Tuesday, 9th October 1888
STATEMENT BY THE LORD MAYOR OF LONDON
The Central News says - A startling discovery has been made in connection with the recent Whitechapel murders. Close by the spot where the murdered woman's blood-stained apron was found the following was written up on the wall:- "The Jews shall not be blamed for this." Unfortunately, the police officer directed this to e sponged out before it was photographed, but witnesses declare the writing to be identical with the original letters of "Jack the Ripper." Another letter has been received from the same writer, threatening further atrocities.
The police have circulated throughout the metropolitan area descriptions of persons reasonably suspected of being connected with the East End murders. The information has been gathered from the various district police stations about London. Different descriptions of suspicious persons, whose whereabouts are unknown, are thus issued.
At another spiritualistic sťance held at Bolton yesterday a medium claims to have obtained a description of the Whitechapel murder, which she gives and adds that he will be caught in the act of committing another.
The funeral of Catherine Eddowes, the victim of the Mitre-square murder, took place this afternoon at Ilford, Essex, where the city of London cemetery is situated. The expenses of the funeral were borne entirely by a private citizen. The corpse, laid in a plain coffin with the name and age of deceased engraved thereon, was removed at half-past one from Golden Lane mortuary. Thousands of people lined the streets in the vicinity of the mortuary, evincing much sympathy. The remains were borne in an open hearse, followed by two carriages. Several wreaths were on the coffin. The crowds in the streets of the East End were so dense that a force of police had to direct the traffic.
Sir Charles Warren has, it is stated, given instructions to the Metropolitan Police that in the event of a similar murder to the Whitechapel tragedies again being discovered bloodhounds are to be obtained from a certain veterinary surgeon and placed on the street before the body is removed.
Our Brussels correspondent telegraphs this afternoon - The Independence Belge publishes an interview of one of its representatives with Mr. De Keyser, Lord Mayor of London, concerning the recent Whitechapel murder. His Lordship expresses the belief that the assassin is undoubtedly mad. Should he recommence his atrocious crimes he will be assuredly taken in the act, though it would not be surprising if he should soon commit suicide. The Lord Mayor states that he niegher has nor had any belief that the offer of a reward would prove efficacious in bringing the murderer to justice, and he only consented to adopt the course which he has done in this respect to calm the public excitement. He has written to Mr Matthews to explain this, and to disavow all idea of opposition to the Government's decision. His lordship attributes the anti-Ministerial attacks which have been made to ambitious persons who are seeking by these means to secure election to the new County Council. He is sure that the police force for the city of London is sufficiently large.
Last Wednesday a middle-aged man of good physique and respectably dressed left an overcoat and a pair of trousers, both blood-stained, at the Central Branch of the London Clothing Repairing Company, Gray's Inn road, to be cleaned. He promised to call for them on Friday or Saturday. He did not, however, return until to-night, when he was arrested by detectives who had been awaiting his arrival for several days. He accounted for the blood stains by the assertion that he had cut his hand; but he is stated to have contradicted himself. He was conveyed to Leman street Police Station, where he remains.
The Press Association is officially informed that Sir Charles Warren has made arrangements for the employment of bloodhounds to track the murderer in the event of any further persons being found murdered under circumstances similar to those in the cases which have recently occurred in Whitechapel. An instruction has been issued to the police that they are not to remove the body of the victim, but to send notice to a veterinary surgeon in the south-west district, who holds several trained bloodhounds in readiness to be taken to the spot where the body may be found, and to be at once put on the scent. No details as to the plan which will be followed are given. The plan of operations will, to a great extent, depend upon the circumstances of any particular in which the aid of the bloodhounds may be called into requisition.
The Press Association says that considerable excitement was caused this afternoon by the report that a man had been arrested at Baker's row, Whitechapel, after a desperate struggle, and that he had been at once conveyed to Bethnal Green Police station, and there charged on suspicion of being concerned in the recent murders. It was ascertained on inquiry, however, that the man was arrested simply charged with stealing an oil cask, and that the struggle which ensued gave rise to the report in the locality that he was suspected of complicity in the murders.
