that can be called a clue-if we except an alleged discovery of a remnant of the apron worn by one of the deceased women, which tends to show in what direction the murderer fled. The Police appear to be just where they were yesterday; just where they were a week-a quarter of half a year-ago. They are doing their very best; and in results that means nothing at all. The Scotch police and the Newcastle police together have set them a better example. They have found the man suspected of the Gateshead murder. He had crossed the Border, and was apparently betrayed by the impecuniosity that brings so many fugitives from justice to their doom. He received help from the country folk until his suspicious behaviour led to his arrest. His case must not be prejudged, of course; but, without prejudging it, we may safely say that the police of the North have deserved well of those who look to them for the maintenance of the public safety. The Metropolitan Force may feel that it can afford to despise these triumphs and these exertions, but the fact cannot be concealed that it is at the same time drawing heavily on its reserve of public confidence. The public mind has at length been tranquillised by offers of rewards which, in their total, nearly reach a thousand pounds. The City has contributed something, and private liberality has done the rest. We have already expressed our opinion of this method of detection; but censure or dissent seems useless in the present feverish state of the public mind. Something had to be done to drive away the despondency of inaction, and the laying down [of] this money has done it. If the murderer had accomplices, and if such accomplices as they must be can be open to any conceivable calculation of self-interest, the gold that has clearly never tempted him to the crime may be the means of his detection. A clue of a sort may be supplied by what our New York Correspondent tells us of the Texas murders. A few months ago a series of crimes was committed in that State of much the same character as these crimes at the East-end. The criminal was never discovered, and now an American paper hazards the surmise that the man from Texas may have resumed operations in London. The Superintendent of the New York Police does not utterly scout the theory. It is strange that so many conjectures point to a foreigner and an American.
We are always on the eve of repentance about the East-end, and these murders assuredly must accelerate a national change of heart. It is too much to say that they spring entirely out of the social conditions of one part of London, as it is not too much to say that the conditions have given the murderer his opportunity. One inquest after another has revealed a state of things too shocking for human endurance, if humanity were not of very stout heart in regard to woes not personally its own. It is now certain enough that whole tribes of women of a certain class habitually carry on their loathsome trade in the open street. The condition of some of our thoroughfares after nightfall must be indescribably disgusting, and, as it cannot be unknown to the Police, they must acquiesce in a state of things that violates the most elementary laws of public decency. These women sally forth night after night, and many times in the night, and all the terrors of the assassin's knife cannot keep them indoors. They take a turn in the streets to earn the money for their lodging, or the money for their gin. NICHOLLS and CHAPMAN need almost identical words when they were last seen on their last fatal errand of this sort. The uniformity of personal history in these debased creatures is not the least singular thing about them. They have mostly known better times, if only for the almost sufficient reason that they could not have known worse. They have sunk to their present condition by their own vices, intensified in their effect by the ignorance, the helplessness, the want of all counsel and guidance that constitute their miserable birthright. They are absolutely as the swine in regard to every habitude of life. They go forth as steadily to their bestial toil as the ploughman goes to his labour in the harvest field. They were out last night, no doubt, by the hundred and the thousand, and whenever the murderer wants a new victim, he may be as sure of finding them at their post as of finding rats in a sewer. Their trade is so much a matter of course that evidently the dark and dismal rendezvous that serve his purpose never once excite suspicions in their minds.
Their fault is to some extent our fault, and "society" has one more burden of reproach to bear. Our pity and sorrow for the degradation in which so many of our fellows live is intermittent, and it seems never to lead to a thorough reform. The impulse given by the mighty pamphlet that roused public attention to these evils a few years ago seems to have spent itself. Very great things have been done, but we are sinking back in weariness in view of the many that remain to do. "Slumming" has long since ceased as a fashionable amusement, and as a compassionate duty it is once more becoming the exclusive concern of the devoted band who have always made it the business of their lives. Too much of our governing energy is dissipated in enterprises that lie farther from home. If it were not for that, surely these houses in Hanbury-street and elsewhere could not be as they are-the doors open all night for the convenience of any vagrant who wants to make a bed of the stairs, or of any murderer who wants to make a slaughter-pen of the back yard. The eloquent letter of Mrs. FENWICK MILLER which we publish to-day arraigns our growing indifference from another point of view. There seems but too much force in her bitter proposition-woman-killing no murder. The sense of the sacredness of human life which this murderer has wholly lost is in an especial manner a sense of the sacredness of the life of women. Mrs. FENWICK MILLER certainly shows how our administration of the law may have helped to make him lose it. The cases in point which she has compiled from recent judgments at the Sessions or in the magistrates' courts are only less sickening than Mr. WAUGH'S periodical recitals of the miseries of child-life. It is impossible that we can endure these blots on our civilization with the same complacency now that they have become mingled with the stains of blood.
DIVINE SERVICE was performed at the Castle yesterday morning in the presence of the Queen, the Royal Family, and the Royal Household.
The Rev. A. Wallace Williamson, of St. Cuthbert's, Edinburgh, officiated.
Her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales, with Princesses Louise, Victoria, and Maud and Prince Albert Victor of Wales, visited the Queen and remained to luncheon.
The Rev. A. Wallace Williamson had the honour of dining with the Queen and the Royal Family.
(FROM OUR CORRESPONDENTS.)
Not a great many months ago a series of remarkably brutal murders of women occurred in Texas. The matter caused great local excitement, but aroused less interest than would otherwise have been the case because the victims were chiefly negro women. The crimes were characterized 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. The Atlanta Constitution, 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 once 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. "There is," he says, "the same brutality and mutilation, the same suspicion that the criminal is a monster or lunatic who has declared war literally to the knife against all womankind, but I hardly believe it is the same individual."
A surgical theory which is advanced here about the Whitechapel murders is that the murderer is a fanatical vivisectionist and disciple of Hoeckel, the German naturalist, who followed in the steps of Darwin in studying the origins of species and who advanced some startling ideas that have not yet been established. A naturalist's aim is visible in the way in which the knife was applied to the two unfortunate beings at Whitechapel. Perhaps there was not time to operate in an exactly like manner in the second series of murders.
A TALK WITH THE POLICE.
LETTER FROM THE HOME SECRETARY.
Another four-and-twenty hours of excitement and anxiety for the East-end have elapsed, and so far as can be learned absolutely no progress has been made towards the solution of the terrible riddle which all England is looking to the City and Metropolitan Police to solve. Mr. Baxter yesterday morning began his inquest into the Berner-street case, but the evidence added nothing material to the information already in possession of the public, and, though one or two arrests have been made, up till a late hour last night nothing important had come of them. "We attach no importance to any of them," said a responsible police officer last evening. "They have been merely cases in which inquiry seemed desirable, but we think little of them. We have been able to make no important arrests." "You have had no doubt many suggestions made to you?" it was remarked. "Oh yes, a great many, and some of the papers have made some startling discoveries of important clues, but I am unable to say that the police have at present any knowledge of them." "Have you heard it suggested that the murderer may possibly have managed to elude the observation of the police and to get out of the immediate vicinity of his victim by means of the sewers?" "No," replied the officer, laying down his pen, and settling back in his chair with a look of interest, "you mean that he may have got down a manhole into the sewer and made off underground?" "Yes, that is the idea-not perhaps very feasible, but it may be not totally impossible." "Have you ever been down into the sewers?" was the officer's inquiry. "Ah! Then you know something of the difficulty which would be experienced in getting about underground. Besides, how would he get up again? He would require a key to get down, and he must shut down the grating and the iron flap after him, and even with a key I don't think he could get up again. If he could he would be more likely to be observed creeping up out of a sewer than by walking quietly off through the streets. No," concluded the officer, "I don't think there's much in that notion." The City police expressed pretty much the same opinion.
