The Eastern Post & City Chronicle
Saturday, 13 October 1888.
INQUEST ON THE ALDGATE VICTIM - VERDICT.
EXTRAORDINARY precautions have been taken in Whitechapel to guard against a repetition of the horrible tragedies enacted there, and to capture the perpetrator if he should recommence his ghastly work. The district swarms with police, both in uniform and private clothes, and both official and voluntary.
A letter was published from the Home Secretary in reply to the petition from the local Vigilance Committee to the Queen, urging upon her Majesty the desirability of a Government reward being offered.
Mr. Matthews repeats that while no expenditure will be spared in efforts to find the assassin, the Government see no reason for departing from the rule in the matter of rewards.
An ill-conditioned stranger having been observed lurking about the premises for two or three days past of Mr. Lusk, chairman of the local Vigilance Committee, the matter was placed in the hands of the police, and a description issued of the mysterious visitant, who has disappeared.
Another arrest was made on Tuesday night in connection with the Whitechapel murders, this time at Haggerston, but after inquiries were made the man was liberated.
Two men were arrested on the same day for stabbing a detective whilst he was engaged in dogging the steps of the suspected murderer. They were brought before the magistrate at Clerkenwell Police-court, and remanded.
A private trial of bloodhounds took place on Tuesday morning, in the presence of Sir Charles Warren. The Chief Commissioner seemed pleased with the result of the trials, which were in every case successful.
The inquest on the body of Catherine Eddowes, alias Conway and Kelly, was concluded on Thursday. A daughter of the deceased stated that Conway ceased to live with her mother seven or eight years ago on account of her drinking habits, and it appeared that on the Saturday night before the murder she was locked up at Bishopsgate Police station for drunkenness, and released at one o'clock in the morning - only about half an hour before her tragic death. Witnesses were called who stated that they saw a man and woman talking near Mitre Square shortly after half-past one in the morning, and one of them was about to give a description of the man, but at the suggestion of the City Solicitor, did not proceed. Some important evidence was given as to the "writing on the wall" alleged to have been done by the murderer; and its obliteration.
The Jury returned a verdict of wilful murder against some person unknown.
No person is at present under arrest in connection with the Whitechapel atrocities.
MANY hundreds of people assembled outside the City mortuary, in Golden Lane, at one o'clock on Monday for the purpose of witnessing the removal of Catherine Eddowes' body to Ilford for interment. The departure of the funeral cortége was fixed for half-past one, and at that hour the road was practically blocked, some publicity having been given to the arrangements, and the hour enabling workpeople to be present. The relatives of the murdered woman had accepted the offer of Mr. G. C. Hawkes,. undertaker, of 41A, Banner Street, who is a vestryman, of No. 4 Ward, St. Luke's, to bear the whole expense of the funeral, and the authorities of the cemetery had consented to remit the usual charges.
The coffin was of polished elm, with oak mouldings, and black furniture, and bore on the name-plate the simple inscription:- "Catherine Eddowes, died 30th September, 1888, aged 43 years." It was conveyed in an open glass car, drawn by a pair of horses, and was followed by a mourning coach, in which were John Kelly, four of the dead woman's sisters - Mrs. Eliza Gold, Mrs. Elizabeth Fisher, Mrs. Harriet Jones - with Mrs. Mary Eddowes and her two daughters.
The procession started punctually, but along Old Street and Great Eastern Street it was only able to progress at a very slow rate in consequence of the crowd, although the City police in the first instance, and subsequently the metropolitan constables, preserved order admirably. All along Old Street the crowd was specially dense, and at the top of Commercial Street and the end of Whitechapel Road knots of people had congregated; but, after leaving Great Eastern Street, the hearse and coach quickened their pace and the spectators were soon left behind.
At Ilford cemetery nearly 500 people had assembled to witness the interment.
The service both in the chapel and at the grave was conducted by the Rev. J. Dunscombe, the cemetery chaplain, who made no special reference to the murder.
The generosity of Mr. Hawkes was the subject of much favourable comment, and people contrasted the interment with that of Elizabeth Stride, who was buried on Saturday in the quietest possible manner, and at the expense of the parish.
WHAT THE WOMEN THINK ABOUT THE WHITECHAPEL MURDERER.
OUR representative during the week visited the St. George's-in-the-East Infirmary, more with a special object of ascertaining from Dr. Saunders, the recently appointed medical superintendent, his particular views with reference to the nursing arrangements of the establishments.
