4 October 1888
The rumour that Sir Charles Warren has again applied for "promotion" is revived. Last night a long consultation in regard to the Whitechapel and Whitehall murders was held at the Home Office.
SIR, - May I suggest through your columns the desirability of our police being provided at night time with indiarubber "clumps" to the soles of their boots, whereby their tread would be as noiseless as the wheels of a bicycle similarly shod. The tread of the policeman may know be heard at dead of night a quarter of a mile off, and is as useful a warning to the burglar as was the voice of the night watchman of old, when calling the hour. It is to be hoped that our rowdy M.P.'s will take warning by the horrible atrocities lately committed, and discontinue their abominable avocation of inciting the ignorant - directly or indirectly - towards lawlessness and crime, and resistance to the police in their arduous efforts to preserve order. - I am & c.,
Sir, - Will you allow me to support your suggestion of the advisability of the authorities to supply policemen on night duty with noiseless boots? I have frequently seen people meet after dark under suspicious-looking circumstances, disperse immediately on hearing the heavy measured tramp of an advancing policeman - whereas, if had had been in time to have seen what their little business really was. I firmly believe the noiseless booted policeman would greatly tend to diminish street lawlessness. - Yours faithfully,
HENRY BAX 16, Lincoln's-inn-fields, W.C.
A man named Bending, of Charles-street, Stepney, threw himself under a passing train at Bethnal-green Junction on the Great Eastern Railway. When picked up the unfortunate man was found to have received shocking injuries. Both arms and one leg have been cut completely off. He died at the London Hospital.
THIS DAY'S NEWS
A CANARD FROM SHADWELL
"MURDERER'S LAST VICTIM"
PURSUING AN AMERICAN
CAPTURED IN A CAB
EXCITING NIGHT SCENES IN WHITECHAPEL
SEVERAL ARRESTS MADE
There was an exciting story current this morning. High-street, Shadwell was its locale. There had been a terrible struggle with a man - that man the East-end murderer. Driven to extremity, he had used a knife - some said a pistol - on his assailant. He poor fellow was killed, but a prompt ( ? ) immediately laid the murderer by the heels, and he was soon enjoying the security of a police cell.
The Inspector at the Shadwell Police-station laughed heartily when the story was told him. "Why," said he, "I was talking to the man said to be killed - a watchman - several hours after the time he met his terrible death." "A false alarm," said he with another laugh and a good-natured joke at the ubiquitous journalist. And the people in the neighbourhood had heard nothing of the affair. The police laughed, the post-office official smiled at the excellence canard and as this disproving evidence was being gathered the papers containing the latest details of the murderer's last fight were being received in the streets.
The reign of terror that has held undisputed sway in the East-end since Sunday still continues with unabated farce. The popular excitement and indignation, as time goes on, seems, if anything, to be intensifying, and public and police alike are becoming more and more determined to leave no stone unturned to unearth and bring to justice the miscreant who, doubtless, still haunts the scene of his fiendish deeds. A widespread feeling of exasperation pervades all classes of society in the East-end, and should the murderer fall into the clutches of a Whitechapel crowd, the exasperation will, it is declared, find escape in an outburst which it would be difficult for even the police to control.
Late last night the wildest rumours were afloat, and the region east of Aldgate witnessed a series of scenes unprecedented, perhaps, in the history of London crime. Again and again reports came to hand that the murderer had been captured in this and that district. These rumours, of course, only tended to increase the excitement, which had seized on the community. Shortly before midnight, a story was circulating to Fleet-street to the effect that the unknown murderer had been surprised in the act of attempting one of his now so familiar outrages on a female in Union-street. The woman, so the tale went, was led by "the monster" into a side street, but the gleam of a steel blade at once roused her to the sense of the danger she was in, and her loud screams immediately brought to the spot a man and some two of three women, who are said to have been watching the movements of the couple. The would-be murderer, on hearing the rapid pattering of approaching footsteps, at once - so the story goes - took to his heels, followed down the street by his male pursuer, who overtook him and knocked the knife which he held out of his hand. The unknown man, however, darted into the road, jumped into a passing cab, and told the cabman who seemed perplexed by the suddenness of the affair, to drive wherever he liked. Off went the cab, followed by the howling crowd that had, like magic, swarmed into the street. The police joined in the pursuit and the vehicle was speedily surrounded and stopped, and its occupant captured in gallant fashion and taken to the Leman-street Police-station.
