19 October 1888
The Commissioner of Police is not fortunate in the bloodhound business. He waited until a stranger came and with the aid of a dog unearthed a woman's leg for him. Then all at once he developed activity, and set bloodhounds to work on the job - without result. Now we learn that instead of finding anything, the hounds have gone and lost themselves. If anybody sees them meandering about Sir Charles will be pleased to receive information.
Since the occurrence of the deplorable tragedies in Whitechapel, the Evening News has been again and again ahead of its contemporaries in discovering and giving to the public the latest information on this terrible subject. It was natural enough that our contemporaries should avail themselves of our superior knowledge, and natural enough, also, that they should decline to acknowledge their indebtedness to the Evening News in the matter. But we think it is playing it a little too low down on us, when the "largest circulator in the world" coolly takes the story told in our columns last night, transposes a few bits of it, alters the wording a little, and gives it to the world this morning as its own. However, we do not mind; the Daily Telegraph can always depend on us for a little news.
A correspondent in one of the morning papers asks a question which should set our humanitarians thinking. "Is not a woman entitled to at least as much protection as a cat?" People will at once answer the question in the affirmative, and want to know why it is asked. The writer, however, is prepared with the instance which points the moral of this strange interrogation. At Marlborough-street, on Wednesday, a man convicted of a brutal and unprovoked attack on a respectable woman was fined forty shillings, with the alternative of twenty-one days' imprisonment; at Woolwich, a man convicted of gross cruelty to a cat was sentenced to twenty-one days' hard labour, without the option of a fine. The question is not asked without reason.
MITRE SQUARE MURDER.
HALF THE VICTIM'S MISSING KIDNEY RESTORED.
THE OTHER HALF EATEN BY THE CANNIBAL ASSASSIN.
Mr. George Lusk, builder, of 1, 2 and 3, Alderney-road, Globe-road, Mile End, E., who is chairman of the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee, called at our office yesterday afternoon, accompanied by Mr. Harris, of 83, Whitehorse-lane, Mile End, secretary to the Committee; Mr. Aarons, treasurer, and Messrs. Lawton, Reeves, G. Lusk and Dr. F. S. Reed. They brought with them a small cardboard box containing half a human kidney, which had been delivered by Parcels' Post at Mr. George Lusk's residence on Tuesday evening.
Mr. Lusk stated that the box was delivered at his house by the postman about eight o'clock in the evening. Upon opening it he discovered a meaty substance, which smelt very strongly, and which he judged to be half a kidney belonging to some animal. Enclosed in the box was a letter. At first he regarded the affair as a practical joke, in the nature of a hoax, but afterwards he decided to bring the matter before the committee and a meeting was accordingly held on Wednesday evening.
Mr. Harris stated that the meeting was hastily held at the Crown, there being a quorum of the Vigilance Committee present, consisting of Messrs. Lusk, Harris, Aarons, S. Lawton, and Reeves. Mr. Lusk communicated to the committee that he had received a strange parcel, and they went to his house and viewed it. The article inside the box smelt very strongly of spirits, as though it had been immersed therein, and it looked like part of a kidney, but the committee could not determine what it was. They, therefore, called upon Mr. F. S. Reed, assistant to Dr. F. W. Wiles, of 56, Mile End-road, to help them to form a conclusion.
Mr. F. S. Reed stated that he examined the contents of the box. It appeared to him that the article was half of a human kidney, which had been divided longitudinally; but in order to make sure he at once conveyed it to Dr. Openshaw, pathological curator at the London Hospital Museum. Dr. Openshaw examined it, and pronounced it to be the half of the left kidney of a full-grown human being. Remembering the fact that it was the left kidney which was missing from the body of the woman Eddowes, who was murdered and mutilated in Mitre-square, Mr. Reed thinks it probable that the ghastly relic is genuine.
We need only add that the contents of the box and the letters were shown to us by Mr. Lusk, who allowed one of our staff to copy the letters. Mr. Lusk and his friends then left our office, en route for Scotland-yard.
The handwriting of the letter and post-card are the same. They bear no resemblance to the letters received by the Central News, signed "Jack the Ripper." The following are copies of the documents.
The post-card, which was received a day or two before the box, was as follows:
SAY BOSS -
You seem rare frightened, guess I'd like to give you fits, but can't stop time enough to let you box of toys play copper games with me, but hope to see you when I don't hurry to much. Bye-bye, Boss.