"Has it been proposed to the police to send out some of their men disguised as women?" was another question. "I am not aware of it." "No doubt if the police had any such purpose, they would think it inexpedient to make it known?" "No doubt they would, but I don't think they have any such purpose. At all events, I am aware of none." "Is it not just possible that the murderer might be decoyed into the grip of the police, by putting some of your men in his way in the guise of women?" Seemingly the notion was a new one, or at any rate it had not been considered in connection with this particular problem. "There would be many difficulties in the way," was the reply, after a thoughtful pause. "To begin with, all or nearly all of our men have beards and moustaches." "Yes, but that could soon be remedied." "Of course it could, but there are other difficulties which could not I fear. All the men we have enrolled for a long time past have been considerably over 5ft. 7in., and they are none of them below that. That is a conspicuous height for a woman. Then you know how awkward a man in woman's clothes always appears on the stage. The military drill of our men could hardly be disguised. Men would require not only to be picked out, but regularly trained for such work." "Desperate diseases require desperate remedies, and the public expect altogether exceptional measures if ordinary ones fail." It is only fair, of course, to assume that all ordinary and extraordinary measures occurring to the police as in any measure feasible are being adopted, but reasonably enough they are exceedingly reticent on the subject.
Meanwhile, the excitement and anxiety in the East-end are intense. All the points of interest in connection with the two tragedies were yesterday thronged all day. A large force of City police were on duty in Mitre-square regulating the movements of the hundreds of people who hour after hour kept thronging around the scene of the murder, which it seems quite certain must have been perpetrated without affording the hapless woman any opportunity for crying out. As it has been already made known, a retired police-officer lived in one of the houses only a few yards from the spot, and in another of the buildings a watchman was on duty all night long, and that he was properly on the alert there is evidence to prove. Moreover, only just through the passage leading from Mitre-square to St. James's-place there is a fire brigade van, and two firemen are always to be found there. Nobody, however, heard the faintest indication of a struggle going on. It seems that the particular corner of Mitre-square in which the body of the woman was found has long had an evil reputation. Said a man whose occupation for many years has thoroughly familiarized him with the locality and all that has gone on in it, "I have often heard the policeman who went this beat regularly for sixteen years say that that was a well-known resort, and from my own knowledge it is so. The place is well patrolled," he continued in reply to queries. "Yes, there's no doubt about that. The constable on the beat now is as regular as clockwork. You may tell to a minute when he'll be round." "May not that have rather assisted in this business? Is it not possible that his movements were well known and reckoned on?" "Very likely indeed. These women know all about the police and how they go about. Still, this constable would sometimes vary his patrol a bit. Instead of going right round I have known him sometimes go to the corner there and back again. But however he might go, the beat is as well patrolled as it is possible for it to be. The distance is very short, and I have sometimes heard the men wish their rounds were longer. They would get more variety, and would be better able to keep themselves warm." The speaker went on to describe what he referred to as a regular system the City police sergeants had for testing the close scrutiny given by their men to the property along their beats. On this particular ground, at all events, according to this witness, it has long been the practice for constables to slip into the cracks of doors or the crevices of windows little bits of bent whalebone in such a manner that the opening of the door or window lets the whalebone fall and reveals the fact of disturbances to the officer on his next turn. This enables the sergeant to test the vigilance of his men, by here and there removing the tell-tale and then waiting to see whether the removal will be detected. It is generally allowed in this locality that the police are exceedingly vigilant as a rule, and that the safeguarding of this square has been all that could reasonably be expected seems undeniable. Nevertheless, the police seem certainly to have been caught napping in a manner which yesterday morning appeared to afford very general amusement to the crowds assembling in and about Duke-street. While the spot was literally garrisoned with police, and everybody's attention was absorbed in the one great calamity, it was found that burglars had taken advantage of the occasion to slip into unoccupied new premises in Duke-street and work their way thence into the post-office fronting Aldgate and commit robbery to a considerable extent. Whether this was effected before the excitement over the murders arose, or as quite conceivable in the very midst of the general agitation and absorption of attention, we have at present no information.
All day long there were yesterday mobs of people assembled in the vicinity of the two dead-houses in which the victims are at present laid, and Berner-street was at one time during the day greatly thronged. During the working dinner hour people poured down into the neighbourhood in a continuous stream, and a densely packed crowd stood before the closed gates beside the International Club, discussing the events, as though the sight of the gates and the club assisted them to realise what the morning papers had been narrating to them. Thousands of the people about this part of London cannot read English papers; but they can more or less perfectly understand spoken English, and up and down the street and all the corners persons were to be seen reading aloud the newspaper accounts to listening throngs clustering round, every detail of the shocking occurrences being earnestly debated. Possibly the folly of some of the crazes into which the public were beguiled in connection with the Hanbury-street affair having been so recently exposed may have done a good deal to check any similar tendency on this occasion. However this may be, there is certainly less disposition on the part of the populace of East London to run wild over a mere suspicion, though it need hardly be said that everywhere there is the deepest anxiety for the discovery of some clue to the murderer. All the less lighted thoroughfares of East London were last night in a most deserted condition, and only out on the broad footways and under the glare of lamps were there many people ranging the streets. In connection with the Mitre-square murder a startling discovery was made during the afternoon. Sergeant Dudman had his attention drawn to 36, Mitre-street, a house a short distance from the spot where the murdered woman was found, and there he found what appeared to be bloodstains upon the doorway and underneath the window, as if a person had wiped his fingers on the window ledge and drawn a blood-stained knife down part of the doorway. Mr. Hartig, who lives on the premises, said he had only just before noticed the stains, and then quite by accident. Almost immediately afterwards the same police officer had his attention drawn to similar marks on the plate-glass window of Mr. William Smith at the corner of Mitre-square; but Mr. Smith scouted the idea that they could have anything to do with the murders, as the windows were covered at night by shutters. The discovery, notwithstanding, caused increased excitement for a time in the locality. The only other trace left by the murderer was a portion of an apron picked up in Goldston-street [sic], which corresponded with a piece left on the body of the victim, and this seemed to show that the murderer had escaped in the direction of Whitechapel.
