Monday, 1st October 1888
Two more unspeakably horrible murders of women in Whitechapel on Saturday night suddenly raised the excitement in London yesterday to fury pitch. The appalling record of that dismal district now numbers up the atrocious slaughter and mutilation of six hapless creatures, the victims of a gang of miscreants, or of one maniac as some suppose; and there is no guarantee that further similar deeds may not yet be done. The motive, if it be at all comprehended, or not too shocking to admit; the treachery to the decoyed and defenceless, the coolness and suddenness of the attack; the obstinate defiance of police acumen; the fearful mastery of the means of committing unmatched savagery, accumulate to cause an indignation for which there certainly is no parallel, and the disappointing of which by non-detection would be an anguish which society could not content itself to endure. The consternation which kept the whole population up and awake throughout the night of these last outrages and has prevailed universally every hour of the interval since, gives place to a hot impatience that will not brook failure from the authorities in tracking the miscreants, and satisfying all humanity against them. Every eye in every land in both hemispheres is fixed upon the officers who have the duty of making this mystery plain, and their inability to get to the bottom of it, even for so long a disgrace, will be ruinous should it now further continue. Not to go into the particulars it is clear enough that the murders of Berner street and Mitre square are by the same pair of hands as perpetrated those that occurred before. The first stroke which took away the life was the same in every case, and by a bold and skilful miscreant. The common origin and commission of the crimes can be readily inferred, and it would thus seem that every fresh iniquity should have put the doer in greater peril and made the task easier of those that are pursuing him. The police appear to have been from the first utterly at fault. We think that they are justly blamed for want of knowledge, want of ingenuity, and want of grasp and resource. They appear to have got no clue, or if they found any they have let it slip. They have made no progress whatever, and the repetition of the acts in the same manner and in the same locality is a marked boast over the collapse of detective sagacity. Two more murders committed in a single night, in the near neighbourhood to a constable's residence, in another place where from a clubroom many men were going in and out, demonstrate that the measures taken by the police executive have been totally inadequate, ill-directed, and superficial. What is in such circumstances to be done? If the people entrusted with the task are incompetent, instantly others should have the work transferred to them. It is no time or question for considering the feelings of any body or person who might object to an arrangement promising better success, and we do think that it would be suitable to import into the business some of the talent which has been from time to time exhibited by Irish detectives. In conference with their English colleagues they might be able to see farther or plan more successfully. There is no reason to believe that people living in the locality are putting any difficulties in the way of the police. They are paralysed, indeed, with horror and fear, and can hardly venture to assume that worse will not still happen; but one and all are anxious to see the assassin secured and proof obtained at once of his crime, so that an end may be put to suspense and alarm. Sir CHARLES WARREN, by his action yesterday, appears at last to understand that it will be fatal to men in his position if those murders are not traced. The means which are at his command are ample. Whatever special steps he may think it necessary to adopt the public will complicity sanction. Why was not every doubtful house in Whitechapel searched long since for knives or other instruments by which the deeds were committed? In all honest places the constables would have every facility given to them, and where they were resisted suspicion would usefully arise. If also experience proves that little is to be done by offering of a reward, there are expenditures which would in such a crisis be justified, and could hardly fail to open the mouths of some whose information, though perhaps in itself slight, would start investigation.
Strong suspicion has fallen upon Jews and other foreigners, and the Socialists who have clubs in the East End. There is no definite ground for these surmises, and it is not fair to direct public anger against a class. But it is certainly in an especial way the duty of the Jews and Poles, and particularly of the members of the Socialist club to assist in every way in effecting a discovery. Until it has been made they cannot be perfectly free from a responsibility greater than belongs in those less connected with the spot and its lawlessness. There do appear to be peculiarities in the tale of one of the murders that point more closely to a possible revelation. The woman was not in the company of her assailant. She carried in one hand sweetmeats and in another grapes, as if she were on her way to her home. She was surprised, grasped and her throat severed by a fierce attack, and it is hardly possible that this could have been done without some stains having been made upon the murderer's clothes. The police also know well that the place has always had in it a number of the worst characters. By some of these robberies have been in open day committed since the first of those atrocities. They have such local knowledge unquestionably as ought to have given them large advantages. If it would not, of course, follow that those who committed other crimes necessarily know anything of the circumstances of the murder, it is evident that Whitechapel contains a number of evildoers, and if amongst these there be any secret, nothing is more likely than that money would find it out, and it should be freely used - any and every means should be employed - to bring ease to the public mind, and to purge the metropolis of this extreme development of unutterable outrage. The question is revived of the propriety of offering rewards. There are arguments against them, but these do not at present apply, and the public would be more satisfied if there was shown by the Home Secretary more conspicuous anxiety and determination never to rest until the criminal is unearthed, and all made known of his impulse as well as his ghastly deeds, and such just vengeance taken upon him as the laws of GOD and man decree and require.
