6 October 1888
A clever though somewhat superficial Frenchman, writing about our Sunday observances, opined that the English, who were the most sensible people on the face of the earth for six days of the week, took leave of their senses on the seventh. The East end Christian, watching his Jewish brother, is almost bound to come to the conclusion that the latter, while by no means a fool from Sunday morning till Friday night, is more sensible still on his Sabbath day. The lower class Jew, of whom I am speaking here, not only abstains more strictly from work on his day of rest than his equally humble Christian neighbour does on his, but spends it differently. As a rule the Jew is not addicted to drunkenness, though his mode of living, less exclusive now than formerly, has made a considerable alteration in that respect. This does not mean that he gets "blind roaring drunk" but he is not a teetotaler by a long way. But even when he exceeds the bounds of moderation at ordinary times he will leave off swilling on Friday at sunset. His Christian brother keeps up the game till midnight on Saturday, and as a matter of course, sleeps off his bout on Sunday morning; consequently the ushering in the day of rest - not from a religious, but merely from a family point of view - does not exist for this Christian brother, except perhaps on Christmas Eve. The Jew, on the other hand, unless he is actually destitute, has a very comfortable time of it on Friday night. Whatever good or bad luck the previous six days may have brought, there has been actual or attempted provision for the seventh. The housewife has been to market on Friday morning according to her means, the homely board is spread at dusk that same evening, and whatever else may be lacking the the way of table appointments that board is sure to be graced by a clean white cloth. If the head of the family be not exactly orthodox, but simply observant of his religion, there will be the blessing of the wine and of the bread, albeit that the former commodity owes nothing to the vineyards of France or elsewhere, and is only a decoction of grocers' raisins and water. After which the whole of the household sit down to their meal - not a very sumptuous one, but carefully cooked. The chances are ten to one - remember I am speaking of the poorer classes - that the repast merely consists of fried fish, bread and butter and tea, but it is good of its kind, for the Jewish housewife is essentially a clever cook. The girls and boys have "cleaned themselves" and, after supper, their young friends of both sexes will come in and spend the evening with them and their parents. If it will run to it, there will be during the evening such homely delicacies as roasted chestnuts or baked apples in the winter, in the summer cheap raw fruit. In former days Jewish lads and lasses scarcely ever left their parents' homes, unless it were to go to a near neighbour. Things have changed somewhat, still even now they rarely go on that night to the play or music hall, which outing is reserved for Saturday night. The Jew is essentially find of music, and above of florid Italian music. When cheap opera in English used to flourish at the Standard Theatre, half of the audience was composed of Hebrews. It is no unfrequent thing, therefore, for the belated wayfarer through the dark alleys in the purlieus of Petticoat lane and Goulston street to be attracted by operatic choruses, nay even solos, sing very decently indeed. Should his curiosity lead him to have a peep through the chinks of the shutters he will be gratified by a family picture such as that described by George Eliot in "Daniel Deronda," a little more lowly, perhaps, in texture, but essentially the same in outline. As with his Friday night so with his Saturday morning and throughout that day. The poorer Jew must be poor indeed to have no Sabbath suit of clothes. The poorer Jew must be poor indeed not to have superior food on his day of rest.
The Christian brother in his immediate proximity has observed all this, and asked himself how the Jew manages on earnings probably not superior to his own. His wife (the Christian's) is probably engaged in the same workshop with the Jew's daughter, for umbrella making, waistcoat and trouser making is not confined to the Jewess down Whitechapel way. The Christian goes out with the "glass basket," the Jew goes out with his old clothes bag. By the glass basket I mean the men who go from house to house bartering cheap Bohemian glass ornaments, artificial waxen flowers on stands, sets of jugs, &c., &c., for left off clothing. The Jew, instead of giving the latter, gives hard cash. The Christian, therefore, knows that he has as much chance of a windfall as the other. How, then, does the Jew manage to do more with his money than the Christian? That is what the Christian asks himself, and if he be not altogether a ginsodden brute, he is not very long in arriving at a solution. "The Jew," he says, "tries to buy and sell, in however small a way, instead of doing manual work. So for the old men; the women work with their needle, as do my wife and daughter. The sons do not take to carpentering, smith's, or upholsterer's work. If they toil with their hands at all. they take to cigar making, boot rivetting, and tailoring - trades, in which, if they are steady at all, they can start on their own account with a very small capital indeed. Why should I not do the same?" And he does the same. If authentic statistics could be arrived at, it would be found that in the area mentioned by me in my former article, there are fewer artisans in proportion to the population than elsewhere, except tailors, boot rivetters, &c., &c. If all the proprietors of the attractive fruit shops in the various populous quarters of London were to be canvassed, and if they were prepared to tell the truth, it would be found that their first start at shopkeeping was due to emulation of the Jew. The fried fish and potato shops, the fumes of whose pans greet our nostrils in the transpontine and other regions, are due to the initiative of the Jew. The sale of sewing machines, perambulators, mangles, &c., by weekly payments - not an unmixed blessing, perhaps - was inaugurated by a Jew.