The boldness and audacity of the Berner-street murder becomes more and more apparent as the circumstances under which it was committed are sifted. Not only were the lights in the International Working Men's Club all ablaze, but the side-door, within three yards of which the murder was in all probability perpetrated, was half ajar, and from it a gleam of bright light from the kitchen gas shot across the yard. Then, too, the occupants of some of the tenements in the yard had not at that time gone to bed, as was plainly to be seen from the lights still showing in one or two of the windows. Added to this there was the additional danger of intrusion by any passerby. Yet within two yards of the main thoroughfare the poor woman met with her violent and untimely end. The time at which the murder was committed has now been fixed within tolerably narrow limits. A member who entered the club at twenty minutes to one, saw nothing in the yard, while the steward, driving in at one o'clock, came in contact with the body of the murdered woman. What is locally regarded as a remarkable fact is that not a sound should have been heard indicating the committal of the crime, especially when it is remembered that the stewardess and her assistant must have been in the kitchen, which immediately abuts on the side door, and within a few feet of the victim at the time when the tragedy was enacted. Although on Sunday night and early as yesterday morning four arrests were made in the vicinity of Whitechapel not one of them came to anything, and the persons detained have since been discharged from custody. It is quite safe to state that at the present moment the authorities do not possess a reliable clue upon which to work. The nearest approach to a justifiable capture was that effected about ten o'clock on Sunday night in a public-house known as "Dirty Dick's," near Liverpool-street. Here, in one of the bars, a man who was obviously the worse for liquor was indulging in some very wandering and self-incriminatory statements respecting the murders, and the fact was communicated by several men in the bar to a constable on duty close at hand. The man was at once taken into custody and conveyed to the police-station in Commercial-street, followed by a large crowd. On arrival he was charged "on suspicion," and gave his name as Frank Raper, without any settled address. It was, however, evident from the first that he was not the man who was "wanted," and though still detained pending inquiries, his release, when last inquiries were made respecting him, was hourly expected. Meantime, the excitement in the neighbourhood is intense, and towards night the crowds thronging to the scene of the outrages became more dense than ever.
A theory which finds favour in some quarters is that the murderer has two domiciles-one to which he can retreat without attracting the notice of other persons in the house, if others there be, and there remove the traces of his crime; the other his ordinary lodgings which with these precautions he could enter at any time without danger of attracting attention. This theory is not altogether unreasonable, and it obviously suggests a careful search in directions heretofore practically neglected. The authorities are stated to have under consideration the practicability of shortening the time of the patrol beats, which in the Metropolitan district are much too long for effective police duty. The resources of the force are, however, already taxed to their utmost, and if the beats are to be shortened the number of policemen [must be] considerably increased. The identification of the Berner-street victim as Elizabeth Stride is practically complete, but it is feared that more difficulty will be experienced in establishing the identity of the woman murdered in Mitre-square. The face is badly mutilated, and it wears an unnatural appearance. Many persons have been admitted to the mortuary in Golden-lane, but up to yesterday afternoon no one had recognised the dead woman as bearing the slightest resemblance to any one with whom they were acquainted. Yesterday a woman called at the mortuary, and after viewing the body said she thought it was that of her sister. She admitted, however, that she had not seen her sister for a number of years, and altogether the recognition was of such a hesitating character that not much importance is attached to it. The inquest on the woman has, in consequence of the lack of identification, been deferred until Thursday next, when Dr. Langham will open an inquiry at 11 o'clock at the City of London Mortuary, Golden-lane.
OPENING OF THE INQUEST.
Mr. Wynne E. Baxter, coroner for East Middlesex, commenced his inquiry yesterday morning at the Vestry Hall, Cable-street, into the circumstances attending the death of the woman murdered in Berner-street, who is up to the present known as Elizabeth Stride.
Wm. West, 2, William-street, Cannon-street-road, said: I am a printer employed at 40, Berner-street, which is the International Working Men's Club. Facing the street, on the ground floor, there is a window and a door leading into a passage. At the side of the house there is a passage leading into a yard, at the entrance of which there are two wooden gates. In one of them here is a little doorway. The gates are sometimes closed-in fact mostly. At times the small door in this gate is also locked. There is no particular person who does it as far as I know. On one side there is a house containing an arrangement of small tenements, but there is no way of getting out of it except through the gateway. Adjoining Hindley's, a sack manufacturer, is a stable, and next to that is the club, the premises of which run back a long way from the yard gate. The front ground floor is a room for meals. In the middle of the passage there is a staircase leading to the first floor. At the back of the meal-room there is a kitchen with a window into the passage, which leads into the yard. The passage is only lighted by a small window or door leading into the yard. At the back of it, but in no way connected with it, is a printing office, which consists of two rooms. The room adjoining the kitchen is used as a composing-room. The compositors left their work on Saturday last, I believe, about two o'clock; but the editor, who is also a member, was present in or near the club all day, and indeed until the discovery. Opposite the doorway leading from the passage from the club into the yard there are two waterclosets. There are about 75 to 80 members belonging to the club, of which any working man of any nationality can be a member. It is a Socialist club. Nobody who is elected as a member is supposed to be an anything but a Socialist, and it is understood that no member is proposed who does not conform to Socialistic principles. I was in the club from 2 p.m. until the discovery of the deceased, with the exception of from [illegible] p.m. till 9 p.m., when I went to see a friend. When I came back I went in at the street door. On the first floor there is a large room in which are given lectures and entertainments. There are three windows which look on to the club, two from the body of the room and one from the stage, on which the entertainments are given. I should think there were between 90 or 100 persons present in the club when I returned. The discussion ceased between 11.30 and 12 midnight. A considerable number then left the premises by the street door, that exit being the most convenient. About 25 or 30 members remained behind. Some of these were continuing the discussion amongst themselves, and the others were practicing singing. The windows were partly open. I left the club at about a quarter past twelve for my home, which is not above four or five minutes' distance to walk. I reached my house about twenty minutes past twelve. About twenty minutes past twelve I had occasion to go to the printing office. I went into the yard to get there, and proceeded to the street through the club-house again by the passage door. Noticing the yard passage gates were open, I looked towards them, but did not actually go up to them. There is no lamp in the yard. There are lamps in the street outside, but they are not opposite. The yard is lighted by those from the club and from the tenements. I noticed lights in one or two windows of the latter from the first floor. The editor was in the printing office, reading. At that time there was singing in the club, but otherwise not much noise. When I looked towards the gates there was nothing unusual which attracted my attention. I cannot say that there was then any object on the ground. It was very dark then. The distance from the door to the gates is about 18 feet. I simply looked at the gates because they were open. I went into the club and called my brother, and we went home together-going into the street together with Lewis Selzi, who lives close to us. I saw nobody in the yard, nor did I see anybody in Berner-street. I went through Fairclough-street, Grove-street, and Jane-street, but did not see anybody. I go home from Berner-street generally between 12 and 1. I sometimes see men and women standing about in Fairclough-street. About twelve months ago, I happened to go into the yard of our club, when I heard some chatting near the gate. I at once went to the gate and shut it, when I noticed a man and a woman going out. That was the only occasion on which I noticed such a thing, and I never heard of such a thing being repeated at other times.