For a time this astounding rumour caused quite a stir. At last the inevitable inquiries were made at Leman-street. There it was established that the report possessed only the barest substance of truth. What really gave rise to the extraordinary narrative was this. Just after ten o'clock a well dressed man rushed out of the Three Nuns public-house in Aldgate, followed by a woman who in a loud voice declared to the loungers and passers-by that he had molested and threatened her. While he was thus being denounced the stranger hailed a cab, jumped in and proceeded to drive off. A hue and cry was at once raised and the vehicle was followed by an excited and hooting mob, which rapidly grew in numbers and increased in excitement. It was the universal belief that the murderer was the occupant, and a hot pursuit was given. In a moment or two the cab was stopped, and a police-constable got in, secured the man, and directed the cabman to drive to the Leman-street police-station. Here the prisoner was formally charged on suspicion.
The cab was followed to the station by the girl who had raised the outcry. She stated to the police in the most emphatic manner that the prisoner had first accosted and molested her in the street and that when she refused to accede to his proposals he threatened physical violence. This occurred in Whitechapel High-street. While the woman was making her statement the prisoner held down his head and looked at the ground and he never once attempted denial. When, however, a man stepped forward to corroborate the girl's statement, he looked angrily and denied the truth of the allegations with considerable emphasis. The woman was then asked if she desired to make a charge but declined to do so, and shortly after left the station.
It was, however, deemed prudent by the officer in charge to detain the man pending inquiries. He is and athletically-built determined-looking fellow, apparently at forty years of age, with a dark moustache and clearly-cut features. On his pockets being searched no weapon of any sort were found upon him. He gave his name but deferred to state his address. When conveyed to the cell his attitude became (?) In the course of the conversation which he carried on with a slightly American accent while paging up and down his place of imprisonment, the frequency with which he said the word "Boss" was particularly (?). The man is stated to have been greatly under the influence of drink when he got to the station. Throughout the (?) he maintained the attitude of defiance, (?) little or no information regarding his (?), and the nature of his movements, (?) extracted from him. He remained in custody all night, being discharged at half-past nine this morning, inquiries having satisfied the police that he was not the man "wanted."
Between nine and ten o'clock last night another arrest was affected in the Ratcliff-highway by Sergeant Adams, of the H Division. The officer in question, hearing a woman screaming for help in an adjacent court, proceeded in the direction of the cries, and met a man, who was evidently a foreigner, leaving the place. He took the fellow into custody, more especially as it occurred to him that he bore a striking resemblance to the published police description of the man who is said to have been seen with "Long Liz" on the Saturday night preceding her murder. The captive, who went quietly to the Leman-street Police-station, told the sergeant he was sailing from this country for America to-day. At the police-station, the man told the inspector that he was a Maltese, and willingly furnished his name and address. No weapons were found upon him. The inquiries that were instituted proving to be quite satisfactory, the unlucky foreigner was released in the course of the morning. This capture gave rise in the course of the night to some wild and grossly exaggerated rumours. Not only was it currently reported that the murderer had been captured, but it was asserted that the police officer in securing him had been stabbed. This report even reached the headquarters of the City Police at Old Jewry.
A third arrest was also made in Shadwell at a late hour last night in the neighbourhood of Cable-street, and the man brought to Leman-street. Here again the man was able to give a very straightforward and satisfactory explanation to his identity and other particulars, and there was no other course open to the police than to at once discharge him.
The Shadwell story is by no means the only canard in currency. The air is full of wild rumours, the majority of them being without the slightest foundation. A Press representative has, however, been assured this afternoon at Old Jewry, and also at Leman-street, that absolutely nothing bearing on the murders has occurred, and that up to the present no actual clue to the perpetrator has been obtained. Matters stand now, so far as the murderer is concerned, just where they did on Sunday last, and it is safe to state that not the faintest evidence likely to lead to detection and arrest has been forthcoming as yet. At the present moment there is not one person under detention.
At the meeting of the Corporation of London today, the decision of the Lord Mayor to offer a reward of £500 for the capture of the Mitre-square murderer was unanimously confirmed.
