3 October 1888
Reader, have you ever followed a trail? A trail of a man you wanted to catch? Have you ever looked for the footprints of a murderer in the sand, taken up a little piece of the ground which you think has been trodden by him, blown it, examined it with your fingers, and then calculated when last a foot pressed it. Have you ever looked at a footprint as you lay prone on your stomach, blown that, prodded it gently with your nails, and then thought out how long ago it was since it was pushed into its form? If not, you have never followed a trail. I have; and I'll tell you how it applies to the murder which was discovered last night.
Now, had the policemen who were called to look at the body found on the purlieus of the Embankment yesterday been Indians, and not the mere drilled machines of Sir Charles Warren, they would have looked round, first of all, very diligently for the trail of the man who brought that body there. There could have been no difficulty in finding it. The footsteps could not have been confounded with the more recent trail of the men who discovered the remains; they would have been as perfectly distinct as a stale leaf is from a fresh one. Once having found it, they should have taken all details of it carefully down, and then compared it with the trail of the murderer who had left Mitre-square, and dropped a little piece of his victim's apron after he had murdered her. That is, of course, presuming that equally intelligent trackers of men had been put on to the work when the Mitre-square murder was committed.
But beyond this, they might have traced the footsteps up to the boundary of the fence enclosing the land on which the Opera House was to have been built, and at the fence they would probably have learnt something else. Shall I tell you?
Well-consider a moment. In climbing that fence-for the bearers of that body could not have left by the gateway-there would be signs of the nature of their boots-hard boots, with nails in the sole, would leave nail prints, and the woodwork would be broken away; at the top of the fence there would be tiny pieces of cloth, or fustian, or corduroy cloth-only little fragments, hardly distinguishable at first, but quite clear to an experienced eye searching for them. From these pieces would be learned whether the men concerned in the murder had been clothed in poor cloth or good material. There would be more than one employed in conveying a woman's body or trunk to any place; the top of the fence would be marked accordingly in more than one place. Both or all of the men, if there were more than two, would, it is fair to suppose, not be so careful as not to leave a little trace of their going and coming. Such a trace or trail would be exceedingly valuable.
Then having got the description of cloth composing the trousers of the men who had taken the body there, a great point could be made in tracing the criminal. See what it means. First of all, the boot, or size and kind of foot, of the murderers. Secondly, the length of stride, and consequent height and weight. Thirdly, the age, for an old man makes a different step from a young one. Fourthly, the kind of walk, whether straight or otherwise; whether splay-footed or straight. Fifthly, the lower part of the dress. Now we should begin to be judges of what the murderers were like. Such a height, age, manner of walk, kind of dress, length of foot, description of boot. More. Some idea of the time when the body was laid there. For this we must look underneath it as it lay. If at night, the ground would be damper than in the daytime. Was it done hurriedly, or at leisure?
Again, the string on it-where was it bought? How tied? By a sailor or a tailor, or a man employed in a shop, or by a person unused to tying? Next-was there any evidence of surgical knowledge in its disposal? Further, a clue would be obtained as to the time the body had been there; and the ground, again, would tell the tale of what condition it was in when brought there-and more still, by close examination some trace of the fingers that had handled it might be found.
Londoners! These murders appear to me to be only part of a series that will astonish the Metropolis. Why does not Sir Charles Warren give up the work he is incapable of doing to someone who can achieve it? Why does not Mr. Matthews go to the Bar once more and leave the chair he is incompetent to fill? We have savages to deal with; let the trackers of savages come to the front and show the people of London what can be done in the pursuit of criminals.
On Monday night I went down to the East-end of London. At the death-bed, that rough pavement, of the poor woman who was brutally murdered in Mitre-square, I thought, as many others did, that had the murder been committed in the West-end the apologist of Endacott, the patron of Bloys, would have been moved to action. Now that the assassin has come West, we may hear of a reward-we probably shall. But I cannot help saying that, had we had a properly organized force at Scotland-yard and a competent Minister at the Home Office, these murders could not have taken place.
I remember once being in Texas when a man was accused of stealing a horse. The citizens had thoughtfully brought a rope to the place of discussion, so that should it be wanted it would be there. And they talked to the man on the enormity of the crime while they held the rope in their hands quite carelessly. Then he rose and said, "Look here, dew yew think I could be such a durned fool as to steal a horse in this deestrict and think to get away with it. If so, hang me!" The defence is irresistible. No man who knew the citizens would have hoped to get away from them. And they acquitted the man. The moral is obvious.
Last night, up to a late hour, I was in Whitechapel, examining the scenes of the late murders there, and chatting with the police. On all hands there were evidences of the complete helplessness of that force, and, more, of the contempt of the people for their sagacity. "They can't find nothin' out, was the general opinion, and the bewilderment of the constables was an admission of this idea. The fact is that they are as helpless as sheep for want of proper guidance; and they know that, in the murderer's own good time, there will probably be another appalling murder.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE ECHO.
