29 October 1888
POLICE ACTIVE - STILL NO CLUE
No one is - so an Echo reporter was informed on making inquiries this morning - now detained in connection with the murders at Whitechapel and Mitre-square, though the authorities do not despair of ultimately securing the criminal. The suggestions sent to Inspector Abberline, Inspector Reid, and Inspector Helson, as to information about "clues," have materially diminished in number of late, while the officers under Inspector McWilliams, chief of the City detective force, assert that nothing of a really tangible character has transpired. The man who was recently suspected - a resident of Batty-street, near where Lipski lived - has been exonerated. Though certain suspicious circumstances needed explanation, his innocence has been established.
The theory that the murderer of these unfortunate women is a lunatic is now dispelled by the opinion given to the police by an expert in the treatment of lunacy patients. Had the criminal been deranged, it is thought as almost certain that fresh crimes would have been perpetuated by him. "If he's insane," observed the medical authority, "he's a good deal sharper than those who are not."
The various districts are being patrolled by extra constables, and their zeal has lead them into several excesses, notably, an arrest of three young men made on Thursday night in Berner-street. The police, according to a morning contemporary, have so much in mind the vague stories of an American perpetrator of the dastardly crimes that any person in a wide-a-wake or soft felt becomes an object of suspicion. A comic singer was unfortunate enough during a professional visit on Thursday to Whitechapel to wear one of these hats; and when during the interval he and two friends strolled round the neighbourhood, to view the scene of the Berner-street tragedy, they were promptly denounced by some too quick-sighted citizen and marched off by the police. It is only due to the latter to say they were detained but a very short time, sufficient to test the truth of their statement. It is stated that the words, "I shall do another murder, and will receive her heart," have been found written in chalk on the on the footway in Camplin-street, Deptford.
This morning, between eleven and twelve o'clock, the body of a man was discovered embedded in the mud on the foreshore of the Thames, close to St. Paul's Pier. It was extricated by the police and taken to the mortuary, where it was seen by a doctor, who stated that life had not long been extinct. The body was that of a man apparently about 40 years old, and 5ft. high. He was very poorly dressed, and there was nothing whatever on the body to lead to identification.
The French Government have gone too far in one direction in which the British people have not gone far enough. The French Government insist that all foreigners in France shall particularise who they are, where they come from, how long they have been in France, what are their professions, &c., for registration purposes. All foreigners who do not comply with the prescribed conditions incur penalties.
How different in England, and particularly in London! Hither the criminals and the paupers, the subjects of persecution and the infirm, may stream without let or hindrance; and we have to maintain not only our own poor, but the poverty-stricken and unfortunate of other lands as well. If in France they are too exacting, in this country we are not exacting enough.