The Whitechapel craze has extended to the genteel neighbourhood lying between Upper Norwood and Croydon, and a belief is held by many persons that the murderer, whoever he may be, finds concealment in a dense wood which skirts Leather Bottle-lane and leads to Croydon. The police of the district have been acquainted with the supposition, but the foundation for it appears, however, that the gardeners in the employ of Mr. Herne, to whom the wood belongs, have seen a person dressed as a woman, but whom they assert is a man, lurking about the wood late at night. Not much attention would be paid to the reports in an ordinary way, but it is said that on each of the nights that the murders have been committed since August the person has been seen to enter the wood. The police are inquiring into the matter. The gardeners who have charge of the woods by night have armed themselves with guns.
OPENING OF THE INQUEST
Mr. S. F. Langham, the City Coroner, opened the inquest at the City Coroner's Court, Golden-lane this morning, on the body of the woman who was found murdered and mutilated in Mitre-square on Sunday morning last. The body has been identified as that of Catherine Eddowes, but the deceased has also been known by the names of Conway and Kelly.
Superintendent Forster attended on behalf of the City Police; while Mr. Crawford, the City Solicitor, watched the case on behalf of the Corporation.
Seventeen Jurymen were empanelled, and they, together with the witnessesand reporters, occupied nearly all the available space in the Coroner's Court. The was, however, a small space behind the barrier at the end of the Court, which was set apart for the general public, but it only contained a few occupants.
Ellen Gould, a widow, was the first witness examined. She said - I live at 6 Thrawl-street, Spitalfields. I recognise the body of the deceased as that of my poor sister. Her name was Catherine Eddowes.
The Coroner - Where has she been living? - I do not know.
Was she married? - Well, Sir, she had been living with a gentleman.
Was she married? - No.
Who has she been living with? - With a Mr. Kelly. She has lived with him for some years.
What was her age? - About 42 years.
When did you last see her? - About four or five months ago.
How did she get her living? - She used to go out hawking. She was a woman of sober habits.
Before she went to live with Kelly had she lived with anyone else? - Yes, she had lived with a man named Conway. She had lived with him for some years, and had two children by him. I do not know if Conway is still living.
"What was Conway?" asked the Coroner.
"He had been in the Army," replied the witness. "He had been pensioned off, and went out hawking. I believed they parted on good terms."
I suppose you have no doubt that the body you have seen is that of your sister? - I am quite sure.
By Mr. Crawford - I have not seen Conway for six or seven years. I saw the deceased with Kelly about four or five weeks ago. They were then living at a common lodging-house in Flower and Dean-street. I have not seen my sister since.
John Kelly then entered the witness box. He said: I live at 55, Flower and Dean-street, and I am a labourer in Spitalfields Market. I have seen the body of the deceased, and identify it as that of the woman whom I knew as Catherine Conway. She had been living with me for the past seven years.
The Coroner - When were you last in her company? - At about two o'clock on Saturday afternoon.
"Where?" asked the Coroner.
"In Houndsditch, Sir," replied the witness. "I left her there, and we parted on very good terms. She told me that she was going over to Bermondsey to try and find her daughter Annie.
Was Conway the father of Annie? - I believe so, Sir. "She promised me (continued the witness) to be back by four o'clock, and no later. She, however, did not return. I heard that she had been locked up at the Bishopsgate-street Police-station on Saturday night."
How did you hear that? - An old woman told me that she saw her being taken into the station.
Did you make any inquiries? - I did not, because I though she would be let out on the Sunday morning. I was told she had been locked up for being intoxicated.
Did you ever know that she went out for any immoral purpose?
"No!" answered the witness, with emphasis. "I never suffered her to do so."
Was she in the habit of drinking to excess? - No, Sir: only slightly.
When you left her had she any money about her? - No, Sir.
In answer to other questions, witness continued: - The deceased went to look for a daughter with a view to getting a little money to prevent her from walking the streets.
"What do you mean by that?" asked the Coroner.
"I mean that there have been times when we have had no money, and we have had to walk about the streets together all night.
Do you know any one who would be likely to injure her? - No, Sir: neither do I know whether she had seen Conway lately. She generally returned home at about eight or nine o'clock at night.
By Mr. Crawford - The deceased left me for a few months ago, in consequence of a few words. She, however, only remained away a few hours. She never went out at night time. I understand (continued the witness) that her daughter lives in King-street, Bermondsey.