SIR,-I am quite convinced that, had a bloodhound been put upon the track of this diabolical fiend after the perpetration of any of these crimes, that he would not now be at large to the terror of the town. There are several of these noble and exquisite-scented animals in London. Their owners can be ascertained from the secretary of the Kennel Club. I would suggest that one be kept at each of the police-stations in the neighbourhood, and that upon the recurrence of a similar crime-which God forbid-that no one should be permitted to approach the body within a few feet, till the dog has taken up the scent. It requires animal instinct to track this villain. I will wager that once upon his trail, a bloodhound will not leave it till he is found.-Yours faithfully,
It was satisfactory to learn on inquiry at the Home Office, yesterday, that Mr. Matthews was still in the country recruiting his health, and that the holiday had "done him good." The rumour of his early resignation was denied by the clerks. No information could be gleaned respecting the fate of the petition lately sent to the Queen from Whitechapel, or whether Mr. Matthews had forwarded it to Her Majesty.
THOSE WHO know most about the East-end "common lodging-house" and the customs of its inhabitants, have very little hope for the discovery of the East-end murderer. It is not too much to say that these pernicious institutions have given birth to a population in our midst on which the arm of the law has utterly failed to keep any grip. They are a nomad savage race, who rarely lodge for two nights running in one lodging-house, and who, if they are "wanted," have only to flit to another part of London, and to put up at a sort of criminals' refuge, where no questions will be asked, where they will be lost in the crowd, and shielded from the police by the sham sanctity of a private dwelling. Mr. Montagu Williams did not over-state the case yesterday one jot when he said that "they are places where the thief and the criminal can hide all day and night for the payment of fourpence a day and eightpence a night. By a natural process of things these utterly lawless abodes have become "the haunt of the burglar, the home of the pickpocket and the hot-bed of prostitution." The landlord probably puts a paid agent in charge, and reaps the profits from afar. As long as payment is regular, no other stipulations are required. The beds are let out like stalls to cattle, and, provided that crime is not committed on the premises, all else may settle itself. To so low a level has perpetual life in these places reduced a large number of our population, that an active clergyman in the East-end yesterday assured our Commissioner that he would not be at all surprised to find that the recent murders were the act not of a homicidal maniac, or of one single man, but simply of some individuals of this savage race who, from lust of blood, or mere desire for the creation of a big sensation, and the sense of power that it brings, have committed these horrible crimes. If so, it is one more proof that the neglect of such evils in our midst as these lodging-houses is surely avenged in the long run upon the society that neglects them. "The sooner they are put down the better," says Mr. Montagu Williams, judging from his Magisterial experience; and all that we know of them brings us to the same conclusion. "There are places among them where the police dare not enter, and where the criminal hides all day long"-where, in short, all law is set at defiance. What need to suppose that the East-end murderer is lurking in an empty house, when he has such convenient hiding-places ready to his hand?
A great point in connection with the East-end murders is not made enough of. One great help to the assassin is the heavy policeman's boot, which can be heard at any distance almost, and which warns him of the constable's approach. In Leeds this is obviated by putting indiarubber pegs into the heels of the constable's foot gear, so that at night-time he can move as noiselessly along as a panther, and drop upon a malefactor before the latter is aware of his approach. If our policemen are to have a chance of catching such criminals as the Whitechapel assassin they must wear light boots.
THE EVIDENCE given by the sister of the latest victim of the East-end murderer is in some respects very remarkable. She said, "I was lying in my bed about twenty minutes past one o'clock on Sunday morning, and I felt a pressure on my bed, and I heard three kisses quite distinctly. I did not see a vision of my sister." Now it was about one o'clock on Sunday morning that the body of the murdered woman was found. The witness had seen the body three times, and declares that, though she had some doubt as to the identity, she has now no doubt whatever, and she was all the more certain because she said before she saw the body that she could recognize it by a black mark on the leg, caused by the bite of an adder many years ago. The black mark was found as described. Subsequent answers to questions put by the Coroner would lead us not to be over-confident as to the identity; but if it turns out that the dead woman was really Elizabeth Watts the story told by her sister only adds one more to the long list of stories of apparitions or manifestations made just about the time of death. Mr. Percy Greg, in a recent magazine article, says:-"One class of apparitions, the most common and the most easily authenticated, do give one piece of information: the ghost's appearance or its disappearance makes known the death. A majority of apparitions are coincident, or nearly so, with the moment of dissolution. A soldier killed in battle appears to his mistress with a wound in the breast or a bandaged head; a drowned son or brother passes dripping and shivering through hall or chamber, and leans over the fire. A friend or relative expresses with his last breath a passionate wish to see the object of his special affection, and within the same hour, his appearance in the cabin of a ship a thousand miles from land, at a bedside in the Antipodes, or in the midst of a quiet, domestic party, conveys, quicker than the telegraph itself, the tidings of his death. Series of such cases are on record, in which neither coincidence, nor superstition, nor imposture, nor imagination, supplies a rational explanation." In most of these cases the living person sees a vision of the dead, but occasionally some other token or sign conveys the needed intelligence. The case of Elizabeth Watts's sister is now, however, a strong one, for the alleged pressure on the bed, and three kisses did not convey any vivid impression; it was only when the sister read the newspaper in the morning that the kisses were said to have led her to think that the victim was her sister.
