Another atrocious murder, and committed in the same district, on a member of the same unfortunate class, and doubtless by the same villain. It is now certain enough that there is a human fiend in our midst, who murders and mutilates his victims from sheer devilry. He does not appear to be animated by a motive of gain, or of jealously, or revenge, or, in fact, by an ordinary impulse which nerves the hand of murderers. He kills apparently for the sake of killing, or to scarify society. It is supposed by some that he must be a maniac; if so, he puts method in his madness, as his purposes appear to be skilfully planned. He has realised De Quincy's fiction by making murder a fine art. He arranges his plans with considerable calculation. He selects his own time, does his bloody work, provides for his own escape, and no doubts gloats and glories over his successes. It is too evident now that the man - it must be a being wearing the shape of a man - is no common murderer. He is clever in his arrangements, adroit in hi methods, and successful in his work. Anyway, he has managed to kill seven women, to startle the country, and to escape without leaving a clue behind. Society is, in fact, confronted with a subtle enemy, and the question is, How is he to be caught and killed? It is easy enough to find fault with the police. But would the faultfinders do better if they directed the duties of Scotland-yard? There is scarcely a rascal in London but who would throw a stone at a policeman if he had the chance. Many of the denunciations now levelled against the head of Sir Charles Warren come from men who have reason to feel the weight of Sir Charles Warren's hand. The Home Office has been subject to reproach for not offering rewards. No doubt, opinions differ about the utility of such rewards. We, however, fail to see how offering a reward could do any substantial harm, whereas it might do good. Much has also been said about the employment of bloodhounds to track murderers. It is well to know whether they have in this, the last instance, been tried. And if not, why not? The police will not justify themselves in the public mind unless everything might reasonably be done has been done in the circumstances. The outlook is gloomy enough, but even this dark cloud has a silver lining. Society has just heard another trumpet voice condemnatory of vice and selfishness, and asking for more remedial workers - not only for the East-end, but for all London. Recent murders have assisted to drive vice and crime from courts and alleys. The last and most shocking murder of all will assist in some degree, and possibly in a considerable degree, to drive vice and crime from miserable homes and houses. Fear is a teacher as well as love. Let men and women fear to visit the haunts of vice and fewer visits will be made.
We have received the following official communication from Sir Charles Warren:- "Murder. Pardon. Whereas, on Nov. 8th or 9th, in Miller's-court, Dorset-street, Spitalfields, Mary Janette Kelly was murdered by some person or persons unknown, the Secretary of State will advise the grant of Her Majesty's gracious pardon to any accomplice, not being a person who contrived or actually committed the murder, who shall give such information and evidence as shall lead to the discovery and conviction of the person or persons who committed the murder. - (Signed) Charles Warren, the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis."
Late last night hundreds of people came surging down Commercial-street round a posse of police who guarded a tall, rather vigorous-looking man, who looked flushed and defiant, and was evidently strongly believed by the mob to be the assassin. It went from mouth to mouth that he blood on his clothes. The crowd in the wildest excitement rushed down to the station, but of course were excluded. What degree of importance was to be attached to the arrest could not then be known. The man was given into custody by some women as one who had accosted them on the previous night, and whose conduct was suspicious. The prisoner was, however, released - so the police announce - during to-day, his statements being verified. The second arrest was made in the small hours of the mourning, when a man, apparently a foreigner, was brought to Commercial-street, on suspicion. He was still detained this morning, but no importance is attached to the apprehension, and eventually he, too, was discharged.
A representative of the Press Association, who has been prosecuting inquiries in Spitalfields throughout the night says:- With the closing of the local taverns the excitement abated, and the neighbourhood assumed its normal appearance. Between the hours of one and four nothing which may be termed unusual occurred. Women of the unfortunate class paraded the several highways with an unconcernedness which may be termed remarkable, considering the recent hideous crime which had been committed. The drafts of auxiliary detectives which have been requisitioned since the perpetration of the Mitre-square and Berner-street tragedies, from the suburban districts, performed their unenviable duties in the regulation manner; and to a casual pedestrian who may have passed through the district after midnight nothing whatever existed to denote the commission of a crime of a character hitherto unknown in the annuals of the police.