After further questions, the witness stated that he had not slept at the lodging-house in Flower and Dean-street this week. He and the deceased had been hop-picking in Kent. We returned (he said) on Thursday. We had no money, so we went to the casual ward in Shoe-lane. We walked about all day on Friday. I earned sixpence by doing a "job," and told her to come to the lodging-house with me and we would buy a bit of food. She, however, told me to go and pay for my lodgings and she would go to the Mile-end casual ward. She accordingly went to that place to sleep. On Saturday morning we pawned a pair of boots for 2s. 6d. The greater part of the money was expended in drink and food. She at the time bought the tea and sugar which has been found in her pockets.
Mr. Crawford - During the past seven years has the deceased ever brought money to you as having earned it at night? - No, never.
In answer to further questions, witness said - It may have been Friday when the boots were pawned. I know that the deceased pawned them while I sttod outside the shop in my bare feet.
Frederick William Wilkinson, the deputy at the lodging-house at 55, Flower and Dean-street, said the deceased and Kelly lived at the lodging-house as man and wife. They seldom quarrelled, but had a few words "when Kate was in drink." She was not often intoxicated, however. He (witness) had never seen Kelly the worse for drink. He saw the deceased on Friday afternoon. She left the lodging-house on the evening of that day. He, however, saw her again on Saturday morning between ten and eleven. She was then with Kelly. "I did not see Kate again," added the deputy.
The Coroner - Was she in the habit of walking the streets? - Not to my knowledge. She was generally in the house by nine or ten o'clock at night. She told me that she had been married, and that her name was Kate Conway, but I never saw the man Conway. The deceased used to say, "My name is bought and paid for," meaning, of course, that she had been married. When Kelly (continued the witness) came to the lodging-house at about half-past seven on Saturday night to pay for a bed, I asked him, "Where's Kate." He replied that he had heard she had been locked up, and he took a single bed.
"I suppose there is a difference in the price," said the Coroner.
Yes a single bed is 4d., and a double 8d.
By Mr. Crawford - The last time the deceased and Kelly slept at the lodging-house was about five or six weeks ago, before they went hopping. Kelly went to bed about ten o'clock on Saturday night, and he was in the lodging-house at dinner time on Sunday. When I saw the deceased on Saturday she was, I believe, was wearing an apron.
Mr. Crawford - Did anyone come into your lodging-house between one and two o'clock on Sunday morning; and strangers, for instance? - There were no strangers at the lodging-house that night.
Did anyone else come in at that time? - I cannot recollect.
By a Juror - On the Friday night the deceased and Kelly had sixpence between them. I would, however, have let them into the house. I always trust my regular lodgers, and give them beds.
Police-constable Edward Watkins, of the City police, gave evidence as to the finding of the deceased. He said - I have been in the City police force for seventeen years. I was on duty in Mitre-square on Saturday night. My beat extended from the corner of Duke-street, Aldgate, through Heneage-lane, a portion Berry-street, through Greenchurch-lane, into Leadenhall-street, Eastward, into Mitre-street, thence into Mitre-square, round the square, and then again into Mitre-street, into King-street, along King-street to St. James'-place, round St. James'-place, and thence into Duke-street - the starting place. That beat takes twelve or fourteen minutes. I had been continually patrolling the beat from 10 o'clock p.m. to 1 a.m. on Sunday. Nothing (said the witness) attracted my attention during those hours. I passed through Mitre-square at 1.30 on Sunday morning. I had my lantern fixed in my belt alight, and turned on. I then examined the different corners and warehouses, but saw nothing to attract my attention. No one could have been in any portion of the square without my seeing them.
I NEXT WENT INTO Mitre-square at about 1.44 a.m. As I entered the square from Mitre-street I turned to the right and saw the body of a woman lying in the corner. She wa lying on her back. Her throat was cut. The stomach had been ripped up, and the intestines were protruding. She was lying in a pool of blood. I did not touch the body. I first ran across to Messrs. Kearley and Tong's warehouse. The door was ajar. I pushed it open, and called to Morris, the watchman, who was inside. He came out, and I sent him for assistance. I remained by the side of the body until Police-constable Holland arrived. There was no one about at that time. Dr. Sequeira and Dr. Brown, surgeon of Police, shortly afterwards arrived.
Mr. Crawford: As you entered the square did you see anyone running away? - No, Sir.
The Coroner: How was it that the door was left open at the warehouse? - Because the watchman was at work inside. It is nothing unusual for the door to be left open during the night.
