6 October 1888
Your correspondent "Ernest Fisher" is quite mistaken in thinking noiseless boots for policemen on night duty ridiculous. Let him try a few nights at detective work. Others more competent then myself have seen the necessity of it. When a policeman suspects a burglary is going at a particular house, why does he approach it on tiptoe?
16 Lincoln in fields, W.C.
the numerical weakness of the London police being apparently an established fact, it behoves us to seize upon any "resource of civilisation" that will tend to reduce the admitted weakness. My suggestion may not be new, but that it is worthy of consideration I am convinced. It is simply the establishment of a police cyclist patrol. A few years back the idea would, doubtless, have been laughed to scorn. It may be toady, but whatever treatment the suggestion receives, that for rapid, silent, and economical patrol duty, the cycle stands pre-eminent. Indeed, its many advantages are so obvious, that it would be wasting your valuable space to specify them.
I beg to subscribe myself,
Bloodhounds that have been trained specially to act in the streets of London are not at all so uncommon as is supposed, and Sir Charles Warren is finding no difficulty in getting just what he wants in this line. On the minds of those who are best acquainted with the scenes of the late murders, the conviction is gaining that unless the miscreant who killed the poor women commits another murder he will never be caught.
Should he, however, achieve another crime, the bloodhounds should be ready to be "laid on" before the body of the murdered person is removed, and at least two hounds should be put on the scent at once. If possible, they should be kept a little underfed while at the police stations, and their masters should be at hand constantly to direct their efforts intelligently. A good bloodhound would probably prove worth fifty policemen.
Like, we suppose, most other papers, we have received letters from "Jack the Ripper" and from Lipski Redvivus, but, unlike some of our contemporaries which hunger and thirst after sensations, we treat such letters with contempt, and we should not now refer to the matter but to show how easily some papers are hoaxed or how low they will stoop for momentary notoriety.
We have received this morning a circular letter from Mr. Stephen Bourne, the Secretary of the Central Vigilance Society, of 15 York buildings, Adelphi; and accompanying Mr. Bourne's letter was another communication, signed by the Duke of Westminster, Lord Meath, and Sir Robert R.N. Fowler, M.P. The objects of the Central Vigilance Society are "To repress immorality; to promote enforcement and amendment of the law against immoral offences; to assist in the protection and reclamation of women and young girls; and to arouse public opinion, and to form local committees" The circular, signed by the Duke of Westminster and others, said:- "The records of our Courts of Justice, the diaries of our clergymen and district visitors, the facts to which none can shut their eyes, all unite in testifying that immorality is so rife as to be eating out our nation's life." The evil is admitted. But the question is, how to meet and conquer it, or, at all events, how to diminish it? Judging from the tone of the circulars, it appears that the Vigilance Society is bent more on the suppression than on the prevention of evil. The circular goes on to say:- "Hitherto there has not been any general effort for repression and prevention, and interference has been too often limited to the abatement of the nuisance, where it had become too open, by simply driving the perpetrators out of the district, rather than extended to such a punishment as may deter them from a repetition of the offence elsewhere. Thus, by leaving them to renew their misconduct in other localities, the authorities have incurred a tedious repetition of the process, oftentimes ending in the return of the offenders to their original haunts."
Now, we venture to ask, what substantial good in the long run is effected by a systematic policy of suppression? The chief officers of the Vigilance Society admit that hitherto that which has been driven from one district has reappeared in other districts, and they blame the authorities of the other districts for not resorting to similar punitive means. But is this persistent driving the evil from one district to another the best way to diminish it? Would not the moral energy used in repression be more productive of good is used in prevention? Lord Cowper when Lord Lieutenant of Ireland thought that the best way to get rid of Irish disaffection was to drive it under the surface. But he did not succeed! It has been found, or will be found, that ameliorative legislation, inspired by the spirit of justice, is more effective than repression. The circular says, "The suppression of houses of ill fame and the restraint of street solicitation, properly fall within the province of town councillors, officers of the poor, &c. The police authorities come in to aid the local officers." The circular, in fact, from beginning to end, is for more vigilance, for more repression, for more prosecution. But what if the causes of the malady remain untouched? Have we not, for instance, in our midst a prurient Press, which, for gain, will openly discuss, up to the verge of indecency, forbidden subjects, and in this way lend indirect encouragement to the immorality which the Vigilance Society would fain suppress? Let the Society endeavour to prevent, as well as punish, and let it frown down to the best of its ability papers which prostitute their pages by encouraging discussion on illicit subjects, and their endeavours will probably meet with richer reward.