Morris Siegel, 4, New-road, Commercial-road, a traveler in jewellery, said: I am a member of the club mentioned by the last witness at 40, Berner-street. I was in the chair at a discussion in the evening, between 11 and 11.45. I left the club to take my young lady home. We went out through the front door. I came back about twenty minutes to one, and, finding the front door closed, I went through the gateway and got into the yard, and thus through the back door into the club. I did not notice anything lying on the ground as I came in, although I passed in at the middle of the gateway. It was rather dark, and I did not notice whether anything was on the ground or not. I do not remember whether I met any one in Berner-street or in the yard. Had there been a man and woman in the yard I should remember it. I am often in the club late at night, but have never seen a man and woman in the yard; but I have often seen men and women standing about near the public-house, which is close by. As soon as I entered the gateway on the night in question I heard a friend of mine singing-perhaps the window was partly open, but I am not sure. He was singing in the Russian language. I went up and we sang together. I had been there about 20 minutes when the man I mentioned-Gigelmann-came and said, "There is a dead woman lying in the yard." I went down in a second, struck a match, and saw a woman lying on the ground near the gates with a lot of blood near her. Her feet were six or seven feet from the gate, and her head lay towards the yard. When I reached the body and struck the match there was only one of the members present. I thought at first she was drunk, and told her to get up-that was before I struck the match. When I saw the blood I was very much excited. I could not see whether her clothes were disarranged, as I did not look at her after seeing the blood which was around her. I went for the police, and two constables returned with me. By the time we returned there were some of the members of the club about the body and some strangers. One of the constables turned his light upon the body and immediately said to his brother officer "Go for a doctor," and sent me to the police station for the inspector. None of the persons round the body seemed to be interfering with the deceased as they seemed afraid to go near it. The constable felt the body. When I first saw the body it was about one o'clock, as near as I could judge.
By the Jury: There were several women at the club on Saturday night, as there had been a free discussion. Any one can go in, as long as they are known to one or more of the members. There may have been six or eight women present. It was not a dancing night, but there may have been a little dancing between the members.
Would you have heard a cry of distress?-If it had been the cry of a woman for help, or of "Murder," I think we should have heard it, even although there was singing and dancing in the club.
Lewis Dienishchitz [sic] said-I live at 40, Berner-street, and am steward of the International Workmen's Educational Club. I am married, and my wife lives at the club with me. She assists in the management. On Saturday I left home about half-past 11 in the morning and returned home exactly at 1 a.m. Sunday morning. I noticed the time at a tobacco shop in the Commercial-road. I was driving a pony harnessed to a costermonger's barrow. I do not keep the pony in the yard at the club, but in George-yard, Cable-street. I drove the barrow home in order to leave my goods there. I drove into the yard. Both gates were open-wide open. It was rather dark there. I drove in as usual, but as I came into the gate my pony shied to the left, and that made me look at the ground to see what the cause of it was. I could see that there was something unusual on the pavement, but I could not see what it was. It was a dark object. I tried to feel it with the handle of my whip to discover what it was. I tried to lift it up with it. As I could not I jumped down at once and struck a match. It was rather windy, and I could only get a light sufficient to show that it was the figure of some person, whom by the dress I knew to be a woman. I took no further notice of it, but went into the club and asked where my missus was. I found her in the front room on the ground floor. I left the pony in the yard by itself just outside the club door. My wife was with several of the members of the club. I told them "There is a woman lying in the yard, but I cannot say whether she is drunk or dead." I then got a candle and went down. By that light I could see there was blood even before I reached the body. I did not touch the body, but went off at once for the police. I passed several streets without seeing a policeman, and returned without one. As I returned a man whom I had met in Grove-street, and who had come back with me, lifted up the deceased's head, and then for the first time I saw the wound in her throat. Just at that time Eagle, a member of the club, and the constables arrived. I did not notice anything or anybody suspicious as I made my way to the club in my pony cart. The doctors arrived about ten minutes after the constables. The police afterwards took our names and addresses and searched everybody. The clothes of the deceased were in order as far I could see. She was lying on her side with her face towards the wall of the club; at least I am sure she was lying with her face to the wall. As soon as the police came I ceased to take any interest in the affair, and went on with my duties at the club. I did not notice in what position the hands of the deceased were. I only noticed that the doctor, when he came, unbuttoned the dress of the deceased, and, patting his hand on her on her bosom, told a constable standing by that she was quite warm. He told the constable to place his hand there, and he did so. There appeared to me to have been about two quarts of blood on the ground. It seemed to have run up the yard from her wall. I have never seen men and women together in the yard by the club, nor have I ever heard of anybody seeing such a thing.
By the Jury-It would have been quite possible for a man to have escaped from the yard while I was driving up to the club door, but after I had told the members what I had seen nobody, I think, could have escaped.
The Coroner (to Inspector Reid)-The body is not yet identified then?
The Coroner stated that the woman had not been fully identified. Although it was known where she lived she had not been identified by any relative.
The inquiry was adjourned until to-day.
The lodging-house in which the murdered woman, Elizabeth Stride, passed the day before her death is in Flower and Dean-street, a narrow thoroughfare with perhaps, for the East-end, a fairly presentable appearance. One side of the street is mainly occupied by a huge pile of modern buildings, intended for occupation by the families of artisans, and rented almost exclusively by a colony of middle-class Jews. The other side presents a far more dingy appearance. The brickwork of the houses is blackened with age, and doors and windows alike present the only too familiar aspects betokening the abode of the extreme poor. Most of the houses are registered lodging-houses, and it was in one of these places, at the entrance to the street from the main road, that "Long Liz," as she was familiarly known by her associates, spent her last night. In Flower and Dean-street numbers are unknown, or at least not in visible appearance, and a certain amount of inquiry was absolutely necessary before "No. 32" could be unearthed. Although the external appearance was poor, yet within, for a house of its description, things seemed to look uncommonly comfortable, especially considering the fact that here nightly nearly 100 of the London poor find their resting place. Calling at an early hour yesterday morning a representative found the occupants all astir, the one topic of conversation amongst both sexes being the diabolical murders perpetrated in the early hours of Sunday morning. A palpable shudder ran through the frames of those who were gathered in front of a glowing fire when the visitor opened a conversation with the inquiry if any of those present had known "Long Liz" in her lifetime. A chorus of voices readily answered "Yes;" and then an old gentleman, one of whose eyes was carefully bandaged, stepped forward from out the throng, and inquired, with rough courtesy, what the unexpected visitor required to know. Mutual explanations resulted in the owner of the damaged eye stating that his name was Thomas Bates, and that he was the watchman of the house, and had held that post for a good many years. Off and on, said he, "Long Liz" had lived with them for five or six years, but her real name he never knew. She was a Swede by birth, and some years ago lost her husband, who was shipwrecked and drowned. He had always known her as a clean and hardworking woman. He[r] usual occupation was that of a charwoman, and it was only when driven to extremities that she walked the streets. Amongst her companions and the occupants of the house she was extremely popular, despite her quiet and sometimes reserved demeanour. She would at times disappear for a month or so, even as much as three months, but she always turned up again, and they were ever glad to see her and welcome her back. She returned to the house on Tuesday last after a somewhat prolonged absence, and remained there until Saturday night. That evening she went out about seven o'clock, when she appeared to be in the most cheery spirits and in excellent health. The fact of her not returning that night was not taken any particular notice of, for it was by no means an unusual circumstance. Their apprehensions, however, were aroused when rumours of the murder reached them, and their fears were confirmed when in the afternoon a man who knew "Long Liz" well in life called and informed them that he had identified her body at the mortuary. The bed-maker at the lodging-house stated that she had known the deceased for some years as "Long Liz," though until now she was never acquainted with her real name. Mrs. Stride came to the house after a long absence on Tuesday night, and she last saw her on Saturday evening, when she went out about seven. On that particular day the whitewashers were in the house, and in the course of the morning she had assisted her by cleaning two of the rooms where the workmen had been. The deceased at the time told her she wished she had known it before, as she would have given further help. "Long Liz" had told her more than once that she was over 50 years of age. Other inmates of the establishment who were present while this conversation was going on corroborated these statements, but so far as could be gathered no one living in the house saw the unfortunate woman after seven o'clock on Saturday night.
