12 September 1888
Picking in the Farnham district will become general during the week, many of the planters having already commenced. In the best grounds as much as 7 cwt. to the acre will be produced, but these grounds are exceptional. Most of the gardens comprised in what is known as the town district will yield not more than 2 cwt. or 3 cwt. to the acre. Indeed, some grounds will produce hardly any that will be marketable. Some hops that have reached fair size are being picked in an unripe state owing to the rapid spread of mould.
The safety of Londoners' property depends, not on the regularity, but on the irregularity of the policeman's beat. Every one knows that houses and streets are actually tested, indicated, and identified by London thieves, and that there is a code of signals which they perfectly understand. The policeman goes his rounds at night with the regularity of a well-appointed omnibus service, and the thieves know it well. If the inspectors would only order the reversal of the routes, and introduce a little irregularity into their nocturnal visits, we should have fewer burglaries and probably more prisoners. - Daily News
It is not within the bounds of probability that to the highly-coloured pictorial advertisements to be seen on almost all the hoardings in London, vividly representing sensational scenes of murder, exhibited as "the great attractions" of certain dramas, the public may be to a certain extent indebted for the horrible crimes in Whitechapel? We say it most seriously; imagine the effect of these gigantic pictures of violence and assassination by knife and pistol on the morbid imagination of unbalanced minds. These hideous picture-posters are a blot on our civilization, and a disgrace to the drama. -Punch.
THE EAST END HORRORS.
To the Editor of "The Evening News."
Sir- As a tradesman of many years standing in Whitechapel High-street, one of the finest thoroughfares in London, I protest (and I am sure I am expressing the feelings of my fellow-tradesmen) against the Press placarding the reporting in their various editions of Saturday and Monday (to-day) "Horrible murder in Whitechapel," when in reality it took place in the parish of Christ Church, Spitalfields. As about half the trade is done with persons residing out of the district, such misrepresentations are very misleading, and persons, especially females, are afraid of coming into Whitechapel to shop, thereby ensuring a very serious loss to traders. Whitechapel by many persons resident in the country and West-end, is looked upon as being a horrible place. I would advise such ladies and gentlemen to pay a visit to the parish: I think they would then come to a very different conclusion. I might say to those ladies and gentlemen who do not, or cannot, pay a visit to Whitechapel, that we have a fine, wide, handsome thoroughfare one mile in length, and that during the last seven years upwards of one million pounds has been spent in improvements for the benefit of the working classes. The whole of the houses surrounding and formerly known as Petticoat-lane have been pulled down and fine blocks of buildings for the artisan have erected in their place. Much remains to be done in the neighbouring parish of Spitalfields, when, I am assured, the new London Council will do justice to that long-neglected parish. -I am, &c.,REFORMER.
To the Editor of "The Evening News."
SIR - Another ghastly, heartrending and horrible murder in Whitechapel, this morning. When is Sir Charles Warren, the incapable and incompetent, to be roused from his lethargy? The police are not allowed to do any duty now, they are all posted at street corners and there they stop. The street roughs, rowdies, cut-throats and assassins well know this and have the thoroughfares to themselves and commit all sorts of outrages with impunity, and without fear of detection or even interference. The streets, outside the City boundary, even in broad daylight, are positively unsafe. You may walk from Goswell-road to the top of Stamford Hill any day you like and never meet a policeman. The police never find anything out; they are not allowed! What do we want with a military man at the head of the police - especially a psalm-smiting, Gospel-grinding, and Bible punching specimen like Sir Charles Warren, who, by the bye, was a Gladstonian appointment? - I am, &c.,
September 8. RATEPAYER.
Punch, this week, suggests a (more or less) valuable theory to account for the Whitechapel murders. "Is it not within the bounds of probability that the highly coloured pictorial advertisements to be seen on almost all the hoardings in London, vividly representing sensational scenes of murder . . . . the public may be to a certain extent indebted for the horrible crimes in Whitechapel?" Very likely, Punch. Why not follow up the clue, and get the police to institute a rigid enquiry amongst - to begin with - the readers of a weekly contemporary which had sent forth that highly sensational poster, with which most Londoners are now familiar, representing a young woman with a jet of blood spurting from her breast and a murderer with a very gory knife making his way to a river in the background?