Considerable excitement has been manifested in Lowestoft during the past few days, owing to a man going into different shops and threatening to serve females behind the counter in the same way as the murderers did at Whitechapel. In one case he frightened a little girl so much that she has hardly yet recovered from the shock. She was alone in the shop, when the man walked in and said he would kill her and cut her to pieces. He was dressed very shabbily, and was evidently a tramp. The police did not receive information of the affair until the man had escaped from the town! A strict watch is, however, being kept, in case the man should reappear.
THE WESTMINSTER CRIME.
ANOTHER WOMAN MURDERED.
BODY DISCOVERED IN POLICE BUILDINGS.
Horror succeeds horror. Ere the East-end of London has recovered from the terror into which the terrible crimes of Sunday threw it, and 'ere England has ceased to shudder at the discoveries, revolting details of another crime have come to light. This time the locale is the very centre of our civilized community. It is beneath the very shadow of the House of Commons itself, and within the pale of the Abbey. In this case, the irony of fate has so willed it that this mangled fragment of what was once a woman should be hidden away in a cavity that will some day, in all probability, be a police-cell, and that it is situate but a stone's-throw from the Home Office itself. They are the buildings-not yet half complete-which are intended as the new Metropolitan Police headquarters, the future of our whole protective system! These buildings are situated between Parliament-street and the Embankment. Shortly after one o'clock several workmen, on opening a bundle which they found hidden in one of the darkest archways of the vaulted foundations of the structure referred to, laid bare the remains of a woman. The corpse was a mere trunk, both head and limbs having been severed in an apparently brutal and unskillful manner. Indeed, the lower portion of the trunk, from the ribs, has been removed. Evidently the remains were those of a young and well-nourished woman, and there is every reason to fear that they form part of some person who has been murdered and made away with by an atrocious miscreant. In fact, there are strong grounds for believing that the arm found on Sept. 11 in the Thames, near Grosvenor railway bridge, was cut from the mutilated trunk which has been unearthed. The police were at once communicated with at King-street Station, and in a very few minutes Chief Superintendent Dunlap and Chief Inspector Wren went and viewed the remains, and took immediate steps to collect all the available evidence bearing on the case. These are the brief facts of the terrible mystery, which is such a painful comment on our civilisation.
This mangled relic of humanity, besides having been shorn of head and limbs, had suffered the peculiar mutilation inflicted upon the victims of the Whitechapel murders, and was in a state of decomposition justifying the belief that the crime which it mutely attests was committed at about the time when the first of the two amputated arms was seen floating on the surface of the river. The workmen employed in constructing the basement of the new police offices, however, are positive that the remains in question were not on Saturday afternoon in the place where they were found yesterday. Whither, therefore, they must have been conveyed and deposited between the hour at which the men knocked off work on Saturday and that at which they resumed labour on Monday morning. Throughout some three weeks the trunk of a murdered female must have been kept concealed by her assassin in some secret place until an opportunity [accrued] for its transfer without fear of detection to some temporarily deserted spot, such as that on which it was found.
It seems tolerably certain that the remains-the discovery of which was first announced in The Echo last night-were deposited in the place in which they were found between Saturday night and Monday morning. The difficulty and danger which the wretch must have encountered in bearing the body to the portion of the buildings where it was hidden increase the horror and mystery surrounding the whole proceeding. It is on the site of what was intended for the National Opera House that the new central police buildings are being erected by Messrs. J. Grover and sons, of New North-road, N. [E.] Their exact location is immediately eastward of the Clock Tower and St. Stephen's Club. When finished they will cover a considerable area of ground, and have an imposing appearance. At present only the foundations and a portion of the first storey have been built, and the place is surrounded by a high hoarding. The ground structure consists of a vast labyrinth of brick passages, archways, and vaulted chambers. As was pointed out by the foreman of the works, there are really but two possible modes of ingress to the archway where the body was found---namely, either over the high hoarding from the Embankment side, or from the little alley-way called Cannon-row, almost opposite the Home Office in Parliament street. The difficulties of access to the ground are so great from the side facing the Embankment that the officials connected with the works regard them as well-nigh insuperable to a person loaded with so heavy a bundle as the remains must necessarily have been. Besides, it would have been far easier, from the Embankment side, to have thrown such a parcel into the river.
But one avenue of approach, therefore, practically existed, and that was from the obscure corner at the north end of Cannon-row, over the seven-foot hoarding of which the miscreant must have clambered with his awful load so as to get within the area enclosed by the builders. When there, instead of throwing the body into the large open well dug to supply water, or secreting it beneath some of the colourless heaps of soil and rubbish lying about, he conveyed it, almost fifty yards, through a network of partly underground passages to a remote corner of the building. Although there are a large number of men employed on the works, very few of them, it is said, would have readily found their way through the intricate vaults to the spot where the mutilated trunk was concealed. To a stranger venturing alone among these dark corridors there would seem to be a danger of failing to find his way out again. Unfortunately no night watchman is kept at the place, and any one once within the hoarding after dark or working hours could safely move about at leisure free from all observation.
