MONDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 1888
MARLBOROUGH-STREET. - DISORDERLY HOUSE PROSECUTION. - Alfred and Amelia Becker were charged on remand with using a certain portion of a house in Berners-street for immoral purposes. The complaint was that of a medical man on the ground floor of the house, who had been greatly annoyed by the woman taking strange men upstairs. - The defence was that they came in for the purpose of purchasing birds from an aviary on the upper floor, but this defence was abandoned. - Mr. Newton told the man that he was a despicable person. He had no sympathy whatever for a man who lived on his wife's immorality. He must go to prison for a month, with hard labour, and the woman must pay a fine of 20s, and £4 costs, or, in default of distress, be imprisoned for a month.
Further investigation into the latest and most terrible of the Whitechapel tragedies has failed to establish anything like a tangible clue to the perpetrator of the crime. A neighbour of the deceased's states, in the most positive and circumstantial manner, that she saw and spoke to her at half-past eight on the morning of the murder, but this is at variance with the medical opinion, which is that death must have taken place at least two or three hours earlier. Several arrests were made yesterday, but all the persons taken into custody were released on giving satisfactory explanations of their conduct. The police authorities have issued a proclamation announcing that the Secretary of State will advise the grant of a pardon to any accomplice, not being a principal, who shall give evidence leading to the conviction of the murderer. The inquest will be opened this morning.
The main portion of this issue's report from "THE MURDER AND MUTILATION IN DORSET-STREET…" to "…Whitehall-place, Nov. 10, 1888." is reproduced in "News from Whitechapel" page205 - 210. Immediately following on from that portion, the Telegraph reported:
A correspondent forwards copies of descriptions of certain men who were last seen in the company of the woman who was murdered in Berner-street and of the woman who was mutilated in Mitre-square. These authentic descriptions, we have reason to know, have been secretly circulated by the authorities of Scotland-yard since Oct. 26, but the complete details have never been made public. This reticence is one of the mysteries of police administration, and it is difficult to find an explanation to account for the fact that this important information has been "confidentially communicated" to police-officers throughout the kingdom, but has been withheld from the people who have had the best opportunities of seeing and of, therefore, recognising the assassin. The point which the police appear to have been at most pains to suppress is the significant one that the unknown murderer has the "appearance of a sailor."
The notice is headed: "Apprehensions sought. Murder. Metropolitan Police District"; and it proceeds:
"The woodcut sketches, purporting to resemble the persons last seen with the murdered women, which have appeared in The Daily Telegraph, were not authorised by police. The following are the descriptions of the persons seen:
"At 12.35 a.m., 30th September, with Elizabeth Stride, found murdered at one a.m., same date, in Berner-street - A man, aged 28, height 5ft 8in, complexion dark, small dark moustache; dress, black diagonal coat, hard felt hat, collar and tie; respectable appearance; carried a parcel wrapped up in a newspaper.
At 12.45 a.m., 30th, with same woman, in Berner-street, a man, aged about 30, height 5ft 5in, complexion fair, hair dark, small brown moustache, full face, broad shoulders; dress, dark jacket and trousers, black cap with peak.
"Information to be forwarded to the Metropolitan Police Office, Great Scotland-yard London, S.W.
"At 1.35 a.m., 30th Sept., with Catherine Eddows, in Church-passage, leading to Mitre-square, where she was found murdered at 1.45 a.m., same date, a man, age 30, height 5ft 7 or 8in., complexion fair, moustache fair, medium build; dress, pepper-and-salt colour loose jacket, grey cloth cap, with peak of the same material, reddish neckerchief tied in knot; appearance of a sailor.
"Information respecting this man to be forwarded to Inspector M'William, 26, Old Jewry, London, E.C."
It will be observed that there is by no means an agreement of testimony in regard to the important point of the supposed murderer's personal appearance. In this connection it may be recalled that the following descriptions were given in evidence. Wm. Marshall said, on the night of the Berner-street murder, at a quarter to twelve o'clock, he saw in that thoroughfare a middle-aged man, 5ft 6in high, talking to Stride. His dress was a black cutaway coat and dark trousers, a round cap with a small peak, such as a sailor would wear. He was without whiskers, looked like a clerk, carried nothing in his hand, and spoke in the tone of an educated man. Another witness testified that he saw a man with the deceased woman in Berner-street an hour later than did Marshall. The man was 5ft 7in high, and had a long dark overcoat. Smith, the police-constable, who also observed the couple, described the man as 5ft 7in high, wearing dark clothes, cutaway coat, hard felt hat, twenty-eight years of age, and of respectable look. He carried a parcel, wrapped in a newspaper.
