Wednesday, 3rd October 1888
One butchery has followed so quickly upon another in Whitechapel that it is not surprising if the general public has forgotten the number as well as the names of the victims. The following list, therefore, will not be uninteresting:-
1. - Last Christmas week - An unknown woman found murdered near Osborne and Wentworth streets, Whitechapel.
2. - August 7 - Martha Turner found stabbed in thirty-nine places on a landing in model dwellings know as George Yard Buildings, Commercial street, Spitalfields.
3. - August 31 - Mrs Nicholls, murdered and mutilated in Buck's row, Whitechapel.
4. - September 7 - Mrs Chapman, murdered and mutilated in Hanbury street, Whitechapel.
5. - September 30 - Elizabeth Stride, found with her throat cut in Berners street, Whitechapel.
6. - September 30 - Woman unknown murdered and mutilated in Mitre square, Aldgate.
London was again appalled last evening by a fresh addition to the hideous tale of unpunished murder which as disgraced it for the past two months. The Whitehall discovery may turn out not to be precisely on all fours with those that have been made in the East End, but it is, nevertheless, another most shocking illustration of the perfect impunity with which human life can be taken in the metropolis of the British Empire. It is a remarkable, and may be a significant, fact that the place selected for the concealment of the body was in the building which is to be the new headquarters of the detective department. It appears that almost literally the most audacious crimes can be committed under the very nose of that body. It is not surprising that the people of London should have lost all sense of security, and that they should regard the police as worse than useless as at present managed. Like most events of tragic horror, these have their grimly humorous side. Everyone has become an amateur detective here, and the favourite pastime in train, in bus, and in the streets is to endeavour to find one's ideal of the unknown miscreant. The only thing that can be said for this craze is that it is of as much practical utility as the work of the professional detectives.
London has enough of real horrors at present to enable it to dispense with Mr. Mansfield's terrible impersonation of "Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde." At any rate he has withdrawn that piece at the full tide of its success, and has replaced it at the Lyceum by an American adaptation of M. Octave Feuillet's "Un Roman Parisian." This play has, too, a sombre and repellent motive, but it springs at least from natural sources, and has none of the mystical diabolism of Mr. Stevenson's story.
ANOTHER HORRIBLE DISCOVERY
A WOMAN'S MUTILATED BODY FOUND
THE WHITECHAPEL MYSTERIES STILL UNRAVELLED
(PRESS ASSOCIATION TELEGRAMS)
Another ghastly discovery was made in London this afternoon, about twenty minutes past three o'clock. A carpenter named Frederick Wildborn, employed by Messrs J Grover and Sons, builders of Pimlico, who are the contractors for the new metropolitan police headquarters on the Thames Embankment, was working on the foundation when he came across a neatly done-up parcel which was secreted in one of the cellars, tied up in paper. It measured about two and a half feet long by about two feet in width. It was opened, and the body of a woman very much decomposed was found carefully wrapped in a piece of cloth which is supposed to be a black petticoat. The trunk was minus the head, both arms, and both legs, and presented a ghastly spectacle. The officials of the works were immediately apprised of the discovery, and the police were fetched. Dr. Bond, the divisional surgeon to the division, and several other medical gentlemen were communicated with, and subsequently examined the remains, which were handed over to the care of some police officers who were told off to see that it was not disturbed. From what can be ascertained, the conclusion has been arrived at by the medical men that the remains are those of the woman whose arms have recently been discovered in different parts of the metropolis. Dr Neville, who examined the arm of a female found a few weeks ago in the Thames, off Ebury Bridge, said on that occasion that he did not think that it had been skilfully taken from the body; and this fact would appear to favour the theory that that arm, together with the one found in the grounds of the Blind Asylum in the Lambeth Road last week, belong to the trunk discovered to-day, for it is stated that the limbs appear to have been taken from the body found this afternoon in anything but a skilful manner. The prevailing opinion is that to place the body where it was found the person conveying it must have scaled the eight feet hoarding which encloses the works, and carefully avoiding the watchmen who do duty by night, must have dropped it where it was found. There appears to be little doubt that the parcel had been in the cellar for some considerable time. One of the workmen in a statement which he has made says the body could not have been where it was found above two or three days, because men are frequently passing the spot. The place is very dark, and it sis possible that it may have escaped notice. He knew for a fact that it was not there last Friday. He further stated that the parcel must have been got in from the Cannon row side - a very dark and lonely spot, although within twenty yards of the main thoroughfare, through which passes all the traffic going south-west from London, but he cannot imagine how the person could get past the watchman. When the discovery became known some fifty or sixty people assembled round the hoarding which encloses the new works, and at half-past seven this evening, when the police arrived with an ambulance, large crowds were on the spot, and followed the corpse on its way to the mortuary.
