East London Observer
Saturday, 13 October 1888.
An Exciting Week.
ARRESTS IN EAST LONDON.
THE MURDERER IDENTIFIED.
Two weeks of excitement have passed since the perpetration of the murders of Kate Eddowes at Mitre-square and Elizabeth Stride at Berner-street last Sunday week, and yet the probability of the discovery of their murderer seems as far removed at the present time - for the murders of the six "unfortunates" of Whitechapel are generally laid at the door of the one man - as when the outraged corpse of Emma Smith was found on that December morning in Osborn-street. To give them their due, the police have by no means been idle during the last week; indeed, many a respectable and perfectly innocent man who has been compelled to take a journey to the nearest police-station to satisfy the authorities as to his identity, has been inclined to say that they have just been a little too busy. Taking up the thread of the story of the efforts made to track the murderer, and of the events which have happened in connection therewith since the adjournment of the inquest on Elizabeth Stride till the 23rd inst., and since the first inquiry relative to the death of Kate Eddowes, and merely alluding to the unanimity which manifested itself amongst the members of the Common Council, who, on Thursday last week, approved of the offer of £500 by the Lord Mayor, as a reward for the capture of the murderer, we come to a curious instance of
The Bishop of Liverpool on Thursday night, it appears, addressing the Curates' Society, said he knew the East London intimately, and clergymen in that district could quite understand such tragedies as had horrified the Christian world taking place. Men were there living little better than beasts, and the state of that district illustrated the opinion of an old divine, that if the man was left to himself he was half devil, half beast. Whilst such tragedies aroused people, it brought them to a sense of what should be done for the neglected classes, so that no room and no house should be left unvisited by the clergy.
A considerable increase of excitement was aroused at the beginning of this week by the revival of the rumour by a news agency, which stated that a wall, within a few yards of the spot where the blood-stained part of an apron was found in Goulston-street, were written the words, "The Juwes are not the men that will be blamed for nothing." The agency adds that those who saw this writing recognised the same hand in the letter and post-card of "Jack the Ripper."
The steps taken by the police in giving notoriety in the shape of fac-similes of the writings of "Jack the Ripper," and which was strongly condemned at the time as simply feeding the craving of some political joker for publicity, has borne abundant fruit in the shape of several other communications in the same hand. Even the police now discuss the theory of the writing being that of the actual murderer. At the beginning of the week this joker, departing from his usual tactics, sent a telegram couched in similarly ridiculous terms to Sir Charles Warren. The telegram had been enclosed in a letter with the stamps to defray the expenses, and forwarded to the Eastern Central Telegraph Office in Commercial-road, from whence it was dispatched. Another letter received from the same individual while "owning the intention" - so says the news agency which received it - "of committing further crimes shortly, it is only against prostitutes that his threats are directed, his desire being to respect and protect honest women." A rival to the Jocular Jack, however, has appeared in the field in the shape of "George of the High Rip Gang," who wrote thus to the same agency:
"3rd October. - Dear Boss, - Since last, splendid success. Two more and never a squeal. Oh, I am master of the art! I am going to be heavy on the guilded - now, we are. Some duchess will cut up nicely, and the lace will show nicely. You wonder how. Oh, we are masters. No education like a butcher's. No animal like a nice woman - the fat are best. On to Brighton for a holiday, but we shan't idle - splendid high-class women there. My mouth waters - good luck there. If not, you will hear from me in the West End. My pal will keep on at the East for a while yet. When I get a nobility - I will send it on to C. Warren, or perhaps to you for a keepsake. O it is jolly. - GEORGE OF THE HIGH-RIP GANG. - Red ink still, but a drop of the real in it."
After several trials of bloodhounds in Hyde Park, all of which were very successful, the police throughout the metropolis have received instructions from Sir Charles Warren, the Chief Commissioner, that in the event of any further persons being found murdered, similar to those cases that have recently occurred in Whitechapel, strict instructions are to be given that the body of the victim is not to be removed, but notice at once to be sent by telegram to a veterinary surgeon living in the south-west district, who has some bloodhounds property trained, and that the bloodhounds will without delay be taken to the spot and placed on the scent with the view of tracing out the murderer or murderers.
An extraordinary scene was witnessed in Baker's-row on Monday afternoon. A man was found to have stolen a barrel of oil, and was pursued into Baker's-row, but on a policeman attempting to arrest him he behaved so violently that assistance had to be whistled for. The sound of the whistle brought some hundreds of people in a moment to the spot, and the opinion at once gained ground that it was "the murderer" who was being arrested; men hooted the prisoner, and women shrieked at him, but none offered to help the unfortunate constable, who was being liberally kicked, beyond advice to "catch hold of his legs." At last assistance arrived, and the man having been secured, was taken to the Bethnal Green Police-station.