The police state that they have adopted every possible precaution to entrap the fiend without success and now that he adopted the precaution of dissecting his unfortunate victims in their own houses their ends are completely defeated. Notwithstanding every effort the police assert that they have failed to establish the time at which or about the crime was committed. Many persons who have been interviewed, state that the unfortunate woman never left her house at Dorset-street after she had entered it on Thursday night, while, on the other hand, numerous persons, who declare that they were companions of the deceased and know her well, state that she came out of her house at eight o'clock on Friday morning for provisions, and furthermore, that they were drinking with her in the Britannia, a local tavern, at ten o'clock on the same morning as her mutilated body was found at eleven.
Our representative has interviewed a woman named Kennedy, who was on the night of the murder staying with her parents at a house situate in the court immediately opposite the room in which the body of Mary Kelly was found. This woman's statement, if true - and there is very little reason for doubting its veracity - establishes the time at which the murderer commenced his operation upon his victim. She states that about three o'clock on Friday morning she entered Dorset-street on her way to her parents' house, which is situated immediately opposite that in which the murder was committed. She noticed three persons at the corner of the street near the Britannia public-house. There was a man - a young man, respectably dressed, and with a dark moustache - talking to a woman whom she did not know, and also a female poorly clad and without any headgear. The man and woman appeared to be the worse for liquor, and she heard the man say, "Are you coming?" whereupon the woman, who appeared to be ? , turned in an opposite direction to watch the man apparently ? her to go. Mrs Kennedy went on her way, and nothing unusual occurred until about ? hour later. She states that she did not retire to rest immediately she reached her parents' abode, but sat up and between ? three and a quarter to four she heard a cry of "Murder." in a woman's voice proceed from the direction in which Mary Kelly's room was situated. As the cry was not repeated, she took no further ? of the circumstance until the morning when she found the police in ??? place, preventing all egress in the ?? of the small house in the court.
Mrs Kennedy has supplemented that statement by the following - on Wednesday evening about ? o'clock, she and her ? were in the neighbourhood of Bethnal-green when they were accosted by a very ? ? man about 40 years of age. He was ? jacket, over which he had ???. He had a black moustache, and wore a billycock hat. He invited them to accompany him into a lonely spot. He made ?? strange remarks, and appeared to be ??. He was very white in the face and made every endeavour to prevent them looking him straight in the face. He carried a black bag. He avoided walking with them ??? way into a very dark ?? in the back of the workhouse, inviting them to follow, which they did. He then opened a small door in a pair of large gates and requested one of them to follow him. The women then became suspicious ?? in a very strange and ???? and refused to leave his bag in the possession of one of the females. Both women became alarmed at his actions, and escaped at the same time raising an alarm of "Jack the Ripper!" A gentleman who was passing is stated to have intercepted the man while the women made their escape. Mrs Kennedy asserts that the man whom she saw on Friday morning with the woman at the corner of Dorset-street resembled very closely the individual who caused such alarm on the previous night, and that she would recognise him again if confronted with him.
This description of the man suspected of the murder tallies exactly with that in the possession of the police of a man who is believed to have entered the murdered woman's house.
"Whitechapel is to-day in a state of ferment." So an Echo reporter writes this morning. As was the case yesterday, when the news spread of the tragedy, the wildest rumours are current respecting the possible identity of the maniac murderer. That he is a homicidal lunatic, with an abnormal passion and a "love for killing," there is now little doubt in the minds of some of the six medical men who are professionally connected with the case. Dr. G.B. Phillips, the divisional surgeon of the H Division, whose reticence is justified by an assurance he gave of secrecy, has copious notes of the result of the post-mortem examination, and with nearly every conclusion at which he has arrived. Dr. Thomas Bond, of Westminster, a well-known expert on crimes of violence, agrees. Dr. Phillips has only vaguely indicated to the local police the result of his investigations, but a report on the question has, it has been asserted, been jointly made by him and Dr. Bond, and submitted to Sir Charles Warren. It is believed to be the medical opinion hat the woman was killed in her sleep, or while in a partially comatose condition arising from drink.
From investigations made by our reporter this morning, it appears that Mary Jane has been a tenant of Mr. McCarthy's for ten months. When she took the room she was accompanied by Barnett, whom she assured the landlord was her husband. Until recently they lived on the most affectionate terms, a statement to-day confirmed by Annie Govan, a young woman living in the court, who knew the deceased well; while Elizabeth Smith, also lodging there, remarked, "I have known her a long time. She and Barnett were as happy as possible until she gave way to drink." Prior to lodging in Miller's-court, the murdered woman lived at 35, Dorset-streets - a common lodging-house, frequented at the time by Annie Chapman, one of the East-end victims - while her place of abode previous to that was curiously enough in Flower and Dean-street. The front room where the crime was committed is the most public in the court, and the whole of the residents had to pass by the window either on their exit to Dorset-street or to get their water supply.
