16 October 1888
According to a Correspondent, the police are watching with great anxiety a house at the East end which is strongly suspected to have been the actual lodging, or a house made use of by some one connected with the East end murders. Statements made by the neighbours in the district point to the fact that the landlady had a lodger, who since the Sunday morning of the last Whitechapel murders has been missing. The lodger, it is stated, returned home early on the Sunday morning, and the landlady was disturbed by his moving about. She got up very early, and noticed that her lodger had changed some of his clothes. He told her he was going away for a little time, and he asked her to wash the shirt which he had taken off, and get it ready for him by the time he came back. As he had been in the habit of going away now and then, she did not think much at the time, and soon afterwards he went out. On looking at his shirt she was astonished to find the wristbands and part of the sleeves saturated with wet blood. The appearance struck her as very strange, and when she heard of the murders her suspicions were aroused. Acting on the advice of some of her neighbours, she gave information to the police and showed them the bloodstained shirt. They took possession of it, and obtained from her a full description of her missing lodger. During the last fortnight she has been under the impression that he would return, and was sanguine that he would probably come back in Saturday or Sunday night, ot perhaps Monday evening. The general opinion, however, among the neighbours is that he will never return. On finding out the house and visiting it, a reporter found it tenanted by a stout, middle aged German woman, who speaks very bad English, and who was not inclined to give much information further than the fact that her lodger had not returned yet, and she could not say where he had gone or when he would be back. The neighbours state that ever since the information has been given two detectives and two policemen have been in the house day and night. The house is approached by a court, and as there are alleys running through it into different streets, there are different ways of approach and exit. It is believed from the information obtained concerning the lodger's former movements and his general appearance, together with the fact that numbers of people have seen the same man about the neighbourhood, that the police have in their possession a series of most important clues, and that his ultimate capture is only a question of time.
Superintendent Farmer, of the River Tyne police, has received information which, it is considered, may form a clue to the Whitechapel murders. An Austrian seaman signed articles on board a Faversham vessel in the Tyne on Saturday, and sailed for a French port. Afterwards, it was found that his signature corresponded with the facsimile letters signed "jack the Ripper" and that the description of the man also corresponded with that of the Whitechapel murderer circulated by the Metropolitan Police. Superintendent Farmer will telegraph the result of his inquiries to the Criminal Investigation Department.
With the approach of winter the tradesmen of Whitechapel are awakening to the fact that their district is not sufficiently protected. A petition to the Home Secretary asking for additional constables has been signed by about 200 shopkeepers, and will be presented shortly to Mr. Montagu, M.P.
The City Police have succeeded in discovering Thomas Conway, who some years ago lived with Catherine Eddowes, the woman murdered in Mitre square. Up to yesterday the efforts of the detectives had been at fault owing, as now suggested by the City Solicitor at the inquest, to the fact that Conway has drawn his pension from the 18th Royal Irish Regt. under a false name - that of Thomas Quinn. Apparently he has not read the papers, for he was ignorant till the last few days that he was being sought for. Then, however, he learned that the City detectives were inquiring after him, and yesterday afternoon he and his two sons went to the detective office of the City Police in Old Jewry and explained who they were. Conway was at once taken to see Mrs. Annie Phillips, Eddowes's daughter, who recognised him as her father. He states that he left Eddowes in 1880 in consequence of her intemperate habits. He knew that she had since been living with Kelly, and had once or twice seen her in the streets, but had as far as possible kept out of her way.
THE LONDON POLICE
All friends of good government in London must welcome the excellent article in your issue of today on the London Police. The lines which you advocate for putting them under the control of the London County Council and for reorganizing them are practically those which were urged in the House of Commons by the London Liberal members during the late debate on the County Government Bill on my police amendment. Recent events and recent disclosures have shown the truth of our contention at that time, that the military character which the London police was rapidly assuming was unfitting it for its ordinary and natural duties. You may rest assured that the London Liberal members will raise the matter in the House of Commons at the earliest opportunity during the sitting of Parliament next month, and that we shall not be content with a scapegoat only, but shall be satisfied with nothing less than the complete change of the system in the direction you indicate, so that the effectual control of the police of London may be placed in the hands of the ratepayers of London.
I am, yours faithfully,
Cambridge, Oct. 15.
Balmoral, Oct. 15.
Divine service was performed yesterday morning at the Castle, in the presence of the Queen and Royal Family and the Royal Household.
The Very Rev. James Cameron Lees, D.D., Dean of the Thistle and of the Chapel Royal, Chaplain to the Queen, officiated.
Their Royal Highnesses the Princess of Wales, Prince Albert Victor, and Princesses Louise and Maud of Wales, attended by Sir Dighton and Lady Probyn and Miss Knollys, drove from Abergeldie and attended Divine service at the Castle. Their Royal Highnesses afterwards came over again and lunched with the Queen.
Prince and Princess Henry of Battenberg lunched at Abergelie Mains.