THE WHITECHAPEL TRAGEDIES.
ON THE MURDERER'S TRACK.
WHAT HE HAS TO SAY ABOUT HIS ARREST.
The Press Association says that John Piser will, in all probability, be called as a witness at the inquest on the woman Chapman, which is to be held to-day. His brother Samuel Piser, informed a representative of the Press Association that the police had advised him meanwhile to refuse to be interviewed. His brother states that Piser was treated well while in custody, and had every attention shown to him. Piser was released from Leman-street Police-station at 8.30 last night, and left in company with his brother Samuel, and was received by a large and enthusiastic crowd in Mulberry-street, who clapped their hands and cheered repeatedly.
Scotland-yard has been following up, with praiseworthy perseverance, the supposed clue afforded by the discovery of blood trails in the yard used by Mr. Bailey, packing-case maker, at No. 25, Hanbury-street, a few doors from the scene of the Chapman-murder. The occupiers of the houses near this, through one of which the murderer must have escaped, have been subjected to a minute examination, but the discovery made by the girl Laura Sickings has led to nothing substantial as yet. It is thought by many in the ill-fated district that the reward offered by Mr. Montagu, M.P., will bring forward some evidence which may convict the murderer, as it is generally believed his whereabouts must be known to somebody. The excitement is gradually toning down, partly because of the belief that the place has got too hot for the murderer, and also by the fact that a large detective force is keeping watch day and night over it.
The Exchange Telegraph Company learns that the police have full knowledge of the whereabouts of the man whose description has been circulated as that of the alleged Whitechapel murderer, and his identity is spoken to by several witnesses. Although not actually under arrest he is carefully watched, and his arrest is said to be only a question of time. The belief is steadily gaining ground that the man who was seen in a passage with a woman who is supposed to have been Mary Ann Nichols, on the morning of August 8, and who spoke with a foreign accent, is the murderer of both Mary Ann Nichols and Annie Chapman, and in the event of his arrest, strong prima facie evidence will be forthcoming to connect him with the crimes. The police have keenly followed up the clue which was given to them about the man. The pensioner who kept company with Annie Chapman, will, it is said, be forthcoming, and also the two men who were tailed by the witness Davis when he found the body in Hanbury-street, but whose names were not then known to the police. They are employed at the works of Mr. Bailey, packing case maker.
There is now said to be no truth in the statement that blood stains were found on the walls of an adjoining house.
A Press Association reporter interviewed Piser, otherwise, "Leather Apron," at 22, Mulberry-street, Whitechapel, this morning. He was released from Leman-street at half-past eight last evening. The ex-prisoner, in reply to questions put to him, said: Whatever particulars the world at large, the police authorities, and the public wish to know as to my whereabouts, and as to where I was staying when these atrocious and horrible crimes were committed I am quite willing to give. I came into this house at a quarter to eleven o'clock on Thursday night last. I knocked at the door. My sister opened it. She was rather surprised to see me, but it is usual at Jewish holiday times to pay visits to friends. My sister's young man was present. I shook hands with him. We had some conversation about work. My sister first went to bed and put the bolt in the latch. Anybody that goes out of the house after the door is latched cannot get in again. From Thursday night until I was arrested, I never left the house except to go into the yard. I was several times seen going into the yard by a next-door neighbour.
On Monday morning last, Sergeant Thicke came here. I opened the door. He said I was wanted, and I asked what for. He replied, "You know what for. You will have to come with me." I said, "Very well, sir. I'll go down to the station with you with the greatest of pleasure." "Did he charge you?" said the reporter; "or tell you what you were wanted for?" He said, "You know you are "Leather Apron," or words to that effect. Up to that moment I did not know that I was called by that name. I have been in the habit of wearing an apron. I have worn it coming from my employment, but not recently. I was quite surprised when Sergeant Thicke called me by the name of "Leather Apron."
When I arrived at the police-station the police searched me- naturally, I suppose, and in the usual way. They took everything from me, which, I suppose, is according to the custom and laws of the country. They found nothing in my possession that would incriminate me, thank God, or connect me with the crime that I have unfortunately been placed in custody upon. I know of no crime.