Really, the murderer ought to be caught now. One paper publishes his portrait, Sir Charles Warren has begun training bloodhounds, and the Christian Instruction Society are to hold a prayer meeting about him at noon on Monday at the Young Men's Christian Association, Aldersgate street. Dr. Tyler and the Rev. Owen Evans will give brief addresses at the Aldersgate street meeting.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE ECHO.
I think, in common with all the female inhabitants of the Metropolis, I have a right to complain of a sensational morning paper. Why, while its artistic young man was sketching the Whitechapel murderer, did they not send for a constable or two, and given him into custody. I assume, of course, that the "likenesses" are real, for otherwise they would be a gross insult to an intelligent public. It is true that the "likeness" published by the same paper very nearly enabled Lefroy to escape, so completely unlike him was it in every respect. But I take it that this time the murderer has really been to Peterborough Court.
Now, Sir, could it have been part of the compact with the gentleman that of he would allow himself to be sketched he should not be given up? Or did he leave - with that horrified look which is depicted on his face in one of the drawings - in finding he was to be paid by cheque instead of cash, before a policeman could be sent for?
I certainly think that it was a strange omission on the part of the proprietors of the sheet in question to have no policeman ready to meet the murderer, and I hope that they have at any rate arranged that, now he is scot free once more, he will command no fresh outrages.
A Frightened Woman.
ITS STRENGTH, COST, AND DUTIES.
The annual report of the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis to the Home Secretary is issued today. The report is for the year 1887, and its contents are of special interest at the present moment. It states that there was an increase of two superintendents and 188 inspectors over the numbers of the previous year; but a decrease of 89 constables. The number of police available for service in the Metropolis is given as 12,460, which includes 26 superintendents, 766 inspectors, 1,174 sergeants, and 10,494 constables. An average of one fourteenth of the force is daily on leave. After deducting the casualties, there remained 8,773 police available for duty on the streets. Sixty per cent of this number is required for night duty - from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. The Metropolitan Police are extended over a radius of fifteen miles from Charing cross, embracing an area of 638 square miles.
"It will be seen," the Report goes on, "that there is great need for a very considerable augmentation and this has been so reported by the superintendents." The Metropolis paid in rates for police during the year £727,351, and the Treasury contributed £575,141 to the Police Fund. The pay of the force was £1,096,277. Since 1859, when the authorised strength of the force was only 5,493, there have been built 500,852 new houses, while 3,463 are in course of erection; 1,833 miles of new streets have been added to the charge of the police, and the population has increased from 2,473,738 to 5,476,447. The Commissioner again points out that the rapid increase, both of buildings and population, of late years, has outrun the increase which it has been possible to make to the Police Force. It will be interesting to a certain class of gentlemen to know that the policeman's truncheon is made of hard cocus wood.
With regard to clubs, the Commissioner is of opinion that many of them are little better than unlicensed public houses, and thinks all clubs should be placed under supervision. The Commissioner refers top the "attempts" made by "unruly mobs" to "riot in Trafalgar square," but the proceedings were (he said) "successfully coped with by the police." For those and other arduous services the special medals worn by the police were awarded. During the year, 959 registered common lodging houses were under the control of the police, and these accommodated 31,351 lodgers. Of this large number only three keepers of registered houses were summoned and convicted for infringements of the Acts.
SUPPOSED MURDERER'S PORTRAIT RECOGNISED.
THE POLICE ON HIS TRACK.
THE MURDERED WOMAN'S COMPANION.
BLOODHOUNDS TO BE USED.
There has been a startling development in the mysterious tragedies in Whitechapel. The police have now a tangible clue - a distinct, definite clue. This clue they even hope will actually lead to the capture of the murderer. They have now something like evidence of his identity - or, at least, of a man who is believed to be him. As news of this fact comes to hand, we also learn that the authorities, having satisfied themselves of the practicability of using bloodhounds in special cases in the streets of London, have made arrangements for their future use in the Metropolis.
