13 September 1888
The conduct of Mr. Saunders, the presiding magistrate of Worship-street Police-court, in a case heard before him yesterday, may have been patriotic, but can scarcely be described as dignified. A working-man applied to him for a summons for wages on behalf of another man, when the following colloquy took place: Mr. Saunders: Why doesn't the man speak for himself?-Applicant: He can't.-Mr. Saunders: Why not?-Applicant: He is a Pole.-Mr. Saunders: Well, then let him go to Poland. This was a short and easy way of settling the matter, but it certainly seems more worthy of a comic duke in burlesque than a respectable police magistrate in Worship-street.
Mr. Saunders thereafter proceeded to explain his motives in suggesting this extraordinary alternative to the Polish workman. It seemed that his master, a Jewish tailor, would not pay him his wages, but kept putting him off from day to day with promises of payment. Mr. Saunders's view of the matter was business-like and practical. "The Pole," he said, "has no business in this country. He is taking the bread out of the mouths of Englishmen. You may have a summons but I hope you won't succeed." We are no friends to the system of immigration of foreign laborers, but, after all, there is law in this country, and the unfortunate Pole has done nothing to put himself outside the pale of civilization. The pronouncement of Mr. Saunders seems one of the most astounding pieces of judicial mock-heroics ever recorded.
THE POLICE ON THE TRACK
WHITECHAPEL ROUGHS AT WORK
The Exchange Telegraph Company learns with regard to the Whitechapel murder that up to an early hour this morning the police had made no other arrests, nor had they gained any clue which would give hopes of a speedy capture of the murderer. The detectives from Scotland Yard, as well as those belonging to the Bethnal Green Division which has charge of the Buck's-row murder, met at the Commercial-street Station to make arrangements with the police as to certain low quarters which were to be particularly watched during the night. The police still adhere to the statement that they believe they are on the track of the murderer, this individual being carefully looked after, but they cannot arrest him until they have more definite information to act upon.
As evidence of the insecurity prevailing in certain parts of the East-end, notably, Hanbury-street and vicinity about five persons were accosted, yesterday, by a gang of roughs who, amongst other misdeeds, deprived an old man, aged 80, of his gold watch and chain. The Exchange Telegraph Company learns that vital evidence is being withheld from the police by some women who were associates of the two last murdered women because of their terror of sharing a like fate, and several of them have left the neighborhood.
A few days ago one of the news agencies made some remarks respecting the character of Winthrop-street (near Buck's-row) which the inhabitants much resent. The acting trustee of the Torr estate, which includes one side of the street, informs us that the inhabitants are all respectable, hard-working people, many having been tenants for 25 years, and Mr. Hoyle, the collector, says the street does certainly not bear a bad reputation. As the publication of such prejudicial statements regarding the respectability of the street is likely to do harm to honest people whose sons and daughters have to make their way in the world, we have much pleasure in thus authoritatively contradicting the report.
Among the many suggestions made to the police is one arguing that the pupils of murdered woman's eyes should be photographed on the chance of the retina retaining an image of the murderer capable of reproduction.
SIR-I have read with great interest your article, and the letter of Dr. Forbes Winslow, on the Whitechapel murders; and as far as I can judge, the opinions therein expressed have met with the approbation of the great majority of newspaper readers-viz., that the murders are the work of one man, and he epileptic or a homicidal maniac. In the East-end, however, the scene of these tragic mysteries, the majority of the population are not newspaper readers. At least, there is a very large class who cannot, or at any rate do not, read the newspapers, and whose opinions are to a very large extent formed independently of newspapers. Moreover, those people of whom I speak have the advantage of the profoundest and most accurate local knowledge. They know the scene of the crimes intimately, and they know all the characters who frequent the neighborhood. Now, amongst those people the opinion is general that the murders are not the work of one man, but of several, acting probably, more or less in concert. Those people assert that in that neighborhood there is, notoriously, a set of low fellows-whom they could point out-who systematically live on the earnings of the poor unfortunates who there ply their wretched trade, one man levying blackmail from several women, and affording them in return his "protection." And those people believe that the murders are the work of some of these "bullies," acting probably, more or less, in concert. According to this theory, the murders were deliberately planned and executed; what led to them was the inability or unwillingness of the poor women to continue to satisfy the incessant demands of these blood-suckers-the women, it may be, acting more or less in concert; and the motive for the crimes is to be found in, first, a desire for revenge, and, second, a determination to read a terrible lesson to the others. The disemboweling and the other diabolical accompaniments were (according to this theory) dictated by the second part of the motive. If this should prove to be the true theory of the crimes, it would indicate a very serious state of things-far more serious, from one point of view, than even the presence among us of a lunatic at large, homicidal mania in his head, and a butcher's knife in his hand. I express no opinion upon the theory . I merely state it for the consideration of those who have not the same opportunities as myself of hearing it.-I am, P. Q. R. S.
