19 September 1888
Charles Ludwig, aged 40, a decently attired German, who professed not to understand English, and giving an address at 1 Minories, was charged yesterday, at the Thames Police court, with being drunk and threatening to stab Alexander Feinberg, of 51 Leman street, Whitechapel. The Prosecutor said very early that morning he was standing at a coffee stall in the Whitechapel road, when Ludwig came up in a drunken condition. In consequence, the person in charge of the stall refused to serve him. Ludwig seemed much annoyed, and said to witness, "What are you looking at?" He then pulled out a long bladed knife, and tried to stab witness with it. Ludwig followed him round the stall, and made several attempts to stab him, until witness threatened to knock a dish on his head. A constable came up, and he was given into custody. Constable 221H said when he was called to take the prisoner into custody, he found him in a very excited condition. Witness had previously received information that Ludwig was wanted in the City for attempting to cut a woman's throat with a razor. On the way to the station the prisoner dropped a long bladed knife, which was open, and when he was searched a razor and a long bladed pair of scissors were found on him. Constable J. Johnson, 866 City, said early that morning he was on duty in the Minories, when he heard loud screams of "Murder" from a dark court in which there were no lights. The court in question led to some railway arches, and is a well known dangerous locality. Witness went down the court, and found the prisoner with a woman. The former appeared to be under the influence of drink. Witness asked him what he was doing there, and he replied, "Nothing." The woman, who appeared to be very agitated and frightened, said, "Oh, policeman, do take me out of this." The woman was so frightened that she could then make no further explanation. Witness sent her and the prisoner out of the court, and sent the latter off. He walked with the woman to the end of his beat, when she said, "Dear me. He frightened me very much when he pulled a big knife out." Witness said, "Why didn't you tell me that at the time?" and she replied, "I was too much frightened." He then went and looked for the prisoner, but could not find him, and therefore mentioned to several other constables what he had seen, and gave a description of the prisoner. Witness had been out all the morning trying to find the woman, but up to the present time had not been able to do so. He should know her again. He believed the prisoner worked in the neighbourhood. Mr. Saunders said it was clear the prisoner was a dangerous man, and ordered him to be remanded for a week. Detective Inspector Helson, after the prisoner was remanded, had an interview with him in his cell; but owing to the prisoner professing not to understand English, no information could be got from him.
The Central News states that Ludwig came to this country from Hamburg about 15 months ago; he is a hairdresser. He entered the employment of Mr. C.A. Partridge, hairdresser, the Minories, on the 1st inst. Mr. Partridge met him at a German club in Houndsditch, which is a house of call for German hairdressers. After he had been in his employment a week he asked to be allowed to sleep in the house, and to this Mr. Partridge consented. The reason he gave was that the house at which he was staying there was a man lying dead, and he did not like to stop there. He made another move on Sunday night and went to stay with a German tailor named Johannes, in Church street, Minories, leaving him scanty stock of clothes at his employer's. Johannes, however, found that he would be an unwelcome visitor on account of his dirty habits, and he was told on Monday morning that he must not come back again. This, in a measure, accounts for his wandering about on Monday night. The things that he has left at his employer's include two or three shirts and barbers' aprons, but no trace of blood marks can be found upon them. Mr. Partridge says he is a good workman, but rather fond of drink. He ridicules the idea that Ludwig is in any way connected with the recent tragedies in the district, saying he is too much of a coward. Mr. Richter, the manager of the German club, says he had known the prisoner for a little over a year. He was not a member of the club, but was allowed to call there when out of work, so as to obtain another engagement. Many barbers are given employment for Saturday and Sunday only, and employers, when they want extra hands, call at the club and engage men. It was in this way that the prisoner obtained work with Mr. Partridge. He is of a quarrelsome disposition, and entered the club on Monday night about ten o'clock. He was then the worse for drink, and the manageress would not allow him to stop, but had him turned out. The court into which he took the woman is called Three Kings' court, and is situated in the Minories, but a few yards from Mr. Partridge's establishment. It is a court only in name, as the houses have all been pulled down to make room for the railway, and all that is left is an alley about 12 yards long, lead to a small, walled in space about 40ft square. On one side of the alley leading to this cul de sac is an empty house, and on the other side of a baker's shop. There is no light in either the alley or the yard. The woman who complained that the prisoner had threatened her has not been found. The knife which the prisoner dropped on the way to the station was an ordinary clasp knife.
Alexander Feinberg, the youth who was threatened by Ludwig at the coffee stall, is 18 years of age, and lives with his mother at No. 51 Leman street; he is employed at the ice cream works of Mr. Assenheim in Petticoat lane. Feinberg says the first he saw of Ludwig was about a quarter to four o'clock. The prisoner was then at the top of Commercial street in company with a woman, whom he was conducting in the direction of the Minories. "I took no notice of this at the time," Feinberg has stated, "except to remark to the coffee stall keeper, 'There goes a swell with a rackety one.' I alluded to the appearance of the two people, for whereas the woman was evidently not of very good character the man was well dressed. He had on a frock coat and tall hat, and altogether looked what I should call a broken down masher. In about a quarter of an hour, however, the woman ran back in a state of fright, as it seemed. At any rate, she was screaming and exclaiming, "You can't do that to me." Again I thought little of it, and I only fancied she had had some drink; but within five minutes the prisoner came up and asked for a cup of coffee at the stall where I was standing. He, at all events, was drunk, and would only produce a halfpenny in payment for the coffee which was given him. I suppose he noticed me looking at him, for he suddenly turned round, and asked, in broken English, "What you looking at?" I replied that it was doing no harm, but he said, "Oh, you want something," and pulled out a long penknife, with which he made a dash at me. I eluded him, and snatched from the stall a dish, which I prepared to throw at his head; but as he retreated after making the first dash I only called to the policeman who was near, and had him arrested. he is slightly built, about 5ft 6in in height, dark complexion, and wears a grizzled beard and moustache. I should think he was about 40 years of age. There is something the matter with one of his legs, and he walks stiffly. I heard at the Police court this morning he pretended not to understand English; but his English, when he addressed me, was plain enough, though broken, and besides, when the officer who had him in charge told me on the way to Leman street to see that he did not throw anything away, he at once dropped the penknife which had till then been in his possession, as if the idea of getting rid of it had only just occurred to him. I have never seen him before."
BALMORAL, Sept. 18.
The Queen went out yesterday morning, accompanied by Princess Beatrice, Princess Alice of Hesse, and Prince Albert Victor of Wales. Princess Beatrice, Princess Alice of Hesse, and Prince Albert Victor, attended by Miss Minnie Cochrane, drove to the Falls of Corriemulzie.