East London Advertiser
Saturday, 18 August 1888.
IS THERE A CLUE?
Close upon a fortnight has elapsed since a poor unfortunate, whose name is supposed to be Martha Turner, was found brutally murdered on the stone steps of some model dwelling-houses in George-yard, Whitechapel, and according to the latest inquiries, the police seem to be as far from solving the mystery as they were on the morning the crime was committed. Since the inquest there have been many sensational rumours and reports current, but the authorities state that they are mostly pure fabrications and have very little foundation in fact. It would seem that the suggestion of Dr. Keeling, who made the post mortem examination, that a sword bayonet might have inflicted the wound in the poor woman's chest, sent the detectives inquiring as to any soldiers being about the neighbourhood on the night in question. From statements made by residents and a constable on duty in the locality, several soldiers were seen loitering about in company with women, and consequently inspection of regiments at one or two barracks - chiefly the Tower and Wellington barracks was made but no actual result has been achieved, the rumour that two soldiers were under arrest at the Tower being entirely false. A woman giving the name of Connolly - known amongst her class as "Pearly Poll" - has come forward stating that she and deceased were in company with soldiers on the night of Bank Holiday, but it appears she has failed to identify any individual soldier to the satisfaction of the authorities. Other residents, strange to say, have now offered testimony to the effect that they heard screams from George-street about the time it is supposed the crime must have been committed, and this would support the belief that the woman was not murdered where she was found lying dead. The position of the matter now is this, that the police have no one in custody but they are very reticent upon the matter generally, and are not disposed to assist in the publication of details. The police state that they should not be at all surprised to find that the murder was not entirely the work of soldiers, or that soldiers had a hand in the crime at all. George-street is one of the most dangerous streets in the locality, and that street, together with others, has for years been a regular rendezvous and hiding place for deserters. Old bayonets, they assert, can at any time be bought in Petticoat-lane, and at the old iron stalls there, for about a penny each, and they have frequently been seen as playthings in the hands of the children. No conclusion can be come to at present as to the ultimate success of the detective force in elucidating the truth about this terrible deed, but it is sincerely to be hoped that justice will be meted out to the inhuman villain who could so foully maltreat a fellow creature - let alone a woman - and we trust that this Whitechapel murder will not have be placed upon the records of the police as one of those undiscovered crimes of which there have been far too many within the last decade.
August 13th. Mr. Gladding in the chair, and the following members present: Messrs. Catmur, Chillingworth, Collier, Sparks, James, Young, Hemsley, G. T. Brown, Rycroft, Davis, Barham, Willis, Bailey, Valentine, Trollope, Gibbs, Wheat, Kearsey, Boswell, Harris and Myers. -
LIGHTING OF COMMERCIAL STREET. - The sub-committee appointed to consider the advisability of improving the lighting of Commercial-street and Norton Folgate reported that they had inspected the thoroughfares, and were of opinion that such important thoroughfares are not sufficiently lighted, and, therefore, recommended: That the whole of the old lamp columns in Commercial-street and High-street, Norton Folgate, be removed, and new ones (of the Board's pattern) substituted, fitted with lanterns similar to those in use at the corner of Brushfield-street and Commercial-street. That lamps, with double the illuminating power of the ordinary street lamps, be fixed at the corners of the following streets, viz. :- Wentworth-street (west corner), Thrawl-street, Flower and Dean-street, Fashion-street, Vine-court, Quaker-street, Worship-street, White Lion-street, and Spital-square. That the lamp at the corner of Hanbury-street be removed, not being now required, and re-erected between White Lion-street and Fleur-de-Lis-street. That the lamp about 50 feet west from White Lion-street be removed, and re-erected at the corner of White Lion-street; and the lamp opposite the police-station be removed, and re-erected at the corner of Fleur-de-Lis-street. - An amendment was moved by Mr. Sparks that the old lamp columns be retained instead of using new ones, urging that it was unnecessary expenditure. - The Clerk read some figures shewing that the capital cost of the improvements would be £169 2s. 6d., and the annual charge £20 18s. 6d. - Mr. Sparks contended that the old lamp-posts were not worn out, and remarked that some consideration was due to the ratepayers. - Mr. James seconded the amendment. - Mr. Catmur pointed out that when the new lamps were supplied to Whitechapel it was intimated that the improvement then was merely the beginning of a larger scheme for the proper illumination of the whole district. Lamp-posts, he supposed, never would wear out, but they would become old in size, pattern, and shape. Since the new posts had been erected in Whitechapel, he had felt quite proud of their appearance, and he thought that it was only fair that Spitalfields should be similarly treated. - Mr. Hemsley supported the amendment, and other members having spoken, Mr. Barham said the difference in the cost between the old and the new post was £70. Commercial-street had hitherto been badly lighted; indeed, it was hardly safe for women to walk along there. - Mr. Collier: And men too. - Ultimately, after a prolonged discussion, the report of the committee was adopted by a decisive majority, and a division claimed by Mr. Sparks confirmed this result by 14 to 8.