In Whitechapel, and in the adjacent roads, the Jew's influence on his Christian brethren is plainly visible for good and evil. The good I have endeavoured to point out, I now come to the evil. Such businesses as the Jew engages in at starting require, first and foremost, not only assiduous application, but hardheadedness and in the beginning careful husbanding of the first gains. Whether the Jew excels in all these qualities, it would be difficult to say off hand; certain it is that those with whom he deals give him, as a rule, credit for such, chiefly because he has a reputation for sobriety. The Christian is reputed not to be so sober. But if he be as temperate as the Jew, he is not so daring, especially if he have spring from the humbler orders. With the Jew's example so very close to him, he, however, catches some of it, and it would be easy enough to point out scores and scores of prosperous shops in Whitechapel whose proprietors, Christians, launched into business with a mere nothing.
But to return to my theme. The Jew, as I have already hinted, is fond of finery, but frugal and hard working though he be when needs must, he is also very indolent the moment the first pressure is removed. He then begins to work with his head, while he lets the others do the laborious physical toil. There are down Whitechapel half a dozen coffee shops - not public houses - from which he directs his operations, whatever they may be. In one case he may have a score of men out for him buying job lots in the City. The humbler ones buy the leather cuttings of the boot and shoe manufacturers, others buy waste paper, and so forth. But one and all, while not pretending to work, work. The Christian who is not in the secret begins by imitating the Jew in not working. By some process of his own he thinks that what the Jew can do at his leisure he can do. And the Christian goes to the wall, and ends in a lodging house in Flower and Dean street, while the Jew migrates to Maida Vale or Canonbury, or Westbourne Park in the end. This is the evil part.
I have left the most delicate matter to the last, and I am very reluctant to tackle it now, lest I be suspected of wishing to prove too much. The police will tell any careful inquirer that there is "not a single Jewess among the class of unfortunates who have lately become the victims of the murderer's knife." Let not the reader infer from this that there are no Jewesses leading immoral lives. At the risk of being contradictory, I can answer that there are. But they are all more or less prosperous. Like their brethren in trade, they began with the intention of throwing the burden on others, and so well have they succeeded that they are the mistresses of establishments, the threshold of which the fiend that stalks abroad would not dare to approach. In short, the Jew is the Yankee of Europe - acute, scrupulous - because afraid of the law. Those who come in daily contact with him at his headquarters do equally well, provided they penetrate the secret of his success; but if they only guess part they are submerged. That is why the lower classes in Whitechapel are less poor, less degraded, less unclean, at least outwardly, than elsewhere in the metropolis, unless they are poorer, more degraded, and more unspeakably filthy than any of the lower classes anywhere in the world. The latter are, however, the exception.
The Metropolitan Police force, under the Home Office or directed by a popularly elected body, will always be severely criticised and often attacked. It is too much to suppose that out of the 5,476,447 people whose lives and property it protects, there will not be some who are dissatisfied with the methods of protection and detection. Because the police are neither omnipresent nor omnipotent, there seems a disposition in certain quarters to oust them ignominiously from their position. To this foolish tendency we have never lent support. We have recognised the painful duties which even the most humble constable has to perform, and we have admitted the general efficiency with which each member of the force goes about his task. The inability to capture the Whitechapel murderer has naturally intensified the chronic dissatisfaction, but when a return is called for showing the work the police have recently performed in the East end, it is probable the police will more than justify themselves. In this connection it is fitting to examine carefully the report of Sir Charles Warren, just issued. Sir Charles points out that the total force under his command is 14,081, and that its number is not by any means commensurate with the demands upon it. making deductions for illness, absences, and special work, the men available for street duty are only 8,773. the augmentation of the number of men has not kept pace with the continually increasing work. In 1849 there were 5,288 men available for street duty, and then the population to be protected was 2,473,758, while now the population is, as we have said, near five and a half millions. Since 1849, also, 1,833 miles of new streets have been added, so the area is far beyond the powers of the force to afford efficient watching. London is in fact far behind the other great cities of the world in the comparative strength of its police, and a good case is certainly made out for a largely increased force. The police rate is in the nature of an insurance premium on life and property, and Londoners generally will surely not object to pay a little more in order to make the war against crime and anarchy more successful. The rateable value of the Metropolitan district is over thirty four million pounds, and the real value of the property in it almost incalculable. For the protection of this property the cost of the police, £1,096,277 is quite a small sum.
Taken in connection with recent revelations of the awful conditions of vice and immorality under which life is lived in the East end of London, it is curious to note that the Baptist Union held a large missionary meeting at Huddersfield, last night, when urgent appeals were made for funds to extend the foreign missions of the society. Would it not be more in keeping with the real spirit of Christianity if the various religious bodies were to pay more attention to their fellow subjects in our great towns and cities, and leave the inoffensive heathen to settle among themselves - without prejudice, as the lawyers say - the relative merits of sprinkling and immersion as a passport to Paradise?
THE WHITECHAPEL ATROCITIES.
TO THE EDITOR OF "THE EVENING NEWS."
Sir - As a constant reader of your valuable paper, I beg to bring forward one or two suggestions which may be worth notice on this most important occasion. In the first place, supposing that the above be the work of one individual, it does not seem at all unnatural to suppose that the monster knew the extent of the constable's beat in each and every case, and how long it would take for him to appear at the same spot. There ought, I maintain, to be extra constables placed in between the time for a man going the full extent of his beat, occupying in most cases from ten to fifteen minutes. For argument's sake, we will suppose it to be the work of a gang. I ask, what earthly chance would that poor constable stand, considering that the only weapon he has to protect himself is a truncheon? It stands to reason that his regulation stamp would allow the scoundrels every opportunity to prepare themselves to meet him. The only weapon that should be carried by them in that district should surely be a loaded revolver ready at hand. I would in conclusion suggest that all constables employed on night duty should wear silent shoes, as no doubt many have defeated the ends of justice by the regulation stamp.