Between Saturday night and Monday morning the remains must have been secretly deposited in the vaulted chamber of the basement arches of the new police buildings, at a spot not eighty yards removed from the Home Office. On Monday morning, at six o'clock, a carpenter named Fred Wildbore, who made the place the storeroom for his kit, went to fetch his tools from where he had laid them on Saturday afternoon. In doing so he also lighted a match, and noticed in a sort of alcove or recess at the opposite corner of the blind archway, what looked like some castaway garment of a workman. Shallow trenches for drains have been dug along the archways in question, and the rough soil and builders' débris are heaped about in all directions. It was in the corner, and partly concealed by a bank of dirt, that the garment lay, and it might have been, he thought, part of one of the labourers' attire. Yesterday morning Wildbore casually looked at it again, saw it was a bundle, noticed an unpleasant odour, and spoke to some of the workmen about it.
Three of the labourers fancied it might be some thieves' plunder, and at the dinner hour determined to drag it out. George Budgen picked the bundle up, carried it about a dozen yards into a partially-lighted corridor, daylight streaming down through the rough scaffolding boards overhead. The bundle was done up in some black stuff, and was firmly tied and bound with strong twine. Several persons gathered around to see what the contents were as Budgen proceeded to cut the string. To their horror they uncovered the trunk of a well-formed woman. The corpse was deprived of head and limbs, the legs with the lower portion of the body above the pelvis having been cut away. A reporter who saw the remains within half-an-hour of their discovery, states that the body, placed on its back, was wrapped in a skirt of some stuff like black mohair, and the steel dress improver was included in the parcel. The flesh had a dark reddish hue, as if it had been plentifully sprinkled with antiseptic. Decomposition, however, had made rapid strides within, for the remains were in an advanced state of putrefaction. The criss-cross marks of the cords had sunk deeply into the skin, but otherwise there were no appearances of wounds, except where the rough edges indicated the brutal, bungling manner in which the head, limbs, and lower part of the body had been dissevered.
POLICE INVESTIGATION TO-DAY
During the night, the police have been making very careful inquiries in the neighbourhood of Westminster and Pimlico. Of course, no information as to what has transpired is afforded by any of the officers, who-as evidenced by their attitude towards the Press in the East-end during the past few days-very zealously obey the stringent orders they have to "give nothing to reporters." Upon inquiring of the workmen employed on the buildings an Echo reporter was this morning informed that in the course of the morning the police would make a thorough search of the enclosed ground. Their object is to ascertain whether any other portions of the mutilated body have been hidden away, either beneath the heaps of débris lying about on all sides, or in the long corridor-like vaults beneath the buildings. This must occupy some considerable time, but it is hinted that there is a possibility that some other portion of the body will be discovered.
There are many theories as to how the body was conveyed to the place of its discovery. In Cannon-row a wooden wall has been erected round the site, but it is not by any means a formidable barrier. Indeed, it seems probable that this was scaled, that the gate was opened from the inside, and that the bearer of the ghastly burden then completed his task, closing and securing the gate when he left the ground. This supposition is strengthened by the fact that Cannon-row is a badly-lighted thoroughfare, and that, at night, there is scarcely any traffic through it. It is consequently much more probable that the Cannon-row entrance was chosen for the purposes of the murderer rather than that on the Embankment. The hoarding facing the latter thoroughfare is of wood, but there are three lamps which threw such a flood of light, along the pavement, that any attempt to climb that wall would at once attract the attention of the passers by.
The police investigation in the débris has produced no result. At least, it had not up to one o'clock. At that hour their labours ceased for awhile. They were, however, resumed in a short time.
The trunk was conveyed at about seven o'clock last night to the Westminster Mortuary in Millbank-street. This place, however, is only a mortuary by name; it is really an untenanted shop and house, and is situated within about three hundred yards of the House of Lords. Dr. Bond viewed the remains, and they were then placed in spirits to preserve them from further putrefaction. They were afterwards locked up and left in charge of the police, a constable patrolling outside the mortuary during the night. Dr. Bond, the divisional surgeon of police, and Dr. Hebbert, the assistant divisional surgeon, arrived at the mortuary shortly after seven o'clock this morning and commenced their unenviable business. They were engaged until a quarter to nine when the examination was completed, having lasted about an hour and a half. The examination was of a very minute character, although it is doubtful whether any satisfactory results were obtained, in consequence of the advanced state of decomposition of the trunk. Dr. Bond, who conducted the autopsy, declined to give any particulars as to the result of their investigations before they had made their official report to the authorities, which would be immediately done.