Fresh horrors were in store for us this morning, and ere the church bells had commenced to ring the sensational news of two fresh murders in the East End had travelled to the far distant suburbs of the metropolis. The panic produced by the dreadful news was widespread and general, and later on when the ghastly details became known the effect on the Londoner can only be likened to the sensation which prevailed in Dublin on the Sunday following the murders of Lord Frederick Cavendish and Mr Burke.
The similarity of the newly-discovered outrages with those perpetrated on the unfortunate Annie Chapman and Mary Ann Nicholls plainly indicate the fiendish handiwork of the same murderer. If anything the crimes of this morning display a far greater desperation, combined with ghoulish cunning, than either of the former murders. The neighbourhood of Aldgate and Commercial road is an exceptionally busy one on a Saturday night, and, as a rule, it is some three hours after midnight before the streets are actually quiet. Moreover, I hear that a number of extra detectives were told off on Saturday afternoon for special duty in the neighbourhood of Whitechapel in connection with the previous outrage. Yet in the face of these facts, these two additional horrors are sprung upon an already panic-stricken people.
An hour after the discovery of the murders the whole of the East End population were in the streets, thrilled once more with the strange and sickly horror, which rapidly acquired dimensions little short of genuine panic. As the day advanced thousands flocked from all quarters of London to gaze upon the scenes of the latest atrocities and pick up such scanty information as could be obtained in the locality. Detectives of course are scouring every street and alley, but up to midnight no arrests are reported, and apparently the police have no definite clue. The feeling among the inhabitants is one of intense excitement and it would be extremely difficult for the police should they make an arrest to get the prisoner safely to the station, owing to the present excited condition of the labouring classes, who form a large proportion of the residents in the locality. Great caution is therefore being taken by the authorities not to state any suspicion of a clue.
TWO MORE WOMEN MURDERED
ONE OF THE BODIES SHOCKINGLY MUTILATED
NO CLUE TO THE MURDERER
The metropolis was this morning thrown into a state of renewed consternation by the announcement that the bodies of two more murdered women had been discovered in the East End. This report unhappily proved too true, and the terrible character of the crimes is intensified by the circumstances that the locality and manner in which the murders were committed point very strongly to the conclusion that the same miscreant who was responsible for at least two of the previous murders is also guilty of the present crimes.
It will be remembered that the first of the series of murders was committed as far back as last Christmas, when a woman, whose identity was never discovered, was found murdered in or contiguous to the district known as Whitechapel. There were circumstances of peculiar barbarity about the mode in which the body was treated. This fact did not attract so much attention at the time as it did when, on August 7th last, a woman named Martha Turner, aged 35, was found dead on the first floor landing of some model dwellings in Spitalfields, with 39 bayonet or dagger wounds on the body. On the 31st of the same month the woman Nichols, an unfortunate, was found dead in Buck's row, Whitechapel. With this probably commences the series of crimes which have lately horrified and terrified the public, for the mutilation of the body was done with so much technical skill and audacity as to suggest a definite, but extraordinary, and at the same time unexplained, purpose. What that object was the coroner recently suggested in the summing up at the inquest on the woman Chapman, who was murdered in the same district, and under similar circumstances, on September 8th. That crime created almost a panic which had scarcely died away when it became known to-day that two more murders of apparently the same kind had been committed under circumstances detailed hereunder.
The scene of the first of last nights outrages is a narrow court in Berner street, a quiet thoroughfare running from Commercial road down to the London, Tilbury, and Southend Railway. At the entrance to the court are a pair of large wooden gates, in one of which is a small wicket for use when the gates are closed. At the hour when the murderer accomplished his purpose these gates were open. Indeed, according to the testimony of those living near the entrance to the court, they are seldom closed. For a distance of 18 or 20 feet from the street there is a dead wall on each side of the court, the effect of which is to enshroud the intervening space in absolute darkness. After sunset, farther back, some light is thrown into the court from the windows of a workman's club which occupies the whole length of the court on the right, and from a number of cottages occupied mainly by tailors and cigarette makers on the left.