I am, &c.,
Sir - I beg to point out to you certain characteristics (if not already noticed by you) in the handwriting of the letter and postcard - said to be facsimiles of those received, signed "Jack the Ripper," and which I would suggest be made public, as the writing casually noticed might not be recognised. I would first draw attention to the S. The letter in every instance where commencing a word is quite isolated from the other letters forming the word, the point of the finger cutting it off. The letter R, ending in Ripper and doctor, as elsewhere, are particular or rather peculiar in formation. The C's, somewhat meagre. The T's you will also see are crossed in a definite manner clean to the left. You will from the foregoing, when comparing the postcard and letter referred to, identify both as one writing.
I am, &c.,
Sir - Surely the impotence of the means at our command to deal with cleverly concocted crime which is demonstrated beyond a doubt by the dreadful state of things which has paralysed the East end of London should set us to work to find out machinery which is better able to serve the purpose. Our detective force must be reformed. It is no use to trust any longer the safety of our women and all unarmed persons to the vigilance of the belled cat who announces his approach in the very uniformity of his walk which he has acquired whilst a police constable. We must have a force with which the criminal cannot make himself familiar. We must have a body of men who are unknown and are able to make their way unsuspected, and, in fact, trusted by the very criminals themselves. It is worthwhile to remind your readers of what has occurred several times in France, where perhaps the secret police is the most efficient in the world. It has not unfrequently happened that members of the secret police there, even women, have become trusted members, of bands of ruffians, and have taken a leading part in the planning and preparation of a crime. At the right moment they have, of course, arranged for the capture of the whole gang, and stood side by side in the dock with the criminals unsuspected, and believed to be virtually of their class, and have received at the hands of the judges sentences, as if they had actually participated in the crime. They have subsequently, of course, been removed to a place of safety and rewarded, as their splendid services deserved. Some such system as this ought without a day's delay to be adopted here. The blood of the victims of the enormous mass of undiscovered crime in England calls aloud for some such innovation. The public safety demands it, and common prudence renders it absolutely necessary. Then again, who do we have for the directors and chiefs of our detective departments men who may be excellent as soldiers, perfect as disciplinarians, but who understand, perhaps, no more the detection of crime and the spying out of criminals than a simple child? Why have we not men whose lives have been devoted to the study of such things, men whose experience, perhaps, can find a parallel for every crime, criminal lawyers of long standing like Mr. Montagu Williams, Mr. Poland, and others, who must be quite familiar with the methods of the criminal class? Why can we not recruit into our detective ranks such person as the clerks of solicitors, who have been engaged in criminal practice, and who must have a knowledge of the ins and outs of such things second only, if second, to that of the gentlemen whom I have named? Why must we also keep to the beaten track which leads only to impotence, and consequently universal terror, when prudent remedies, and the careful selection of the persons to deal with such things might render the chances of criminals to escape infinitesimal indeed, instead of, as it at present seems, almost as probable as otherwise?
Hoping, Sir, that you will insert this letter, if only to wake up a discussion upon the subject of a reform in this respect,
I am, &c.,
Sir - I have no wish to trespass on your already replete space, but permit me to point out that the Whitechapel murderer cannot, or is not likely to be, an inhabitant of Whitechapel at all. It would be quite easy for a person to come into that neighbourhood from a remote one by the Underground Railway to Aldgate, without much observation, and return by another way. It is my impression that he is a person of education, and has the means to adapt his apparel as a disguise, and to remove traces of blood from it. These reversible mackintoshes with a sponge would form at once a disguise and protection. It is difficult to connect in one's mind the idea of a respectably dressed person carrying a black bag with such atrocious crimes, but it may be so, and he may reside with quiet people, quite the other side of the City, who have not the remotest idea what their lodger really is. It behoves all people, therefore, to be on guard, and to report to the police "obscure doings of suspicious persons." Just now the air is full of theories; but it seems to me that the true scent has been lost, because a maniac or outcast is being sought for. It is quite feasible for other theories to hold water, and yet the true criminal may be outwardly a respectable person who attends to his work during the day, but who is sometimes late in coming home at night.
I am, &c.,
LETTERS FROM "JACK THE RIPPER" TO THE POLICE.
The Press Association said the following postal telegram was received by metropolitan police at 11.55 last night. It was handed in at an office in the Eastern District at 8 p.m. "Charles Warren, head of the Police, New Central Office.
Dear Boss - If you are willing enough to catch me, I am now in City road lodging, but number you will have to find out, and I mean to do another murder tonight in Whitechapel.
Yours, Jack the Ripper."
A letter was also received at the Commercial street police station, by the first post, this morning. It was addressed to the "Commercial street Police Station" in blacklead pencil, and the contents was also written in pencil, and couched in ridiculous language. The police believe it to be the work of a lunatic. It was signed "Jack the Ripper," and said he was "going to work" in Whitechapel last night. He added that he was going to commit another murder in the Goswell road, tonight, and spoke of having "several bottles of blood under ground in Epping Forest," and frequently referred to "Jack the Ripper under the ground."