It is now considered doubtful whether the medical gentlemen will be able to determine whether the arm which was found in the Thames on the 11th of September last is one of the limbs of the body. The bone of the arm is still in the possession of the police, and the only means they have of arriving at the conclusion at all likely to lead to a satisfactory result is by fitting the joint of the bone in the socket of the trunk. The arm which was discovered at Lambeth last week is not considered to have any connection with the present case, but, notwithstanding, it will, it is stated be taken to the Westminster Mortuary, together with the limb from Pimlico, and for the same purpose. This test has not yet been made, but will take place, it is expected, this afternoon.
A wedding-ring, but not a gold one, has been found in the enclosed ground where the buildings are in progress in Cannon-row, Westminster. A workman entered the ground this morning on the look out for "a job." While standing near the entrance to the vaults where the trunk was found, he noticed what appeared to be a ring embedded in the dirt. He picked it up, and having cleaned it, he found that it was a wedding ring, slightly bent. Whether the ring is in any way connected with the murder, or whether it may lead to the identification of the woman, is not, of course, yet known.
MITRE-SQUARE VICTIM IDENTIFIED.
The woman who was murdered in Mitre-square was identified late last night as Catherine Kelly, who used to reside in a common lodging-house at 55, Flower and Dean-street. Last night a man named John Kelly called at Bishopsgate-street Without Police Station, and was then taken to the Golden-lane Mortuary, where he identified the deceased. He stated that he had lived with her for seven years, and was positive she was the woman.
Kelly is a man of about 40 years of age. He is of medium height, and, judging from his appearance, is a hard-working fellow. He was, it is said, considerably affected when he saw the body. He frankly and unreservedly told the story of their association to the authorities. The last time he saw her-and he spoke of the unfortunate woman as "Kate"-was on Saturday afternoon. The last meal she had with him was a breakfast which had been obtained by the pledging of his boots for 2s. 6d. But how, it was asked by the police, was it that she was out so late on Saturday night? That he could not explain. He left her (he said) in the afternoon, believing that she would return to him at the lodging-house in Flower and Dean-street. He had told her to go and see her daughter, and try and get "the price of a bed for the night." "Who is her daughter?" he was asked. "A married woman," he replied. "She is married to a gunmaker, and they live somewhere in Bermondsey-in King-street, I think it is called; but I never went there." "But why didn't you make inquiries as to her absence on Saturday?" "Well," he said, "I thought she had got into some trouble, and had been locked up, and I considered I had better wait. She was given to drinking. I had, indeed, cautioned her not to stay out at night on account of the previous murders." "The initials 'T.C., what did they mean?" was the next question. Thomas Conway, he said, was the name of her husband. He could not state whether Conway was dead or alive. The murdered woman, he added, was, like himself, a Londoner. She was born at Bermondsey. They had just returned from hopping at a place which he was understood to call Hunton. "This," he said, "is about two miles from Coxheath, in Kent." "Kate and me," he at once added, "have gone through many hardships together; but while she was with me I would not let her do anything bad." "Has she any relatives besides the daughter?" asked an official. "Yes, she had a sister living in Thrawl-street, Spitalfields, with a man who sells farthing books in Liverpool-street."
The second victim in the double murder of Saturday night has now been identified. It is a singular fact that the man with whom for the past seven years she has lived, within a quarter of a mile of where she met her death, was not at all disconcerted at her not returning to him on Saturday or subsequent nights. Until yesterday he had not the slightest idea that the woman with whom he had lived was the person whose mangled body was found in Mitre-square on Sunday morning. Reading the papers, however, in a lodging-house in Flower and Dean-street, yesterday afternoon, he says that "something came over him" which convinced him that "his old woman" was the victim. He is a man of between thirty-six and forty. He is of medium height, rather dark complexion, and of a very pleasant demeanour. He gives the name of John Kelly, and, according to the deputy of the lodging-house at which he lives, is familiarly known as "Jack Kelly."
"Yea, I'll tell you all I know," he said to an Echo reporter, who accosted him in the kitchen of the lodging-house this afternoon. This apartment is about twenty feet long and fifteen in width. The ceiling is smoke-begrimed and low, but the floor is clean. The tables, ranged on either side, are crowded all day long with the occupants of the houses, some of whom discuss, at odd intervals, dubious-looking edibles, while their neighbours repose at arm's length across the white deal in a blissful state of slumber. There were about twenty people in the apartment when the reporter entered. Kelly took a seat at one of the deal tables, and proceeded to tell a tale of a particularly sad nature. "I have lived in the Deans"-by which the street is familiarly known-"for about ten years. About seven years ago the woman whose body I saw yesterday came here. Oh! she was a good soul, was my Kate! I made up to her, and we got on well together, and so we decided that we'd live together. We were never married, and I don't want to make out that we were, but we never had a quarrel, and, as far as I know, Kate was always true to me. I used to get any odd job about in the market, and Kate was very often out charing. So we managed to get on very well, and at one time she never went outside the door without me. In the summer time we always went down into Kent hopping. We used sometimes to get on very well, but this year there was a bad crop, and it didn't pay us. We had to walk home after we finished. About three weeks ago, on the road, we picked up with another couple. They used to live in London, and the woman made Kate take a pawnticket she had for a flannel shirt that had been 'popped' at Jones's, in Church-street. It was only for ninepence, but Kate took it, and we got the money. The other couple didn't come on to London, but went North.