A man has been identified - or, rather, the sketch portrait of a man has been. This man is believed to be the fellow who was talking to the murdered woman in Berner street within a quarter of an hour of the time when she was killed. He has been identified by the man Packer, who declares that he saw him two doors from the scene of the murder late on Saturday night. It was noticed that Packer, as also another important witness, at once rejected the faces of men of a purely sensuous type, and that they thus threw aside the portraits of several noted American criminals. Both witnesses inclined to the belief that the manís age was not more than 30, in which estimate they were supported by the police constable, who guessed him to be 28. If the impressions of two men, who, it may be supposed, have actually conversed with the alleged murderer, be correct, then an important piece of evidence has been discovered.
This is how Packer describes the incident which brought the man to his notice:-
On Saturday night, about half past eleven o'clock, this man and the woman he has identified as the deceased, came to the fruiterer's shop which he keeps. It was not necessary for them to enter it, as customers usually stand upon the pavement, and make their purchases through the window, which is not a shop front of the ordinary kind. Packer is certain that a woman, who wore dark jacket and a bonnet with some crepe stuff in it, was playing with a white flower which she carried. The man was square built, about 5ft 7in in height, thirty years of age, full in the face, dark complexioned, without moustache, and alert looking. His hair was black. He wore a long black coat and soft felt hat. It seemed to Packer that he was a clerk, and not a working man. He spoke in a quick, sharp manner, and stood in front of the window. The man purchased half a pound of black grapes, which were given to him in a paper bag, and he paid threepence in coppers. The couple then stood near the gateway of the club for a minute or so, and afterwards crossed the road and remained talking by the Board school for some time. They were still then when Packer had had supper, and when he went to bed; and Mrs. packer remarked it as strange that they should remain, for rain was falling at the time. It is a remarkable circumstance - much more than an ordinary coincidence - that the description of the supposed murderer given by Packer was yesterday confirmed by another man who, without being aware of the fact, also chose from the sketches the one which had been already selected by Packer.
Search for an individual answering to the description, but having a small moustache and wearing a black deerstalker felt hat, instead of a soft one, has been made by the police in Whitechapel since Saturday, Sept. 1, the day following the Buck's row tragedy. Information was tendered at the King David's lane Police Station, at about that time, by a dairyman who has a place of business in Little Turner street, Commercial road. It will be recollected that on Saturday, Sept. 1, a desperate assault was reported to have been committed near to the music hall in Cambridge heath road, a man having seized a woman by the throat and dragged her down a court, where he was joined by a gang, one of whom laid a knife across the woman's throat, remarking, "We will serve you as we did the others." The particulars of this affair were subsequently stated to be untrue; but the milkman had reason to suppose that the outrage was actually perpetrated, and he suspects that the murderer of Mary Ann Nicholls in Buck's row had something to do with it.
At any rate, upon that Saturday night, at a few minutes to eleven o'clock, a man, corresponding with the description given by Packer of the individual who purchased the grapes in Berner street, called at the shop, which is on the left of a covered yard, is daily occupied by barrows, which are let out on hire. He was in a hurry, and he asked for a pennyworth of milk, with which he was served, and he drank it down at a gulp. Asking permission to go into the yard or shed, he went there, but the dairyman caught a glimpse of something white, and, having suspicions, he followed the man in the shed, and was surprised to discover that he had covered up his trousers with a pair of white overalls, such as engineers wear. The man had a staring look, and appeared greatly agitated. He made a movement forward, and the brim of his hard felt hat struck the dairyman, who is, therefore, sure of the kind that he was wearing. In a hurried manner the stranger took out of a black, shiny bag, which was on the ground, a white jacket, and rapidly put it on, completely hiding his cutaway black coat, remarking meanwhile, "It's a dreadful murder, isn't it?" although the subject had not been previously mentioned. Without making a pause the suspicious person caught up his bag, which was still open, and rushed into the street, towards Shadwell, sating, "I think I've got a clue." The matter was reported to the police, and although strict watch has been maintained for the appearance of the man, he has not been seen in the street since. He is said to have had a dark complexion, such as a seafaring man acquires. The style of collar that he was then wearing was of the turndown pattern. He had no marked American accent, and his general appearance was that of a clerk or student whose beard had been allowed three days' growth. His hair was dark, and his eyes large and staring.