The police authorities in different parts of the metropolis received complaints during last night from females who belong to the unfortunate class, that they had been accosted and threatened by a man answering the description of the man supposed to be the murderer, but who, on seeing other person approaching towards him, ran away. In the pillar letter-box at the corner of Northumberland-street and Marylebone-road was found a letter directed to the police. Its contents were as follows:- "Dear Boss, - I shall be busy to-morrow night in Marylebone. I have two booked for blood. - Yours, JACK THE RIPPER. Look out about ten o'clock, Marylebone-road." A man, who is alleged to answer the description of the murderer, is said to have entered a common lodging-house at Whitechapel last night. A conversation on the murder took place, and at once the man left.
The circumstances connected with the tragedy are more mysterious than ever. Some persons have reiterated the statement that the unfortunate woman was seen between eight and nine o'clock yesterday morning. One of her companions, more positive than the rest saw Mary Jane Kelly at nine o'clock, and the officers of justice are this afternoon inquiring into the truth or otherwise of the woman's assertion. From the nature of the mutilations and the loss of blood the doctors can only form a very vague idea as to the time when death actually occurred. If, as assured, the crime actually took place in daylight time, the miscreant could only have completed his work - which, it is calculated, could scarcely have been done in less time than an hour - a few minutes before the ghastly discovery was made. It is stated that there is still mystery attaching to the pilot-coat found in the dead woman's room.
The investigation made by the doctors yesterday was not the final one, mainly because the room was ill-adapted for the purpose of carrying out a complete autopsy. The post-mortem examination-in-chief was only commenced this morning, at the early hour of half-past seven, when Dr. Phillips, Dr. Bond, Dr. Hibbert, and other experts attended. Some portions of the body are missing, and, says an Echo reporter, writing at two o'clock this afternoon, Dr. Phillips and Dr. Bond, accompanied by Inspector Moor, Inspector Abberline, and Inspector Reid, are again paying a visit to Miller's-court, in order to examine the ashes found in the grate, as it is thought small parts of the body may have been burnt.
A laughable incident - to the crowd - was witnessed by an Echo reporter shortly before twelve o'clock to-day in Commercial-street. A gentlemanly man, well-dressed, with a silk hat of faultless appearance, paid a visit to Dorset-street in order to see the spot where the murder was committed. Turning into a bye street he was immediately assailed by two roughs, who raised a cry of "Jack the Ripper." The gentleman rushed madly along Commercial-street, followed by a mob. Fortunately, a police constable on duty went to his rescue, and, for the sake of protection, the stranger was taken to Commercial-street Police-station. There an excited crowd gathered in front of the building, and the usual rumours spread amongst them as to the apprehension. The gentleman was a person of some position, in an extensive way of business at Tower-hill. He was immediately released, making his exit at the private entrance to the station at the back of the building.
One of the usual and very natural effects of these hideous crimes is that the police, shortly after their committal, are deluged with descriptions of persons supposed to be the murderer, and with reference to individuals whose movements are looked upon as suspicious. During the night and this morning several people have called at Leman-street Police-station and communicated to the police tit-bits of information which they imagine will have some bearing, important or otherwise upon the movements of the miscreant. "We don't pay much attention to some of these," candidly confessed a young officer this morning to an Echo reporter. "Some of these people only make their statements for the express purpose of getting what they can. For instance, one woman came up to me about five o'clock this morning. 'Sergeant,' she said, 'I've got a little bit of news for you.' Of course I asked her what it was in the usual way, and she went on to tell me, with an air of peculiar mystery, that she lived in Mansell-street, just off Aldgate. She had a lodger, a tall, dark foreigner. He was out all Thursday night, but he returned yesterday morning about nine o'clock. He appeared to be 'hurried,' paid for his room, and left immediately. She had not seen him since, and had no idea where he went. He left a small bag behind, and she, anticipating a prize, burst it open during the day, to find it contained - nothing."