At the time when the murder was committed, however, the lights in all of the dwellinghouses in question had been extinguished, whilst such illumination as came from the club, being from the upper storey, would fall on the cottages opposite, and would only serve to intensify the gloom in the rest of the court. From the position in which the body was found it is believed that the moment the murderer got his victim in the dark shadows near the entrance to the court he threw her to the ground and with one gash severed her throat from ear to ear. The hypothesis that the wound was inflicted after and not before the woman fell is supported by the fact that there are several bruises on her left temple and left cheek, thus showing that force must have been used to prostrate her, which would not have been necessary had her throat been already cut. When discovered the body was lying as if the woman had fallen forward, her feet being about a couple of yards from the street, and her head in a gutter which runs down the right-hand side of the court, close to the wall. The woman lay on her left side, face downwards, her position being such that although the court at the part is only nine feet wide, a person walking up the middle might have passed the recumbent body without notice. The condition of the corpse, however, and several other circumstances which have come to light during the day prove pretty conclusively that no considerable period elapsed between the committal of the murder and the discovery of the body. In fact, it is pretty generally conjectured that the assassin was disturbed while at his ghastly work, and made off before he had completed his design.
All the features of the case go to connect the tragedy with that which took place three-quarters of an hour later a few streets distant. The obvious poverty of the woman, her total lack of jewellery or ornaments, and the soiled condition of her clothing, are entirely opposed to the theory that robbery could have been the motive, and the secrecy and despatch with which the crime was effected are equally good evidence that the murder was not the result of an ordinary street brawl.
At the club referred to above, the International Workmen's Educational Club, which is an offshoot of the Socialist League, and a rendezvous of a number of foreign residents, chiefly Russians, Poles and Continental Jews of various nationalities, it is customary on Saturday nights to have friendly discussions on topics of mutual interest, and to wind up the evenings entertainment with songs, &c. The proceedings commenced on Saturday about 8.30 with a discussion on the necessity for Socialism amongst Jews. This was kept up until about 11 o'clock, when a considerable portion of the company left for their respective homes. Between twenty and thirty remained behind, and the usual concert which followed was not concluded with the intelligence was brought in by the steward of the club that a woman had been done to death within a few yards of them, and within earshot of their songs. The people residing in the cottages on the other side of the court wre all indoors and most of them in bed by midnight. Several of these persons remember lying awake and listening to the singing, and the also remember the concert coming to an abrupt termination, but during the whole of the time from retiring to rest until the body was discovered no one heard anything in the nature of a scream or woman's cry of distress.
It was Lewis Diemshitz, the steward of the club, who found the body. Diemshitz, who is a traveller in cheap jewellery, had spent the day at Weston Hill Market, near the Crystal Palace, in pursuance of his avocation, and had driven home at his usual hour, reaching Berner street at 1 o'clock. On turning into the gateway he had some difficulty with his pony, the animal being apparently determined to avoid the right-hand wall. For the moment Diemshitz did not thing much of the occurrence because he knew the pony was given to shying, and he thought perhaps some mud or refuse was in the way, The pony, however, obstinately refused to go straight, so the driver pulled him up to see what was in the way. Failing to discern anything in the darkness, Diemshitz poked about with the handle of the whip, and immediately discovered that some large obstacle was in his path. To jump down and strike a match was the work of a second, and then it became apparent that something serious had taken place. Without waiting to see whether the woman whose body he saw was drunk or dead, Diemshitz entered the club by the side door, higher up the court, and informed those in the concert room upstairs that something had happened in the yard. A member of the club named Kozebrodski, but familiarly known as Isaacs, returned with Diemshitz into the court, and the former struck a match while the latter lifted the body up. It was at once apparent that the woman was dead. The body was still warm, and the clothes enveloping it were wet from the recent rain, but the heart had ceased to beat, and the stream of blood in the gutter terminating in a hideous pool near the club door showed but too plainly what had happened.
Both men ran off without delay to find a policeman, and at the same time other members of the club had by this time found their way into the court, and went off with the same object in different directions. The search was for some time fruitless. At last, however, after considerable delay, a constable was found in Commercial road. With the aid of the policeman's whistle more constables were quickly on the spot and the gates at the entrance to the court having been closed and a guard set at all the exits of the club and the cottages, the superintendent of the district and the divisional surgeon were sent for. In a few minutes Dr. Phillips was at the scene of the murder, and a brief examination sufficed to show that life had been extinct some minutes. Careful note having been taken of the position of the body, it was removed to the parish mortuary of St. George's in the East, Cable street, to await identification.
A reporter who has seen the corpse states that the woman appears to be about 30 years of age. Her hair is very dark, with a tendency to curl, and her complexion is also dark. Her features are sharp and somewhat pinched, as though she had endured considerable privations recently, and impression confirmed by the entire absence of the kind of ornaments commonly affected by women of her station. She wore a rusty black dress of a cheap kind of satteen, with a velveteen bodice, over which was a black diagonal worsted jacket with fur trimming. Her bonnet, which had fallen from her head when she was found in the yard was of black crepe, and inside, apparently with the object of making the article fit closer to the head, was folded a copy of the Star newspaper. In her right hand were tightly clasped some grapes, and in her left she held a number of sweetmeats. Both the jacket and the bodice were open towards the top, but in other respects her clothes were not disarranged. The linen was clean and in tolerably good repair, but some articles were missing. The cut in the woman's throat, which was the cause of death, was evidently effected with a very sharp instrument, and was made with one rapid incision. The weapon was apparently drawn across the throat rather obliquely from left to right, the gash being about three inches long and nearly the same in depth. In the pocket of the woman's dress were discovered two pocket handkerchiefs - a gentleman's and a lady's; a brass thimble, and a skein of black darning worsted.