This witness speaks of the man carrying a black shiny bag. It will be remembered that the man who called at the Three Nuns had a black shiny bag, and that the only man whom Mrs. Mortimer saw previously pass through Berner street had a black shiny bag. There are, of course, some divergences in the evidence of identity but the police are at last believed to have obtained a most important clue. They admit that one class of witness declares that the man had a beard, and that the other avers that he had not. But they point out that there was an hour between the two periods at which he was seen and that the man had ample time in that period to shave or get shaved. The features certainly bear a singular resemblance and that otherwise - the hat excepted - the second man answers the description of the first.
New York has reflected, of course, in a very diminished degree the excitement exhibited in London in the murders; and this excitement has been increased by an extraordinary story told there by an English sailor named Dodge. He says he arrived in London from China on August 13 by the steamship Glenorchy. He met at the Queen's Music Hall, Poplar, a Malay cook, named Alaska. The Malay said he had been robbed by women of bad character in Whitechapel of two years' savings, and he swore that unless he found the woman and recovered his money he would murder and mutilate every Whitechapel woman he met. He showed Dodge a double edged knife which he always carried with him. he was about 5ft 7in in height, 130 lb. in weight, and apparently 36 years of age. Of course he was very dark.
The City Police authorities at first, it is said, attached considerable importance to this telegram. Immediately on receipt of a copy of the cablegram detectives were sent to make inquiries at the Glen Line Steamship Company, the Sailors' Home, the Home for Asiatics, and other places in the East end where it was likely information respecting the Malay could be obtained.
A reporter called at the Home for asiatics, and was courteously received by Mr. Freeman, the manager and superintendent of that institution. Mr. Freeman stated that he had been at the Home for thirty years, and had never known a Malay of the name of Alaska. Malays, he said, are Mahomedans, and do not use European names. But a "Lascar" is the Mahomedan name for "seaman," and Dodge might have been misled. Most of the men who have lodged at the Home lately have used it for years whenever their ships are in London, but recently a crew of Japanese sailors had lodged there, and Mr. Freeman admitted that one of these men was a desperate character, for upon one occasion he stabbed three of his comrades, who were staying in the Home. He was arrested, but when the trial came on the injured men had taken ship and gone away. Again, about September 12, a riot occurred opposite the Home and a Japanese, named Suji Waxim, stabbed an "unfortunate" in a shocking manner, and was subsequently sentenced to six months' hard labour. On the day after this man was arrested the hall keeper of the Asiatic Home found a small but very sharp knife behind the stove in the hall. But, continued Mr. Freeman, it is a well known fact that these Asiatics rarely if ever travel even a short distance from the West India Docks. After they are discharged, and are waiting for another ship, they do not go far from the Home, but spend their time in the public houses, gambling dens, and immoral houses which abound in the neighbourhood.
The Queen's Music hall, where Dodge states he met "Alaska," is most luxuriously fitted up, in a style equal to many of the West end music halls. Mr. Wood, the manager, states that he had heard nothing of the alleged robbery of the Malay, and referred his inquirer to two attendants - Alexander Nowlan and Henry Pierce - who look after the boxes in which sailors returned from a voyage usually disport themselves. Both men declared that no such robbery could have taken place on the premises without their hearing of it, and, as far as they were aware, no such thing had happened. The Queen's Music hall accommodates about three thousand persons, and it is usually well filled. At the Exchange Tavern, where people congregate after the music halls are closed, nothing had been heard of the robbery referred to by Dodge. Mr. Axel Welin, secretary of the Scandinavian Sailors' Temperance House, West India Docks, was next applied to. This gentleman ransacked his books, but could find no trace either of Dodge or the Malay. Messrs. M'Gregor, Son and Company, owners of the Glen Line of steamers trading to Singapore, China, &c., stated that the Glenorchy sailed in April from London to China, and returned on August 14. After taking in cargo at Antwerp she again sailed for China on September 8, and was last reported on Sept. 23 at Suez. They have no one named Alaska on board. The chief cook of the Glenorchy is a thoroughly respectable Chinaman, who has been in the service of the firm for many years, and they have no Malays on the ship. When the Glenorchy passed Gravesend on the last voyage the captain telegraphed that all the crew were on board.
POLICE ACTIVITY IN THE EAST END.