Mr. Frederick William Forster, architect and surveyor, put in plans of the scene of the murder. He had, he said, also marked on the Ordnance map produced the route from Berner-street and Mitre-square. It was a distance of about three-quarters of a mile. It would take about twelve minutes to walk the distance. It was the nearest route that anyone unaccustomed to the neighbourhood would have taken.
Mr. Crawford - Is not Goulston-street in the direct route from Mitre-street to Flower and Dean-street? - Yes.
Mr. Crawford mentioned that a portion of the murdered woman's apron was found in Goulston-street.
Frederick William Wilkinson, who had been to Flower and Dean-street to fetch the lodging-house book, was called.
Mr. Crawford - Can you tell me by that book if Kelly slept at the lodging-house on Saturday night? - Yes. He occupied No. 52 bed on Friday and Saturday nights.
Now can you tell me if anyone came in between one and two o'clock on Sunday morning? - My book does not show the time.
Can you tell me whether there any strangers in the house that night? - Yes, there were six men. But I cannot say whether they entered the lodging-house between one and two o'clock that morning.
Do you remember any stranger going out shortly after midnight? - I cannot say. We are so busy just about that time.
Inspector Edward Collard, of the City of London Police, was next examined. He said - At five minutes before two on Sunday last I received information at Bishopsgate Police-station that a woman had been murdered in Mitre-square. After dispatching the intelligence to headquarters and to Dr. Gordon Brown, I proceeded to the Square. I there found Dr. Sequeira, several police officers and a body of a woman lying in the north-west corner of the Square. The body was not touched until the arrival of Dr. Gordon Brown. He, however, arrived shortly after I got there. The medical gentleman examined the body, and Sergeant Jones afterwards picked up , on the left side of the deceased three small black boot buttons, a small metal button, a metal thimble and a small mustard tin containing two pawn-tickets. The body was afterwards removed to the mortuary. There was no money in her pockets. There was some tea and sugar, a piece of flannel, some soap, a cigarette case, and an empty match-box in her pocket. The portion of an apron (produced) was what deceased was wearing, and corresponds with the piece of apron which has been found in Goulston-street. Chief Detective McWilliams arrived at Mitre-square soon after the murder was discovered. He was accompanied by a number of detectives, and they made inquiries at the various lodging-houses in Spitalfields, and several men were stopped and searched in the street, but without any satisfactory result. I have a house-to-house inquiry made in the vicinity of Mitre-square (continued witness) to see if we could find any person who heard or saw anything unusual in the square that night.
By Mr. Crawford - There was no sign of any struggle having occurred in the square. We could no trace of footsteps. A search was made at the back of the empty houses in the square, but without result.
Dr. Gordon Brown, surgeon of the City of London Police Force, then gave evidence. He said - I was called shortly after two o'clock on Sunday morning. I consequently went to Mitre-square, and my attention was there called to the body of a woman. The body was on its back, the head turned to left shoulder, the arms by the side of the body - as if they had fallen there. Both palms were turned upwards, and the fingers slightly bent. The bonnet was at the back of the head, and there was great disfigurement of the face. The throat was cut across, and below the cut there was a neckerchief. The upper part of the dress was open - it had been pulled open. The abdomen had been ripped up and the intestines drawn out to a large extent, and placed over the right shoulder. A piece of intestine, about two feet in length, was quite detached from the body, and place between the left arm and body. The lobe of the right ear was cut obliquely through; there was a quantity of clotted blood on the left side of the body on the pavement. There was also a large quantity of liquid blood which had flowed out of the neck on to the right shoulder. The body was quite warm, and no death-stiffness had set in. The woman had probably only been dead within thirty or forty minutes. There was no spurt of blood on the bricks or pavement near the body; neither were there any marks of blood below the middle of the body. I made a most-mortem examination (continued Dr. Brown) at the mortuary on Sunday afternoon. The hands and arms were bronzed as if with the sun. The injuries to the face were as follows:- There was a cut a quarter of an inch in length through the lower left eyelid, dividing the structures completely through. On the upper eye-lid on that side there was a scratch through the skin, near to the angle of the nose. The right eye-lid was also cut through to the extent of half-an-inch. There was a deep cut over the bridge of the nose extending from the left border of the nasal bone, across the cheek, down to near the angle of the jaw on the right side. The tip of the nose was quite detached by an oblique cut. A cut from this divided the upper lip, and extended through the substance of the gum. About half an inch from the tip of the nose was another oblique cut. There was also a cut at the right angle of the mouth, as if by the point of a knife and the lower lip.