At a special meeting of the Young Men's Christian Association, held at Aldersgate-street on Monday, the Rev. Dr. Tyler had a few words to say on the recent murders. He said it was difficult to contain the indignation they felt. If there was anything to be said in mitigation of the murders, it was that they resulted in the immediate death of the victims. In his opinion crime was decidedly on the decrease. He had known the district of Buck's-row for upwards of 30 years, and felt convinced that the district was in much better condition now than it was 20 years or 30 years ago. Crime was largely brought about by the wholesale importation of the scum of other countries.
At half-past one o'clock on Monday afternoon, the remains of the unfortunate woman Catherine Eddowes - the victim of the Mitre-square tragedy - were removed from the City mortuary in Golden-lane to Ilford Cemetery, for interment. Mr. Charles Hawkes, undertaker, of Banner-street, St. Luke's defrayed the entire cost of the interment. His offer was readily accepted by the deceased's relatives, one o'clock Monday being fixed for the funeral. Some slight departure, however, had to be made in consequence of the late arrival of some of the deceased's friends. At this hour (one o'clock) there were not more than a score of persons gathered together in Golden-lane; but a quarter of an hour later this number had swelled to several hundreds. This was to be accounted for by the fact that the dinner hour had arrived, and hundreds availing themselves of the opportunity of catching a glimpse of the mournful cortege. Five minutes later an open hearse drove up to the mortuary gates, followed at some distance by a mourning coach. The body of the deceased woman, which had been placed in a handsome polished elm coffin, surmounted with a plate in gilt letters, with the following inscription:- "Catherine Eddowes, died September 30th, 1888, aged 43 years" was then brought out of the mortuary and placed on the funeral car. Considerable sympathy was manifested by those admitted within the walls of the mortuary for
all of whom were neatly attired in black and wept bitterly as this part of the painful ceremony was being performed. The deceased was followed to the grave by her four sisters, Harriett Jones, Emma Eddowes, Eliza Gold, Elizabeth Fisher, her nieces, Emma and Harriett Jones, and John Kelly, the man with whom she had cohabited, and who, like the rest of the mourners, was dressed in black. Punctually at half-past one the hearse moved away from the mortuary, followed by a mourning coach, in which were seated the deceased's sisters, the third vehicle - a brougham - containing the representatives of the press. Never perhaps, has Golden-lane and the precincts of the mortuary presented a more animated appearance. The footway was lined on either side of the road with persons who were packed in rows five deep, the front row extending into the roadway. Manifestations of sympathy were everywhere visible, many among the crowd uncovering their heads as the hearse passed. A strong body of City police, under the supervision of Mr. Superintendent Foster and Inspector Woollett kept the thoroughfare clear, and conducted the cortege to the terminus of the City boundary. The route taken was along Old-street, through Great Eastern-street into Commercial-street. On reaching Old-street the funeral car was met by a body of Metropolitan Police, who, under the direction of Inspector Burnham, of the G Division, kept the roadway clear for its passage. Emerging into Whitechapel-road, the cortege passed slowly through a densely packed mob, which lined the roadway on either side, and extended as far as St. Mary's Church. The sympathy shown here was more marked than at any other point of the route, the majority of the women having
whilst a number of rough-looking labouring men removed their caps as the body passed. Opposite Whitechapel parish church a number of policemen were drawn up, it being rumoured that a demonstration might be attempted. Beyond the marks of sympathy referred to, nothing whatever occurred and the services of the police were consequently not brought into requisition. The cortege then proceeded rapidly along the Mile End-road, almost unobserved, and after passing through Bow and Stratford it turned into the Ilford main road, reaching the cemetery shortly before half-past three.
Some extraordinary stories are being told regarding people who allege that they could easily identify the murderer. A reporter who visited the wards of St. George's East Infirmary interviewed, in the ward devoted to unfortunates, a woman named "Jenny," who stated that she was absolutely sure of the identity of the murderer. She described him as a foreigner who habitually went about blackmailing unfortunate women, and threatening occasionally to rip them up. Another "unfortunate" alleges that on the Saturday night, an hour or so prior to the latest tragedies, she was accosted by a man in Shadwell, who desired her to accompany him to a dark court or alley in the neighbourhood. She refused to go anywhere except to her own house, and the man, finding her firm in this determination, at last left her. She disliked from the first the peculiar look of the man, who, she is convinced, is the murderer; and she adds that she could easily identify him again. Again, a well-known medical man in East London has communicated information regarding a former assistant of his, who, he is equally convinced, is the man needed. He spent all his money amongst loose women in Whitechapel, and eventually contracted a disease, which utterly ruined his prospects and sent him mad. Ever since that time he has cherished the most intense hatred of these women, and has repeatedly declared his intention of revenging himself upon them. - Finally, a seaman named Dodge has given information of a Malay who cherishes a peculiar hatred against "unfortunates," and who, he adds, would not hesitate at any crime. He lives, he says, somewhere in the East India-road.