A representative of the Press Association, who visited Whitechapel from time to time throughout the night, says the forces of the Metropolitan and City police were during the whole night working with unusual energy, but unobserved by the casual pedestrian. If ever the resources of out police were taxed, it was last night. Not only was Whitechapel under an observation hitherto, perhaps, unprecedented, but the whole of the Metropolis is under an extraordinarily keen surveillance, in order to track the mysterious miscreant who, it is ever now feared, will repeat his dreadful exploit - and perhaps where he is least expected. Our detective system has, during the past week, been increased to an almost abnormal extent by men drawn from the ranks. These have been sent out in plain clothes to patrol the streets.
Between the hours of one and two this morning Aldgate and Whitechapel presented a most melancholy appearance. With the exception of a dozen or so poor homeless women, who prowl about the neighbourhood, the thoroughfares were deserted. Even the gaslight in this particular district would have favoured the object of the murderer had he been intent on his terrible work, and afforded him very facility in his business. This, too, was in the main thoroughfares; what it was in the bye turnings would probably reflect less credit on those responsible.
It was evident that the police were out in strong force. As one traversed the main roads, officers appeared to be doing duty at about every four or five hundred yards from one another; while a policeman was to be seen or heard in every side street. In the City, at Aldgate, and near Mitre square the officers were to be seen walking in couples. The utter absence of plain clothes officers and detectives from the streets - or rather from view - was certainly surprising to one who knew they were about in large numbers. It is an undisputed fact that the authorities have realised the necessity of, if possible, catching the miscreant in the act. Therefore there is motive in concealing the detectives from view in the courts, alleys, and squares which abound in this neighbourhood. It is remarkable to find a general belief among the police that, should they catch him in the act, he will undoubtedly endeavour to make "short work" of them. They believe him to be a very strong and powerful man. the members of the "vigilance force" are working with a secrecy equal to that of the trained men.
Last night was, however, a quiet night, only two arrests were made, and these prisoners were soon revealed to have had no connection with the crimes. However, the night was full of rumour and exaggeration. The first of these rumours came from Islington. It was reported that a man had been apprehended in Packington street, Essex road, and had been conveyed to the Upper street Police station, where he was detained. An inquiry here elicited the fact that a man had been arrested in Packington street, but certainly not in connection with the murders. He was seen by one of the plain clothes officers, who was on the lookout for the East end suspects to have pockets more than usually bulky, and as he was not able to satisfy the officer, he was taken to the police station. His pockets were filled with card cases. A second rumour, which made its appearance about one a.m., was even far more exciting than this. This is how the story runs: A few minutes before midnight a cab, containing two men and a woman, was seen to pass along Brick lane, not one of the best thoroughfares in Spitalfields, and to stop in a dark portion of the lane. the two men bore the body of the "unconscious" woman from the cab, and deposited it on the pavement, afterwards re-entering the vehicle and driving rapidly away. While the police were attending to the "unconscious woman" one of the men was observed to return. He was given into custody, and was conveyed to the Commercial street Police station. It however transpired, after a little inquiry, that no arrest had been made, and that the scene supposed to have been provoked by the Whitechapel murderer, was nothing more than a drunken brawl, the participators in which voluntarily went to Commercial street Police station to have their dispute settled by the Inspector.
The police at Whitechapel continue to receive telegraphic information from all parts of London and the suburbs, and even from the provinces, of persons answering the published descriptions of the supposed assassins. In some cases - for instance, those communicated from hackney, Woolwich, and Shadwell during the night - the suspects not only answer the police descriptions, but brandish knives, with the exclamation "I'm Jack the Ripper," but when a stick is raised, the men are said to take to their heels.
It is pointed out that the murderer, after the commission of his last crime, undoubtedly proceeded from Mitre square, by way of Church passage, Duke street, Houndsditch, Gravel lane, Storey lane, to Goulston street, at which spot all clue appears to have been lost of him. In this neighbourhood he evidently entered one of the notorious houses to which admission cannot be obtained without elaborate arrangements and a certain amount of danger. It would take about ten minutes for a person to get from Mitre square to the neighbourhood, so that the murderer was well away from the scene, and perhaps safely under cover, before Constable Watkins obtained even medical assistance after the discovery of the body.
TELEGRAM TO SIR C. WARREN.