In a subsequent part of his statement, Dr. Brown said - The left kidney has been carefully taken away, and the artery cut through.
Mr. Crawford - Do you draw any special conclusion from that?
I think that someone who knew the position of the kidney, and how to take it out, must have done it. The womb was cut through leaving a stump of about three-quarters of an inch, the rest of the womb was absent, and had been taken away with some of the ligaments.
Mr Crawford - When you speak of the left kidney being taken away, do you think it was taken away altogether? - Yes, it could not be found anywhere.
The inquest was shortly afterwards adjourned.
A Wolverhampton correspondent telegraphs :-
Additional interest has been given in Wolverhampton to the London horrors, owing to the discovery that the victim of the Mitre-square tragedy is a native of that town, where several relatives still reside. A married woman named Croote, wife of Jesse Croote, a horse-dealer, and an aunt of the woman named Eddowes, who lives in Bilston-street, Wolverhampton, have been interviewed. They state that the deceased woman, Kate Eddowes, was the daughter of a tin-plate worker, who for some years was employed at the Old Hall Works, Wolverhampton, as a tinplate stamper. Her mother was a cook at the Peacock Hotel in that town, and the family went to London some years ago, where the father and mother died, leaving a family of twelve children. How many of them are living the relatives in Wolverhampton are unable to say. Mrs. Croote states that the murdered woman would be about forty-threes of age.
When she was about twenty years of age she ran away to Birmingham, where she became acquainted with an old pensioner, who gained a living by selling pamphlets relating to his own history, and with whom she lived. She travelled with him and assisted him to sell his pamphlets. Four or five years afterwards she suddenly appeared at the residence of her aunt, by whom she was reared as a child, in a dirty and destitute condition. An uncle of the deceased lives in Birmingham. - William Eddowes, a respectable working-man, living at Wolverhampton, states that the deceased, when young, was given to keeping late hours, and that she was of a "jolly" disposition.
AN IMPORTANT DISCOVERY
THE VICTIM A LADY
The medical examination of the remains found in the new Police buildings on the Embankment at Westminster has elicited very little additional information as to the identity. Dr. Thomas Bond, the divisional surgeon, and his colleague, Dr. Hebbert, minutely examined the remains yesterday morning at the mortuary in Millbank-street, in order to compare them with the woman's arm found near Grosvenor-bridge, Pimlico, on the 11th of last month. This arm was brought from Ebury-street for that purpose. It appears little doubt was left in the minds of the two medical gentlemen that the limb belonged to the body. A most careful examination of the remains led them, it is understood, to the conclusion that the deceased had been a rather tall and remarkably well-formed woman. Her age was set down as between 25 and 30 years. With regard to the amputation of the arm, the operation had been performed after death in a semi-skilful manner, though in all probability not by a person having a knowledge of anatomy. Whether they had any opinion as to the presumable cause of death, the doctors were disinclined to state.
When the arm was found at Grosvenor-bridge, it will be recollected that reference was made to the fact that it was that of a person in all likelihood moving in a good position in life. Not only was the hand remarkably well shaped, but the fingers were long and taper, the filbert-shaped nails being carefully trimmed and kept. The police have now ascertained that the skirt in which the trunk was wrapped, instead of being of mohair, was of richly-flowered moiré silk. This has led the police to assume the deceased was a person who moved in a good social position.
The officers are making inquiries with respect to the discovery made at the new police offices at Westminster have received information that on Saturday afternoon, at twenty minutes past five, a respectably-dressed man, about 35 years of age, was observed to get over from the hoarding in Cannon-row and to walk quickly away, and that he was not followed, or the police informed of the matter at the time. The police have forwarded a description of this man to all police stations, with the view, if possible, of tracing him.