"When we got back here Kate could not get any work, nor could I. Some days we did not have anything to eat at all, and many a day we've only earned enough to pay for our bed at night. Saturday we didn't know what to do. We had got nothing. I went into the Spitalfields-market early in the morning, and earned 4d., but that's all I could get. Towards the afternoon I told Kate to take my boots and pawn them. She wouldn't for a long time, and offered to pawn something of hers, if I'd let her. I wouldn't hear of that, so Kate took my boots and got 2s. 6d. for them. Well, we sat here by this very table, and my old woman had the very same seat as you're in now, Sir. We had our tea, and then she said she thought she'd go and see a daughter of hers-a married daughter, I think she is. She used sometimes to go there, for her daughter only lived across in Bermondsey, and is very well off. I didn't want her to go that night, somehow. I was a bit afraid because of the Hanbury-street affair. However, she said she'd go, because she could get some help there, and the last words I said to her as she went out of the door were, "Don't be late, Kate, because of the knife!'"
"What did that mean?"-"Well, that's how we talk about the man who's done all these murders, Sir. She turned round just before she went out and said, 'Don't you trouble, Jack; I won't be late, and I shall be all right.' Then she left the house, and I saw her next in the mortuary."
"Are you certain it is her?"-"Yes, as sure as I am that I'm here. She had on her arm the letters 'T.C.' They were tattoed [sic] there by her husband, Tom Conway, who, she told me, used to be a soldier, and is now a pensioner. She never spoke to me about him much; but she once told me they didn't get on together well, and so they parted. We lived very well together, and we never had a quarrel all the seven years we knew each other."
Kelly seems to feel his loss very keenly. When taken to the mortuary last night he was very much affected; indeed, the appearance of the poor mangled form is such as would touch the hardest heart. It still lies just as it was found. Upon the breast are two withered chrysanthemums. They are very small, and when pinned there on Saturday night were pure white. They are faded now, and well-nigh shriveled beyond recognition. In spite of the ghastly nature of the wounds in the face, Kelly at once recognized the woman as "his Kate," and was completely broken down.
This morning the large force of police and detectives drafted into Whitechapel are making a house-to-house visitation, and leaving a handbill as follows:-"Police Notice-To the Occupier.-On the mornings of Friday, 31st August, Saturday, 8th, and Sunday, 30th September, 1888, two women were murdered in Whitechapel, it is supposed by someone residing in the immediate neighbourhood. Should you know of any person to whom suspicion is attached, you are earnestly requested to communicate at once with the nearest police-station. Metropolitan Police Office, 30th Sept., 1888." The officers are also, in some instances, leaving it for the occupier of each tenement. It will be observed that the offer of any reward is carefully ignored, that the walls are placarded with large bills offering rewards through the aid of private subscription.
The Press Association's Bath Correspondent telegraphs corroborating the statement of Mrs. Malcolm at the inquest, yesterday, as to the history and habits of the woman Elizabeth Watts. She married, about twenty-seven or twenty-eight years ago, William Watts, son a wine merchant in Bath, her husband being then only about twenty years of age. She was a servant at his father's house. They only lived together two years, when the deceased left her husband, who went to America, but he returned from that country four years ago.
There is a story floating about the East-end which is thought by many to contain a possible explanation of the murders. A year or so since a Colonist came and settled near Wentworth-street. He had some money, and, as soon as the rumour of this got abroad, he was seized upon one night by loose women, rifled of all he had on him, and stripped naked in the streets. This so angered him that he went away swearing dire vengeance on his assailants. Now, the supposition that this man is the murderer is not at all probable; but the story, about which there seems no doubt, is none the less a grim comment upon the kind of order that prevails in the streets at the back of Commercial-road. Where were the police when this unhappy stranger was robbed and stripped?
Colonel Sir Alfred Kirby, J.P., the Officer Commanding the Tower Hamlets Battalion, Royal Engineers, has offered, on behalf of his officers, a reward of £100, to be paid to anyone who will give information that would lead to the discovery and conviction of the perpetrator of perpetrators of the recent diabolical murders committed in the district in which his regiment is situated. Sir Alfred Kirby is also willing to place the services of not more than fifty members of his corps at the disposal of the authorities, to be utilized in assisting them in any way they may consider desirable at this juncture, either for the protection of the public or finding out the criminals. Of course the Volunteers will have to be made use of as citizens, and not in a quasi-military capacity.
Commenting upon the East-end murders, the Dublin Express says:-It is unfortunate that the Home Office should be in the hands of a Minister without sagacity or sympathy, who looks with cold indifference on the excitement caused by the murders, and doggedly resists all pressure to offer a reward.
INQUEST AGAIN RESUMED.
