15 September 1888
THE WHITECHAPEL MURDER.
ANOTHER MAN SEEN WITH A KNIFE.
The attention of the police is being directed to the elucidation of a suspicious incident which occurred yesterday. About ten o'clock in the evening a man passed through the Tower Subway from the Surrey to the Middlesex side, and said to the caretaker, "Have you caught any of the Whitechapel murderers yet?" He then produced a knife, about a foot in length, with a curved blade, and remarked "This will do for them." He was followed, but ran away, and was lost sight of near Torby-street. The following is a description of the man. Age, about 30, height, 5ft, 3in. Complexion and hair dark, with moustache and false whiskers, which he pulled off while running away. Dress, new black dress suit and light dust-coat, and dark cloth double (illegible).
The Central News says: "The bloodstained newspapers which were found in Bailey's yard, close to Hanbury-street, and upon which it is conjectured the Spitalfields murderer wiped his hands after committing his fearful crime, have been subjected to analysis and the stains are certified to be those of human blood. The police who made the search state distinctly that the paper was not there when they made the search on Saturday and though they have been closely cross-examined on this point they adhere to their statement. It is not clear moreover that the murderer could have thrown the newspapers in the spot where they were found from the backyard in Hanbury-street; but if he threw the paper, which was rolled up into a round mass over the wall, it might easily have been blown or kicked into the corner in which it was found. Yesterday the police precautions were even stronger than before, the murderer hitherto having selected Friday or Saturday for the commission of his crimes.
Our Maidstone correspondent states that a Scotland-yard detective has arrived there and interviewed the commander of the Sussex Regiment, with a view to identifying the writing on the envelope found on the murdered woman.
Inspector Chandler states that up to noon yesterday no arrest had been made in connection with the Whitechapel murders. The expectation of an early arrest entertained by the police on Thursday was somewhat less sanguine yesterday. The police are making enquiries as to the whereabouts of the pensioner who was said to have kept company with the murdered woman Chapman. All traces have been lost of him since Saturday last. Tim Donovan, who gave evidence at the inquest which connected this man with the deceased says he is known by the name of Ted Stanley, but he does not know his occupation, while the watchman at the lodging-house in Dorset-street whence Chapman left on Saturday morning last, and was not afterwards seen alive, asserts that the pensioner went to the lodging-house on Saturday last as usual, and on being informed that Chapman had been murdered nearly fainted. The police think that he is keeping out of the way more from shame in having been associated with the deceased than from any fear that he has of being connected with the murder. It more than probable also that he may be one of the regular attenders from the country at the Spitalfields market, and will put in his usual appearance on Saturday. It is regarded as of considerable importance that Dr. Philips, on Thursday, established the fact that the deceased must have been lying in the back yard in Hanbury-street at least upwards of two hours before her body was found, and that young Richardson's evidence cannot, therefore, be relied on, this gives the police only about two hours to account for in connection with the disappearance of Chapman, and evidence is being sought as to her whereabouts during this time.
Special enquiries are being directed by the police to ascertain who was the writer of the envelope bearing the embossed stamp of the Sussex Regiment, a portion of which envelope was found on Chapman. It has just been ascertained that she had been in the habit of receiving similar letters.
No further arrests had been made up to two o'clock yesterday, nor have the police made any enquiries in Heate-street regarding information given to a reporter by the young woman Lloyd. It is significant that the description of the man who was chased into a bye-street exactly agrees with the description of a strange man seen in Flower and Dean-street on Sunday afternoon, with whom a woman, named Lyons, went into a neighbouring house, and whose suspicious behaviour, coupled with the fact that he carried a large knife, led the woman to communicate with the Commercial-street police.
The police were, yesterday, in communication with the pensioner who was said to have been seen in the company of the murdered woman Chapman. He had voluntarily explained his connections with the deceased and his antecedents. His statements are, it is understood, entirely satisfactory, and he will be produced as a witness when the inquest is resumed.
A man was arrested in Whitechapel last night on a charge of threatening to stab people in the neighbourhood of the Tower. A roughly sharpened knife was found upon him. He is a short, stout man, with a sandy beard, and wears a dark cap.
On the question as to the time when the crime was committed, concerning which there was a difference between the evidence of the man Richardson and the opinion of Dr. Philips, a correspondent yesterday elicited that Mr. Cadoche, who lives in the next house to No. 29, Hanbury-street, where the murder was committed, went to the back of the premises at half-past five a.m. As he passed the wooden partition he heard a woman say. "No, no." On returning he heard a scuffle, and then some one fell heavily against the fence. He heard no cry for help, and so he went into his house. Some surprise is felt that this statement was not made in evidence at the inquest. There is a very strong feeling in the district, and large numbers of persons continue to visit the locality.