The following telegram was received by the Metropolitan Police at 11.55 p.m. last night. It was handed in at an office in the Eastern District at 8 p.m.:-
"Charles Warren, Head of the Police
News Central Office.
If you are willing enough to catch me I am now in City road lodgings, but number you will have to find out, and I mean to do another murder tonight in Whitechapel.
Yours, Jack the Ripper."
A letter was also received at the Commercial street Police station by the first post this morning. It was addressed to the "Commercial street Police station" in black lead pencil, and the contents of the communication were also written in pencil. It was couched in ridiculous language. The police believe it to be the work of a lunatic. It was signed "Jack the Ripper," and asserted that he was "going to work" in Whitechapel last night. He added that he was going to commit another murder in the Goswell road tonight, and spoke of having "several bottles of blood under ground in Epping Forest," and frequently referred to "Jack the Ripper under the ground."
Detective Inspector Abberline has been informed of the correspondence, and the police of the G Division have been communicated with.
The telegram has been proved to have been handed in at the chief office of the Eastern District in Commercial road, but no information is forthcoming as to how it came to accepted by the telegraphic authorities or by whom it was handed in.
THIS TIME AT BIRMINGHAM.
At the Police court, today, a man, giving the name of Alfred Napier Blanchard, a canvasser, from London, was charged on his own confession with committing the Whitechapel murder. Prisoner was arrested on the strength of the statement he had been making in a public house, this statement containing a circumstantial account of his proceedings. He now denied any connection, and explained his confession by pleading the mental excitement caused by reading about the affair. He was remanded till Monday. the police do not consider the arrest important.
A PLEA FOR WHITECHAPEL WOMEN.
The recurring crimes in the East end have prompted "S.G.O." to write to the Times a plea for the large class of "unfortunates" amongst whom the assassin has played such terrible havoc of late. There is, he says, already a panic upon the pavement. Those who have to tread it in their sad midnight calling, one to which they had served an early apprenticeship, must be content to starve. It has been no writing on the wall which has thus warned the "unfortunates;" the order to depart is writ in crimson on that pavement, on those secluded spots, to which the wearied feet of the midnight seeker of the harlot's hire, by force of necessity, are but too willingly led. Having contrasted the condition of the "unfortunate" with that of her more fortunate sister, he says there is one crumb of comfort in the method by which these poor outcasts were done to death. There can have been little bodily suffering, yet who can say what that one instant of feeling may have been, when the clutch of the murderer's hand on the throat of his victim flashed on her sense? This is he whose fell work had formed the theme of the "unfortunates'" talk for many an hour. After having vividly sketched the ultimate fate of the poor outcast, he says: "It is well that the fact should be pressed that all rank, wealth, high position is held in trust, has its duties as well as its privileges. The deeds may not be engrossed, the breach penalty may not be open to the eye, the day of its enforcement may be delayed; but come it will, and that often when least expected."
EXCITING SCENE IN BRICK LANE.
An incident which caused a great deal of excitement in Whitechapel at the time occurred last night in Brick lane, one of the thoroughfares forming the outside limit of the district locally known as the "drum." Shortly before midnight a woman was found lying insensible in the street. An excited crowd quickly collected. It seems that at about half past eleven o'clock three men noticed a hansom cab containing two men and a woman turn down Air street. Having reached a dark railway arch the men in the cab got out and deposited upon the ground the woman, who was apparently insensible. The three men who were watching, having their suspicions aroused, raised an alarm. The other two men jumped into the cab, and the cabman drove hurriedly off. One of the men, however, returned to the spot where the woman had been deposited, and was pointed out to a constable, who took him to the Commercial road Police station. He gave the name of Johnson, but as he was unable to dispel the suspicions of the police he was detained. The police at once instituted inquiries, as a result of which Johnson was discharged shortly afterwards. It was established that he had no connection with the murders. The woman who was with him was his wife, and as they were both intoxicated when they alighted from the hansom under the archway, which is a very dark spot, and failed to give any explanation, they were taken to Commercial street Station. A relative named Mills, residing in the vicinity, to whom, it seems, they were going, called at the police station and on his statement they were released. The incident happening as it did in a very dark and suspicious neighbourhood, naturally attracted the attention of the passers by, and no end of excitement prevailed, as the affair was speedily connected with the murders.