In addition to the statements by residents already published, the following are of interest, as bearing on one or other of the murders:-
Police-constable Edward Watkins, 881 City Police, who found the body in Mitre-square (in the south-east or right-hand corner), says:-"I passed the spot at half-past one, but there was nothing in the corner then. I came round again at 1.45, and entering the square from Mitre-street, on the right-hand side, I turned sharp round to the right, and flashing my light, I saw the body in front of me. The clothes were pushed right up to her breast, and the stomach was laid bare, with a dreadful gash from the pit of the stomach to the breast. On examining the body I found the entrails cut out and laid round the throat, which had an awful gash in it, extending from ear to ear. In fact, the head was nearly severed from the body. Blood was everywhere to be seen. It was difficult to discern the injuries to the face for the quantity of blood which covered it. I cannot say whether one of the ears had been cut off. The murderer had inserted the knife just under the left eye, and, drawing it under the nose, cut the nose completely from the face, at the same time inflicting a dreadful gash down the right cheek to the angle of the jawbone. The nose was laid over on the cheek. A more dreadful sight I never saw; it quite knocked me over. I went to the watchman, Morris, at Heseltine, Kearley, and Tonge's tea warehouse, and asked for his assistance. He went for other officers, and I sent for Dr. Sequeira, of 34, Jewry-street, and Dr. Brown subsequently attended, and the body was removed to the mortuary in Golden-lane."
Thomas Ryan, who has charge of the Cabmen's Reading Room at 43, Pickering-place, Westbourne-grove, a teetotaler, and the secretary of the Cabmen's Branch of the Church of England Temperance Society, who has been stationed at Pickering-place for about six years, tells the following story. On Sunday afternoon, while he was in his shelter, the street attendant brought a gentlemanly-looking man to him and said, "This 'ere gentleman wants a chop, guv'nor; can you cook one for him, he says he's 'most perished with cold." The gentleman in question, Ryan says, was about five feet six inches in height, and wore an Oxford cap on his head, and a light check ulster, with a tippet buttoned to his throat, which he did not loosen all the time he was in the shelter. He had a thick moustache, but no beard; was round-headed, his eyes very restless, and clean white hands. Ryan said, "Come in, I'll cook one for you with pleasure." This was about four o'clock in the afternoon. Several cabmen were in the shelter at the time, and they were talking of the new murders discovered that morning at Whitechapel. Ryan exclaimed, "I'd gladly do seven days and nights if I could only find the fellow who did them." This was said directly at the stranger, who, looking into Ryan's face, quietly said, "Do you know who committed the murders?" and then calmly went on to say, "I did them. I've had a lot of trouble lately. I came back from India and got into trouble at once. I lost my watch and chain and 10l." Ryan was greatly taken aback at the man's statement, and fancied he was just recovering from a drinking bout; so he replied, "If that's correct you must consider yourself engaged." But he then went on to speak to him about temperance work, and the evils wrought by drink. Warming to his subject Ryan spoke of his own work amongst men to try to induce them to become teetotalers; then the stranger said, "Have a drink" to Ryan, and produced a bottle from an inner pocket, which was nearly full of a brown liquid-either whisky or brandy. Ryan told him he had better put the bottle away, as they were all teetotalers there, whereupon the stranger asked for a glass to take a drink himself, which was refused him, because Ryan said, "All our glasses are teetotal glasses." During the stranger's meal the conversation was kept up with Ryan and others in the shelter, all of whom thought that the man was recovering from a heavy drinking bout, and that his remarks as to his being the murderer were all nonsense. Ryan reasoned with him as to the folly of drinking, and at last he expressed his willingness to sign the pledge, a book containing pledges being shown him. This the stranger examined, and at length filled up one page, writing on the counterfoil as well as on the body of the pledge. In the hand of a gentleman he wrote the following words: "J. Duncan, doctor, residence, Cabman's Shelter, 30th Sept., 1888." After doing this he said, "I could tell a tale if I wanted." After a pause he went on to speak of his experiences in India, and said he knew the Rev. Mr. Gregson, who was engaged in temperance work amongst the English soldiers in India, and had been for some time in Simla. He also stated that he was at Newcastle-on-Tyne before he went to India. Ryan called his attention to the fact that he had not filled in his proper residence, and the man replied, "I have no fixed place of abode at present. I'm living anywhere." While Duncan was eating his chop he again asked for something to drink, and water was brought him, but then he said he would have ginger beer, and when that was brought him he filled up the glass with the liquid from the bottle he had in his pocket. "This he drank," said Ryan, "differently to what people usually drink, he literally gulped it down." In answer to further conversation about teetotalism, Duncan accepted an invitation to go with Ryan to church that evening, and afterwards to accompany him to a temperance meeting which he was going to hold. For that purpose, he said, he would return to the shelter in an hour, but he never came back. Duncan carried a stick, and looked a sinewy fellow.
The young man Albert Baskert, of 13, Newnham-street, Whitechapel, has made a further statement. It will be noticed that the man who spoke to him in the Three Nuns Hotel on Saturday night carried a black shiny bag, and it is remarkable that the only man Mrs. Mortimer observed in Berner-street nearly two hours afterwards also carried a black shiny bag. Baskert says:-On Saturday night about seven minutes to 12 I entered the Three Nuns Hotel, Aldgate. While in there an elderly woman, very shabbily dressed, came in and asked me to buy some matches. I refused and she went out. A man who had been standing by me remarked that those persons were a nuisance, to which I responded "Yes." He then asked me to have a glass with him, but I refused, as I had just called for one myself. He then asked me if I knew how old some of the women were who were in the habit of soliciting outside. I replied that I thought some of them who looked about 25 were over 35, the reason they looked younger being on account of the powder and paint. He asked if I could tell him where they usually went with men, and I replied that I had heard that some went to places in Oxford-street, Whitechapel, others to some houses in Whitechapel-road, and others to Bishopsgate-street. He then asked whether I thought they would go with him down Northumberland-alley-a dark, lonely court in Fenchurch-street. I said I did not know, but supposed they would. He then went outside and spoke to the woman who was selling matches, and gave her something I believe. He returned to me, and I bid him good-night at about ten minutes past twelve. I believe the woman was waiting for him. I do not think I could identify the woman, as I did not take particular notice of her, but I should know the man again. He was a dark man, about 38 years of age, height about 5 feet 6in. or 7in. He wore a black felt hat, dark clothes (morning coat), and black tie, and carried a black shiny bag.
