17 August 1888
THE MURDER MYSTERY.
A CLUE AT LAST.
THE POLICE FOLLOW IT UP.
The officers engaged in elucidating the mystery of George-yard-buildings, wherein Martha Turner was discovered murdered, have, it is believed, at last obtained a clue, though it is feared it is not of a sufficiently substantial nature to justify the belief that any immediate arrest will take place. Detective-Inspector Reid, Inspector Leach, Detective-Sergeant Caunter and other Criminal Investigation experts, have visited every military depot in London. The names of those soldiers out on leave on Bank Holiday night were given by the commanding officers, and every assistance rendered to the police in questioning men upon whom the slightest suspicion might be supposed to rest. The authorities have lost all faith in Pearly Poll's'' assistance, inasmuch as the two men whom she picked out at the Wellington Barracks were proved to have been far away from the scene of the crime when it was committed. One of these soldiers, quartered at Pimlico, was certainly out all night on Bank Holiday, and that circumstance, coupled with the fact that of "Pearly Poll's" certainty as to his features, at first placed him in rather an awkward position. However, he was able to prove that he was elsewhere - the truth of his story being placed beyond all doubt.
No weapon with which the murder could have been perpetrated has yet been discovered, though the sewers in the vicinity of George-yard-buildings have been searched. There has, however, as we say, been a clue discovered which may be of some service. A woman has, it is stated, come forward and asserted that at midnight a man took a bed in her house, which is situated in the neighbourhood, stating that he had lost his train for the country, and could not return that night. He was dressed in the uniform of a soldier. This story has been enquired into by the police, but the result is not yet known. Some importance, however, is attached to the clue.
A statement was made this afternoon by Louisa Reeves, the wife of the dock labourer, who first discovered the body when leaving for her day's work shortly before five o'clock in the morning. Mrs. Reeves explains that the screams of "Murder!" she heard early in the night must have proceeded form George-street, and could not possibly have been heard by her if they had proceeded from the dying woman. Strange to say, Mr. and Mrs. Reeves woke up several times under an apprehension that something was about to happen. Not a scream was heard by them when thus aroused from their slumber, for Mr. Reeves went to his door and listened. "I could not say why," remarked Mrs. Reeves to-day; but I knew something would happen out of the ordinary, for me and my old man were never so much disturbed before, though we almost nightly hear cries of 'Murder!' and 'Police!' We pay no attention to them whatever."
"But that night" (Mrs. Reeves added) was a dreadful one. My husband thought of what I told him when he left for work - that I knew something was going to happen - for when he discovered the dead body he was afraid to come and tell me, for fear I should go into a fit. We weren't awoke by screams, but there was a something we could not understand, that seemed to tell us that trouble was at hand. That dreadful murder has disturbed us all here, and it will be some time before we quiet down and forget last Bank Holiday night."