As regards the Mitre-square victim, reference was made at the inquest to a man, rough and shabby, with a peaked cloth cap, who was observed by two witnesses at the corner of Church-passage at twenty-five minutes to two a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 30, but details were, at the request of Mr. Crawford, the City Solicitor, not pressed for. Statements not taken in evidence were made by Matthew Packer, a shopkeeper, of Berner-street, and other persons, as to the identity of the man seen with Stride in Berner-street. Packer sold the couple grapes, and had a conversation with the man, whom he recollects clearly as a square-built fellow, thirty years of age, full in the face, dark moustache, and alert-looking. He wore a long black coat and felt hat. A Mrs. Mortimer's attention on the same night was attracted to a young man, who carried a black bag, who passed along Berner-street just before the murder, and an individual who had a black bag held some suggestive conversation shortly after midnight in the Three Nuns Hotel, at Aldgate, with Albert Bacher, who said he was a dark man, with dark clothes, morning coat, black tie, &c. His height was about 5ft 6in. A third witness, a dairyman of Little Turner-street, Commercial-road, has given information respecting a man with a black bag, who was supposed to have committed the Buck's-row murder, and to have attempted another on the following night, when he came hurriedly to Little Turner-street, and in a back shed covered up his suit of clothes with white overalls, which he took out of a shiny bag, and rushed away with the words, "I think I've got a clue." The characteristics of this individual corresponded with the description given by Packer. With regard to the murder in Hanbury-street, according to one witness, a Mrs. Long, the man who was seen talking to Annie Chapman in Hanbury-street at half-past five on the morning of Sept. 8, and who is believed to have been her murderer, was a foreigner of dark complexion, over forty years of age, a little taller than the deceased (who was 5ft), of shabby-genteel appearance, with a brown deerstalker hat on his head, and a dark coat on his back. In connection with the same murder, Thomas Ede, a signalman, deposed that he saw in the Cambridge Heath-road, a man, 5ft 8in high, thirty-five years of age, with a dark moustache and whiskers, and a pair of clean white overalls over dark trousers. The witness saw sticking out of the man's pocket about four inches of a knife. On the morning of the murder, if the statements of three people can be relied upon, a man entered the Prince Albert public-house at the corner of Brushfield-street. He wore a brown stiff hat, a dark coat, no waistcoat, a light blue check shirt, pepper-and-salt coloured trousers, and was of shabby, genteel appearance. His moustache was sandy, his height about 5ft 8in, and his age between forty and fifty. With regard to the Buck's-row tragedy a man was seen and spoken to in the street, but not much attention was paid to him, and he went away, and has never since been noticed.
Immediately following on from the above, the next portion of this issue's report from "Several arrests have been made…" to "…lodging-houses with which it abounds." is reproduced in "News from Whitechapel" page 210. Immediately following on from that portion the Telegraph reported:
Throughout Saturday and yesterday the crowd gathered in front of Miller's-court was not large, and at night the evangelistic services were held as usual in the lodging-houses by small bands of men and women, who sometimes take with them a harmonium or other musical instrument to make their gatherings more attractive. Open-air preachings were proceeding at the street corners. Indeed, Commercial-street appeared to be singularly favoured in the matter of moral agencies. At St. Jude's Church there is a "worship hour" from 8.30 to 9.30 after the ordinary service. In Toynbee Hall, close by, a company of intelligent-looking young men listened to a discussion, led by Mr. Cunninghame, secretary of the Parnell Commission, on "Pleasure and Pain as the Basis of Ethical Systems." Spitalfields Church, which is close to the scene of the murder, and whose visitors are familiar with all these haunts, had a large congregation. It is the practical experience of the district that the greatest ameliorations that have been made in the neighbourhood have followed the destruction of rookeries, the construction of broad, well-lighted thoroughfares, and the erection of cheap, wholesome dwellings.
Great excitement was caused shortly before ten o'clock to-night in the East-end by the arrest of a man with a blackened face, who publicly proclaimed himself to be "Jack the Ripper." This was at the corner of Wentworth-street, Commercial-street, near the scene of the latest crime. Two young men, one a discharged soldier, immediately seized him, and the great crowds which always on Sunday night parade this neighbourhood raised a cry of "Lynch him." Sticks were raised, and the man was furiously attacked; and, but for the timely arrival of the police, he would have been seriously injured. The police took him to Leman-street station, when the prisoner proved to be a very remarkable person. He refused to give any name, but asserted that he was a doctor at St. George's Hospital. His age is about thirty-five years, height 5ft 7in, complexion dark, and dark moustache, and he was wearing spectacles. He wore no waistcoat, but had an ordinary jersey vest beneath his coat. In his pocket he had a double-peaked light check cap, and at the time of his arrest was bareheaded. It took four constables and four civilians to convey him to the station and protect him from the infuriated crowd. He is detained in custody.