A JAPANESE CHARGED WITH STABBING
A Japanese named Supiwajan, 38, was charged, at the Thames Police-court, to-day, with cutting and wounding Ellen Norton, 9, Jamaica-passage, Limehouse.
Prosecutrix, whose head was bandaged, said about 12 o'clock last night she was in the Coach and Horses beershop, West India Dock-road, when she heard screams by the Asiatic Home. She went out, when she saw the accused about to stab her friend. She rushed forward, and got the knife into her head. She remembered no more until she was at the station. Her head was there treated by the doctor. Witness had been drinking, but had not been in the prisoner's company. Her friend's name was Emily Shepherd.
The young woman was called, and deposed that the prisoner came up to her and said to her, "If you go away from me to-night; I will rip you up the same as the woman was served in the Whitechapel-road." She screamed out when the prosecutrix ran up. The accused then said, "If I can't have her, I'll have you," and then stabbed Norton in the head with the long bladed knife produced. He then kicked witness, and afterwards broke a plate-glass window at the Strangers' Home.
Constable 448 K, said shortly before 12 o'clock last night, he heard screams of "Police" and "Murder." He ran towards the crowd that had assembled, and saw prisoner jump through the glass panel of the door of the Asiatic Home. He gained admission to the home, and found prisoner in the yard washing the blood off his hands. Witness took him into custody.
Sergeant Brown, 2K, said the knife was found behind the stairs of the Strangers' Home. The blade and handle were smeared with blood.
Mr. G. H. Anderson, surgeon, said prosecutrix had a clean cut incised wound in the scalp. It was about half an inch long. It was not a dangerous wound, with the exception of erysipelas setting in.
Mr. Lushington committed the prisoner for trial.
DR. NEVILLE'S OPINION
Careful consideration of all the circumstances connected with the finding of the human arm in the Thames, as narrated yesterday, has strengthened the belief that there is a crime at the bottom of this mystery. Dr. Neville is most emphatic in his declaration that the arm has not been severed from the body for "scientific purposes," and this would seem to dispose of the idea that the throwing of the limb into the Thames is part of a joke on the part of medical students for the purpose of heightening the public alarm at a particular moment. The most diligent search is being made on land and water. It is to be remembered that the Richmond murder was a case of the same character, and the horrible murder and mutilation perpetrated by one low woman was enveloped in mystery for some days until a clue was obtained, which, followed up by the police, led to the unravelling of the whole story.
Yesterday afternoon, Dr. Neville, the divisional surgeon, accompanied by Chief-Inspector Jones and Inspector Adams of the B division, visited the mortuary at the Ebury-bridge, Pimlico, for the purpose of minutely examining the arm. The limb measured, to the tips of the fingers, exactly 30 inches, and it was noticed that the palm of the hand presented a corrugated appearance, which is, no doubt, attributable to the action of the water. The fingers, which are described as being rather stout, are shrivelled up, and it is said that the back of the hand is peculiarly white, resembling a piece of white coral. The flesh projects beyond the finger nails, which are very dirty. The arm will for the present remain at the mortuary to await the orders of Mr. John Troutbeck, the district coroner, who has been informed of the discovery; but it is highly improbable that an inquest will be held.
Up to the present the police at Pimlico have discovered no further remains, though a diligent watch has been kept at the river side. The arm already found is lying at the Millbank-road mortuary.
Yesterday afternoon, at the usual meeting of the Paddington Board of Guardians, held at the Workhouse, Harrow-road, under the presidency of Major-General H. E. Whish, the master of the workhouse called attention to the great increase in the number of vagrants seeking admission to the casual wards. They had to turn numbers away every night, for there was not accommodation sufficient for those who applied. On the previous night fifty-four persons made an application, but only thirty-two could be admitted. There was every indication that the number of persons seeking shelter in casual wards would very much increase during the next few months, and he desired to know what was to be done.-The clerk added that there was a fearful scramble among half-starved wretches for admission into the workhouse on the previous night.-Colonel Blair said that the number of casuals had increased over 70 per cent. during the last month. It was evident that something must be done.-Deputy Surgeon-General Jessop said that there was every reason to believe that the distress would be very great during the approaching winter.-The master of the workhouse stated that all the metropolitan casual wards were full every evening, which was most usual at this time of the year.-It was eventually referred to the workhouse master to ascertain what other parishes did with the casuals.