Detective Inspector Aberline (sic) has been informed of the correspondence, and the police of the G division have been communicated with.
The police have as yet practically no clue, but they are confident that the murderer is still in the East end, and certain suspected neighbourhoods are under observation. It is pointed out that the murderer, after the commission of his last crime, undoubtedly proceeded from Mitre square by way of Church passage, Duke street, Houndsditch, Gravel lane, Stoney lane, to Goulston street, at which spot a clue appears to have been lost of him. In this neighbourhood he evidently entered one of the notorious houses, which cannot be entered without elaborate arrangements by and a certain amount of danger to the police. It would take about ten minutes for a person to get from Mitre square to the neighbourhood, so that the murderer was well away from the scene, and perhaps safely under cover before Constable Watkins obtained even medical assistance after the discovery of the body. This is a point put forward by the police in favour of bloodhounds being employed, as it is suggested had one of the hounds been brought on the scene immediately there would have been little, if any, chance of the murderer evading justice so long as he has. The prevailing opinion among the police now although the daring which has characterised his previous acts, shake their theories, is that he will keep in hiding for some time until the excitement abates, or the precautions are relaxed; or that he will find a new field for his operations in another part of the town.
The Central News is authorised to state that Sir Charles Warren has been making inquiries as to the practicability of employing trained bloodhounds in the streets of London; and, having ascertained that dogs, which have been accustomed to work in a town, can be procured, he is making immediate arrangements for their use in London.
Yesterday, at the Guildhall Police court, before Sir Alderman Stone, William Bull, 27, living at Stannard road, Dalston, was charged on remand with having committed the murder in Mitre square, Aldgate, on Sunday morning. The facts were given in The Times of Thursday. Mr. Savill (chief clerk) asked Inspector Izzard if he had made inquiries during the remand. Inspector Izzard: I have, and the result is perfectly satisfactory. The prisoner for several years was engaged at Messrs. Ryland's, and bore an irreproachable character. Recently he has given way to drink, and this is the result. His family are highly respectable. The Alderman: Have you ascertained where he was on Saturday night? Inspector Izzard: yes; I have a gentleman in Court, a Mr. Day, with whom the prisoner was on Saturday night till 12 o'clock. The Alderman: It is with great regret that I find the law does not permit me to punish you for your conduct. The statement you made to the Inspector on Tuesday night was without the least foundation in fact. At a time like this your acts are perfectly inexcusable. I must discharge you and I hope you will be thoroughly ashamed of your bad behaviour. Prisoner: Since I have been in prison I have signed the pledge. The Alderman: And I hope you will keep it. Accused was discharged.
The daughter of the woman who was murdered in Mitre square has been found. Her age is 19, and she is married. She states that her father, Thomas Conway, with whom the deceased cohabited for some time before she met with Kelly, is still living, but he has not yet been traced. It will be remembered that Kelly stated in the course of his evidence on Thursday, before the Coroner, that when the deceased left him early last Saturday afternoon she told him she was going to try and find her daughter Annie. The latter, however, now states that she did not see her mother that day.
The funeral of the Mitre square victim will take place next Monday. The remains will leave the City mortuary between two and three o'clock, and will be interred in the cemetery at Ilford. The relatives have accepted the offer of Mr. Hawkes, of Banner street, St. Luke's, to bear the expenses of the funeral.
Yesterday afternoon, shortly after three o'clock, information was given at the police station in Moor lane, as to a man who had been seen in Liverpool street at twenty minutes past one o'clock, and who has been followed to a public house in Chiswell street. His conduct was stated to have been suspicious, and he was said to resemble the description given of the East end murderer.
The Central News says: A woman was found lying insensible in Brick lane shortly before midnight. A crowd quickly collected, and great excitement prevailed. It seems that about half past 11 o'clock three men noticed a hansom cab containing two men and a woman turn down Air street. having reached a dark railway arch the men in the cab got out and deposited upon the ground the woman, who was apparently insensible. The three men who were watching, having their suspicions aroused, raised an alarm. The other two men jumped into the cab, and the cabman drove hurriedly off. One of the men, however, returned to the spot where the woman had been deposited, and was pointed out to a constable, who took him to the Commercial road Police station. He gave the name of Johnson, but as he unable to dispel the suspicions of the police he was detained.
The body of the deceased woman, Kate Eddowes, has been placed in a handsome polished coffin, with oak mouldings. It has a block plate with gold letters with the following inscription:
Died September 30, 1888,
Aged 43 years."
All the expenses in connection with the funeral will be borne by Mr. Hawks, Banner street, St. Luke's.
The City authorities, to whom the cemetery at Ilford belongs, have arranged to remit the usual fee.
TO THE EDITOR OF "THE EVENING NEWS."
Sir - I have read the various scientific theories of the Whitechapel murders published in your columns during the last few days, also your able article, on September 10, after the murder of Annie Chapman, and I ask you to allow me to supplement those theories by quoting the facts of a case which came under my own observation some years ago. I had a young friend who had just returned home from college, and whose parents resided in the country. He was a fine, handsome young fellow, and, being an only son, his parents were very proud of him. After he had been home a few weeks, he received an invitation to visit some friends in London. His father readily consented, and he came here, and stayed two months. While on that visit he was allowed to do very much as he liked, and being young, and easily beguiled, he contracted a disease from which he never recovered, and which ultimately caused his death. When he returned home he confided his secret to me, and I entreated him to see a medical man at once, but he would not do so, preferring to treat with a "quack" in London, who advertised in the country papers.