MORE REMAINS FOUND.
AN ARREST EXPECTED.
THE MAKER OF THE SILK SKIRT.
The police engaged in prosecuting inquiries relative to the discovery in the new police buildings on the Embankment are eliciting several sensational links of evidence. It seems that the remains spoken of as having been discovered yesterday at Guildford were in reality found there on 24th August. It is a very singular fact, and one that goes a long way to assist the police in determining whether the mangled foot and leg can be associated with the body found in Whitehall, that the piece of paper found upon the latter was part of an issue of August 24. The remains found at Guildford consist of a right foot and a portion of a left leg, from the knee down to the ankle, where it had been severed. The police doctor examined the limbs at the time, and certified them to be human; whilst he also considered them to be those of a woman but the flesh had either been roasted or boiled. No clue had been found to solve the mystery; but after the discovery at Whitehall Superintendent Berry, of the Guildford Borough Police Force, communicated with the authorities at Scotland yard, with the result that Detective Inspector Marshall, who has the mystery in hand, proceeded to Guildford yesterday, and had the remains disinterred. He conveyed them in the evening to London. Mr. Marshall stated that, of course, he could form no opinion as to whether the limbs were part of the trunk, but on his arrival in London, he would immediately take them to Dr. Bond and Dr. Hibbert, by whom they would be carefully examined.
The police do not disguise the fact that they have obtained important information, which will lead to the identification of the murdered woman and possibly to the arrest of the perpetrator of the crime. One officer states that the maker of the silk shirt in which the body was found has been discovered. The maker is the proprietor of a West end establishment. having discovered so much, it is probable the person who ordered and received the skirt will be reached. Thus some sensational development of the case is anticipated.
The date of the committal of the crime was fixed under rather peculiar circumstances. The piece of a London paper adhering to the remains was only about six inches long and four broad. Upon searching the files at the office of the paper, however, it was found that it was a portion of an edition published on the 24th of August. The doctors and the police thereupon came to the conclusion, comparing this with post mortem indications, that the deed must have been committed either on that date or shortly anterior thereto.
Mr. Edward Deuchar has communicated some information to the police which may afford a clue to the discovery of the man who deposited the body of the woman in Whitehall and the arm in the Thames. Mr. Deuchar is a commercial traveller, and a little over three weeks ago he went on a tram car from Vauxhall Station to London bridge. According to the Morning Advertiser, he noticed a man on the car carrying a parcel. He would not have taken particular notice of the parcel but for the fact that there was a terrible smell emanating from it. The olfactory organs of most of the passengers were affected by the extraordinary stench which pervaded all the car. A lady gave her husband, who was sitting next to the man, some lavender to hold to his nose. The parcel seemed to be heavy. the man carried it with extreme care under his arm. It was tied up in brown paper. The top of it was under his arm while he held the corner end in his hand.
Mr. Deuchar says the man looked ill at ease and agitated. He described him as a powerfully built man, of rough appearance, with a goatee beard, and rather shabbily dressed. Mr. Deuchar is confident that he could recognise him again. The car went on, and when at the Obelisk, St. George's circus, several persons alighted. Mr. Deuchar still remained on the car, but when about thirty yards past the Obelisk, said, "This stink is awful; I can't stand it any longer," and proceeded to go out. Just at that moment the suspicious looking individual with the parcel asked the conductor, "Have we passed the Obelisk yet?" and then jumped out. Mr. Deuchar, when he had descended and walked some distance towards London bridge, called a policeman's attention to the retreating form of the "man with the stinking parcel," and told him to "keep an eye on him."
NO IMPORTANCE ATTACHED TO IT.
The Exchange Telegraph Company learns that the police authorities do not attach much importance to the reported discovery of a woman's arm at Guildford. It is simply a bone from which the flesh has been roughly hacked, and in any case it would be impossible to connect it with the trunk discovered at Whitehall.
At the meeting of the Hackney Vestry last night, a discussion arose on the topic of the East end murders. The Local Ratepayers' Association wrote asking the Vestry to memorialise the Home Secretary to supply the district with a larger number of police constables, especially plain clothes men. After discussing the matter, several of the members having stated that there were frequent robberies in the neighbourhood, it was decided to appoint a Special Committee to consider the matter.