15 August 1888
ANOTHER PARADE OF THE GUARDS.
TWO CASES OF MISTAKEN IDENTITY.
At noon to-day there was a parade of the Coldstream and Grenadier Guards at the Wellington Barracks, Pimlico. An officer in the Guards furnished our reporter with full particulars respecting so unusual an occurrence as a muster of men for the purpose of the possible identification of one or more on a charge of murder. It seems that soon after eleven o'clock, two police-officers - Inspector Reid and Detective-sergeant Caunter - arrived with Mary Ann Connoly (otherwise "Pearly Poll") and requested permission to make certain enquiries in regard to the murder of Martha Turner at Whitechapel on the night of Bank Holiday.
The "ASSEMBLY" CALL WAS AT ONCE SOUNDED, and the men were drawn up in quarter-column, after which they filed through a passage, where Inspector Reid, Sergeant Caunter, and another police-officer were stationed with "Pearly Poll." The woman was asked to scrutinise the faces of the soldiers as they passed, for the purpose, of course, of seeing if she could pick out either of the men who were with her and the deceased on the night on which the murder was committed. After a small number had filed past "Pearly Poll" picked out a man, wearing stripes, and taken by her to be a corporal, as the one who went away with the deceased woman.
The suspect was temporarily detained, and filing by of the others continued. When a few more had passed, the woman, scanning the features of every one intently, pointed to a private as being the second man. She positively declared that he accompanied her to a house in the district where the murder took place. "Are you positive?" was asked, and "Pearly Poll" nodded, and replied, "Certain." The military authorities immediately placed all the books, showing the time at which the suspected men left and returned to the barracks on the night mentioned, at the disposal of Inspector Reid and Sergeant Caunter. It was pointed out that the "corporal" was but a private with good conduct stripes, a man of exemplary character, who was in the barracks by ten o'clock on Bank Holiday night. Other
and also respecting the private's movements on the night of the crime, was also forthcoming. The former man was at once exonerated, while the second, also a man of exceptionally good character, was formally told that further enquiries must be instituted. The enquiries were duly conducted, and he, too, was told that no stain rested upon him, as it was
It is stated that, as "Pearly Poll" has "identified" two innocent men, who could not have been in Whitechapel at the time she says, the police will not further seek her aid in elucidating the mystery. Neither of the men wore side-arms when they left the barracks on Bank Holiday, and could not possibly have been in each other's company. The authorities say that they must now look elsewhere for a clue. This clue cannot, they assert, be given by one whom they at first considered the most reliable witness.