In addition to Dr Phillips the body was examined both before and after removal to the mortuary by Dr. Kaye and Dr. Blackwell, both of whom reside in the vicinity of Berner street. On the arrival of the superintendent from Leman street Police Station, which took place almost simultaneously with that of the divisional surgeon, steps were immediately taken to ascertain whether the members of the club were in any way connected with the murder. The names and addresses of all the men present were taken, and a rigorous search of persons and premises was instituted, much to the annoyance of the members. The residents in the court had to submit to a similar scrutiny. In neither case, however, was any incriminating evidence discovered. It was five o'clock before the police had finished their investigations at the club, for in addition to the search referred to above, inquiries were made which resulted in a number of written statements which had to be signed by members.
The fact that a murder had been committed soon became known in the neighbourhood, and long before daybreak the usually quiet thoroughfare was the scene of great excitement. Extra police had to be posted right along the street, and even with this precaution locomotion from an early hour was a matter of extreme difficulty. A large crowd followed the body to the mortuary, and here again it was found necessary to take unusual precautions to keep back the crowd. As he news circulated further afield immense numbers of people flocked to Whitechapel, and before noon the neighbourhood of Aldgate and Commercial road was literarily invaded by persons curious to see the spots selected for this and other murders of the series.
Several matters have transpired which tend to fix precisely the time at which the unfortunate woman was murdered. Morris Eagle, one of the members of the club, left Berner street about 12 o'clock, and after taking his sweetheart home returned to the club at about twenty minutes to one with the intention of having supper. He walked up the yard and entered the club by the side entrance but neither saw nor heard anything to make him suspect foul play was going on. Of course he might have passed the body in the darkness, but the probability is that he would have stumbled over it if the murder had been committed before that time. Another member of the club, a Russian named Joseph Lave, feeling oppressed by the smoke in the large room, went down into the court about twenty minutes before the body was discovered, and walked about in the open air, and for five minutes or more he strolled into the street, which was very quiet at the time, and returned to the concert room without having encountered anything unusual. Durng the day there have been many persons at the mortuary, but up to 3 o'clock none had succeeded in identifying the body. Several policemen on duty in the district declare that they have seen the deceased about the locality, and it is believed that she belonged to the "unfortunate" class. But although the visitors to the mortuary have been drawn mainly from the same class, all have up to now failed to identify deceased as one of their associates.
Mr Wynne Baxter, the Coroner of the district, was communicated with as soon as the details were ascertained, and he has fixed the inquest for to-morrow, at 11 o'clock at the Vestry Hall, Cable street.
It is believed in police circles that the murderer was disturbed at his work by the arrival of Diemshitz, and that he made off as soon as he heard the cart at the top of the street.
Sir Charles Warren and Major Smith of the City Police visited the scene of the murder in the course of the morning.
The following description has been circulated by the policeman of a man said to have been seen in the company of deceased during Saturday:- Age 28, slight, height 5 ft. 9 in., complexion dark, no whiskers; black diagonal coat, hard felt hat, collar and tie; carried newspaper parcel; respectable appearance.
Lewis Diemshitz has made the following statement -
"I have been steward of the International Club for six or seven years; I am also a traveller in common jewellery. I went yesterday to Weston Hill market, a place I usually visit on Saturdays, and I got back about one o'clock this morning. I drove home in my own trap. My pony is rather shy, and as I turned into the yard it struck me that he bore too much to the left hand side against the wall. I bent my head to see what it was that he was shying at, and I noticed that the ground was not level. I saw a little heap which I thought might perhaps be some mud swept together. I touched the heap with the handle of my whip, and then I found that it was not mud. I jumped off the trap and struck a match, when I saw that it was the body of a woman. I did not wait to see whether she was drunk or dead, but went indoors, and asked whether my wife was there. I did this because I knew my wife had rather a weak constitution, and anything of that kind shocks her. I saw my wife was sitting downstairs, and I at once informed the members that something had happened in the yard. I did not tell them whether the woman was murdered or drunk because I did not then know. A member named Isaacs went down into the yard with me, and we struck a match. We saw blood right from the gate up the yard Then we both went for the police, but unfortunately it was several minutes before we could find a constable. At last another member of the club named Eagle, who ran out after us and went in a different direction, found one in Commercial road. This policeman blew his whistle and several more came up, and soon after the doctors arrived. The woman seemed to be about 27 or 28 years old. She was a little bit better dressed I should say than the woman who was last murdered. Her clothes were not disarranged. She had a flower in the bosom of her dress, and in one hand she had some grapes and in the other some sweets. She was grasping them tightly. I had never seen her before. She was removed about a quarter to 5 to Cable street mortuary. When I first saw her she was lying on her left side two yards from the entrance with her feet towards the street. I do not keep my trap in the yard, but I keep my goods at the club.