Things went on in this way for nearly a year, and, of course, instead of getting better, he gradually got worse, until he ultimately became a perfect wreck, and I was reluctantly compelled to tell his father the true facts of the case, and that gentleman at once procured the best advice in his power, but the disease had thoroughly penetrated his system, and the physician could do him very little good.
At last dangerous symptoms began to develop themselves, for about every three weeks he would become morose, and his whole thoughts were concentrated on murder. He had informed me that the woman from whom he had contracted the disease was about 22 years of age, and it is a singular thing that, although his whole animosity was confined to womenkind, he never attempted to injure an elderly or middle aged lady, but if his sisters (aged respectively 20 and 22) came near him, he would fly at them like a tiger, and curse them, swearing that they had been his ruin. It was just the same if he saw young ladies of that age passing along the street he would snatch up a knife, or any weapon he could get hold of, and swear he would murder them. He had a delusion that they were all prostitutes, and that he had a mission to exterminate them wholesale; and yet, when he recovered from this mania, he was quite unconscious of his acts, and would be as affectionate and gentle to his sisters and their young lady friends as if nothing unusual had happened; but while the mania was strong upon him he showed astounding cunning, and had to be watched day and night, or there is no doubt that he would have executed his supposed mission by wholesale slaughter. Al last he became worse, and one day he attacked his favourite sister, and injured her so seriously that his friends were compelled to place him in a lunatic asylum, where he died a raving maniac.
Now, Sir, I am not a medical man, therefore I am not in a position to say whether this was a case of monomania, homicidal mania, or epilepsy; but with your kind permission I would like to point out a similarity between his case and that of the monster now committing the atrocious crimes in our midst. I have said that the woman who ruined my friend was about 22, and that when the mania was upon him he considered all girls of that age prostitutes, and that his revenge would only be complete by exterminating them wholesale. Is it not singular that the whole of the unfortunate women butchered in Whitechapel are about the same age? - viz., from 35 to 45? Can it be possible that this fiend has suffered in the same way as my friend, and has sworn a deadly revenge against all unfortunates of that age? Of course, I am presuming that he is a monomaniac, and doing his horrible work single handed.
Again, my friend always endeavoured to obtain a knife for his contemplated butchery, and constantly swore that the first victim he met he would disembowel. The knife has been the weapon chosen for the Whitechapel tragedies, only, unfortunately, it has successfully accomplished its diabolical work. You will notice that the attacks of my friend were periodical, (every three weeks), and almost the same thing occurs in the present murders. I have mentioned these facts to show you that, although my friend was prevented from carrying out his designs, there is not the least doubt but that he would have done so had he been a free agent in the matter; therefore, I think that in many particulars his case is analogous to the series of hideous murders lately committed. I see that the police are making vigorous search in the lodging houses of Whitechapel. I wonder if they have ever thought it possible that the assassin may have taken refuge in one of the vaults of the churches in that neighbourhood? One thing is certain, they need not look for him in lodging houses.
I noticed a letter headed "East End Atrocities" in your issue of October 3, signed A.F.H., M.D., and although I agree with a portion of what he says, I certainly cannot see why the details given at the coroner's inquest should be kept secret, for, allowing that the publication of every detail does put the criminal on his guard, it at the same time puts the whole facts before the public, and brings many things to light which may ultimately lead to the arrest of the said criminal. Germany may like secrecy, but, as a rule, John Bull likes to know what is going on around him. As regards every penny a liner, butcher boy, &c., having his theory on these murders, I suppose, as I cannot write M.D. after my name, I must consider myself classed as one of these; however, as the greater part of this letter deals with facts I am quite content to let "poor, rational medical men" lay aside hypotheses and supply theories to the above facts, which I do not profess to understand.
I am, &c.,
Carlisle street, N.W., October 5.
Sir - You publish in your special edition of the 4th a facsimile of the letter and postcard supposed to have been written by the murderer. Now, having been in America and mixed with American people, I am quite certain that the above have been written either by an American or one who has been in America for some time. The whole of the letter is full of American words and phrases: for instance, boss, fix, right track, real fits, down on, ripping, buckled, give it out straight, and right away are very common expressions used in America. Hoping some hint of this sort might lead to a clue.
I am, &c.,
London, E., October 4.
The following appears in The Times this morning:
Sir - The terror which has naturally been so widespread among the masses in the districts where the recent shocking murders were committed was intense enough without its being aggravated by the gratuitous theory of the coroner, that these horrible outrages were not the act of a maniac, but had been coolly committed by a sane person, who wished to earn a few pounds by gratifying the whims of an eccentric American anatomist. It will, no doubt, be found that the idea that Yankee enterprise gave a stimulus to these terrible atrocities is utterly baseless.
For weeks I have been expecting that some one would draw attention to the fact that precisely the same crimes were many years ago committed in Paris, and were ultimately found to have been the acts of a monomaniac.