This is only one of the numerous cases to which the attention of the police is directed. Here is another. The chief actors in this, too, are a landlady and a lodger. The latter was a medium-sized, well-spoken, and even police American, and the former a tiny little body, remarkable for her rotundity. She told the Leman-street police, with a very singular volubility, how her lodger was in the habit of staying out all night very frequently; how he had not been home for some days; and how she had found two knives in his portmanteau. The police went forthwith to the house of the lady, they instituted inquiries, and in less than an hour, learned that the wayward lodger was a slaughterman in a neighbouring butcher's establishment. Thus the police are kept constantly on the alert. Unfortunately, however, finding nothing that can lead to a clue.
Outside the gloomy passage leading to Miller's-court, this morning, a large and constantly increasing crowd of persons assembled. What their object was it is difficult to say. All they could possibly see were two stalwart constables guarding the entrance to the court, and a dirty aperture about six yards on the other side of which and entirely obscured view, is the house where the murder was committed. The bells of Christ's Church, over the way were ringing a merry peal during the morning and various people wended their way to morning service; but the Dorset-street crowd became larger and larger until at length the police found it necessary to compel the stolid spectators to "move on." The latest crime is, of course, the theme of every conversation in the neighbourhood, which is even more excited than when the Mitre-square and Berner-street tragedies occurred.
The inquest on the victim has been fixed for Monday next, at eleven o'clock at the Shoreditch Town-hall. A curious discussion has taken place as to which Coroner should hold the inquiry. Both Mr. Baxter and Dr. Macdonald were of the opinion that the murder occurred in their district, but the latter gentleman will conduct the inquiry.
Charles Sherwood and George Monkhouse, two medical students, who refused their addresses, were charged at the Mansion House, to-day, with disorderly and creating a disturbance in Ludgate-hill, and Sherwood was further charged with assaulting Sergeant Couldrey. The evidence of the officer and other constables was to the effect that the prisoners were with a mob of forty or fifty other students, creating a great disturbance in Ludgate-circus just before the Lord Mayor's procession arrived. Couldrey spoke to some of them and asked them to be quiet, and at that moment Sherwood struck him on the helmet with his umbrella. At the time Couldrey spoke to them they were engaged with sticks knocking people's hats off. Immediately Monkhouse was taken into custody, Sherwood shouted to his companions, "Now boys, let them have it." Sherwood said what the police had stated was a deliberate lie. When Monkhouse was taken into custody he simply pushed the officer's beard on one side to take his number. - The Lord Mayor had not the slightest doubt that the prisoners and their companions went out in a body with the deliberate intent of creating a disturbance. He had hoped that the days when medical students went out in former times for the deliberate attempt of committing assaults and disturbances had gone by. Looking at the facts he had great doubt whether he ought not to send the prisoners to jail without a fine, but he should impose a fine of 20s., and costs. - Pultney Garrel, medical student, 84, Norfolk-street, Islington, was charged with a similar offence. After the prisoners in the last case were arrested, prisoner appeared to have jumped on the back of one of the constables, named Garrod, who had been assisting the other officers, and threw him to the ground. While on the ground Garrod's finger was alleged to have been bitten by the prisoner, as was the hand of another constable who went to Garrod's assistance. Prisoner was exceedingly violent, and it took six constables to take him into custody. - The prisoner admitted that he was out with a number of other students in a procession, and complained that the police parted them. He wanted to get by one of the officers, and caught hold of him by the shoulder. The officer fell in consequence, and he (prisoner) was very sorry. He denied altogether biting. - The Lord Mayor said he had looked at wounds, and there might be a doubt. But for this, he should have sent prisoner to jail, and, as it was. He should make an example of him. Prisoner must pay a fine of £5, or one month's hard labour in default.
More repellent than either that have preceded, infinitely more hideous in its details, the terrible crime - committed while London was decking itself in flags and garlands of flowers - has sent a thrill of shuddering horror through the Metropolis. "Another horrible murder and mutilation in Whitechapel!" This was the dreary raven-cry of the newsboys yesterday roared through every street in the city as its First Magistrate was moving in stately pomp to pay homage to the shrine of justice. The newsboys did not exaggerate this time. Their words, were no aggravation of the fiendish act perpetrated - there is only too much reason to suppose - by the miscreant who has so long laughed at Justice, and, has dealt blow after blow with the malignity and the mysterious impunity of the fiend. The murder discovered yesterday morning differs from those that have preceded it only in having, apparently been carried out with the entire deliberation permitted by the seclusion of a private room, and therefore with more ghastly completeness than before. Otherwise it is the same as the others - only more demonical and hideous in its incidents.