Morris Eagle stated - I am a Russian, and a traveller in the jewellery line. I am a member of the club, and was present last night at the discussion. I went away about 12 o'clock to take my young lady home. I was away with her about forty minutes, and then I came back to the club with the intention of having supper. There were plenty of people about then - both men and women. The front door of the club was closed when I returned, so I passed through the yard and entered at the back. I walked up the middle of the yard. I noticed nothing then. After I had been in the club twenty minutes the steward came in and said there was a woman lying in the yard. I went down into the yard and saw the blood, and afterwards assisted to find the police.
Joseph Lave sys - I am a Russian, and have recently arrived from the United States. I am residing temporarily at the club. About twenty minutes before the alarm I went down into the yard to get a breath of fresh air. I walked about for five minutes or more, and went as far as the street. Everything was very quiet at that time, and I noticed nothing wrong.
Mrs Mortimer, living at 36 Berner street, four doors from the scene of the tragedy, says - I was standing at the door of my house nearly the whole time between half-past 12 and 1 o'clock this Sunday morning, and did not notice anything unusual. I had just gone indoors, and was preparing to go to bed when I heard a commotion outside and immediately ran out, thinking that there was another row at the Socialists Club close by. I went to see what was the matter, and was informed that another dreadful murder had been committed in the yard adjoining the clubhouse, and on going inside the yard saw the body of a woman lying huddled up just inside the gates with her throat cut from ear to ear. A man touched her face and said it was quite warm, so that the deed must have been done while I was standing at the door of my house. There was certainly no noise made, and I didn't observe anyone entering the gates. It was just after one o'clock when I went out, and the only man whom I had seen pass through the street previously was a young man carrying a black shiny bag, who walked very fast down the street from the Commercial road. He looked up at the club and then went round the corner by the Board School. I was told that the manager or steward of the club had discovered the woman on his return home in his pony cart. He drove through the gates, and my opinion is that he interrupted the murderer, who must have made his escape immediately under cover of the cart. If a man had come out of the yard before one o'clock I must have seen him. It was almost incredible to me that the thing could have been done without the steward's wife hearing a noise, for she was sitting in the kitchen, from which a window opens four yards from the spot where the woman was found. The body was lying slightly on one side, with the legs a little drawn up as if in pain, the clothes being slightly disarranged. The woman appeared to me to be respectable looking by her clothes, and in her hand were found a bunch of grapes and some sweets. A young man and his sweetheart were standing at the corner of the street about 20 yards away before and after the time the woman must have been murdered, but they told me they did not hear a sound."
Charles Latchford, living at 30 Berner street, says - "I passed through the street at half past 12, and everything seemed to be going on as usual, and my sister was standing at the door at ten minutes to one, but did not see anyone pass by. I heard the commotion when the body was found and heard the policeman's whistles, but did not take any notice of the matter as disturbances are very frequent at the club, and I thought it was only another row."
In an interview with a representative of the Press, Dr. Blackwell made a statement in which he said that about ten minutes past one he was called by a policeman to 40 Berners street where he found the body of the murdered woman. Her head had been almost severed from her body, the body was perfectly war, and life could not have been extinct more than twenty minutes. It did not appear to him that the woman was a Jewess. She was more like an Irishwoman. He roughly examined her and found no other injuries, but he could not definitely state until he had made a further examination. The deceased had on a black velvet jacket and a black dress. In her hand she held a box of cachous, whilst placed in her dress was a flower. Altogether judging from her appearance he considered that she belonged to the immoral class. He had no doubt that the same man committed both murders. In his opinion the man is a maniac, but one at least who is accustomed to use a heavy knife. His belief was that as the woman held the sweets in her left hand her head was dragged back by means of a silk handkerchief which she wore roundher neck, and that her throat was then cut. One of the woman's hands was covered with blood, and this was evidently done in the struggle. He had, however, no doubt that the woman's windpipe being completely cut through, she was rendered unable to make any sound. Dr. Blackwell added that it did not follow that the murderer would be bespattered with blood, for, as he was sufficiently cunning in other things, he could contrive to avoid coming in contact with the blood by reaching well forward.