I have been connected with no crime, and my character will bear the strictest investigation, both by my co-religionists and Gentiles whom I have worked for. I am generally most of my time here, except when I go away to get anything that might be beneficial to me. I occasionally stayed at a lodging-house - chambers - but not in Dorset-street.
Before you came to 22, Mulberry-street, on Thursday night, where had you been staying?
In the early part of last week I was at Holloway, and it was from Holloway that I came on Thursday. Last Sunday week I was approached in Church-street by two females unknown to me. One asked me, "Are you the man?" presumably referring to the Buck's- row murder. I said "God forbid, my good woman." A stalwart man then came up and said "Come in, man, and treat me to half a pint." I went on. I was not the man who is said to have been seen in a public-house on Saturday morning. I don't know Mrs. Fiddyman's (sic. Fiddymont's) public house. I was totally ignorant of such a name as "Mrs. Sievey" until it was published. I don't know such a woman. Between eleven and twelve o'clock yesterday, a man came to Leman-street police station. One of the authorities asked me if I had any objection to go out to see if I could be identified. I at once went into the station yard. There were several men there. One of them I know to be a boot finisher. He is a stout, stalwart man of negro caste. He came towards me, and without saying a word he deliberately placed his hand on my shoulder. I promptly replied, "I don't know you. You are mistaken." His statement that he saw me threaten a woman in Hanbury-street is false, for I can prove, as I have already said, that I never left this place from Thursday night until the time I was arrested.
One of the evening newspapers has published a portrait intended to represent me, but it has no more resemblance to me than it has to the man in the moon. I have been told that I shall be wanted at the inquest this afternoon. I am quite willing to go, and to make a full statement as to my whereabouts. I shall see if I cannot legally proceed against those who have made statements about me. The charges made against me have quite broken my spirits, and I am afraid I shall have to place myself under medical treatment for some time.
Piser is a man of medium height, with florid complexion and wears a moustache and side whiskers. For a man of his class he displays more than an ordinary amount of intelligence. He was perfectly at ease while making his statement, and more than once appealed to his brother, who was present, for confirmation of his story.
Annie Chapman, the woman murdered in Spitalfields, has been identified by her brother. Her relatives will take the body away to-day on getting the order from the coroner. The date and place of the funeral will be kept a secret, the friends objecting to any demonstrations.
A man has been arrested at Holloway on suspicion of being concerned in the Spitalfields murder. He is believed to be insane.
A WOMAN'S ARM DISCOVERED AT PIMLICO.
A THAMES MYSTERY.
Yet another outrage has been added to the list of undiscovered crimes which have recently startled the inhabitants of the metropolis. Yesterday, soon after noon, the attention of several persons passing along Grosvenor-road, Pimlico, was drawn to what appeared to be a portion of a human body floating in the River Thames, near Grosvenor Railway Bridge. It is stated that the object was first seen entangled among some timber floating on the riverside, and that a number of boys, imagining it to be the carcass of a drowned dog, amused themselves by pelting it with stones. A closer inspection, however, showed it to be a human arm. The police were at once sent for, and a constable who was on duty near the spot took charge of the limb, which he conveyed to the police-station at Gerald-road, Eaton-square. Dr. Thomas Neville, surgeon, of 85, Pimlico-road, and of, 123, Sloane-street, subsequently made an examination of the arm, and, though he has made no official report on the subject at present, there is every reason to believe that another piece of foul play has been brought to light. It appears that the limb which has been discovered is the right arm of a female, probably of some 28 or 30 years of age. It has been severed at the shoulder-point, and has the appearance of having been in the water some two or three days.
The cut was not skillfully made, and was such as would be the case had the operation been performed by a person ignorant of the elements of anatomy. Round the arm and above the elbow was a piece of string, tied somewhat tightly, but not sufficiently taut to produce much of an indentation. It is thought not unlikely that the string may have been employed to prevent the blood oozing from the veins, and so causing a risk of splashing to the person disposing of the severed limb. If this was the intention the artifice was scarcely successful, as when taken from the river there was still some bleeding. Another conjecture is that the string was merely attached for the purpose of easy carriage. At any rate, this was the idea which struck the police-constable, who conveyed the limb to the police-station by means of another piece of string attached to that already round the remains.