It is stated that a telegram addressed to Sir Charles Warren threatening another murder was not personally handed in, but dropped into a letter-box. The sender could not, therefore, be traced.
A suspicious affair is at present engaging the attention of the police authorities. On Saturday night a man stated to have been intoxicated entered the Bull Head publichouse, Oxford street, and gave the ladies behind the bar a parcel to be left with the manager. On moving the parcel it fell, disclosing three large new knives, one 20, one 14, and one 10 inches in length, with sheath and belt to be worn round waist. The knives were very sharp. On Sunday information was given to the police, and when the man called for the knives he was told to call again to-day. Detectives watched the house to-day with the intention of detaining the man until he accounted for the possession of the weapons and the purpose to which they could be put, but he did not put in an appearance.
The man who was arrested to-night in the shop in Gray's Inn road and taken to the Leman street police station, was liberated after the police had satisfied themselves of his innocence. The apparent inconsistency of his explanation was doubtless due to embarrassment.
This afternoon Mr John Troutbeck, Coroner for Westminster, opened an inquest on the remains found a week ago under the new police offices on the Thames Embankment. The greatest interest was manifested in the proceedings, and large numbers of people gathered outside the mortuary at Mill Bank and the Sessions House Westminster. The jury were summoned to meet at the mortuary at two o'clock, and they did not return to the sessions house until past three.
The body in the mortuary presented an awful spectacle. It was locked in a room, and was viewed by the jury through a window for fear of contagion. It was on a table propped up, and the arm recently found was placed in the socket. The body was of a dark brown colour.
At twenty past three the first witness called was Frederick Wildborn, the carpenter employed on the works. He said he first saw what he thought was an old coat on Monday morning. He took no notice of the matter then, and saw the parcel again the same evening. The following day he called the assistant foreman's attention to the parcel. It was then found to contain the body of a woman. He did not notice any smell. Witness pointed out the spot where the body was found on a mazelike plan of the vaults, and he said it would be very difficult for any one unacquainted with the place to find his way there. The workmen's tools had been placed there for ten weeks, up to two weeks before the body was found.
George Budgen, bricklayer's labourer, engaged in the works, said he was told by another workman to see what the parcel was. He untied the parcel, and produced the cord which had served that purpose. The body was then seen, and the police were sent for.
Detective Thomas Hawkins deposed to being called and seeing the body. It was wrapped in dress material (produced). The body was in a very advanced state of decomposition. The vaults were very dark, and no stranger could have found his way without a light. A person would have to cross a trench, which could not be seen in the dark.
Frederick Moore deposed to finding the arm. The arm was not wrapped up, but a piece of string was tied tightly round the top of it.
William James, 127H, said he was called to where the arm was found. He took it to the police station, and called Dr Neville. The arm was subsequently taken to Ebury-bridge Mortuary.
Charles William Brown, assistant foreman to Messrs Grover, the contractors for the works, said the vaults had been completed three months. There was no watchman at night but the three doors were locked. Strangers would not know such a place existed. Witness did not notice on Monday that the locks to the gate had been tampered with.
Ernest Head said he was in the vault on the Saturday before the Tuesday when the body was found. He had a paraffin lamp, but saw no parcel.
Dr Bond gave evidence that he examined the body. The parts missing from the victims of the recent Whitechapel murders were also absent from the trunk. He subsequently examined the arm found in the Thames off Pimlico, on the 17th September. It accurately fitted the trunk, the cuts and the general contour of the arm corresponding to those of the body. He was of opinion that she was certainly over 20 or 25 years of age, and was about five feet eight inches in height. There was nothing to show the actual cause of death, but he was of opinion that it was from loss of blood.
Dr Hibbert, assistant to last witness gave evidence that a certain amount of skill was shown in severing the limbs and in tying up the parcel, but not the skill of the dissecting room.
The inquest was adjourned for a fortnight.