A reporter gleaned some curious information from the Casual Ward Superintendent of Mile End, regarding Kate Eddowes, the Mitre-square victim. She was formerly well-known in the casual wards there, but had disappeared for a considerable time until the Friday preceding her murder. Asking the woman where she had been in the interval, the superintendent was met with the reply, that she had been in the country "hopping". "But," added the woman, "I have come back to earn the reward offered for the apprehension of the Whitechapel murderer. I think I know him." "Mind he doesn't murder you too" replied the superintendent jocularly. "Oh, no fear of that," was the remark made by Kate Eddowes as she left. Within four-and-twenty hours afterwards she was a mutilated corpse.
Great Meeting at Spitalfields
Mr. E. H. Pickersgill, M.P., Condemns the Police.
Under the presidency of the Rev. J. Farnworth, a crowded meeting was held on Tuesday evening at the Unitarian Chapel, Buxton-street, Spitalfields, for the purpose of considering the recent murders, and demanding better police protection. Mr. E. H. Pickersgill, M.P., Mr. J. Branch, and Mr. J. Hall were amongst those present, while a significant fact was the unusually large attendance of women, who cheered to the echo the remarks of the speakers.
Opening the proceedings, the CHAIRMAN said that the recent outrages which had turned London upside down, and caused the blood of every thinking man to curdle, merited from them that evening, not only the determination to respect the oppressed wherever they found oppression rampant, and to give the right hand of sympathy, help, and encouragement to those who needed it, but also the unmitigated scorn of their pure manhood for that man, or number of men, who dared to outrage someone weaker. (Applause). They in East London were not so black as they were painted, and they scorned the outrages committed in their midst. (Cheers). The murderer certainly did not belong to Whitechapel, but had been imported into the district. (Hear, hear). As men of the East End they scorned the action; as men they prayed that the murderer might be soon brought to justice; and as politicians they expressed the hope that they might be able soon to remove some of the darkness and blackness which existed in the district at present. (Hear, hear).
Mr. J. BRANCH next moved: "That this meeting deplores the recent outrages which have occurred in the East End of London, and declares that it has no confidence in the present management of the police, and records its conviction that the police will never be confidently supported by the public until they are under the direct control of the ratepayers." While expressing, in common with every resident of East London, his horror of the recent outrages, Mr. Branch thought that their duty was to do something for those who were yet living - something to prevent them from sinking into poverty, vice and immorality, and in this connection he urged helpful legislation in the direction of better housing for the poor, better land laws, and the better control of the police by the public.
MR. J. HALL, who seconded the motion, agreed with Mr. Branch that something ought to be done for the penniless, friendless, houseless women who traversed the streets at night. Turning to the question of the police, he urged that even after the present scare had died away, something ought to be done to maintain an adequate police force in the district. Already the Whitechapel tradesmen had taken steps in that direction by signing, to the number of about a thousand, a memorial to the Home Secretary urging the necessity of better security for life and property in the district. The incompetency of the metropolitan police force had never been better exemplified than when three murders were allowed to take place without any steps being taken to increase that force; or when after all those terrible crimes had been committed, they still refused to offer a reward. On the other hand, a reward of £500 was offered by the City police within twenty-four hours of the first murder that occurred in their district of Mitre-square. (Hear, hear). So soon as he heard of the Hanbury-street murder, Mr. Montagu, M.P. - (cheers) - came up from Brighton and offered to place a cheque for £100 as a reward in hands of the superintendent of the district, together with facilities for publishing the notice of that reward throughout the metropolis, and yet it required six days for Sir Charles Warren, not to give his assent, but merely to state that the issuing of a reward would not be an inducement for the capture of the murderer. (Shame!) From conversations which he had had with the police of the district, he knew that the police were so disgusted with the manner in which they were tyrannized over, that they had lost all confidence in their superiors; and he veritably believed that they were not at all disinclined for a strike against Sir Charles Warren and the Home Secretary. (Cheers!).