The contour of the limb, the delicacy of the hand, and the want of muscular development clearly indicate that the arm is that of a woman, and that comparatively young. It is difficult, of course, to tell the precise age, but the examination showed that the female, whoever she was, was a well-developed person, apparently in good health. There was no trace of disease of any kind, and there were no bruises suggestive of violence, but there were one or two slight abrasions, caused probably by contact with bridges and floating timber. It is not easy to say when the limb was cut off, but Dr. Neville, we understand, inclines to the view that the knife was used very soon after death. Had the act been performed some considerable time after death the appearance of the limb would have indicated it.
The suggestion was put forward that the limb probably came from a dissecting-room; but the character of the cut negatives any such theory. The arm was evidently cut by a big, sharp instrument, compared with which the ordinary dissecting-room knife is a mere toy. Moreover, the merest tyro in the dissecting room would not think of amputating a limb in this fashion. The theory which the police are forced to entertain is that the arm forms part of a woman who has met with a tragic end, and whose body is being disposed of in sections as opportunity offers. The single limb, which after examination was taken to a mortuary in Ebury Bridge, affords, however, no clue upon which the police authorities can act.
What they have done is to order a careful search of the river for any other portions of the remains, and should these be discovered by the river police identification may be possible. So far the police see no reason to connect the discovery with any of the cases of the mysterious disappearance frequently reported to them; although the remains were found in the river off Pimlico, they do not at present associate the supposed crime with any particular district. At the time of the discovery it was about low water. The dismembered limb may therefore have floated down from Richmond or from Chelsea. On the other hand, the preceding flood-tide may have sent it up the river from Woolwich or Wapping. All that can be said is that the Thames has yielded up evidence of another horrible deed, committed certainly within the last two or three days.
The police are actively investigating all the circumstances in connection with the discovery of human remains in the Thames, off Pimlico, yesterday, but without obtaining much additional information. Frederick Moors, of Great Peter-street, Westminster, however, gives some additional details in an interview. He states that he is a deal-porter, and works at Mr. Ward's timber-yard, Grosvenor-road, Westminster. He gives the following account of the discovery of the remains.
In the dinner hour, yesterday, I was standing outside the yard gates talking to one of the clerks, when my attention was drawn by some of my fellow workmen to something lying on the mud inside the floating timber belonging to Messrs. Chapple. I went over and looked at it, and said, "Oh, it is nothing." I then went away, and was crossing the road when I was called back and asked to fetch a hitcher, a kind of hook used for hauling about the timber. Not being able to find a hitcher in the yard, I took a 20 feet rod, but was unable to reach the object with it. Another man went and got a ladder. We hoisted the ladder over the Embankment on to the floating timber. There was a short ladder lying on the timber, and this I pushed out over the mud, until I was able to reach the object which I then saw was an arm, and then called out to the people on the Embankment, "It is an arm." It had a flat piece of string or tape tied round the upper part of the muscle and the knuckle bone of the shoulder was protruding from the flesh about an inch or so. It had been cut off just below the shoulder, and from the appearance I could not tell whether it had belonged to a man or a woman. Taking a piece of string from my pocket I tied it round the upper part of the arm, and, laying it on the timber, went back to see if there was any other portion of the body in the water, but could not see anything else. I then took the arm up the ladder and walked along the Embankment to the steps leading down to the river opposite the William IV. public-house. Here I gave it to two constables. A sheet of newspaper was given to me from the William IV., and I wrapped up the arm in it. After giving my name and address to the policemen I returned to my work.
When I first saw the arm it was lying on the sand with the fingers pointing towards the river. Just above the place there is a sluice coming out from the wall of the Embankment, from which comes a stream of water from the distillery of the Grosvenor-road. I know nothing about any boys pelting the object with stones when it lay on the mud. One of the men did throw a stone at it to see what it really was. While I was wrapping the arm in the paper I noticed that some blood oozed out from it near the shoulder bone. It was a right arm, and I did not notice any scars or bruises on it. The fingers seemed to be drawn up and pinched, and the colour was a creamy white. About two or three months ago, I picked up the dead body of a child near the place where I picked up this arm."
The police at Pimlico have discovered no further remains though a diligent watch has been kept at the riverside. The arm already found is lying at Milbank-road mortuary; but it is not contemplated to hold an inquest at present as other portions of the body may be discovered. A number of the riverside habitués are closely watching, this morning.