Head Vigilance Committee,
The letter which was enclosed in the box, was as follows:
I send you half the kidne I took from one woman prasarved it for you tother piece I fried and ate it was very nice I may send you the bloody knif that took it out if you only wate whil longer
Signed Catch me
when you can
Mr. J. Aarons, the treasurer of the Whitechapel Vigilance Association, made the following statement, last evening: "Mr. Lusk, our chairman, came over to me last (Wednesday) night in a state of considerable excitement. I asked him what was the matter, when he replied, 'I suppose you will laugh at what I am going to tell you, but you must know that I had a little parcel come to me on Tuesday evening, and to my surprise it contains half a kidney and a letter from "Jack the Ripper."' To tell you the truth, I did not believe in it, and I laughed and said I thought that somebody had been trying to frighten him. Mr. Lusk, however, said it was no laughing matter to him. I then suggested that as it was late, we should leave the matter over till the morning, when I and other members of the committee would come round. This morning, at about half-past nine, Mr. Harris, our secretary, Mr. Reeves, Mr. Lawton, and myself went across to see Mr. Lusk, who opened his desk and pulled out a small square box, wrapped in brown paper. Mr. Lusk said, 'Throw it away; I hate the sight of it.' I examined the box and its contents, and being sure that it was not a sheep's kidney, I advised that, instead of throwing it away, we should see Dr. Wills, of 56, Mile End-road. We did not, however, find him in, but Mr. Reed, his assistant, was. He gave an opinion that it was a portion of a human kidney which had been preserved in spirits of wine; but to make sure, he would go over to the London Hospital, where it could be microscopically examined. On his return Mr. Reed said that Dr. Openshaw, at the Pathological Museum, stated that the kidney belonged to a female, that it was part of the left kidney, and that the woman had been in the habit of drinking. He should think that the person had died about the same time the Mitre-square murder was committed. It was then agreed that we should take the parcel and the letter to the Leman-street Police-station, where we saw Inspector Abberline. Afterwards some of us went to Scotland-yard, where we were told that we had done quite right in putting the matter into Mr. Abberline's hands. Our committee will meet again tonight, but Mr. Lusk, our chairman, has naturally been much upset."
The parcel and the accompanying letter and post-card were at once taken to Leman-street Police-station, and the matter placed in the hands of Inspector Abberline. Subsequently the City police were communicated with, as the discovery relates to a crime occurring within their jurisdiction.
The Central News says: It is stated that the man called Lardy attended at the City Police Office in Old Jewry, yesterday, but that no importance is attached to his statements. With regard to the half kidney received by Mr. Lusk, Chairman of the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee it is ascertained that the Metropolitan Police last night handed it over to the City Police on the assumption that if the whole thing is not, as is most likely, a disgusting trick of some practical joker, it relates to the Mitre-square crime. Dr. Brown, surgeon to the City Police, who saw the organ yesterday, will again examine it to-day.
A REMARKABLE STORY.
The City Police have under observation a man whose movements in Whitechapel, Mile End, and Bermondsey are attended with suspicion. A man, who is said to be an American, was arrested in Bermondsey at one o'clock yesterday morning, and taken to the police station. His conduct, demeanor, and appearance gave rise to great suspicion, and his apprehension and general particulars were wired to the City police. Following this a conference took place yesterday afternoon, between a young man named John Lardy, of Redman's-row, Mile End, and the head of the detective department at the Old Jewry, at which he stated as follows: "At 10.30 last night I was with a friend and a young woman outside the Grave Maurice Tavern, opposite the London Hospital, when I noticed a man whom I had never seen before come across the road, look into each compartment of the tavern, and enter the house. He came out again directly, and carefully looked up and down the road, and then walked over the road to the front of the hospital, where two women were standing talking. They were, I believe, loose women. The man said something to them, but I did not hear his words. The women shook their heads and said 'No.'
"When he got to the corner of Duke-street (the street leading to Mitre-square) he turned, and, seeing that we were following him, recrossed the road and walked back to Leman-street and went down it. When he reached Royal Mint-street he went into King-street, which is very narrow, and my friend and I ran round to the other end of the street, hoping to see him come out there. Just as we got to the other end of King-street we heard a door close, and we waited to see if the man reopened it, for we felt sure that he was the man, although we had not seen him go into the house. We both waited for 25 minutes, when we saw the same man come out of the house. He came up the street, and we stepped back and allowed him to pass, and he went in the direction of the Whitechapel-road. He went away so quickly that we lost sight of him in the fog, which was then very thick. The time then was just after 12.