The authorities at Leman street Police Station are very reticent, and stated in reply to an inquiry late this evening that they had no further information to report. The woman murdered in Berner street has been identified. There appears to be very little doubt as to this as the belief was current in all parts of the neighbourhood., and a woman who is known as "One Armed Liz," living in a common lodginghouse in Flower and Dean street, stated to a reporter that she had accompanied Sergeant Thicke to St George's mortuary, and had identified the body as that of Annie Stride, an unfortunate, living in a common lodginghouse in the neighbourhood of Flower and Dean street. "One Armed Liz" refused to give further information, as she said she had been instructed to keep the matter to herself. Another rumour was to the effect that the deceased was a Swede and had evidently lived in this country for some years, judging by the fluency with which she spoke the English language. Another telegram states that the woman murdered in Berner street has been identified as Elizabeth Stride, who, it seems, had been leading a gay life, and had resided latterly in Flower and Dean street. She was identified by a sister living in Holborn. Her husband, who resides at Bath, has lived apart from her for nearly five years. Up to 10 o'clock to-night Stride's murderer has not been disclosed.
At 11 o'clock to-night a reporter visited Elizabeth Stride's late residence, No. 22 Flower and Dean street, Spitalfields, a common lodging-house inhabited by men and women of the poorest kind. The female occupants were afraid to enter into the streets after sunset, but they were listening with eagerness to information afforded them from time to time by male occupants arriving from the streets. Inquiries made amongst these wretched people elicit the fact that the deceased woman was commonly known as "Long Liz." She left Flower and Dean street between 6 and 7 o'clock on Saturday night. She then said she was not going to meet anyone in particular. Stride is believed to be a Swedish woman from Stockholm. According to her associates she was of calm temperament, rarely quarrelling with anyone. Her occupation was that of a charwoman. She had the misfortune to lose her husband in the Princess Alice disaster on the Thames some years ago. She had lost her teeth and suffered from a throat affection. It transpired that she was identified at the mortuary this morning by John Arundell and Charles Preston, who reside at 22 Flower and Dean street.
Shortly before two o'clock this morning, or about three quarters of an hour after the crime described above, it was discovered that a second woman had been horribly murdered and mutilated, this being in Mitre square, Aldgate, within the city boundaries, but on the confines of the now notorious district. It appears that Police Constable Watkins (No 881), of the city police, was going round his beat when, turning his lantern upon the darkest corner of Mitre square, he saw the body of a woman, apparently lifeless, in a pool of blood. He at once blew his whistle, and several persons being attracted to the spot he despatched messengers for medical and police aid. Inspector Collard, who was in command at the time at Bishopsgate Station, but a short distance off, quickly arrived followed a few moments afterwards by Mr G.. W. Sequiera, surgeon, of 34 Jewry street, and Doctor Gordon Brown, the divisional police doctor, of Finsbury Circus. The scene then disclosed was a most horrible one. The woman, who was apparently about 40 years of age, was lying on her back quite dead, although the body was still warm. Her head was inclined to the left side, her left leg being extended, whilst the right was flexed. Both arms were extended, the throat cut half way round, revealing a dreadful wound, from which blood flowed in great quantity, staining the pavement for some distance round. Across the right cheek to the nose was another gash, and a part of the right ear had been cut off. Following the plan in the Whitechapel murders, the miscreant was not content with merely killing his victim.
After careful notice had been taken of the position of the body when found it was conveyed to the city mortuary at Golden lane. Here a more extended examination was made. The murdered woman was apparently about 40 years of age, about five feet in height, and evidently belonged to that class of which the women done to death in Whitechapel were members. She was of dark complexion, with auburn hair and hazel eyes, and was dressed in shabby dark clothes. She wore a black cloth jacket with imitation fur collar and three large metal buttons. Her dress was made of green chintz, the pattern consisting of michaelmas daisies. In addition she had on a thin white vest, light drab linsey skirt, brown ribbed stockings (mended at the feet with white material), black straw bonnet, trimmed with black beads and green and black velvet, and a large white handkerchief round the neck. In the pockets of the dress a peculiar collection of articles was found. Besides a small pocket containing tea, and other articles which people who frequent the common lodginghouses are accustomed to carry, the police found upon the body a white pocket handkerchief, a blunt bone-handled table knife, a short clay pipe, and a red cigarette case with white metal fittings. The knife bore no traces of blood, so could have no connection with the crime.
When the news of this additional murder became known the excitement in the crowded district of Aldgate was intense. Usually a busy place on a Sunday morning, Houndsditch and the connecting thoroughfare presented a particularly animated appearance - men with barrows vending fruit and eatables doing a brisk trade. Crowds flocked to the entrance to the square where the body had been discovered, but the police refused admittance to all but a privileged few. Sir Charles Warren visited the spot at a particularly early hour and made himself thoroughly conversant with the neighbourhood and the details of the affair. Major Smith (Acting Superintendent of the City Police), Superintendent Foster, Detective Inspector McWilliams (Chief of the City Detective Department), Detective Sergeants Downs and Outram also attended during the morning.