Upon inquiring of the police this morning, a Press representative learnt that the police were actively prosecuting their enquiries. A constable engaged in the case expresses the firm conviction amongst other police authorities that the identity of the victim will eventually be established by the means of the skirt in which the body was enveloped. The establishments of the retailers of old clothes have been the centres of the operations since the discovery, but nothing can be gleaned from them as to their having disposed of such a skirt.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE ECHO
Sir, - Adverting to the leading article on the above important subject in your issue of last evening, may I be permitted to remove any erroneous impression which may be formed as the result of the use of the term "Metropolitan Police Courts"? A perusal of the report of the Committee to which you refer will show you that praise, instead of condemnation, is bestowed upon the Corporation for the condition of the City Police-court cells.
Mr. Justice Wills, a member of the Committee, makes the following cogent remarks:- "In the two City Courts (which are very creditably distinguished from nearly, if not quite all, the other which I have visited), the entrance to the dock is so conveniently placed with regard to the cells, that no waiting room intervenes." Again, his Lordship adds:- "The two City Courts are so honourably distinguished as regards accommodation of this kind from all the rest that I have seen, that I will reserve them for special description." His Lordship concludes his description by saying:- "The superior light and airiness afforded by the wire-work of the doors undoubtedly makes them look less dismal and uncivilised that the cells of the Metropolitan Courts." - I am, Sir, your obedient servant,
HY HOMEWOOD CRAYFORD
Guildhall, Oct. 2
Sir Charles Warren is too much occupied with savages at the East-end to go to Manchester to discourse on savages in Africa, but he sent a paper on the subject of the Drink Traffic which did not seem to lead to any definite point. We are all ready to denounce the sale of rum to the African; the point is, how to get Germany and the United States to join with us in stopping this iniquitous traffic.
The report of the doings of the University Extension Society in Whitechapel during the past year casts a welcome ray of light upon a dark place. The report shows that the Whitechapel centre has now become one of the most successful branches of the Society, and besides carrying high education to numbers who would otherwise have to go without any, may rank with Toynbee Hall and the People's Palace as a means of introducing hundreds to pleasures of foreign travel and social intercourse, from which they were formerly shut off. As far as the educational activity of the branch goes, the number of individuals attending was 423 in the autumn and 462 in the spring. Among the lecturers were Dr. Gardiner on "English and European History during the 16th Century," Mr. Churton Collins on "Elizabethan Literature," and Mr. Lewes on the "Chemistry of Everyday Life." The examinations, showed an increase on former years, both in the passes and the distinctions gained by candidates. The Committee tried the experiment of a summer term, which has scarcely been tried before in any other centre, with considerable success, the average attendance being 57, as against 74 in the spring. The social side of the movement has been represented by numerous conversations, and by an increase in the number of residents at "Wadham House," which, it is hoped, may finally become a kind of residential East-end University. The members have now been entertained by Dr. Ernest Harte, the Countess Russell, Sir Sidney Waterlow, and the Master and Wardens of the Clothworkers' Company, and they have been addressed by Lord Ripon, Professor Seeley, and Mr. Russell Lowell. Sixty of the students visited Florence in the spring at the cheap rate of £12 a head; and a similar expedition is being organised for next year. As the members of the centre have access to all the lectures and classes held at Toynbee Hall, and to the Free Library now existing there, they appear to us to have all the advantages that a University can possibly extend, except that of residence on the spot.
"The police, it is stated, are contemplating a series of immediate and sudden raids upon those dreadful dens in Whitechapel." It will be a good thing when the police have done with contemplation and proceed to action. Why are those "dreadful dens" there at all. Except because the existing laws are not applied either by the vestries or the police? Why are the lodging-houses, for instance, such "dreadful dens," if not because the powers of giving and with-holding licences have not been put into force with sufficient strictness - or with any strictness at all?