Some important facts in relation to lunacy in this country were noticed in Dr. Rhodes's paper on Pauper Lunatics, read before the North Western Poor Law Conference. It is mortifying to know that the population of Great Britain yields a larger proportion of lunatics than that of any other country in Europe, though there is some compensation in the fact that no other country has so few idiots. From the latest report of the Lunacy Commissioners it appears that no fewer 74,171 lunatics are supported at the public expense. Of these 49,258 were in county asylums, 17,602 in workhouses, 1,450 in registered hospitals and licensed houses, and 6,860 with relations and others. A more disquieting fact is that in 1863 the total number was only 44,703, so that there has been in the last twenty years an increase of no fewer than 29,468. The increase is partly explained by the suggestion that friends are more willing to send sufferers into the asylums than they were. Dr. Rhodes condemns the system of detaining hopeless chronic cases in expensive asylums, and he attributes many of the difficulties which the guardians have to contend with to the mischievous and mistaken grant of four shillings per head.
A man giving the name of William Russell, and stating that he was discharged a week ago from an American ship, the National Eagle, at the Victoria Docks, Liverpool, has given himself up to the police at Maidenhead, accusing himself of having committed a murder in London on Tuesday night last. He says that on the night in question he had been drinking with a prostitute, whom he calls "Annie." They subsequently quarrelled, and he threw her over the parapet of Westminster Bridge into the Thames. He then ran away, and has since been hiding at Kew and Windsor. Haunted, however, by the belief that he was being hunted down, he became so uneasy that he could get no rest, and consequently surrendered himself to the police. He describes the woman as rather good looking, of dark complexion, and rather stout - "the type," he says, "of a London girl." Russell was detained by the police, and late on Sunday night the attention of Sergeant Meade was attracted by a strange gurgling sound as of some one suffocating. The officer went to the room where the prisoner was confined, and found him black in the face from an attempt to strangle himself. He had tied a silk handkerchief tightly round his throat, the sergeant arriving just in time to remove it and save the man's life. He was charged before the magistrates yesterday with attempting suicide, and remanded for a week for inquiries to be made.
The police are said to be in possession of what is likely to prove an important piece of evidence in connection with the discovery of the mutilated body in a cell of the new police buildings at Westminster. It has been supplied by an inhabitant of Llanelly, South Wales. He happened to be in Cannon row on the Saturday before the body was found, and at an hour when the place was practically deserted. His attention was directed to a man who climbed over a hoarding into the ground whereon the new police building is being erected, and where afterwards the body was discovered. Two other men who were with him had a barrow on which was a bundle. The whole proceeding struck the observer as being strange, and afterwards, when the remains were found, he handed in his information, and also a description of the man. The result is that a workman has since been interviewed in the vicinity, who admits having been on the spot on the day in question, though his business there is not very clear. Beyond this the police, it is said, have no clue.
George Sullivan, 30, a man of peculiar appearance, was charged on remand with disorderly conduct and threatening to stab Mrs. Ellen Jansen, of 42 St. George's street, E. The evidence of prosecutrix showed that between 10 and 11 o'clock on the night of Saturday week prisoner came into the beerhouse her mother kept and asked to be served. He behaved in such a suspicious manner that the witness would not serve him. The accused walked up and down the bar, and Mrs. Jansen told him not to annoy the customers. He had a long knife in his hand, and with it made an upward motion, saying, "Look here, I'll do this for you." Prisoner went out and she followed him, but lost him. She however found him again in a public house, when he said, "You can't lock me up; I've only just come out of Colney Hatch. I was there two years." Witness gave him into custody. She was very much frightened by the conduct of the prisoner. On the last occasion Mr. G. Stacey, relieving officer, said the accused was out of his mind and had been in several lunatic asylums. Sullivan denied threatening to stab prosecutrix. He also said, "All these people at the back of the court have been to heaven and hell." He was sent to the workhouse as a lunatic.
Great excitement was caused last night in the neighbourhood of Camberwell by a report that a woman had been found in the gutter of Hornby road with her throat cut. It appears that a woman named Brett, aged about 40, had been living at No 66 Hornby road, with a carman named Olney, aged 64, for some time past. About two weeks ago, a sailor, named Frank Hall, aged 19, came to live with them. Last night all three were out drinking together, and shortly before ten o'clock a discussion arose, in which the woman said, "We'll give Frank 10s if he'll get rid of me." No sooner had these words been uttered than Frank, it is alleged, took up a large carving knife and cut the woman's throat. She rushed into the street, where she staggered and fell. Inspector Taylor, of the B Division, with several constables quickly appeared, and upon being asked by the inspector who committed the deed the woman replied, "Frank did it." Dr. Munyard was called and stated it to be a dangerous wound extending from ear to ear. A search was at once made, and the two men were discovered in bed in an intoxicated condition, the sailor being the worse of the two. On the way to the station the youth said he was "Jack the Ripper," and wanted to know if they thought he was the "Whitechapel bloke."