A little while after the finding of the body all traces of blood had been washed away by directions of the authorities, and there was little to indicate the terrible crime which had taken place.
Before proceeding further it may be convenient to describe the scene of the murder. Mitre square is an enclosed space in the rear of St Katherine's Church, Leadenhall street. It has three entrances. The principle one, and the only one having a carriageway, is at the southern end leading to Mitre street, and turning out of Aldgate High street. There is a narrow court in the north-east corner leading into Duke street, and at the north-west, by which foot passengers can reach St James's square, otherwise known as the Orange Market. Mitre square containts but two dwellinghouses, in one of which, singularly enough, a city policeman lives, whilst the other is uninhabited. The other buildings, of which there are only three, are large warehouses. In the south-east corner and near to the entrance from Mitre street is the back yard of some premises in Aldgate, but the railings are closely boarded. It was just under these that the woman was found quite hidden from sight by the shadow cast by the corner of the adjoining house. The officer who found the body is positive that it could not have been there more than a quarter of an hour before he discovered it. He is timed to "work his beat," as it is called, in from ten to fifteen minutes, and is spoken of by his superior officers as a most trustworthy man. The police theory is that the man and woman who had et in Aldgate watched the policeman pass round this square and then they entered it. Whilst the woman lay on the ground her throat was cut as described above, causing instant death. The murderer then hurriedly proceeded to mutilate the body, for the wounds, though so ghastly, do not appear to have been caused so skilfully and deliberately as is the case of the murder of Annie Chapman in Hanbury street. Five minutes, some of the doctors think, would have sufficed for the completion of the murderers work, and he was then enabled to leave the ground before the return of the policeman on duty. None of the policemen on duty this morning appeared to have had particular attention drawn to the man and woman together. This appears strange at first, when it is remarked that within the last few weeks the police have been keeping a particularly keen watch upon suspicious couples. The murderer probably avoided much blood staining, and leaving the square by either of the courts he would be able to pass quickly away through the narrow thoroughfare without exciting observation. But one of the most extraordinary incidents in connection with the crime is that not the slightest scream or noise was heard. A watchman is employed at one of the warehouses in the square, and in a direct line, but a few yards away on the other side of the square, a city policeman was sleeping. Many people would be about in the immediate neighbourhood even at this early hour making preparations for the market which takes place every Sunday in Middlesex (formerly Petticoat lane) and the adjacent thoroughfares. Taking everything into account therefore, the murder must be pronounced one of extraordinary daring and brutality.
The effect it has had upon the residents in the east of London is extraordinary. All day crowds thronged the streets leading to Mitre square, discussing the crime, and the police in the neighbourhood of the square, under Inspector Izzard and Sergeants Dudman and Phelps and other officers were fully occupied in keeping back the excited and curious people. The woman up to the time of writing had not been identified, and the police admit that they have no information which can possibly be termed a clue.
A man named Albert Baker has made the following statement:- I was in the Three Nuns Hotel, Aldgate, on Saturday night, when a man got into conversation with me. He asked me questions which now appear to me to have some bearing upon the recent murders. He wanted to known whether I knew what sort of loose woman used the public bar at the house, when they usually left the street outside, and where they were in the habit of going. He asked further questions, and from his manner he seemed up to no good purpose. He appeared to be a "shabby genteel" sort of man, and was in black clothes. He wore a black felt hat and carried a black bag. We came out together at closing time (12 o'clock) and I left him outside Aldgate Railway Station.
Morris, the night watchman in Mitre square, has made a statement in which he says - Abut a quarter to 2 o'clock the policeman upon the beat knocked at the door of the warehouse. When he replied the constable said, "For God's sake, man, come out and assist me. Another woman has been ripped open." He said, "All right; keep yourself cool while I light a lamp. Having done so he accompanied the constable to the south-west corner of the square, where he saw a woman lying butchered upon the pavement with her throat cut. He then left the constable and proceeded into Aldgate where he blew his whistle. Other police officers soon made their appearance. The whole shape of the woman was marked out in blood upon the pavement. In addition to her throat being cut there were two slashes across the face, one of the cuts almost completely severing her nose. The woman's face was so mutilated that he could not describe what she was like. She wore a dark skirt and a black bonnet, and her appearance was exceedingly shabby. The strangest part of the whole thing was that he did not hear the slightest sound. As a rule he could hear the footsteps of the policeman as he passed on his beat every quarter of an hour , so that it appeared impossible that the woman could have uttered any sound without his detecting it. It was only the other night that he remarked to some policeman that he wished the "butcher" would come round Mitre square and he would give him a "doing." Yet the "butcher" had come and he was perfectly ignorant of it.