SIR CHARLES WARREN'S letter to the Whitechapel District Board is an able exposé of the position of the police in respect of the murders which have been lately committed. Anonymous, vague, careless charges have been made against the Scotland-yard authorities, and Sir Charles Warren meets them fairly and squarely. The changes which it has long been rumoured have been made in the personnel of the police force have only imagination for a basis; there has been no such disintegration of the detective force as some have alleged; and the police force in Whitechapel is as large as the number of constables at disposal and the general exigencies of the Metropolis will permit it. But Sir Charles Warren goes further than merely dealing with the attacks made upon himself and subordinates. He shows in what way the public itself can assist in the prevention of further crime. Here a most practical suggestion is made. These unhappy women, who appear to be just now the objects of the assassin's attack, must avoid those dark, silent alleys, which are but seldom visited by the police, and which especially favour the designs of the murderer. Those who know Whitechapel well will remember how full Commercial-road, Leman-street, Whitechapel-road, Ratcliff-highway, and Shadwell are of noisome lanes and nooks and crannies where a murder might be committed and not be discovered for hours. It is into these very places that the poor women leads the villain who is in search of their lives, protecting him from danger by their own knowledge of localities where the police do not go, and whence no sound is likely to emerge. Sir Charles Warren pleads, too, for more light in these purlieus of Whitechapel, and that suggestion is an excellent one. But it is not the less to be remembered that, though more gas may prevent such outrages as of late disgraced the East-end of London, Mitre-square, George-yard and Hanbury-street were all fairly well lit, and that in the two former named localities, the horrible deed was committed within twenty yards of a lamp post, The best safeguard for the women is for them to give up the practices which have facilitated the deaths of so many of their number. Were ten times as many policemen stationed in Whitechapel as now they could not keep watch over every slum in the place. The women have the means of protecting themselves in their power, and if they persist in aiding the murderer to compass their destruction, they have nobody to blame but themselves. This, putting aside all sensationalism, is the right way to regard the situation. The advice given to the Whitechapel authorities is embodied in the words, "Reclaim your women and light your streets" - the police will do what they can, but without your aid they are practically powerless.
Sir Charles Warren has made one very strong point in his letter to the Whitechapel District Board of Works; and that is in the rebuke which he deals to them for utterly insufficient lighting of Whitechapel and its surroundings. The District Board of Works can best prove its ability to perform the functions of Sir Charles Warren - which, we will admit, might be performed better - when it performs its own properly. "More light" is the cry of the poor people in the slums of Whitechapel at the present moment, and the fear of the unknown murderer is increased by the fears born of darkness.
THE WHITECHAPEL MURDERS
SIR, - It would be unwise to pin one's self entirely to one theory; but the presumption that the four last Whitechapel crimes have been the work of one individual is very strong, overwhelmingly so, because, although you might get two or more to combine to do such things for profit, you could hardly get them to do so for the sheer love of murder and mutilation. The ruffianism that prevails all over London, and especially in the East-end, also in some of our manufacturing towns, is due partly to the want of stringency in the law, but more to the utter callousness exhibited by Judges and Magistrates in its administration. The sentences inflicted for violence against the person are utterly ridiculous. For violent assaults on three persons, the other day, a Magistrate inflicted a sentence of £1 5s., or fourteen days; comment on such leniency is unnecessary. Had the man stole a watch worth ten shillings perhaps he would have had three months. The lash for aggravated assaults when totally unprovoked, would almost entirely suppress them. Minimum sentences should be fixed, for both Judges and Magistrates have shown themselves unworthy of discretionary power. Prosecutors, as well as prisoners, should have a right of appeal. - Yours truly,
Most public men have to suffer much in the course of their lives at the hands of reporters. This fact will, perhaps, comfort Mr. A. J. Robinson, the rector of Whitechapel, when he reads the summary of his letter to the Whitechapel Vestry in this morning's papers.
Mr. Robinson is made to say: - "So great was the horror felt in the district, and so detrimental had the murders been to business, that he trusted the murderer would be speedily caught." This reads as though he would have no such trust if there had been no horror and no interference with business; but of course Mr. Robinson meant nothing of the kind.
We are sure to catch the murderer now, for yesterday Mr. Matthews was engaged for some hours at the Home Office on business relating to the murders, and had a prolonged interview with Sir Charles Warren. To make assurance doubly sure, the Anti-Sugar Bounty Agitators, who met at the Three Nuns, Aldgate, have formed a Workmen's Vigilance Committee to assist the police. We can all sleep comfortably in our beds now.
It is somewhat of a set-off to the unduly lenient sentences passed at the Middlesex Sessions, for violent assaults upon women, that Elsie Balmain, the married woman who robbed her husband of £76 in gold in order to elope with two men at the same time was let off with six weeks' imprisonment as a second-class misdemeanant.
Was there ever such a wretched exhibition of police imbecility than the notice distributed to the householders of Whitechapel, earnestly requesting them to communicate at once with the nearest police-station if they know of any person to whom suspicion is attached. There is probably not a single person in Whitechapel who does not know that private persons have offered rewards to the amount of some hundreds of pounds for the detection of the miscreant, yet the police ignore all of that.