Mrs. Deimschitz, the stewardess of the club, says:-Just about one o'clock on Sunday morning I was in the kitchen on the ground floor of the club, and close to the side entrance, serving tea and coffee for the members who were singing upstairs. Up to then I had not heard a sound-not even a whisper. Then suddenly I saw my husband enter, looking very scared and frightened. I inquired what was the matter, but all he did was to excitedly ask for a match or candle as there was a body in the yard. The door had been, and still was, half open, and from it the light from the gas jets in the kitchen was streaming out into the yard. I at once compiled with his request, and gave him some matches. He then rushed out into the yard, and I followed him to the doorway, where I remained. Just by the door I saw a pool of blood, and when my husband struck a light I noticed a dark heap lying under the wall. I at once recognised it as the body of a woman, while, to add to my horror, I saw a stream of blood trickling down the yard and terminating in the pool I had first noticed. She was lying on her back with her head against the wall, and the face looked ghastly. I screamed out in fright, and the members of the club hearing my cries rushed downstairs in a body out into the yard. When my husband examined the body he found that life, so far as he could tell, was quite extinct. He at once went for a policeman. He is positive that before entering the yard he did not see any man about the street. It was just one o'clock when my husband came home. Some twenty minutes previously a member of the club had entered by the side door, but he states that he did not then notice any body lying prostrate in the yard. It was, however very dark at the time, and he might in consequence have failed to see any such object on the ground. When the police came we were told that we must not quit the premises, and everybody was at once searched. Nothing was found to occasion suspicion, and the members were eventually allowed to go. At four o'clock the body was removed to the mortuary, and later on in the morning the police washed away the blood stains with which the side of the yard was deluged. I am positive I did not hear any screams or sound of any kind. Even the singing on the floor above would not have prevented me from hearing had there been any. In the yard itself all was as silent as the grave.
Mila, the servant at the club, strongly corroborates the statement made by her mistress, and is equally convinced there were no sounds coming from the yard between 20 minutes to one and one o'clock.
Julius Minsky, a Police Jew and a member of the club, states that at the time when the alarm was raised, just after one o'clock, there were some 20 or 30 members in the club room upstairs. They had just finished the evening's discussion, and were amusing themselves with singing. The utmost joviality was prevailing, when a member rushed excitedly into the room and shouted out that the body of a murdered woman had been found in the yard. The singing was at once stopped, and all present rushed downstairs in a state of the utmost alarm into the yard. The first thing he noticed was the pool of blood by the kitchen door, and then glancing up the yard to the spot where Mr. Deimschitz was holding a lighted match in his hand he noticed the body of a woman stretched out by the side of the wall. He was very much frightened himself and, remained in the doorway. Even from there he could plainly see the terrible gash that had been made in the neck. The discovery caused consternation amongst the members. He had been in the club all night, and so far as he knew only one member came in before one. When the police came up they entered the club and searched the persons of all present.
LETTER FROM THE HOME SECRETARY.
Appended is a copy of a bill issued by the City police authorities last night:-
Whereas, at 1.45 a.m. on Sunday, the 30th September last, a Woman, name unknown, was found brutally murdered in Mitre-square, Aldgate, in this City, a Reward of 500l. will be paid by the Commissioners 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),
City of London Police Office, 26, Old Jewry,
Oct. 1st, 1888.
The following letter was yesterday forwarded to the Home Office:-"Abchurch-lane, London, E.C.-The Right Hon. Henry Matthews, Q.C., M.P.-Sir,-In view of your refusal to offer a reward out of the Government funds for the discovery of the perpetrator or perpetrators of the recent murders in the East-end of London, I am instructed on behalf of several readers of the Financial News, whose names and addresses I enclose, to forward you the accompanying cheque for 300l., and to request you to offer that sum for this purpose in the name of the Government.-Awaiting the favour of your reply, I have the honour to be your obedient servant, HARRY H. MARKS."
To this communication the appended reply was received:-
1st October, 1888.
My dear Sir,-I am directed by Mr. Matthews to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of this date, containing a cheque for 300l., which you say has been contributed on behalf of several readers of the Financial News, and which you are desirous should be offered as a reward for the discovery of the recent murders in the East-end of London.
If Mr. Matthews had been of opinion that the offer of a reward in these cases would have been attended by any useful result he would himself have at once made such an offer, but he is not of that opinion.
Under these circumstances I am directed to return you the cheque (which I enclose) and to thank you and the gentlemen whose names you have forwarded for the liberality of their offer, which Mr. Matthews much regrets he is unable to accept.
I am, Sir, your very obedient servant,
E. LEIGH PEMBERTON.
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 100l. to be paid to any one who may give information that will lead to the discovery and conviction of the perpetrator or perpetrators of the recent murders committed in the district in which his regiment is situated. Sir Alfred Kirby has also expressed his willingness to place the services of fifty members of his corps at the disposal of the authorities, to be utilized in any way they may consider desirable at this juncture, either for the protection of the public or the detection of the criminals.
Mr. Phillips, a member of the City Corporation, representing the ward of Aldgate, has given notice of his intention to move at the next council meeting that the Corporation do offer a reward of 250l. for the detection of the murderer of the woman found in Mitre-square, which is within the City precincts.
The editor and proprietor of the Financial News have written to the Lord Mayor expressing a desire to add 50l. to any reward which may be offered in the City.
The action of the City authorities in offering a reward is regarded with satisfaction in Whitechapel itself. The sum offered, together with 400l. which the directorate of two newspapers express their willingness to supply, the 100l. offered by Mr. Montagu, M.P., and the 200l. collected by the Vigilance Committee, make an aggregate sum of 1,200l. It is, however, more than probable that the reward will be increased to 2,000l., as the Lord Mayor has been urged to open a subscription list, and the members of the Stock Exchange seem disposed to take the matter up.
A postcard bearing the stamp "London, E., October 1," was received yesterday morning, addressed to the Central News Office, the address and subject-matter being written in red, and undoubtedly by the same person from whom the sensational letter already published was received on Thursday last. It runs as follows:-"I was not coddling, dear old Boss, when I gave you the tip. You'll hear about Saucy Jacky's work to-morrow. Double event this time. Number One squealed a bit; couldn't finish straight off. Had not time to get ears for police. Thanks for keeping last letter back till I got to work again.-JACK THE RIPPER." The card was smeared on both sides with blood, which has evidently been impressed thereon by the thumb or finger of the writer, the corrugated surface of the skin being plainly shown. Upon the back of the card some words are nearly obliterated by a smear.