The inquest on the body of the woman who was murdered in Berner-street, Whitechapel, and who has been identified as Elizabeth Watts, was again resumed by Coroner Wynne E. Baxter, at the St. George's Vestry-hall, Cable-street, E., to-day.
The evidence of identification was continued. Elizabeth Tanner, a widow, said-I live at 32, Flower and Dean-street. I am deputy of a common lodging-house there. I have seen the body in the mortuary, and recognize the features as those of a woman who has lodged on and off at our lodging-house during the last six years. She was known by the name of "Long Liz."
The Coroner-Do you know her right name?-No, I do not.
Do you know whether she was married?-She told me she had been married, but that her husband and children went down in the Princess Alice. She did not tell me her husband's name or occupation.
When did you see her last alive?-I saw her at about six o'clock on Saturday evening. We were together in the Queen's Head public-house, in Commercial-street. When we left the public-house we walked together to the lodging-house. At that time the deceased had no bonnet or cloak on. She came into the lodging-house with me, and I left her in the kitchen. I then went to some other part of the building, and I never saw her again until I saw her in the mortuary.
You are quite sure it is the woman you mention?-Yes. I recognize her by her features, and also by the fact that the roof of her mouth is missing. She accounted for that injury by the fact that she was in the Princess Alice when it went down, and that her mouth had been injured.
How long had the accused been staying at your lodging-house continuously before the murder?-From Wednesday night.
Did she pay for a bed for Saturday night?-No, Sir.
Do you know any of her male acquaintances?-Only one.
Do you know his name?-No, Sir. She left the man she was living with to come to my lodging-house.
Have you seen this man?-Yes, I saw him on Sunday last.
Inspector Reed-the man is in the Court.
The Coroner (to witness)-Do you know of the deceased having been before the Magistrates at Thames Police-court?-No, Sir.
Was she subject to fits?-I do not know.
Do you know whether she has lived anywhere with the exception of Flower and Dean-street?-Only in Fashion-street.
Not at Poplar?-No, Sir.
Did you ever hear that she had a sister in Red Lion-street?-No I never heard of any relatives with the exception of her husband and children.
Was she a sober woman?-Yes, Sir, and [very] quiet.
Had she any money on Saturday?-I gave her sixpence for cleaning two rooms for me. I do not know whether she had any more.
Are the clothes on the body the same that the deceased was in the habit of wearing?-Yes, Sir. I recognised her long cloak at once.
Did she ever tell you that she was afraid of any one, or that any one had threatened to injure her?-No, Sir.
The fact of her not coming back on Saturday was nothing unusual?-No; I never took any notice of it.
Inspector Reid-Have you ever heard the name of Stride mentioned?-No, Sir.
By a Juror-The deceased was away from the lodging-house before Thursday last for about three months. I saw her very often during that time. She told me that she was at work among the Jews.
By the Coroner-I could not tell that the deceased was not English by her speaking. She could speak English well, but could also speak in the Swedish language.
Catherine Lane, a lodger at 32, Flower and Dean-street, was then examined. She said she was married, and was a chair-maker. Her husband was a dock labourer, and he also lived at lodging-houses. They had been living there since February of this year. She had seen the body in the mortuary, and recognised it as "Long Liz." Witness saw the deceased on Thursday last in the lodging-house. She said she had had a few words with the young man, and was coming back to the lodging-house to live.
The Coroner-Where did you see her on Saturday?-In the deputy's room.
When did you see her last?-Between six and seven in the evening. She was then in the kitchen. She had a long cloak on and a black bonnet.
Are they the same as you saw in the mortuary?
"I did not seem them in the mortuary," replied the witness. "I saw the woman between six and seven on Sunday evening."
What! ejaculated a Juryman in evident surprise.
The witness repeated her words.
"Alive?" asked the Coroner.
"Oh, no, dead."
In answer to further questions, witness said that on Saturday evening the deceased left a piece of velvet with witness to mind for her.
The Coroner-Did she give you any idea where she was going to?-No, Sir.
Had she any money?-She had a sixpence. She showed it to me, and said the deputy had given it to her. She then walked out of the kitchen.
Had she been drinking?-Not that I am aware of.
Do you know of anyone that is likely to have injured her?-No, I don't, sir.
Witness, continuing, said she could tell by her accent that the deceased was not an English woman. Witness had also heard her speaking with people whom she worked for in the Swedish tongue.
Charles Preston, a barber, gave generally corroborative evidence.
Michael Kidney, who had lived with the deceased, while giving somewhat similar evidence to former witnesses, said deceased had told him she had kept a coffee-house at Poplar.
(The inquiry is proceeding.)
PRISONER BEFORE THE MAGISTRATE.
HE WITHDRAWS HIS STATEMENT.
This morning at the Guildhall Police-court, before Mr. Alderman Stone, William Bull, describing himself as a medical student of the London Hospital, and giving an address at Stannard-road Dalston, was placed in the dock, charged, on his own confession, with having committed the Aldgate murder. The prisoner appeared to have been drinking heavily.