The latest tragedy has taken place in the same unfortunate locality, Dorset-street, lying almost under the shadow of Spitalfields Church. Hanbury-street, the scene of one of the previous murders, lies just a short distance off the opposite side of Commercial-street, and this site will be found to be, roughly speaking, about midway between Hanbury-street and Mitre-square, on the other side of Bishopgate-street. It is a short street, composed largely of common lodging-houses, in one of which Annie Chapman, a previous victim, and a friend of the last murdered creature, used sometimes to lodge. About half way down this street on the right hand side is Miller's-court, the entrance to which is a narrow arched passage, and within a few yards of which, by the way, last night there loomed grimly through the murky air a partly torn-down bill announcing a reward of £100 for the discovery of the murderer on the last occasion. There are six two-roomed houses in Miller's-court; all of them owned by a grocer whose shop in Dorset-street forms one corner of the entrance to the court. Mr. McCarthy, the proprietor of this shop, has no hesitation in avowing his knowledge that all his six houses were tenanted by women of a certain class. They were let out in separate rooms "furnished," that is to say, there is in each of them a bed and a table, and perhaps, one or two odds and ends, all of the roughest and most trumpery description, since, if the things had any appreciable value in the market they would be certain to disappear.
For these rooms rents are supposed to be paid daily, but of course they will sometimes get a good deal in arrear. This was the case with one of the tenants, who had occupied a ground-floor room on the right hand side of the court for about twelve months. Her name was understood to be Mary Jane Kelly - a young woman of 24, tall, slim, fair, of fresh complexion, and attractive appearance - and she was believed to be the daughter of a man occupying a responsible position in some ironworks in the neighbourhood of Carmarthen. She was about 24 years of age, and till last Tuesday week she had been living with a man named Joseph Barnet, variously described as a fruit hawker in the streets and a labourer in Billingsgate Market. This man, it is said, had been a soldier, and had cohabitated with Kelly till a week or ten days ago, when a quarrel took place and the man left her. Yesterday she was as much as 14s. in arrear with her rent, and the landlord sent one of his men - an old pensioner, by name Joseph Bowyer - at about eleven o'clock to see what he could get. The door was fastened, not that it had been locked from the inside; but, having a catch-lock, the person who had gone out last had merely slammed the door behind him, and it had thus become fastened.
Having failed to open the door, he passed round the angle of the house and pulled the blind of the window, one of the panes being broken. Then he noticed blood upon the glass, and it immediately occurred to him that another murder had been committed. He fetched M'Carthy, who, looking through the window, saw upon the bed which was against the wall, the body of a woman without clothing, and terribly mutilated. The police at Commercial-street and at Leman-street, both stations being within five minutes' walk, were instantly informed, and in response to the summons Inspector Beck arrived. This officer despatched a message for Inspector Abberline and Inspector Reid, both of the Detective Department. Nothing, however, was done until the arrival of Mr. T. Arnold, the Superintendent of the H Division of Metropolitan Police, who, shortly after eleven o'clock, gave orders for the door of the room to be broken open. The last person to have to have left the place must have closed the door behind him, taking with him the key from the spring lock, as it is missing.
A horrifying spectacle presented itself to the officer's gaze, exceeding in ghastliness anything the imagination can picture. The body was so horribly hacked and gashed that, but for the long hair, it was scarcely possible to say with any certainty that it was the body of a woman lying entirely naked on the wretched bed, with legs outspread and drawn up to the trunk. The fiendish assailant was not content with taking the life of his victim by almost severing the head from the body, but he had exercised an infernal ingenuity in despoiling the corpse of its human resemblance. The ears and nose had been cut off, and the flesh cut from one cheek. The flesh had been stripped off leaving the skeleton, the cheeks and forehead of the severed head presenting a most revolting appearance. In addition to this, one breast had been removed, the flesh roughly torn from the thigh, and the abdomen ripped as in previous cases, several of the organs having been removed from the trunk and laid on the table beside the bed. It was stated in some of the evening papers that the particular organ missing in two previous murders was also found to have been abstracted in this case also. That, however, is not the case. Small portions of the body are missing, but that, it is somewhat enigmatically stated, can be accounted for. In addition to the various mutilations thus described, one arm was almost severed from the trunk, and there were miscellaneous cuts and slashes about the person of the unfortunate woman, as though her assailant, having exhausted his ingenuity in systematic destruction, had given a few random parting strokes before pocketing his weapon and going out into the night.