"When he reappeared from the house we noticed that he was very differently dressed to what he was when we first saw him, the most noticeable being his overcoat. At first he was wearing a sort of short frock-coat, reaching his knees only, but when he came out of the house in King-street he had on a large overcoat which reached to within three inches of the ground. From what I could see he appeared to be between forty and forty-five years of age, and from 5ft. 11in. to 6ft. high. (A man 5ft. 11in. was placed before Lardy, who said, "My man was a little taller than you.")
"He wore a low hat with a square crown, but I cannot describe either his trousers or boots. He had the appearance of an American. His cheek-bones were high and prominent, his face thin, cheeks sunken, and he had a moustache only, his cheeks and chin being clean shaven. The moustache was, I believe, a false one, for it was all awry, one end pointing upward, and the other towards the ground. His hair was dark, apparently black, and somewhat long."
From what has since come to the knowledge of the police it is inferred that on leaving King-street the stranger made his way over London Bridge into Bermondsey, where he was apprehended, and there is no doubt that the description of the Bermondsey and King-street man tally in nearly every particular.
The Central News is informed, upon inquiry, that the statement that the City Police have arrested in Bermondsey a man supposed to be an American, and concerned in the Whitechapel murders, is quite incorrect. No such arrest, say the police, has been made, and at present they have no one in custody.
At the Guildhall Police-court, yesterday afternoon, Benjamin Graham, 42, glassblower, of Fletcher's-row, Clerkenwell, was charged on his own confession with committing the Whitechapel murders. - Detective Rackley stated that about four o'clock on Wednesday afternoon he was at Snow-hill Police station when the prisoner was brought in by a man, who made a statement to him. He said the prisoner had told him that he had committed the Whitechapel murders. Witness asked him what he had to say, and he replied, "I did kill the woman in Whitechapel, and I shall have to suffer for it with a bit of rope." He afterwards said that as he was coming from Whitechapel he knocked a policeman down and got away. Prisoner, who was under the influence of drink, was seen by a doctor, and then taken to Bow Infirmary. - Detective-sergeant Bowness asked for a remand to enable the police to make inquiries as to his antecedents. - Mr. Alderman Renals remanded him.
This evening the first real effects of the work of the Whitechapel Committee, of which Mr. R. H. Winter and Mr. J. L. Dale are the promoters and hon. secretaries, will be seen in the opening of Harlow House, at 34, Mile End-road, as a refuge for women frequenting the East-end.
That success breeds envy is a dictum too old to need demonstration at our hands; but another illustration of this adage may not be inapt. That the pet organ of the Radicals was not first in the field with the exclusive information concerning the Mitre-square murder, which The Evening News published yesterday afternoon, should stir up the bile of certain blind followers of the Parnell-Gladstone Press is not surprising. The Evening News has all along been foremost among London journals in furnishing the public with the earliest information respecting these atrocities, a fact quite sufficient in itself to account for the attitude of such opponents.
Apparently, however, our endeavors in this direction are not always appreciated. A Mr. R. J. Jones, writing from Blackfriars-road, says:
"Sir - Your Paper ought to be indited [sic], for inserting the kidney Lie we have this morning burnt your paper in our work shop, & christened it the great Liar of the South - do you think Workingmen are such ignorant fools as to believe such trash. I with many others are determined to never purchase your Paper agaen [sic] after this desgusting [sic] Lie."
There is some consolation in the knowledge that Mr. Jones and his compatriots burnt the paper before christening it. It is, however, a remarkable fact that the "kidney lie" has been reproduced to-day, by all our contemporaries - pet Radical organ included - but with a forbearance which is touching as an instance of journalistic esprit de corps in not attributing its origin to The Evening News.
We print the following letter on this subject as being of special interest at the present moment:
Sir - As the owner of the largest kennel of bloodhounds at present in existence, and taking a deep interest in the breeding and training of the animals, I can speak with some authority on the subject of utilising them for the purpose of tracing criminals. On the 4th of this month I received a communication from the Government on the subject, which resulted in an interview, at which I expressed my opinion in favour of a practical trial, and took two couples of my hounds to London for the purpose of testing them in the streets.