At the Marylebone Police-court yesterday, a man, evidently of the artisan class, applied to Mr. De Rutzen for process against a gentleman living at Tottenham for injury sustained in being arrested on suspicion of being the perpetrator of the Whitechapel murders. He had been helping in the repair of the organ at St. Saviour's Church, Warwick-road, Paddington, and was on his way home when the person against whom he was applying said he (applicant) was "Leather Apron," and gave him into custody on suspicion of being the murderer. He was taken to Carlton-terrace police-station, where he was detained for three and a half hours. Mr. De Rutzen told the applicant he could not grant him process in that court. If he had suffered any wrong by being locked up on suspicion of being the author of the murders in Whitechapel, and thought he could recover redress, he must bring an action in the County Court.
Among the night charges at the Worship-street Police-court yesterday were some ten or a dozen prisoners for loitering and disorderly conduct, and in the course of the hearing of one case against a man who was charged with assaulting Police-constable 337 H-the officer having proved that at about three o'clock on Sunday morning, in Commercial-street, Spitalfields, the prisoner was loitering about, but singing, and when spoken to knocked him (the officer) down-the magistrate (Mr. Montagu Williams) said that if ever there was a time at which he was inclined to deal severely with men who assaulted the police it was the present. The police had not merely to walk their beats, but to have eyes and ears for every one found about the streets at such hours. The present state of affairs was too horrible to continue, and the police must be supported in putting an end to it. He would not allow a fine for assaults on the police, and he sentenced the prisoner to 14 days' hard labour.
At the suggestion of Mr. S. Montagu, M.P. for Whitechapel, a large meeting will be called at the St. Mary's Schools, Whitechapel, this week, to urge upon the Government the necessity of offering a substantial reward for the capture of the Whitechapel murderer, and also to call attention to the notoriously insufficient police protection afforded for the district. The Whitechapel Board of Works, at their meeting yesterday, urged the necessity for more protection for life and property in the district.
It was reported that early yesterday morning a policeman discovered in the Whitechapel-road a black-handled knife, pointed and keen as a razor, the blade of which was about ten inches long.
SIR,-When will our brave Government have done with the heartbreaking oppression of poor Irishmen, and begin to turn their attention to the awful problems involved in the crimes which are enacted with impunity in England's greatest city? Unquestionable astuteness they discover in hurling from their miserable huts starving families, consigning them to the roadside, reckless of what becomes of them; but precious little capacity do they show in the detection of atrocities which daily are shocking us, or in tracking the criminal to his den and bringing him to justice. Sir, how much longer shall we be governed by these incapables?-Yours truly, R. JOHNS.
Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington, Oct. 1.
SIR,-As the track of the Whitechapel monster or monsters becomes more and more thickly besprinkled with the blood, and bestrewn with the mutilated remains of successive victims, there is something almost paralysing in the ghastly sameness with which the newspaper reports wind up:-"No clue to the identity of the murderer has yet been found"; "No circumstances specially tending to the discovery of the criminal has been observed"; and "It is understood that although not the remotest clue has been discovered, the police have a theory," and so on ad nauseam. Every reasonable suggestion (and some suggestions which are not reasonable) thrown out by neighbours and bystanders is followed up with praiseworthy energy; promising arrests are made at the instance of lodging-house deputies and others; and the drunken "confession" prompted by the idyllic imagination of an occasional reveler is heard with grave attention, and investigated with patient, if hopeless ability. But "up to the hour of going to press no clue has been discovered." Now, Sir, is not this a matter of grave complaint against our detective system? Is the duty of the sleuth-hound of the law confined to following up the suggestions of outsiders and amateurs? In so such wise have the French and American detectives, whose astuteness excites the wonder and stimulates the imagination of historical as well as fictional writers all the world over, achieved their fame. It is easy to say that without something to work upon the police cannot be expected to smell the murderer out. Is this the language of Vidocq or of Inspector Byrne? Most emphatically I maintain that it is the duty of the detectives to discover and pursue for himself clues suggested by such trifling indications as would escape the attention of the casual or the unskilled observer. We retain a large and expensive body of men; their services are withdrawn from directly productive industry to act as detectives; and we have the right to demand at their hands things which, except to specialists and experts, may rightly be called impossible. Sir Charles Warren, pious disciplinarian and enthusiastic soldier that he is, must feel deeply his responsibility for all this. Doubtless he remembers with a pang that the services of the best detective in the force-certainly of the man in whom the country has the greatest confidence-are lost to the department which owed so much to his genius, and that popular report attributes the loss to friction with the Chief Commissioner. May we not ask whether Sir Charles remembers also that his predecessor's retirement was accelerated by his failure to foresee and prevent certain violence (not violence to life, but only to property), brought about by speeches not more inflammatory than many others delivered under like circumstances in the same place without serious consequence?
-Yours obediently, T.B.B.
SIR,-The wild beast who is running loose in Whitechapel is apparently a student of psychology. By the ordinary perusal of a newspaper he has become aware that he has only to persevere in his horrible atrocities, and as soon as they have ceased to be sensational by reason of their novelty they will be thought of small consequence. These frightful murders are no isolated events. They are part and parcel of a constant and ever-increasing series of cruelties perpetrated on women, and regarded so lightly by the public, and treated so leniently by judges that it must be a source of genuine surprise to a man when he finds that by chance he is going to be hanged for murdering a woman, or to be sent to a long term of penal servitude for the attempted murder of a woman.
It is surely unfair that a man may not know what he is to expect, if he wants to kill a woman, or if he wished merely to vent upon someone too feeble to return or resist his violence a savage gust of passion, careless whether his blows may kill or may only maim. In perhaps five out of six cases of woman-killing, judges and juries find the crime to be not murder: how unfair it is that a man should not know beforehand whether he is to expect to be one of the fortunate five, to receive a less punishment than he would do if he were driven by want to steal trifling articles and get half-a-dozen convictions for that-or whether he shall be the sixth on the list of woman-slayers, with bad luck enough to be called a murderer, and even, it is just possible by chance, to be hanged as such. How unjust, again, that a man should know that he may illuse a woman to an unlimited extent for a brief term of imprisonment (less than he would have for picking a pocket), if only she has the strength to live through it; while if the wretched creature completes her career of annoyances by dying there may be considerable fuss made about it. Is it his fault if she have a poor constitution?
The Whitechapel murders, ghastly and terrible though they are in the light of the fact that the murderer is roving at large, are in fact commonplace and even merciful, beside some that judges and juries have within the last twelve months declared not to be murders at all. Is it not worse to hack and mutilate a living woman's sentient body than to kill and cut at the insensible corpse? Is it not a more terrible fate to be slowly beaten to death in instalments [sic] than to be sent from earth by one swift stroke? Yet week by week and month by month women are kicked, beaten, jumped on till they are crushed, chopped, stabbed, seamed with vitriol, bitten, eviscerated with red-hot pokers, and deliberately set on fire-and this sort of outrage, if the woman dies, is called "manslaughter;" if she lives, it is a "common assault." Common indeed! And men who would not themselves lay a hand on a woman except in kindness-men who themselves feel it the greatest satisfaction of their lives that they make some woman's existence happy-are content to know that other men treat other women so, and that demoralised judges and magistrates throw the shield of the law and the authority of their office, not over the victim, but over the crime.