The last expression, however, suggests the question as to when the deed could have been done. Strictly speaking, the only answer to this is that nobody knows. The only things that seem tolerably certain that at half-past ten on Thursday night she was alive, and, that at eleven o'clock yesterday morning she was found most foully murdered. In the meantime, at as late as one o'clock yesterday morning, the poor creature was heard by her neighbours singing "Sweet Violets." This was the noise heard, and it was not then suspected that she was accompanied by a man. When examined all that could be said about the body was that death has apparently taken place some hours previously. The deceased was well known to those living round about, and one woman, who had shared her room with her, and only removed into an adjacent court on Thursday, parted with her on Thursday night at half-past ten o'clock at the corner of Dorset-street. Kelly informed her that she had no money, and said that is she could not get any she would never go out any more, but would do away with herself. Soon after they parted, and a man, who is described as respectably dressed, then - so it is said - came up and spoke to the murdered woman Kelly and offered her some money. The man accompanied the woman to her lodgings, which were on the second floor. The unfortunate creature had, it is said, a son living with her - a little fellow of between six or seven years upon whom she appeared to have lavished a considerable amount of affection. "Ah," she once exclaimed, "I could not bear to see the boy starving. I would rather die." This little fellow was now, it is said, sent to a neighbour's house. This is all that, up to last night, was known as to her companionship with this mysterious man. At about the same time - probably prior to it, as she met the associate we have alluded to - she was seen and spoken to by another woman of the same unhappy class, with whom too, the deceased till quite recently seems to have shared her food just as with the other friend, a woman named Harvey, she had shared her room. Another statement was made last evening by a woman, who asserted that the deceased had been seen by her alive and well, and in company with a man, at the Ringers public-house, at the corner of Dorset-street, at half-past ten yesterday morning. It seems certain, however, that this statement was either due to a mistake, or was one of those mischievous inventions which add so immensely to the labours and worries of the police.
It may be regarded as practically certain that the poor woman's life was taken - as in the previous cases - during the night, and the frightful hacking of the body was rendered practicable by the fact that the deed was done in a private room in an obscure court. As in each of the other cases, not a sound was heard, and the presumption is that the mode of procedure has been just as before. The victim and the assassin had probably gone to the room together, and without the slightest warning, and without giving a moment's opportunity for a single cry for help, the throat had been cut. Then the wretch fell to his hideous work of destruction, and made off at his leisure. "It is not astounding that he could have gone in and out without being observed by somebody in the court?" was a question put to an intelligent labouring man, a denizen of the neighbourhood. "Not a bit," was the reply, "and you would understand it if you knew the place and the kind of people. Men go in and out there, and nobody thinks anything about them or takes any notice of 'em. It's everybody for themselves there." Whatever may be the truth of the matter, it seemed last night to be enshrouded in just as great a mystery as all the preceding ones, and the anxiety and despondency of the police of the district were very evident.
At four o'clock in the afternoon the body was removed from Dorset-street to Shoreditch Mortuary, which stands at the back of Shoreditch Church. The mutilated remains were placed in a coarse coffin, which had apparently been used on many previous occasions for the conveyance of the dead, and which was partially covered with a coarse canvas cloth. The straps of the coffin were sealed. The coffin was conveyed in a one-horse ordinary furniture van, and was escorted by several constables under Sergeant Betham. A large crowd followed. At the mortuary another throng was waiting to see the coffin transferred to the building. The photographer who had been called to photograph the room and the body removed his camera from the premises at half-past four, and shortly afterwards a detective office carried from the house a pail, with which he left in a four-wheel cab. The pail was covered with a newspaper, and was stated to contain portions of the woman's body. It was taken to the house of Dr. Phillips, 2 Spital-square. The windows of the room where the crime was committed were then boarded up and a padlock put on the door.
On the first discovery of the murder the authorities at Scotland-yard wired that the officers would be sent, and accordingly, by the imperative orders of the divisional surgeon, all pedestrians were rigorously forbidden to approach anywhere near the house in which the body lay, and cordons of police barred the way even into the street from which Miller's-court opens. These precautions against destroying any scent that might possibly prove ellicacious in tracking the criminal were maintained till a second telegram from headquarters was received stating that the dogs were not to be sent, and the police cordon was then withdrawn from the outer street, though the excited public were still excluded from the court. The non-appearance of the bloodhounds was afterwards accounted for. During the recent trials in Surrey the animals bolted, and, it is understood, have not been recovered.
