15 September 1888
The HOME SECRETARY as well as the Commissioner of Police and his subordinates have been assailed with severity for their failure to discover the murderers of the woman CHAPMAN. It is most necessary that they should understand that the public will not bear with failure in the matter from them. No mistake will be tolerated, and their ingenuities do appear to have been very limited. We shall not say that our Irish detective department would have done better, because they have themselves on occasions been compelled to take a good deal of time in perfecting inquiries when a clue had been obtained. But that any such organisation, with all the means and appliances at its command, and a public to boot ready and willing to assist, could be baffled for any length of days in tracking a crime of the sort, having no political element or probably any plot behind it, is calculated to create an impression that police vigilance there is an unreality. But whether London high officials and their agents are properly blamed in connection with the murder inquiries or not, what answer have they for such a statement as is made in a morning journal by J.F.S., who writes thus - "Yesterday, at eleven a.m., a gentleman was seized and robbed of everything in Hanbury street. At five p.m., an old man, of seventy years, was attacked and served in the same way in Chicksand street. At ten a.m. to-day a man rushed into a baker's shop, at the corner of Hanbury street and King Edward street, and ran off with the till and its contents. All these occurred within one hundred yards of each other, and midway between the scenes of the last two horrible murders." The people of that district might better at once take measures for their own protection if Sir CHARLES WARREN is unable to do more for their safety than this story exhibits. There is little wonder that something like panic prevails in the neighbourhood.
No further arrest has been made up to this evening. On the question of the hour at which the crime was committed, concerning which there was a difference between the evidence of the man Richardson and the opinion of Dr Phillips, a reporter to-day elicited that Mr Cladoche, who lives in the next house to No 29 Hanbury street, where the murder was committed, went to the back of the premises at half-past 5 a.m., and as he passed the wooden partition he heard a woman say "No, no." On returning he heard a scuffle, and then someone fell heavily against the fence. He heard no cry for help, so he went into the house. Some surprise is felt that this statement was not made in evidence at the inquest. Inquiry reveals the circumstances that some of the four murdered women were known to one another, but there is a great reticence amongst women of the locality to give information, partly because of the shame at making public the life they are leading, and also from fear of being subjected to rough usage. Although there is not so much surface excitement as earlier in the week, there is a very strong feeling in the district, and a large number of people continue to visit the locality. A rumour was prevalent to-day that inquiries were being made by a detective at Maidstone with a view to the identification of the handwriting on the envelope found near the body, but a correspondent states that this is incorrect.
The police have to-day been in communication with the pensioner, who was said to have been seen in the company of the murdered woman, Chapman. He has voluntarily explained his connections with the deceased and antecedents. His statements were, it is understood, entirely satisfactory, and he will be produced as a witness when the inquest is resumed. In the course of to-day's investigation the police have become possessed of some further important information, from which it is hoped important results will follow. All ranks are working in a most indefatigable spirit, and a complete sense of security seems to be entertained by the inhabitants.
A man has been arrested on a charge of threatening to stab people in the neighbourhood of the Tower. A roughly sharpened knife was found on him. He is a short, stout man, with a sandy beard, and wears a dark cap. The police offer no opinion as to the value of this latest arrest.
On being searched, the most extraordinary accumulation of articles was found, including two purses usually carried by females and several pocket-handkerchiefs. The man has no fixed abode. The detectives are investigating his recent movements.