A correspondent writes to a contemporary as to the employment of bloodhounds for tracking murderers: "In 1852 or 1853 the late Duke of Manchester had in his possession several bloodhounds. Sheep had been stolen several times from outlying farms and villages. At length, a farmer at Little Staughton, Beds, three miles from Kimbolton, lost a sheep, and after searching fruitlessly for four days, asked Mr. Bollard, the Duke of Manchester's keeper if he would take over one of the hounds, and to say if anything could be found. Mr. Bollard, myself, and the hound were in the field next morning at three o'clock. The dog, on being put on the trail, bore almost directly homeward, not by the road, but across country, and kept our horses at full speed. After running about two miles he stopped at an open drain, in which, after a search, we discovered the skin and entrails of a sheep. The dog, on being put on the trail again, ran nearly a mile on the hard road to a cottage at Stoneley, near Kimbolton, where the greater part of the sheep was found. I feel sure that, had the police been provided with a hound and a good horse, the Whitechapel murderer would have been found within six hours."
Mr. John Hay writes to us: About 12 years ago a man was hung at Cambridge for murdering a young girl by cutting her throat. The motive for committing the crime was the girl had caused the man to suffer from a certain illness. In reading the paper about this late murder I noticed the woman was an out-patient of St. Bartholomew's Hospital. If so - if she was suffering from a certain illness- it would be a motive for committing the crime. The man might have contracted the disease from one of the women, and, not knowing which, murdered several. Should the cowardly wretch be arrested, and found to be suffering from the loathsome disease, it would be a link towards bringing the crime home to him. If an Act of Parliament were passed that any woman well knowing her condition were found guilty of this offence and sent to prison, we should not see so many poor wretches crawling about the streets all hours of the night trying to get money for their "doss."
The funeral of Annie Chapman, the last victim of the Whitechapel murderer, took place yesterday morning. The utmost secrecy was observed in the arrangements, and none but the undertaker, police, and relatives of the deceased knew anything about it. Shortly after seven o'clock a hearse drew up outside the mortuary in Montagu-street and the body was quickly removed. At nine o'clock, a start was made for Manor Park Cemetery; the place selected by the friends of the deceased for the interment but no coaches followed as it was desired that public attention should not be attracted. Mr. Smith and other relatives met the body at the cemetery, and the service was duly performed in the ordinary manner. The remains of the deceased were enclosed in a black-covered elm coffin, which bore the words, "Annie Chapman, died September 8, 1888. Aged 48 years."
STRAY DOGS IN LONDON. - During the month of August 1,296 stray dogs were taken to the Dogs' Home at Battersea by the Metropolitan Police. Twenty-four mad or ferocious dogs were killed in the streets by the police, and five by private persons. Four other dogs were certified as suffering from rabies, and ten from epilepsy. The number of persons known to have been bitten by dogs was 150, including four constables.
At the Southwark Police-court, yesterday, Benjamin Quinnell, 27, a labourer, was brought up, on remand, before Mr. James Sheil, charged with stabbing Mary Watts, on 23rd, ult. - The prisoner has been remanded from time to time in consequence of the absence of the prosecutrix, who did not appear in answer to a summons, and was now brought to the Court on a warrant. She stated that the reason that she had stayed away was that she went in fear of the prisoner's companions, and believed her life to be in danger. She was a charwoman, and at the time of this assault lived in Charles-street, Holloway. Soon after midnight on the day in question she, in company with a friend of hers was walking along the Lower Marsh, Lambeth. The prisoner came behind her, put his arms round her waist, and pushed her down Grove-place.
She resented his offensive behaviour, and called out, struggling as hard as she could; then she felt she was stabbed, and called out "I am stabbed." The woman who was with her ran for a policeman, and gave the prisoner into custody a short distance from the place where she was stabbed. They were both sober, and the prisoner was a complete stranger to her. She bled very much. Dr. Farr, the divisional surgeon, dressed the wound. -Prisoner, when charged at the instance of the woman named Davis with stabbing the prosecutrix, said he had only just come from the Canterbury Music Hall, but both women identified him. A knife was produced, found upon the prisoner. - Dr. Farr said it was such an instrument as would produce the wound found upon the prosecutrix. -Mr. Sheil: Where is the woman Davis, who saw the prisoner? - Police constable Doran said he had tried to find her, but could not; there was a summons out for her attendance.
Mr. Sheil (to the prosecutrix): We have had a great deal of trouble to get you here; now tell me where Davis is to be found - you know. - The Prosecutrix: I do not. I saw her after I had failed to attend last time, and she was very angry with me for not coming here against this scoundrel; but she has moved away, and I do not know where she is. I tell you the truth. The prisoner has so many friends who would injure me that I go in fear of my life. - Mr. Sheil: This is such a serious case that the woman Davis must be found and brought here and I will grant a warrant for her arrest. There must be no failure of justice in a matter of this kind. The prosecutrix must be looked after, so that she may be free from molestation. - The prisoner: Will you take bail? - Mr. Sheil: Certainly Not.
In connection with the Pimlico mystery, Inspector Webber, A division, attended before the magistrate at Westminster, yesterday, and stated that the police on Thursday night found and took home the girl Emma Potter, who was reported missing by her mother, who had expressed the fear that the girl's disappearance might be associated with the discovery of a mutilated limb at Pimlico.