What is believed to be any important fact transpired last evening, which, if true, puts a fresh complexion on the theory of the murders. It appears that the cattle boats bringing live freights to London are in the habit of coming into the Thames on Thursdays or Fridays, and leave again for the Continent on Sundays or Mondays. It has already been a matter of comment that the recent revolting crimes have been committed at the end of the week, and an opinion has been formed among some of the detectives that the murderer is a drover or butcher employed on one of these boats, of which there are many, and that he periodically appears and disappears with one of the steamers. This theory is held to be of much importance by those engaged in this investigation, who believe that the murderer does not reside in the locality or even in this country at all. It is pointed out that at the inquests on the previous victims, the Coroners had expressed the opinion that the knowledge of physiology possessed by a butcher would have been sufficient to enable him to find and cut out the parts of the body which in several cases were abstracted.
The miscreant left no trace whatever behind him, and the pilot coat, which was found in the room and which it was hoped at first might have belonged to him, now transpires to have belonged to a man residing in the same court. He is not in any way suspected - on the contrary - his innocence is firmly established in the minds of the police.
As we say, it is stated that no sound - sufficient at least to arouse suspicion - was heard proceeding from the room occupied by the murdered woman. Some residents in the court, however, declare that about a quarter to two they heard a faint cry of murder, which would seem to fix with tolerable exactitude the time at which the crime was committed; but against this must be set the statement of a woman residing at 26, Dorset-street, a house the back rooms of which abut upon the court, according to which a cry of "Murder!" was heard at three o'clock. It is characteristic of the locality that no one thought anything of the incident, which, indeed, is of too common occurrence to cause interest of alarm. A man engaged as a market porter and living at 3, Miller's-court, stated that, although his rooms face the scene of the murder, he heard nothing of it until he went out in the morning at half-past ten to get some milk, and was stopped by he police.
Several statements have been made to the police. It is unnecessary to reproduce them - they throw but little light on the diabolical crime which has aroused so intense a feeling in East London. Joseph Barrett, an Irishman at present residing in a common lodging-house in New-street, Bishopsgate, informed a reporter last evening that he had occupied his present lodgings since Tuesday week. Previous to that he had live in Miller's-court, Dorset-street, for eight or nine months with the murdered woman, Mary Jane Kelly. They were very happy and comfortable together until an "unfortunate" came to sleep in their room, to which he strongly objected. Finally, after the woman had been there two or three nights, he quarrelled with his "wife," and left her. The next day, however, he returned and gave Kelly money. He called several other days, and gave her money when he had it. On Thursday night he visited her between half-past seven and eight, and told her he was sorry he had no money to give her. He saw nothing more of her. He was indoors yesterday morning, when he heard that a woman had been murdered in Dorset-street, but he did not know at first who he victim was. He voluntary went to the police, who after questioning him satisfied themselves that his statements were correct, and therefore released him. Barrett believed that Kelly, who was an Irishwoman, was an "unfortunate" before he made her acquaintance. She used occasionally to go to the Elephant and Castle district, to see a friend, who, like herself, was an "unfortunate."
A Mrs. Paumier, a young woman who sells roasted chestnuts at the corner of Widegate-street, a narrow thoroughfare about two minutes' walk from the scene of the murder, states that, about twelve o'clock at noon yesterday, a man, dressed like a gentleman, came to her, and said, "I suppose you have heard about the murder in Dorset-street." She replied that she had, whereupon the man laughed, and said, "I know more about it than you." He then stared into her face, and went down Sandy's-row, another narrow thoroughfare which cuts across Widegate-street. When he had got some way off he looked back, as if to see whether she was watching him, and then disappeared. Mrs Paumier says the man has a black moustache, was about five feet six inches in height, and wore a black silk hat, a black coat, and speckled trousers. He also carried a black carried a black shiny bag about a foot in depth and foot and a half in length. Mrs. Paumier stated that the same man accosted three women in the street on Thursday night and they chaffed him and asked him what he had in the bag and he replied, "Something that the ladies don't like." This, of course gives an increased importance to the statement. One of the three young woman in question, Sarah Reney by name - a girl about twenty years of age - states that she was with two other girls on Thursday night in Brushfield-street, which is near Dorset-street, when a man, wearing a tall hat and a black coat, and carrying a black bag, came up to her, and said, "Will you come with me?" She told him she would not, and asked him what he had in the bag, and he said, "Something the ladies don't like." He then walked away.
