Monday, 17 September 1888
Nothing fresh so far has transpired with regard to the East End murders. The panic, according to the latest reports, has somewhat subsided; still everything in the shape of a rumour of an arrest spreads through the locality like wildfire, and the police stations in the neighbourhood are hourly besieged with curious inquirers. The mooted Vigilance Committee is at present engrossing the minds of residents in the East End of London, but it is a scheme fraught with danger and difficulties. Amateur detectives and amateur constables hardly meet with the support of the general public in cases of this serious magnitude, and the opinion of a police officer with a long experience of street work in the East End of London is worth giving.
With regard to the proposed Vigilance Committee's prospects he remarks, "It won't last a month. They'll get little help - at last no more help than anyone else - from our chaps: and if they get interfering with respectable people our men will 'run them in' as a caution for future behaviour. With regard to the roughs, well all I an say is 'they will have a high old time of it' and to the benefit of our men. They can, to use their own words, 'smell a fly copper' - i.e. plain clothes man; and when they get hold of an 'amateur' or two, God help the amateurs! Kicking a regular policeman is a pleasure at any time not lightly to be spoken of, but the chances of 'booting' the head or ribs of an amateur 'slop' will afford a new and indescribable pleasure, and one to be indulged in on every possible occasion. These 'vigilants' will be looked upon as 'copper's noses' or 'copper's narks' - i.e. police informers - and to use the roughs own words, 'a copper' is bad enough, but his 'nark!' - well, kill him, and that is about what he will get, or something very near it. They have forgotten one thing in their outfit, and that is an 'ambulance' - that will be wanted oftener than truncheons. At least I think so."
The pensioner Stanley, who has been referred to associating with the murdered woman has given the police an account of his movements since he last saw the deceased, which was on the Sunday preceding the murder. He has since been following his usual employment, without any attempt at concealment. Stanley is said to be superior to the class frequenting lodging houses in Spitalfields, and has known Chapman some two years.
The police are now investigating a very suspicious circumstance which occurred last night. A man passing through the Tower subway from the Surrey side, asked the caretaker whether any of the Whitechapel murderers had been caught yet, and then produced a long knife. Being followed, he ran away and was lost sight of.
Some of the detective officers who have been engaged in investigating the East End murders returned to headquarters shortly before midnight on Saturday, having just received some important information. What those informations were they said they were not at liberty to disclose, but they expressed themselves hopeful of being able to elucidate the mystery.
Up to a late hour to-night no arrest has been made. Neither is there any immediate prospect of an arrest being made. The public of the neighbourhood continue to make statements which are committed to writing at Commercial street Station, and in several instances the police have been made cognisant of what the informants consider to be suspicious movements of individuals whose appearance is thought to resemble the man wanted. The lapse of time, it is feared, will lessen the chances of the perpetrators being discovered.