Mr. E. H. PICKERSGILL, M.P., on rising to support the resolution, was very warmly received. They were face to face, he said, with a series of outrages - he would not say unparalleled in the history of this country - but outrages, at all events, for which the oldest would have to go back a very long time to find a parallel. The whole country was ringing with the noise of the murders; and he wanted, just at the outset, to utter a word of warning lest, under the unusual circumstances in which they were placed, they should be inclined to deal too harshly with those who were primarily entrusted with the protection of life. If they thought over the matter they could not help seeing that there was
in preventing murders of this particular description from the circumstances of the case, and those unique circumstances, which he need not elaborate [sic]. It consisted in this - that the victims put themselves into positions which facilitated the perpetration of the murders. He thought it well, and just, and right to make that remark at the outset, in order that they might not be too severe, or unjust, in the criticisms which they might pass, and which the resolution embodied, upon the metropolitan police. But having said that, he must remind them that outrages, although they were the culminating points, did not stand alone. The streets of London had, for some time past, been becoming less secure than they had been accustomed to. Anybody who had read the papers, or seen the records of the criminal courts in the metropolis - and not only the criminal courts, but the accounts of outrages, for which no one had been brought to justice, must have seen that the number of street outrages was very materially increasing - and increasing in a somewhat alarming manner within the last year or two. And, reverting for a moment to Whitechapel, he had been informed, upon what he believed to be good authority, that until two murders were committed in Whitechapel
and the number of the police was either not increased or was very inadequately increased. Now the whole neighbourhood was swarming with police, and yet he did not know that that meant absolute security, because he could not forget that on the Sunday night of the latest murders, when the neighbourhood was "swarming with police" a Post-office immediately adjoining Mitre-square was broken into. (Laughter and "Shame.") That did not look, at all events, as if there was adequate protection to their property, whatever there might be to their lives. (Applause.) The recent outrages had resulted in numerous suggestions, but among them all he did not know of any that was more sensible than that which urged the desirability of the adoption of india-rubber, or some other shoes, by the police force, in order to make their approach noiseless.
of the policeman in the stillness of the night could be heard for fully a quarter of a mile off. He dared to say that the military tread was very dear to the military ears of Sir Charles Warren, but it gave timely warning to robbers and cut-throats. (Hear, hear). He believed that the attempts of Sir Charles Warren to render what ought to be a civil, a military force, were really at the root of the whole mischief. They could not have a body of military men who were effective for storming evicted houses in Ireland, and bludgeoning Radical heads, who would be effective also for their legitimate purpose of catching thieves, and bringing murderers to justice. The experience of every other country pointed to the fact that the making the force a military one prevented it from becoming a good civil one. Sir Charles Warren was doubtless a brave soldier, and deserved well of his country, but he knew nothing whatever about the duties of policemen, and ought never to have been put in the position he now occupied. (Cheers). The effect of Sir Charles Warren's administration had been to place four or five more military men under him as "chief constables," to actually reduce the number of men, and to largely increase the number of officers who were now simply
(Hear, hear). One result of this was to render the metropolitan police less available for a police force because they were continually worried by orders frequently of a contradictory character and of a military and militant tone. Then, turning again to the Whitechapel crimes, it might not be politic to offer rewards, but under the exceptional circumstances of these crimes there was no manner of doubt but what rewards ought to have been offered. (Applause.) At all events, it would have given more confidence to honest people who had to live and carry on their work in the neighbourhood. (Applause.) What he (the speaker) was personally determined upon was this - that so far as new legislation was concerned, there should be not one law for the rich and another for the poor. If the poor had to produce their marriage certificate before a couple could enter a lodging-house, then he for one should take good care that the rich, under the same circumstances, should produce their certificates too. (Loud cheers.) They had already far too much, both in the law and in the administration of the law, that was favourable to the rich and disadvantageous to the poor. The other day the local authority in Whitechapel took Sir Charles Warren very severely and seriously to task, and Sir Charles did not meet - or, at all events, met very inadequately - the complaints made against himself, and somewhat ingeniously tried
upon the local authority of Whitechapel by saying that they did not provide sufficient light for the area under their jurisdiction. (Laughter, and hear, hear.) Well, it was possible that more light was wanted, for it was a fact that well-lighted courts and alleys very largely diminished crime, but it struck him as being somewhat curious that during the three years he had been at the head of the police force, Sir Charles had not discovered that deficiency before. (Hear, hear.) And moreover, who was the repay the authorities for the cost of additional lighting? Whitechapel had no doubt provided as much light as it had money to provide light with, and if more light was to be supplied, it should be made a common charge upon the metropolis. (Applause.) Concluding, the speaker said that taking the metropolitan police as a body, they had not much reasonable complaint against the rank and file, but he did say this, that the administration of Scotland-yard since the advent of Sir Charles Warren had resulted - not intentionally perhaps, but then the road to hell was paved with good intentions - in the demoralisation and the corruption of the metropolitan police force, and the result had been to make them a military instead of a civil force, and to make them less friendly disposed towards the public, and the public less friendly disposed towards them. (Loud applause.)
The resolution having been carried unanimously and with enthusiasm, the proceedings closed.