Last summer, while travelling in France, I picked up and glanced over a French work resembling "Hine's Every day Book," which gave an account of a remarkable criminal who must have strongly resembled the fiend who has created such consternation in the East end of London. For months women of the lowest class of "unfortunates" were found murdered and mutilated in a shocking manner. In the poorest districts of the city a "reign of terror" prevailed. The police seemed powerless to afford any help or protection, and in spite of all their watchfulness fresh cases were from time to time reported, all the victims belonging to the same class, and all having been mutilated in the same fiendish way. At last a girl one night was accosted in the street by a workman, who asked her to take a walk with him. When, by the light of a lamp, she saw his face, it inspired her with a strange feeling of fear and aversion; and it instantly flashed upon her that he must be the murderer. She therefore gave him in charge of the police, who, on inquiry, found that her woman's instinct had accomplished what had baffled the skill and the exertions of all their detectives. The long sought criminal had been found at last.
It subsequently came to light that he had been impelled to commit these crimes by a brutal form of homicidal mania. He had sense enough to known that from this class of women being out late at night, and being friendless and unprotected, he could indulge his horrible craze upon them with comparative safety and impunity, and he therefore avoided selecting his victims from a more respectable class.
He was convicted and executed, to the great relief of the public; and if any persons were afterwards tempted to imitate him, his prompt punishment effectually deterred them. This notorious case must be well known to the Parisian police and to thousands of persons in France, and if inquiry is made its history can be easily procured.
No doubt a ruffian like him has turned up in East London, and will also be detected. When he is, we must trust that he will meet with the same stern justice that was meted out to his French prototype.
At the Hammersmith Police court, yesterday, Brice Williams Stillman, manager of a City Temperance restaurant, residing in Iffley road, Hammersmith, was brought before Mr. Paget, charged with unlawfully presenting a loaded pistol at Henry Grant, an omnibus conductor, and George Henry Martin, while in the Swan Hotel, Broadway. Mr. Ross appeared for the prisoner. Henry Grant said he was in the employ of the London General Omnibus Company, and lived in Overstone road, Hammersmith. At twenty minutes past twelve that morning he has in the private compartment of the bar with two or three of his friends. The prisoner, who was with other persons, proposed a "gamble" for drinks all round. He was so long about that witness said he would treat his friends. He got talking a lot and wrangling. He was drunk. Witness took no notice until he pulled out a pistol, and said, "This is a bit you ought to have," holding it towards his face. Mr. Ross: He did not shoot it at you? - Witness: No, I should have been dead if he had. The second complainant said the prisoner first showed him the pistol.
He said it was a child's toy, and put it back in his pocket. He confirmed Grant's statement with respect to the prisoner taking out the pistol, and pointing it at him. He said Grant caught hold of the prisoner's wrist and held up his hand. Witness caught hold of the other hand. It was a drunken lark. Police constable 407T, who took the prisoner into custody, said he had his hand and the pistol in his pocket. The pistol was loaded in both chambers. William Black, a 'bus driver, said there were six or seven in the bar, and they were all drunk. He thought the pistol was a "bird shooter." The prisoner drew it out and said, "There's a child's toy." There was a row all round the bar, and the prisoner was treated more like a dog than a man.
He could not say the prisoner was drunk; he had been drinking. The prosecutor and the other man were too drunk to know what they were doing. Witness remained in the house - he was too drunk to move. (Laughter.) William Jasper, a plasterer, said he was in the bar. The prisoner would not toss for drink. Mr. Paget: Who proposed it? - The witness pointed out Black. He said the prisoner pulled out the pistol, and showed it. He put it back in his pocket instantly. He did not point it at anybody. William Griffin, a cabdriver, said some person hit the prisoner on the hat, which was the instigation of the row. He did not see the pistol pointed. He saw him pull out something, which he said was a child's toy. Before he had time to put it back into his pocket he was thrown out of the bar, and given into custody. They said, "This man is Jack the Ripper; he has got a pistol." Witness took the prisoner's hat to the station. When he got there he was pushed out. Mr. Paget said the witnesses had introduced a new feature in the case, showing that the prisoner had been ill treated, which might account for him drawing the pistol. It was a question for the jury. The prisoner was then committed for trial for attempting to shoot, and for a common assault. Bail was allowed.
Mr. Wynne Baxter resumed the inquest, yesterday, at the St. George's Vestry Hall, Cable street, St. George's in the East, into the circumstances attending the death of Elizabeth Watts or Stride, who was found with her throat cut behind the building at 40 Berner street, on Sunday morning last.
Dr. Phillips, re-examined, said that as requested at the last sitting of the inquiry, he had made a re-examination with regard to the missing palate, and from very careful examination of the roof of the mouth he found that there was no injury to either the hard or the soft palate. He had also carefully examined the handkerchiefs, and had come to the conclusion that the stains on the larger handkerchief were those of fruit. He was convinced that the deceased had not swallowed the skin or inside of a grape within many hours of her death. The apparent abrasion which was found on washing the flesh was not an abrasion at all, as the skin was entire underneath. The knife produced on the last occasion he found to be such as was used in a joiner's shop, and was what was called a "slicing knife." It had been recently blunted, and its edge was turned by continued rubbing on a stone such as a kerb stone; it evidently had been before a very sharp knife, and was such a knife as could have produced the injuries and incision to the neck, but it was not such a weapon as he should have used for inflicting the injuries in this particular case. If his opinion with regard to the position of the body was correct, the knife would become a very improbable instrument as having caused the incision. He found that the deceased was seized by the shoulders, pressed on the ground, and that the perpetrator of the deed was on the left side when he inflicted the wound. He was of opinion that the cut was made from the left to the right of the deceased and from that, therefore, arose the unlikelihood of such a long knife having inflicted the wound described in the neck. The knife was not sharp pointed; but round and an inch across. There was nothing in the cut to show an incision of the point of any weapon.
