6 September 1888
THE WHITECHAPEL MURDER.
TO THE EDITOR OF "THE EVENING NEWS."
SIR-Permit me, as an inhabitant of twenty years in Whitechapel, to express on behalf of a number of tradesmen and shopkeepers in Whitechapel our deepest regret and indignation at the shocking and revolting murders which have further disgraced the unfortunate district of Whitechapel of late. The question that now arises is what is to be done, and what can be done to check and prevent the further spreading of such dastardly crimes. In the first place I would suggest that the police force should be strengthened in the East End, and secondly that there should be more gas lights in our back streets, courts, and alleys. There is no doubt but that these unfortunate women were butchered by their bullies (men who gain their livelihood from these unfortunates) and were the police to watch the haunts and dens of these villains and thieves, no doubt in a short time we should have a decrease of these crimes which have disgraced the capital of England. There are several supposed clubs in Whitechapel which these villains frequent, which are open all night for the sale of wines, spirits, and beer, and where any non-member can be admitted and served with as much drink as he or she can pay for. It is in these vile dens that the seed of immorality and crime is sown which brings forth the fruits we have just witnessed. The police must know of these places; if not, I am prepared, if required, to give the names of these places to any person in authority. The East End police are, with a few exceptions, a good and noble body of men who at all times have a hard and difficult duty to perform, and I feel sure that the heads of these police, such gentlemen as Arnold, Final, and West will do their uttermost to stop the breeding of further crimes by these ruffians. In the second place I suggest more gas lights in our bye-streets, courts, and alleys. We pay rates and taxes, and have a right to have our district properly lighted. Only a little while back a City manufacturer living opposite me was knocked down, beaten, and robbed of a valuable gold chain within a few yards of his own street door, the villains escaping because the spot is dark. My sister also a short time ago was knocked down by some cowards. They also got away, the place being dark. Now, Sir, I hope and trust that the Whitechapel Board of Works and the Commercial Gas Company will awake to their duty, and do their best to have this grievance removed. Apologising for trespassing upon your valuable space, I am, &c.,
Gordon House, Newnham-street, Whitechapel,
It is stated by some of the jury who inquired into the death of the mutilated woman found in Buck's-row that they intend to impress upon the Scotland Yard authorities the necessity of further precautions being taken at the common lodging-houses in the metropolis for the purpose of ascertaining the names, and, if possible, the previous address of every lodger, male and female, who enters these houses, together with the time of entry. This course they hold to be quite necessary, as it appears that all the worst characters in London can dodge from house to house practically unknown, and any inquiries as to their whereabouts at a given time be absolutely nugatory. At a recent inquest on the body of a man found dead in the Thames, with marks of violence upon him Mr. Barnes, the Westminster coroner, expressed the same opinion as the jurymen in the Whitechapel murder case; and the late Sir John Humphreys held very strong views on the same point.
There cannot be the shadow of a doubt that, had it not been for the band of the petticoat of the deceased woman bearing the Lambeth Workhouse marks no identification of the body would have been forthcoming, and thus the chief link in a possible chain of evidence would have been missing. This want of identity was painfully apparent in the horrible murder of the woman in Whitechapel some months ago, when precisely similar injuries were inflicted as in the present case. Dr. Haslip stated to our reporter that most fiendish brutality had been used in that case, and there seems to be very little question that both the murders were committed by the same person. In the Rainham murder last year, where a woman had been murdered and dismembered, and the different parts of the body thrown in the river and the canal, there were precisely similar injuries to the abdominal walls as in the foregoing cases, and just the same evidences of a familiarity with the vital parts of the body, and skill in the use of the weapon used, and this fact, taken in connection with other murders all over London, leads the police to think it highly probable that all these cases are the work of one hand practised in murder in its most horrible form.
Dr. Hammerton, the divisional surgeon of the Bow-street Police, stated last night to our correspondent that he considered the recent murders and their non-solution a perfect disgrace to our boasted police organisation, and there appears to be little room for doubt that the detective system in regard to murder is not at all a good one, looking at the great number of murders, mostly of women, that are continually occurring and never detected.
Parties of hop-pickers arrived by train at Sittingbourne yesterday, and from there were conveyed by wagons to their destinations in the country. Up to the present those violent scenes which marked the arrival of pickers in former years have been conspicuous by their absence, the rigorous measures adopted on those occasions having had the desired effect. The reports from such gardens are very disappointing. One grower has decided not to pick this year, and in others the yield will be only about one-third of what it was last year. Here and there, however, the hops picked in those gardens in favoured situations come out well.