At eleven o'clock last night Dorset-street looked its dingiest and gloomiest. There was, of course, a crowd before the entrance to McCarthy's-court - or as it is popularly known, Miller's-court - in which stands the house where the unfortunate woman was murdered. The body had been taken away in the afternoon to the mortuary, which is attaining the celebrity almost of the Paris Morgue; but the crowd still hung opposite the entrance to the court discussing the murder. Over the way, the occupants of the Commercial-street-chambers were looking out upon the crowd, their noses glued to the window panes. Sheer dazed stupidity (says an Echo reporter) seems to be the attitude of the East-enders before this most mysterious of modern mysteries. In the crowd last night the keynote struck seemed to be that of resignation to the inevitable "Jack the Ripper." It would appear to have been accepted as a concomitant of East-end life. The firm opinion is that he will never be caught. He is regarded almost as one of the terrible conditions which go to the making up existence in the East-end. The women are waxing superstitious. One old lady last night averred that he was the Devil, or, if not Satan himself, one of the demons, nor could she be reasoned out of this mental attitude.
Hard by the scene of the murder stands a public-house, which was a place of resort visited by the murdered woman. The landlord - evidently a respectably man - suspects a fellow who was wont to call there. The man in question was a big, burly-looking fellow, with a black moustache. He had been seen in the company of the deceased woman, and the landlord told the Echo reporter as a significant fact that the man, although a regular customer to some extent, had not visited the house at all yesterday. This may be a clue, but it looks a very shadowy one. The man appeared to follow the calling of a butcher. We shall probably see from this a revival of the old suggestion that the murderer is a slaughterman.
One of our reporters last night had the temerity to visit one of those fearsome establishments known in the neighbourhood as "doss-houses." Having paid the required sum of fourpence, he was ushered into the kitchen of the establishment, not, however, without certain glances of angry suspicion being levelled at him by the Deputy. The room was a fairly large one. A big, bright fire was burning in the grate, and at the rough wooden tables lining the walls the habitués of the house were having their supper. One very frowsy-looking fellow was eating a beefsteak, which threw its grateful fragrance round the room, whilst at the same table another, and, obviously less fortunate "dosser," was munching a chunk of bread, and drinking tea of a colour which suggested that there was more water in the brew then tea. Other men were supping, some eating frugally enough off bread and cheese, the remainder contenting themselves with less humble fare. It was shocking to note the light cynical fashion in which they treated the murders. They might begin a sentence sympathetically enough, but it almost invariably ended in a laugh of brutal indifference, or even worse. Did anyone know her? A rough-looking fellow, engaged in cutting his victuals on the rude table, queried on this, "Did anyone not know her?2 - a remark which hugely tickled his companions. Poor Mary Jane Kelly was a figure, it appears, in street brawls, sudden and quick in quarrel, and - for a woman - handy with her fists. The rough fellows laughed and grieved in turns over her, although the terrible cynicism beforehand mentioned always entered in his conversation. An elderly man who wore a coat and waistcoat, but no shirt beneath, averred in pessimistic tones it was better for Mary Jane Kelly to have been done to death. "Wot was her life?" he muttered, spreading out his thin and not too clean hands to the fire. "Starvation three days a week, and then, when she got money, drink for the other three days. I knowed her. I guv her the money for her doss three weeks ago cos she hadn't none. Yes, matey, and that at two in the mornin'," he said, turning to our reporter whose intent bearing may possibly have suggested incredulity. "Mary Jane was a good soul." This testimony was freely offered. "She would spend her money lavishly when she had any, and when she hadn't any, why -" The sentence was left unfinished. Our reporter soon left. Even as he stepped out into the darkness visible of Dorset-street from the glow-light of the lodging-house kitchen, the men laughed loudly and their laughter was carried up the street. The terrible event of the morning had little, if any, saddening effect on these men. Even within a stone's throw of the scene of the tragedy they were laughing and cracking jokes as if the shadow of death were not then brooding over the miserable street. But to give them their due, their reckless merriment was at times dashed with a pitying sigh for poor Mary Jane Kelly.