In reply to the Coroner, witness said that he could not form any account of how the deceased's right hand became covered with blood. It was a mystery. He was taking it as a fact that the hand always remained in the position he found it resting across the body. Deceased must have been alive within an hour of his seeing her. The injuries would only take a few seconds to inflict, it might have been done in two seconds. He could not say with certainty whether the sweets being found in her hands would indicate that the deed had been done suddenly. He had seen several self inflicted wounds more extensive that that on the deceased, but they had not generally included the carotid artery. There was a great dissimilarity between this case and Chapman's. In the latter the neck was severed all round down to the vertebral column, the vertebral bone being enlarged by two sharp cuts, and there being an evident attempt to separate the bones. He would rather say that the assassin would not get necessarily bloodstained as the commencement of the wound and the injury to the vessels would be away from him, and the stream of blood would also be entirely away from him and towards the water course near where she lay. There was no perceptible trace of any anaesthetic or narcotic in the viscera or stomach. It was difficult to account for the absence of noise in this case, but it must not be taken for granted that there was no noise. If there was no noise it was impossible to account for.
In reply to the jury, Dr. Phillips stated that in a yard like that where the deed occurred the deceased might cry out and not be heard, but he would rather not interfere with the other evidence on this point. He had reason to believe that the deceased was lying on the ground when the wound was inflicted. There was no trace of malt liquor in the stomach.
Dr. Blackwell, recalled, said there was one point on which he was not quite clear. He had removed the cachou from the left hand, which was nearly open; in fact, it was between the thumb and the first finger, which accounted for the police not seeing it, and it was he who spilled the cachous on the ground. The hand would gradually relax while on the ground, while life ceased. He had seen many more severe wounds which were suicidal, but he agreed with Dr. Phillips that the knife found, although it might have inflicted the injury, was a most unlikely instrument. A murderer would severely handicap himself by using such a knife. It was not such an instrument as slaughterers would use. There were pressure marks on the shoulders, as if the victim had struggled.
Sven Ollsen, pastor of the Swedish Church, Princes square, stated that he saw the body of the deceased in the mortuary. Deceased was a Swede, and he had known her for the last seventeen years. Her name was Elizabeth Stride, carpenter, and she was the wife of John Thomas Stride. Her maiden name was Elizabeth Gustafstotger (sic), and she was born near Gottenberg, November 27, 1843. Witness obtained these facts from his church register. All Swedes coming to this country gave in a certificate to the church. Deceased was registered on July 10, 1866. There was also an entry in abbreviated Swedish to the effect that she was married to an Englishman named John Thomas Stride. Witness said he knew the hymnbook produced, dated 1821, and he mentioned it as one he had given to the deceased last winter. He thought she was married to Stride about 1869, but could not say when the latter died. Deceased was not in good circumstances when her husband died, but was very poor and would have been glad of any assistance. Witness gave her some assistance at that time.
Coroner: Do you know that there was a subscription raised for the friends of those who went down in the Princess Alice? - No.
Well, I can tell you there was, and I can tell you more, that no one of the name of Stride made any application.
Witness said he had never heard of deceased having had any children, or having made any application to the Princess Alice Fund. He had never seen her husband. Some years ago she gave him her address as Devonshire street, Commercial road. She said she was doing a little sewing. She could speak English pretty well. He thought deceased came to England a little before she was registered in the church books.
William Marshall, 64 Berner street, Commercial road, labourer, was the next witness. He said he had seen the body on Sunday in the mortuary. He had seen the deceased on the Saturday evening before in Berner street, about three doors from the house of witness - that would be at No. 58. She was on the pavement opposite No. 58, between Christian street and Boyd street. She was standing talking to a man on the pavement. He recognised the deceased as the same woman he had seen, both by her face and her dress. He did not notice that she had any flower. He did not see the man's face distinctly, but he noticed that he was dressed in a black cutaway coat and dark trousers, and was wearing a brown cap with a small peak, somewhat like what a sailor would wear. The man's height was about 5ft 6in; he was middle aged, rather stout, and appeared decently dressed. He was not like a man who did hard work, nor was he like a sailor, but he had more the appearance of a clerk than anything else witness could suggest. Could not say whether the man had any whiskers, as he did not see his face. He was not wearing gloves; he had no stick or umbrella. Witness was quite sure that the deceased was the woman he saw. He did not notice that the woman had anything in her hand. he was standing at his own door at the time, and what first attracted his attention was the man "a-kissing and a-cuddling of her."
He heard the man say to the deceased, "You would say anything but your prayers."
Coroner: Did his voice give you the idea of a clerk? - He was mild spoken.