I have since noticed a report of some trials having taken place in the parks, which I do not consider of much practical utility, since all breeders know that bloodhounds will follow a trail on grass or across country with a very little training.
What is wanted are hounds that will stick to the scent of the right man over paved streets. A writer in the Field suggests that raw meat or blood should be used as a method of training, but I consider this a doubtful plan, as in time of need the hound is not wanted to find the carcass of a sheep or bullock, and neither does he follow a scent for what he may get to eat at the end of it. He can be trained to follow the trail of a man from the man's own scent, as I am convinced, from several careful experiments, that each individual possesses a distinct scent to the bloodhound.
This could be proved easily enough by starting a bicycle rider, who should first just pass his hand over the tyre of his wheel, which would be sufficient to carry the scent to the ground, after which he might be crossed and recrossed by others, before laying the hounds on. Properly-trained hounds would then follow him to the end without swerving from the course.
I consider that bitches are better for town work than dogs, as they are more constant on the trail, and are not likely to raise their heads in passing other dogs.
The most successful mode of training will be to find a few complaisant surgeons in constant surgical practice at the hospitals, on to whom the hounds might at first be laid immediately on leaving the hospital, the time being by degrees extended. This would be quite sufficient training, although it might be supplemented by practice in the streets either at night or in the early hours of the morning.
I am in favour of offering prizes to the owner of the hounds who may be declared the winners at competent trials. The police would soon find the usefulness of their new assistants, and, once let a capture be made by this means, and murders and burglaries would quickly become rarer.
I have made a careful study of hounds generally, and I am satisfied that the bloodhound has the keenest power of scent of any breed, and is easily trained to hunt man without any artificial trails whatever. He is affectionate and intelligent, and is the best dog to keep as a companion, apart from her usefulness; and as a deterrent to crime his value is incalculable. I feel confident that if the police were to adopt his use, and keep him at the various metropolitan stations, good results would speedily follow.
Ten well-trained bloodhounds would be of more use than a hundred constables in ferreting out criminals who have left no trace beyond the fact of their presence behind them.
I consider that the police have done all that they possibly could to discover the perpetrator of the Whitechapel murders, but they lack one important factor - namely, the power of scent, which the bloodhound possesses to perfection.
There is an idea - arising more from the name, I fancy, than anything - that the bloodhound is a savage animal, whereas he is one of the most docile of canine creatures.
I feel positive that, if I had been on the scene of the Mitre-square tragedy, even several hours after the occurrence, with a few of my hounds, that the man would have been captured, as after such mutilation the scent would have been sufficient to keep them on the track for . I consider that bloodhounds should be used by the police for the purpose of tracing criminals, and the training of them for this purpose should be under the direction of a careful man who understands hound-work generally.
The hounds should be kept at work daily until they are brought to a high state of perfection. This would be rapidly achieved, owing to their innate fondness for hunting.
I believe that the knowledge that bloodhounds are being kept on the spot has acted as a deterrent to the Whitechapel murderer. If not, and he meditates further atrocities, he will certainly have an opportunity of learning something about them that he did not know before. - I am, Sir, yours obediently,
H. M. MACKUSICK.
[Merstham], Surrey, October 18.
200 PERSONS IN DANGER.
A fire, attended with some exciting incidents, broke out at ten o'clock last night at 25, Commercial-street, Whitechapel, a five floored warehouse, tenanted by Messrs. [Koenigsberg] and Sons, furriers and manufacturers. Some 200 workpeople, male and female, were employed in the building at the time, and a scene of the greatest confusion took place as they rushed down the main staircase. When the fire escape came up it rescued several people, but one man, named Simon Polaket, aged 30, jumped from the first floor, and sustained considerable injury. With this exception, however, so far as could be ascertained, the whole of the workpeople escaped safely. Eleven steamers, as well as standpipes, were not at work, and although a spread of the conflagration was threatened, the fire was fairly in hand by midnight. The three upper floors of the place had then been gutted, the roof destroyed, and the rest of the building greatly damaged, while adjoining properties had sustained serious injury.
SIR CHARLES WARREN ON THE SPOT.
The police have been, this morning, engaged in excavating the ground in the basement rooms of the new buildings at Whitehall, where the recent discoveries of human remains have been made, and, to assist them in finding, if possible, any of the missing parts of the body, have employed a bloodhound. Their search up to mid-day was fruitless. Sir Charles Warren inspected the premises to-day.