Let us make an end of the pretence that women have full protection against murder and violence from the laws of their country. Let it be recognised and admitted that to kill a woman is not murder-no more in a sensational case than in a more common-place one. Let it be stated that the most brutal assaults on women are of little consequence, and let a limit-such as is now applied in practice-be set on the sentences that are to be given in such cases. It is not fair to leave a man in doubt as to what his sentence is to be when he lets forth his fury on a woman, and it is not well to allow ordinary, decent-minded men to shelter their consciences behind the fact that the law theoretically protects women while the "discretion" of judges and magistrates and the cowardice or indifference of juries makes the law's protection a pretence.
May I briefly justify these hard sayings, that may seem too hard, if the facts are not brought to mind? Before me lies a heap of newspaper cuttings, all taken within the last few months, showing only too sadly that I am not too bitter, not too extreme. Here is Mr. Edlin, the Assistant Judge of the Middlesex Sessions, dealing with a case of burglary, cutting a watch dog's throat, and stabbing the woman of the house in the throat when she resisted an attempted rape, cutting seriously both her throat and the hands put up to protect it-six months' imprisonment! This was something like the Whitechapel cases, except that the throat cutting was not so skilful, and owing to interruption it did not kill; but, on the other hand, the burglary has to be added in the scale. Mr. Edlin again gave a similar sentence in an almost equally outrageous case, a few weeks ago. Nobody appears seriously shocked; for he has just received, as though in recognition of his services, the honour of knighthood, nominally from the hands of the first woman of the realm-the Sovereign who swore at her coronation to protect her people! Mr. Justice Charles a fortnight ago had before him a miscreant who had inflicted months of acute agony and disfigured a poor girl for life by pouring vitriol over her face because she refused to live with him-sentence, eighteen months. The same judge had a man who chopped a woman's head open with an axe-sentence, nine months. Mr. Edlin again had a case of a savage brute biting an old woman's cheek through to her teeth, and "worrying it like a dog"-eighteen months; the next case, settled by the same "officer of justice," being a burglary, with previous conviction proved, eight years. The magistrates are not behind-hand in their encouragement to brutality against women. Here, a fortnight ago, is Mr. de Rutzen: a man biting a woman's arm, when her baby was a month old-six months. Mr. Chance: for beating a woman with a ginger-beer bottle, and turning her out of doors in her night-gown-three months. The country magistrates are even worse. The Barnsley magistrates, for a brutal assault with a brick, kicking, and attempted rape, last week gave four months' imprisonment. The Whitehaven magistrates, for breaking a woman's jaw in two places and knocking out six teeth, six months. The Kidderminster magistrates, for a series of violent beatings, fine of 5s.; their next case being against a tradesman for leaving a couch an hour on the footpath, fined 10s. The Wolverhampton magistrates, for cruelly assaulting a woman, two months; for striking a policeman one blow, three months; for cutting one of the Corporation seats, six months. But I must end this catalogue, with which I might fill pages, and I have yet to give instances of woman-killing no murder. Here is Edward Doyle, who, not content with breaking a woman's ribs and scalding her with hot water, next thrust a red hot poker up into her abdomen, and let her lie dying for two days: manslaughter, fifteen years' prison. He will be let out to go on again while still quite in the prime of life; he is no murderer. John Freshfield, tearing off his wife's ear, breaking her breast-bone and also eight of her ribs on one side and nine on the other: manslaughter, (Mr. Justice Hawkins) eighteen months' prison. John Finnemore, stabbing his wife in the abdomen with a knife because his dinner, ordered for three, was not nice when he returned at midnight: manslaughter, twenty years. T. Leyland, setting a woman on fire, with express intention to kill her, by holding a lighted paper to her clothes, and then shutting her out in a high walled yard away from rescue: manslaughter, "recommended to mercy, because he looked a soft sort of man!" James Kelly, Edinburgh, fifty wounds on the head and elsewhere, the end of a long course of brutal usage: culpable homicide, ten years. John Jones, a murder described by the judge as one "for which we might search in vain amongst the records of barbarians to find a case so bad": manslaughter, (Mr. Justice Grantham) twelve months' imprisonment.
I must inflict no more on you. These are only, alas! specimens of a long, long list. What are men going to do? Now, when their consciences and their imaginations are aroused by the stealthiness and barbarous sequels of the Whitechapel murders, I ask them what are they going to do to check the ever-rising flood of brutality to women, of which these murders are only the latest wave?
FLORENCE FENWICK MILLER.
ANOTHER OUTRAGE AND THREATS.-James Henderson, aged 32, a tailor of , Woodland-street, Dalston, was charged before Mr. Horace Smith with violently assaulting an unfortunate woman named Rosa Goldstein, and threatening to "rip her up, the same as a few more had been done."-Prosecutrix, who appeared with surgical bandages about her head, and appeared weak from loss of blood, stated that on Saturday night she was going home when prisoner made proposals to her, which she refused, when he struck her three times on the head with the buckhorn handle of his stick, causing blood to flow freely, and rendering her partially insensible. A crowd gathered round, and she gave the prisoner into custody.-Mr. Horace Smith, addressing the prisoner, said-If it had not been that you were drunk, and may not have known exactly what you were doing, I should have dealt very severely with you. It is not because this class of women are unfortunate they are to be knocked about. I have considered the good character you have hitherto borne, and also that I do not think it was wilful [sic] wickedness, and therefore will only inflict a fine of 40s. or imprisonment for one month.
DALSTON.-THE USE OF THE KNIFE.-Frederick Lawrence, a rough-looking little man, was charged before Mr. Horace Smith with violently assaulting his wife by stabbing her in the arm, biting her finger, kicking her in the abdomen, and smacking her in the face.-Prosecutrix, a tall, muscular woman, showily attired, said she resided with her husband at 12, Pedro-street, Clapton-park. On Saturday night she had been out shopping, and when she returned her husband had locked her out. She burst open the door, and her husband then picked up a knife and asked her how she would like to be done like the Whitechapel murder? She replied that it was a very "kind" remark. He then attempted to stab her, and she knocked the knife out of his hand. He gave her a slight cut on the right arm, and then assaulted her as above stated. Prisoner denied that he had stabbed or kicked his wife; but, on the contrary, she had picked up the knife to him, and got the cut in the struggle. She was a very violent woman, and had often beaten and stabbed him. She commenced the quarrel on Saturday night because he would not get up and light the fire and cook her supper. She bit her own finger because she could not have her revenge.-Dr. Thomas Jackman, the divisional police surgeon, said he had examined the woman, and found a swelling and soreness of the abdomen, a severe bite on the finger, and a mark on the arm, which might have been caused by a pin or a knife. Prisoner said the swelling and tenderness spoken of by the doctor had been in existence for years.-Police-sergeant 11 J deposed to seeing the prosecutrix evidently in pain, when she complained of being bitten and kicked.-A man named Wood was called to prove that on one occasion the prosecutrix had hit the prisoner over the head with a poker. The prisoner was remanded for a week, and the police ordered to make inquires.-The prisoner was refused bail.