22 October 1888
A SINGULAR KNIFE STORY
VIGILANCE COMMITTEEMEN'S COMPLAINT
There has been an extraordinary statement made to the Bow-road Police by an intelligent boy. He said that a short time previously he was walking on the banks of the Lea, near Bow-bridge when he observed a strange man a short distance off, half hidden by the outer wall of a factory. The man was stooping over the river-bank, washing a knife, and the boy came so suddenly upon him that he noticed blood upon it. The moment the man observed the approach of the intruder, he threw the knife away, and made his escape. The boy however, made a search and found the weapon, and took it to the station, where it was examined by Inspector Hawkins, and found to be about a foot long, very sharp, and with a hook at one end, such a knife as is used by leather sellers for cutting their materials. The knife remains at the station.
The police will now probably be left to their own devices. Other matters distract the attention of busy journalists; and the members of the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee are beginning to complain of the voluntary strain which they have imposed upon themselves. Many of them are, indeed, feeling the effects of the self-imposed night patrols upon their health. These are talking of leaving the matter entirely in the hands of the police, who, they feel assured are doing all that can possibly be done. The kidney incident - now generally regarded as a hoax - is still the chief topic of conversation in the locality. However, the police are apparently no nearer the unravelling of the mysterious incidents associated with it than before. Now they will probably relax their efforts in regard to it.
ADJOURNED INQUEST TO-DAY
NO CLUE YET
The Jury empanelled to inquire into the circumstances attending the death of a woman - a portion of whose dismembered body has been found under the new police building in Whitehall - again assembled at the Sessions House, Westminster, this afternoon. The murder, however, is still enveloped in mystery. The police have up to the present, been unable to identify the woman, nor have they succeeded in obtaining any clue which would lead to the capture of the murderer.
Mr. Troutbeck was the Coroner, and Inspector Marshall attended on behalf of the police authorities.
The principal evidence given was that with regard to the discovery of the leg and foot in the vaults last week.
William Brown first called. He said he was foreman of the works at Whitehall, and had visited the vaults on the Friday previous to the discovery of the leg. On that occasion he took some measurements. He had a lamp with him, and he measured the corner where the body had been found. He did not, however, notice anything there. "There had been no digging in that corner," said witness, "since June last. The place had been left without a watchman every Saturday and Sunday throughout the year."
(The report will be continued)