Inspector Izzard said:-Last night at twenty minutes to eleven, the prisoner came into the room at Bishopsgate-street Station and made the following statement, which I took down after cautioning him. He said:-"My name is William bull, and I live at Dalston. I am a medical student at the London hospital, and I wish to give myself up for the murder in Aldgate. On Saturday night or Sunday morning, about two o'clock I think, I met the woman in Aldgate. I went with her up a narrow street not far from the main road. I promised to give her half-a-crown. While walking along together there was a second man, who came up and took the half-crown from her. I cannot endure this longer. My poor head! (He put his hands to his head and cried, or pretended to cry.) I shall go mad. I have done it, and I must put up with it." The Inspector asked what had become of the clothes he had on when the murder was committed. The prisoner said, "If you wish to know, they are in the Lea, and the knife I threw away."
At this point (said the witness) the prisoner declined to say any more. He was drunk, and apparently had been drinking heavily. Part of the statement was made in the presence of Major Smith. The prisoner gave a correct address, but is not known at the London Hospital. His parents are very respectable, and the prisoner has been out of employ. The Inspector (in conclusion) asked for a remand for a few days to make inquiries.
The prisoner, in answer to the Alderman, said he was mad drunk when he made the statement. As for the murder said to have been committed by him, it was impossible.
Inspector Izzard said that when searched the prisoner had on him a very small knife, a half-penny, and a wheel from a watch.
Prisoner was remanded, the Alderman refusing to grant bail.
The Whitechapel craze is extending. There have been, at least, half-a-dozen instances of this in the police-courts to-day. A man goes up to a woman, there is a colloquy, the man threatens that he will "Whitechapel her"; there is then a shout of "Police!" and the man is arrested. Or perhaps the fellow is even more foolish. He pulls out of a pocket a piece of iron, or it may be a knife; he uses the word "Whitechapel," probably in a threatening way; perhaps he calls out that he is "Leather Apron"; at once there is a scream, and the woman rushes down the street, the man making not the slightest pretence to follow. In most cases the Magistrates have simply bound the men over, or [illegible] a fine for drunkenness. The fellows' criminal foolishness have deserved more vigourous treatment.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE ECHO.
SIR,-In fairness, I would ask you to permit a reply to "Disgusted." There is a belief that the poor murdered women were more at the mercy of the slaughterer (if only one) through the very practice which "Disgusted" disgustingly approves of. Surely after these poor virtue-bereft creatures have become vicarious martyrs in place of virtuous and more respectable members of the sex, further persecution of a class of whom it may well be said that "sufferance is the badge of all their tribe" is shameful indeed. Two well-known moral philanthropists, namely, J.B. Wookey and Maurice Gregory, have written thus:-"I would not join the coward band that think that to drive these unfortunate creatures to prison or to hell is doing God a service." "We have been harrowing the women for centuries without doing any good." I wonder if the elder (and virtuous) brother in the parable of "the Prodigal Son," ever employed any agencies to keep the "disgrace to the family" away from the longing arms of the father at home.
Mile-end, Oct. 2.
We are informed that a statement, attributed to the Rev. Daniel Greatorex at the Whitechapel Board of Works, that police officers are kept ignorant of their beats by a new system of police whereby constables are frequently changed from one district to another, is without foundation. The present system has been in existence for the last twenty years without change, and transfers are seldom made except when rendered necessary by promotion or some special cause, the Commissioner's object being that officers should be thoroughly acquainted with the districts in which they are serving.
MR. MONTAGU WILLIAMS'S OPINION.
Mr. Montagu Williams gave his opinion at Worship-street Police-court, yesterday, on the East-end lodging-house system. He was examining the case of a young woman named Mary McCarthy, who was charged with stabbing Ann Neason. The prosecutrix is a deputy of a lodging-house in Spitalfields, and the prisoner a lodger. The following colloquy took place between Mr. Williams and the prosecutrix.-Mr. Williams: How many beds do you make up there?-Witness: Twenty-eight singles and twenty-four doubles.-Mr. Williams: By "doubles" you mean for a man and a woman?-Witness: Yes, Sir.-Mr. Williams: And the woman can take any man she likes? You don't know if the couples are married or not?-Witness: No, Sir. We don't ask them.-Mr. Williams: Precisely what I thought. And the sooner these lodging-houses are put down the better. They are the haunt of the burglar, the home of the pickpocket, and the hotbed of prostitution. I don't think I can put it stronger than that. It is time the owners of these places who reap large profits from them were looked after. I hope (he subsequently added) they will not be exempt from future legislation. They are places where, according to the witness, the thief or the criminal can hide all day for the payment of 4d. or 8d. for a bed each night. As a Magistrate I have made it my business to go over some of these places, and I say that the sooner they are put down the better. In my humble judgment they are about as unwholesome and unhealthy, as well as dangerous to the community as can well be. There are places among them where the police dare not enter, and where the criminal hides all day long. I have seen so much that I hope what I have said will do something to call attention to them.