Did he speak like an educated man? - Yes. I did not hear him say any more, nor did the woman say anything. She only laughed, and they went away together, down Ellen street, in the middle of the road. They did not pass No. 40 on their way. The deceased was dressed in a black jacket and a black skirt. neither of them appeared to witness to be the worse for drink. He afterwards heard of the murder; that would be after one o'clock. He stayed at his door from 11.30 till 12, and it did not rain then. It did not rain until three. as witness stood at his door the man and woman passed him in the road. There is a gas lamp over the baker's shop at 70 Berner street, at the corner of Boyd street.
Mr. Ollsen, recalled, said he found that the entry of the marriage of the deceased was in the handwriting of Mr. Frost, who was the pastor of the Swedish Church until two years ago.
James Brown, 39 Fairclough street, said he had seen the body of the deceased in the mortuary. He saw her on Sunday morning last, about 12.45, as he was going into his own house at the corner of Berner street and Fairclough street, to get some supper. There was a man and woman standing together at the corner of Board Schools, in Fairclough street. He was in the road just by the kerb, and they were against the wall.
He heard the woman say, "Not tonight, some other night." That made him turn round and look at her, and he saw sufficient of her to make him almost certain that the deceased was that woman. He noticed no flower on her dress. The man was standing, leaning with his arm on the wall; the woman was facing the street with her back against the wall. Witness noticed that the man had a long coat on - it seemed to be an overcoat. He was sure it was not the woman's dress he noticed. There was no light - it was all dark at the place. It was not raining at the time. Witness went on into his house, and when nearly finished with his supper he heard cries of "Police!" and "Murder!" That would be about a quarter of an hour after he got home. He did not look at any clock after ten minutes past twelve. The man's height would be about 5ft 7in, of average build. Neither the man nor the woman appeared to be the worse for drink. Witness did not notice any foreign accent. He could not say who raised the cries "Murder" and "Police." He went to the window and opened it, but could not see anybody. Shortly afterwards he saw a policeman standing at the corner of Christian street.
Police constable Smith, 452, said that on Saturday, September 29, he went on duty at 10 p.m. His beat was past Berner street, and went as far as Gower walk, along the Commercial road, round Christian street and Fairclough street to Grove street, then along Grove street as far as Backchurch lane, and up the latter into Commercial road again, taking all the interior streets, including Berner street. It would take him from 25 minutes to half an hour to go round his beat. He was in Berner street about half past 12 or 20 minutes to one. He arrived at 40 Berner street about 1 o'clock on his ordinary round. He was not called. He found a crowd of people outside the gates of No. 40. The gates were closed. He did not remember passing any one on his way down Berner street. When he saw the deceased he found she was dead, and went to the police station for the ambulance, leaving other constables in charge. Dr. Blackwell's assistant had just arrived about that time. When he was in Berner street he saw a man and a woman talking together. The woman resembled the deceased. He had seen her face and had seen the body in the mortuary. He was absolutely certain that the deceased was the woman he had seen. She stood on the pavement a few yards on the opposite side of Berner street from where she was found. He noticed the man who was talking to her. He had a newspaper parcel in his hand about a foot and a half long, and six or eight inches wide. He was man of about 5ft 7in, and had a dark deerstalker hat on. He was wearing plain dark clothes, with a cut away coat, and dark trousers. Witness overheard no conversation, and did not see much of the man's face. He had no whiskers; he was respectably dressed. The woman had a flower in her dress.
The inquiry was afterwards adjourned.
On the question of the identity of the woman stated Elizabeth Stride, a Greenwich correspondent writes:
At the inquest at the Vestry hall, Cable street, before Mr. Wynne Baxter, on Wednesday, Elizabeth Turner, deputy at the common lodging house at 32 Flower and Dean street, said she did not know the name of the deceased, but recognised the body as that of "Long Liz" who had lodged in her house on and off for about six years, and added, "She told me she was a married woman, and that her husband went down in the Princess Alice ship."
Michael Kidney, of 35 Dorset street, Spitalfields, who identified the body as that of Elizabeth Stride, said the woman told him she was a widow, and that her husband, who was drowned in the Princess Alice disaster, was a ship's carpenter belonging to Sheerness, and added, "She said she had nine children, and that two were drowned in the Princes Alice." Now, the Bywell Castle, steam collier, ran down the Princess Alice off Tripcock Point, just blow Woolwich Arsenal, on the evening of September 3, 1878, and consequently at that time Elizabeth Stride as 25 years of age, and could not have had children over the age of ten years. Mr. C.J. Carttar, late coroner for West Kent, held an inquiry, extending over six weeks, on the bodies of 527 persons drowned by the disaster, at the Town Hall, Woolwich, the majority of whom were identified, and caused an alphabetical list of those identified, above 500, to be made by his clerk. An inspection of the list, which is in the possession of Mr. E.A. Carttar, the present coroner, and son of the late coroner, does not disclose the name of Stride. Whole families were drowned, but the only instance of a father and two children being drowned where the children were under the age of 12 years was in the case of an accountant named Bell, aged 38, his two sons being aged respectively ten and seven years. It is true that Mr. Lewis, the Essex coroner, held inquests on a few of the bodies cast ashore in Essex, but it is extremely improbable that the three bodies of Mr. Stride and his two children were cast ashore on that side of the river, or that they were all driven out to sea and lost. If the bodies were picked up and taken to Woolwich they must have been identified by Mrs. Stride. It is therefore possible that the body upon which the inquest is now being held is not that of Elizabeth Stride, but of some unknown woman.