17 October 1888
JACK THE RIPPER'S HANDWRITING AND STYLE.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE "EVENING NEWS."
SIR- The formation of the letters strikes me as resembling in many aspects corresponding letters in German handwriting - e.g., the capitals J. G. I., the small zig-zag w (in "want to get to work"), ff, and g, &c. "I have laughed" and "till I do get buckled" are specimens of very questionable English. "Buckled" is not, I think, English idiom, though it readily conveys the idea of being pinioned. It may be worthy of remark that the first two letters in "Juwes" - so written, it is said, in the writing on the wall - are the first two letters in the same word in German. In the collocation of those words the relative positions in German and English of the negative not may also be matter for careful observation. The writer may not necessarily be a German, but I cannot help thinking that German or some kindred patois must be his mother tongue - that he is not, in other words, to the English manner born. - I am, &c.,
A. B. C.
The information from a person at Llanelly, South Wales, to the effect that on Saturday before the discovery at Whitehall he saw a man climb the railings, other men, with a truck on which was a bag being in waiting, has been investigated by the detective officers who have the case in hand with the result that the incident has been ascertained to have no connection with the placing of the trunk in the vault. A workman got over the railings in Cannon-row to open a door which was fastened from the inside, so as to enable another man to carry in a bag of sand which was on the truck. Inspector Marshall and Sergeant Rose are pursuing their inquiries in the neighbourhood of Pimlico. A theory has been advanced that the murdered woman was a foreign unfortunate.
DISCOVERY OF MORE REMAINS AT WHITEHALL.
The Central News says that more human remains, consisting of a leg and foot, have just been found at the new police buildings at Whitehall, near the spot where the decomposed body of a woman was recently discovered.
THE BATTY-STREET CLUE.
THE BLOOD-STAINED SHIRT.
The startling story published yesterday with reference to the finding of a blood-stained shirt and the disappearance of a man from a lodging-house in the East-end proves upon investigation to be of some importance. On Monday afternoon the truth of the statement was given an unqualified denial by the detective officers immediately after its publication and this presumably because they were anxious to avoid a premature disclosure of facts of which they had been for some time cognisant. From the very morning of the murders, the police, it is stated, have had in their possession a shirt saturated with blood. Though they say nothing they are evidently convinced that it was left in a house in Batty-street by the assassin after he had finished his work. Having regard to the position of this particular house, its close proximity to the yard in Berner-street, where the crime was committed, and to the many intricate passages and alleys adjacent, the police theory has, in all probability, a basis of fact. An examination of the surroundings leads to the conclusion that probably in the whole of Whitechapel there is no quarter in which a criminal would be more likely to evade police detection, or observation of any kind, than he would be in this particular one. At the inquest on Mrs. Stride one of the witnesses deposed to having seen a man and a woman standing at the junction of Fairclough and Berner-streets early on the morning of the murder. Assuming that the man now sought was the murderer, he would have gained instant access to the house in Batty-street by rapidly crossing over from the yard and traversing a passage, the entrance of which is almost immediately opposite to the spot where the victim was subsequently discovered. The statement has been made that the landlady of the lodging-house, 22, Batty-street - the house in which the shirt was left - was at an early hour disturbed by the movements of the lodger who changed some of his apparel and went away; first, however, instructing her to wash the cast-off shirt by the time he returned. But in relation to this latter theory, the question is how far the result of the inquiries made yesterday is affected by a recent arrest. Although, for reasons known to themselves, the police during Saturday, Sunday, and Monday answered negatively all questions as to whether any person had been arrested or was then in their charge, there is no doubt that a man was taken into custody on suspicion of being the missing lodger from 22, Batty-street, and that he was afterwards set at liberty.
Statements have been made with reference to a German named Ludwig residing in the Leman-street district, who has already been in custody on suspicion of being concerned in the murders, and who was released after an exhaustive inquiry. It has been reported to the authorities that this man has again been seen flourishing a knife, and acting in a suspicious manner in the neighbourhood. The police are keeping him under surveillance at present, as there is some doubts as to his state of mind. It should be mentioned, however, that while the man was previously in custody a doctor declined to pronounce him insane.
At the Petty Sessions, Sherborne, Dorset, yesterday, a tramp, who said he came from America, was fined for drunkenness. During the local Pack-Monday Fair he had been round to public-houses singing doggerel verses about the Whitechapel murders, and selling them in the streets. The magistrate asked, in a severe tone, where he obtained such literature, and made a careful note of the address.
The man that was arrested at Limavaday, co. Derry, on suspicion of being concerned in the London murders, has been discharged, the inquiries of the police into his movements having proved satisfactory.
This morning, at the Thames Police-court, Dr. Edmund King Honchin, Divisional Surgeon of Police, H division, and Mr. Slight, relieving officer, had a lunatic for the magistrate to examine and presented the necessary papers for her removal to one of the county lunatic asylums. The doctor's certificate states that the unfortunate woman's name is Sarah Goody, aged 40, a needlewoman, living at 46, Wilson-street, Stepney. She told him (the doctor) she was followed about by men, who watched her movements and who intend to hurt her or do her some harm. They had pursued her in several parts of London, and on one occasion she had to rush into a tramcar to escape them. She was in such a frightened condition that she could neither eat nor sleep. Her mind was full of those things, and had she not been taken into the workhouse she would have committed suicide. The lunatic attendant stated the poor woman declared she was followed about by murderers, who intended catching her. On one occasion she asked her landlady to see if there was any writing on the shutters, and found some writing, and the doors were marked, being cut with a knife.
Mr. Lushington, having examined the woman, signed the necessary papers for her removal to an asylum.
With regards to statements current as to the finding of a blood-stained shirt at a lodging-house in Whitechapel, the Central News says the story is founded on some matters which occurred more than a fortnight ago. It appears that a man, apparently a foreigner, visited the house of a German laundress, at Batty-street, and left four shirts tied in a bundle to be washed. The bundle was not opened at the time, but when the shirts were afterwards taken out one was found considerably blood-stained. The woman communicated with the police, who placed the house under observation, detectives at the same time being lodged there, to arrest the man should he return. This he did last Saturday, and he was taken to the Leman-street Police-station, where he was questioned, and within an hour or two released, his statements being proved correct.
The Central News further says that certain statements, to the effect that the police are conducting indiscriminate search among Jews' houses in the East-end, is an entire misrepresentation. It is well-known that ten days ago a body of fifty police were told off to visit and systematically inspect houses of all inhabitants, entirely regardless of nationality in the neighbourhood of the crimes. This was done, the officers doing their work in plain clothes, and being met, in almost every instance, with the willing co-operation of the householders.