Dr. Saunders and the steward met our reporter in a most cordial manner, and at Dr. Saunders' invitation he accompanied him through the wards, the whole of which were in splendid order. Recently there have been several matters brought before the guardians referring to the conduct of the infirmary. This has especially been so since Dr. Saunders has been appointed. Viewing it from an experience of over 20 years in similar institutions, the wards of St. George's-in-the-East Infirmary were most decidedly in good order. The aged sick were evidently well looked after, and this especially was displayed by Nurse Russell, whose conduct was specially noticed. Certainly attention and kindness is the order of the day in this old infirmary, with its very awkward surroundings.
Dr. Saunders asked our representative to accompany him to the ward specially set apart for females who, failing to secure admission to the Lock Hospital, are compelled to enter the infirmary.
It was an interesting sight, inasmuch as most of these women are well known on the streets of Whitechapel, and, at a suggestion of our reporter, Dr. Saunders said: "Oh, you all know about the recent murders. Well, this gentlemen has come to see you not about them, but perhaps you may know something." The doctor was addressing a very bright-eyed wicked-looking girl of about 22 years of age, who seemed to be of a somewhat superior type to those met with in the East End of London. In fact, she spoke well and grammatically, and, speaking to our report, said:
"Do you want to know anything about the wretch who has committed all these murders?"
The answer was quickly given, "Of course I do."
"Well, come here, Jenny," - (calling to another inmate) - "just tell this gentlemen what you know."
Jenny proceeded to do so, and, at some length, dwelt upon the fact that a certain individual, about 40 years of age - a stout-built, fair-complexioned, and somewhat stout man - had been constantly seen in the neighbourhood of Whitechapel, and that he could be easily recognised by most of the inmates in that particular ward.
In reply to this the question was asked: "Why have you not given information to the police?"
The Woman: "Why, sir, we have done so time after time. What has been the result? Poor unfortunate women have been beaten nearly to death."
"But do you know for a fact that a man of this description is going about and now cannot be found?"
The Woman: "Yes, sir. We all know that we have been most brutally illtreated, and that the wretch is the very man whom I have described."
Dr. Saunders seemed to think the statement made was strictly accurate, and said, "They know all about Leather Apron."
In reply to the resolution of the Whitechapel Vestry, passed at their last meeting, which was duly reported in the last edition of the EASTERN POST, the following letter has been received by Mr. Metcalfe, the vestry clerk:-
Sir, - I am directed by the Secretary of State of the Home Department to acknowledge your letter of the 4th inst., forwarding a copy of a resolution passed at a vestry meeting of the parish of Whitechapel, expressing the views of that vestry as to the recent murders in East London, and urging that the police authorities should use their utmost endeavours to capture the criminal.
I have to state that Mr. Matthews, the Home Secretary, fully shares the feelings of the vestry with regard to these murders, and that he has given most stringent directions, and that the police have instructions to exercise any and every power they are possessed of, even to the use of an amount of discretion which has not previously been permitted, in dealing with suspected persons with the object of securing the arrest of the criminal.
At a personal conference with the commissioners of police the whole of the difficulties in connection with the recent East End murders have been very fully discussed, and I am instructed to say that it is the wish of the right hon. gentleman, the Secretary of State for the Home Department, to assure the Whitechapel Vestry that he will take every care that no effort is spared on the part of the police of the metropolis in bringing the offender to justice.
I am, Sir, yours obediently,
E. LEIGH PEMBERTON.
This letter will be read at the next meeting of the vestry. In the meantime Mr. Metcalfe has, we are informed, communicated with the various members of the vestry.
THE particulars of a case of suicide, which took place at No. 65, Hanbury Street, Spitalfields, a house a few doors away from the spot where the unfortunate woman Annie Chapman was murdered reached Dr. Macdonald, the coroner for North-East Middlesex on Thursday. It appears that the top floor of the address is occupied by a silk weaver named Sodeaux, his wife, and child aged eight years. For some time past Mrs. Sodeaux has been depressed, and since the perpetration of the horrible murders which have taken place in the district she has been greatly agitated. On Sunday she was found to have a razor in her possession, and it was taken from her, as it was thought she meditated suicide. The following day she appeared to be more cheerful, and was left alone with her child. On Wednesday her daughter found her hanging with a rope round her neck to the stair banisters. The child ran for assistance, but no one would go up to the body, and eventually the police were called in and the body cut down. Life was then extinct.