During August 167 officers of the Metropolitan Police were specially commended for meritorious conduct, namely, 29 for courage in stopping runaway horses, 6 for killing mad or savage dogs at great personal risk, 3 for courage at fires, 2 for courageous apprehension of persons by whom they were assaulted, 6 for rendering first aid in cases of accident, and 121 for other services of a courageous character.
A week ago to-day London was startled by the news of the horrible tragedy of Hanbury-street. Since then the police have been active in their endeavours to track the assassin, who they believe was the author of at least three of the diabolic East-end murders. Arrest after arrest has been made, one so late as yesterday, but no clue has been found to the real murderer. Is it the fault of the police? It is easy to sneer at the detective force, and rate them of their inefficiency, but it is rather hard to blame them for not finding a needle in a haystack. Their errors, like those of everybody else, are obvious, but we cannot say that the arrest of Piser was an error. After the rumours about a "Leather Apron," a name by which Piser admitted he was known, they were almost bound to call upon the man to give an account of his movements on the mornings of the murders. Doubtless this has been unpleasant for Piser, but it cannot do him lasting injury. The conduct of the police in one direction has certainly been unaccountable. In any well-organized detective system the examination of the body and place where it is found takes precedence of everything else in the care and attention bestowed upon it. Our London Police methods are not fixed on any definite ideas, and are not bounded by the laws that would guide scientific searchers for the truth. The body of Mary Ann Nichols, after the most perfunctory of examinations, was confided to the care of some workhouse officials, who proceeded to unclothe it and wash it without leave asked - thus possibly destroying some trace that might have afforded a clue. This was bad but worse remains behind. The lesson in the Nichols case taught nothing to our police Bourbons. They neither learned nor forgot; they adhered to their good old slip-shod way of doing things, and when the body of Annie Chapman was found a little better examination was perhaps, made; but the police again handed over the body to the workhouse, and the cleanly persons there at once washed away, as far as soap and water permitted, all traces of the murder. The doctor and the coroner both complained of this, but should the outchering maniac effect another murder - and one seems due about this time - it is too much to hope that our police will deal with the body in a different manner. This is a matter more important than the mind of the ordinary citizen conceives, and calls for the immediate attention of the supreme authorities. Proper mortuaries must at once be provided, and the police must be instructed in the elementary principles of their business, so that they will not allow the destruction of blood or anything else that may lead to the detection of the crime.
The outcry, however, that is raised against the police because they have not arrested the actual murderer is unjust. No one can expect a police constable to be omnipresent; and it is no discredit to the force that one of its members did not happen to be on the spot at the precise moment when Annie Chapman was done to death in a back-yard in Hanbury-street. After the crime, the murderer vanished as completely as though he had never been, and left absolutely no trace of his existence, except the foul deed he had committed. There was not only no clue, there was no trace of a clue, no hint in what direction a clue was to be found, to guide the police. It was not so much that things were left vague and doubtful as that they were left absolutely blank. Under these circumstances it is inconsiderate folly to blame the police for not doing more than they have done. It is not too much to say that the highest intellects in the country would fail, just as does an ordinary constable or detective, to detect a criminal who leaves no tracks, unless the detection were more or less of and accident. It is also unjust to rail against the police because they have apprehended several people who afterwards turned out to be innocent. As we have shown in the case of the man Piser, He was generally suspected by Whitechapel people of being the criminal, and this fact alone justified the police in enquiring very closely into his movements, The man Pigott had blood stains on his clothes and boots, he is known to have been in the neighbourhood of Hanbury-street on the morning of the murder, and he turns out to be a lunatic. These were surely potent reasons for arresting him! Reasons nearly as good, in many cases quite as good, could be given for the other arrests, and, therefore, it is simply silly to rail at the police for the action they have taken. They have a most difficult task before them, and we must protest against its being made still more difficult by such ignorant or inconsiderate criticism as has been lately levelled against them.
Exception was taken the other day during the Whitechapel inquest to the sketch being published in The Star, which purported to be a likeness of Piser, the celebrated "Leather Apron." Piser declared that the sketch wasn't a bit like him, and those who had seen the "portrait" and the man were able to agree with him. An explanation of the discrepancy between picture and subject has since been supplied to us, and it reflects more credit upon the imaginativeness of our contemporary than upon its conscientiousness. It appears that the artist saw one of the two men arrested at the police station, took a mental note of his features and made a rough sketch of him immediately afterwards.
The sketch was given to a Star reporter, who asked what was the man's name. The artist didn't know, but calculated it might be Piser. This was enough for the exponents of the New Journalism, wherein accuracy is of the least importance. The sketch was promptly reproduced and labelled "Leather Apron." Subsequently it transpired that the subject was not Piser at all, but Pigott, a fact which satisfactorily accounts for its want of resemblance to him. This is one way of publishing "portraits."