A Press Association later account says that there is no doubt now that the portion of the body of a woman found upon the new police offices in course of erection upon the Thames Embankment is connected with a terrible murder. From the way in which the body has been treated, it is impossible that it could have been spirited away from the dissecting room after having answered the purposes of lawful operations. An extraordinary fact is that the lower portion of the trunk from the ribs has been removed. It is pronounced by the medical gentlemen to have belonged to a remarkably fine young woman, and this at once gives good grounds to the theory that it belonged to the body of which the arm was found on the 11th ult in the Thames, near Grosvenor-road, formed a part. It will be remembered that on that date the right arm of a woman was discovered in the river, and upon Dr. Neville having it submitted to him for inspection he pronounced it to have belonged to a female of apparently from twenty-five to thirty years of age. This limb has been in the water for about three days, so that if to-day's discovery is connected with it, the date of the murder would be somewhere about the 8th of Sept, upon which day the body of Annie Chapman was discovered in Hanbury street Whitechapel. Has the mystery then any connection with the series of murders which have been perpetrated in Whitechapel? This question naturally occurs when it is known that certain portions of the abdomen are missing; but there is also another theory equally well founded - it is that the young woman of whose body portions are now coming to light in such a mysterious manner has been the victim of an unlawful operation, and in order to conceal this the miscreant removed that portion of the body which would undoubtedly have decided such a point. The woman in all probability belonged to Pimlico, for it is in and around this district that the first and last discoveries have been made. It is beyond a doubt a case of murder, and the reticence of the police would appear to show their ignorance as regards the affair. They have no clue, and there seems very little possibility of their obtaining one.
The Press Association learns that the police think they have obtained a clue to the identity of the woman murdered in Mitre square. She is supposed to be the person who as taken to the police station a short time ago for drunkenness. She then gave the name of Kelly, and said she lived at 6 Fashion street. One of the pawn tickets found near the body was made out to Jane Kelly, of 6 Dorset street. Up to the present, however, there is no information of anyone being missing from either of those addresses. The authorities at the chief office of the city police had a man detained there on suspicion to-day, but the explanation he gave was satisfactory, and he has been released. This evening, indeed, no one remained in custody in connection with either murder, although two men were arrested this morning. Great excitement still prevails in the neighbourhood, where general satisfaction is expressed at the offer of large rewards.
The police, it is stated, attach considerable importance to the discovery of a pair of trousers at Nelson Tavern, Kentish town, on Monday morning. A large number of detectives are engaged in following up the information in their possession with a view to tracing the missing article of clothing.
The inquest on the woman known as Elizabeth Stride was resumed at the Vestry Hall, Cable street, Whitechapel, this afternoon.
Henry Lamb, a constable, deposed to being called to the scene of the murder by two men from the Workingmen's Club. There were about 30 in the yard, but no one was touching the body. He placed his hand on her face and arm, and found they were quite warm. They then sent for assistance. Dr Blackwell arrived ten minutes afterwards. Witness examined the hands of all the persons present, and stationed a constable at the yard gate. It was possible that someone might have escaped from the yard after he entered it.
Edward Spooner, a horse-keeper, said he was standing outside the Beehive publichouse about half-past twelve, when he saw two Jews running for the police. They said that a woman had been murdered. Witness went back with them and saw the woman lying inside the yard, with about fifteen people, mostly Jews, standing round. He did not see if anyone left the yard.
Mary Malcolm was satisfied that the deceased was her sister Elizabeth Watts. She last saw her alive on Thursday, but did not know where she lived. She was given to drink. Her husband was alive; she left him eight years ago; had two children; had lived with a an at Poplar, but he was wrecked at sea three years ago.
At this stage the inquiry was adjourned until to-morrow.
Mrs Mary Malcolm, who was examined at the coroner's inquiry this afternoon, to-night made an important statement to a representative of the Press. She stated that she had again seen the body, and she was confident it was that of her sister. Her sister became acquainted with a man at Poplar. She (Mrs Malcolm) knew that man, but she had reasons for withholding his name. Stride was not the man. When reminded that by not disclosing all the circumstances she knew she might be defeating the ends of justice, Mrs Malcolm said she did not think she was doing so, but if she thought so she would tell all. When her sister lived with the man he kept a coffee shop at Poplar. They quarrelled, and he attempted to stab her. He afterwards shipped for New Zealand, but was wrecked off the Island of St. Paul. He was one of the few who were saved, and eventually he succeeded in reaching New Zealand. It was possible that he had since returned to England. She did not disclose those matters to the coroner, one reason being that the man was very respectably connected at Poplar, where he had relatives living who are shipbuilders and shipowners. She finally disclosed the name and was advised to reveal everything to the authorities.
The Pall Mall Gazette says - What an incalculable blessing it is that these six undiscovered murders occurred in Whitechapel and not in Ireland! If they had taken place in six different places in Ireland, what uproar there would have been, even if the ghastly concomitants of mutilation had not been added to murder. How the Times and all the rest of the claque of Coercion would have revelled in each gory detail as affording ample proof of the innate ferocity of the Celt. If we were governed from Dublin by a majority as ignorant and as prejudiced as the English majority at St Stephen's, a spanking Coercian Act would promptly be passed, forbidding anyone to be out of doors after midnight in Whitechapel, an extra body of police would be drafted into the district, and the honest poor people saddled with an extra police tax, and when they protested, a strong party would arise which would insist that all the murders were completely political in origin.
The Daily Telegraph says - The duty of the Government is clear. It is bound to show that the capital of the Empire is not ruled only by vestries, boards of guardians and commissioners of police, but that above them all are the power, the prerogative, and eh prestige of the Crown so invoked and administered y the servants of the Crown for the benefit of the subject. We are after all and beyond all the Queen's lieges, and it is fitting, it is essential, it is imperative, when the occasion demands it and the safety of the subject is imminently in peril, that remedial notion should be taken in the Queen's name. Mr. Matthews carries out his principles so far that he actually declines three hundred ponds tendered him by gentlemen in the City, who requested that it should be offered in the name of the Government. Small wonder that his peculiarly nonchalant response to a reasonable and respectful memorial has been followed by a petition, couched in the most loyal language, to the Throne itself. It is the Marquis of Salisbury and not the easy-going gentleman at the Home Office who can render the required recognition and give the help insisted upon.