At a late hour the woman found murdered in Mitre square had not been identified. The post-mortem examination of the body, which took place at the mortuary, Golden lane, and was conducted by Dr. Phillips, Dr. Gordon Brown, and Mr G. W. Sequiera, occupied nearly four hours, but as to its results the doctors declined to speak. The inquest has not been fixed, but it will probably take place on Tuesday.
Great indignation is being expressed in all parts of the metropolis this evening at the inability of the police to prevent a recurrence of these outrages. With each fresh murder in the Whitechapel series public alarm has been more accentuated, and unless something can soon be done to restore confidence in the detective powers of the police a panic will be the result. Nothing but the murder is talked of, and the question is being frequently asked, why do not the police resort to more drastic measures? Attention is drawn to the success which attended the use of bloodhounds in connection with the Blackburn murder, and it is seriously suggested that similar methods should be adopted in the East end of London. That both the metropolitan and the city police recognise the gravity of the present crisis is proved by the fact that Major Smith, of the latter force, has had long interviews with Sir Charles Warren at Scotland Yard to-day. Amongst the force there is a strong feeling that the old practice of offering Government rewards should be revived, and a large section of the public endorse this view.
In view of the mystery which surrounds the whereabouts of the murderer or murderers, it might be suggested that the police authorities should take the constables late into their confidence, and for the time being, considering the exceptional circumstances attending the murders, to put aside a very stringent rule of the service, the enforcement of which under ordinary conditions is absolutely necessary. For instance, it is by no means unusual for a constable doing duty in the streets to have suspicious incidents come under his observation, of which he takes no notice until after he learns of a crime such as has just rekindled public indignation. Under existing circumstances an officer who made known such "negligence" would undoubtedly be dismissed the service, and in view of this it can not be expected that an officer would knowingly bring about his own discharge. The information which he might be able to give would possibly be of the greatest importance, as regards a case such as the present, but it is withheld for the very reason that unless the authorities relax their severity the man would be bringing about his own downfall. It seems that exception must be made to several rules in order to bring to justice the East End murderer or murderers, therefore it will not be inopportune to suggest that the police will be ably assisted if a Government reward is at once offered, the terms of which should apply both to the police and the public. Since the discontinuance of Government rewards in cases of murder, it is understood that it has been customary to reward the officer or officers making the capture, but it is usually so small that it affords no encouragement to members of the force who do not get any remuneration for working on hours off time. Certain instructions have been telegraphed to-day by the Metropolitan Police authorities to the different suspect towns where there is communication with the continent concerning the two murders.
The sensation of horror and fear inspired by the awful crime committed in Hanbury street on the morning of the 8th September, had begun to subside. People had ceased suspecting their neighbours, and the seething population of the east of London was fast settling down to its normal condition of dogged industry and apathetic misery when the popular dismay and terror was revived and intensified by the discovery of two more murders committed in one night, and to all appearances the work of one fiendish hand. For a while people would not credit the appalling news, but ample confirmation was quickly forthcoming. The wretched and abandoned frequenters of the streets fled in terror to their miserable shelters, and by half past two not a woman was to be seen throughout the densely populated district.
Unhappily the circumstances connected with the murders committed on Saturday night, or early on Sunday morning, do not differ materially with those which marked the previous crimes, except perhaps that the Mitre square crime was perpetrated with brutal ferocity and reckless daring and rapidity, exceeding that exhibited by the fiend who despatched and mutilated poor Annie Chapman in the gloomy back yard in Hanbury street on the 8th of September.
Mitre square is a sort of huge yard, about 120 feet square, and there are three entrances to it, the principle being from Mitre street, which is broad enough to accommodate two vehicles abreast. There is also a short covered court about 20 yards long, leading into St James's place, another square, popularly known as the "Orange Market," in the centre of which is a street fire station, consisting simply of a wagon on wheels, and also a permanent street fire station in course of erection. There is also a fire escape there at night, and three men of the Metropolitan Brigade are always on duty until daylight. Another passage, 30 to 40 yards long, open to the sky, known as Church passage, leads into Duke street. Two sides of Mitre square are occupied by the warehouse of Messrs Kearly and Tonges, tea and coffee merchants, and a private house occupied by a city constable named Pearce. The third side is occupied by the warehouse of Messrs Herman and Sons, drug merchants. On the fourth side where the roadway leads into Mitre-street, one corner is occupied by Messrs Walter Williams and Co., and the opposite corner is used as a workshop and is locked up at night. Next to it are three empty houses, the backs of which look into the square. During business hours the square is extensively used, but after 6 o'clock it is comparatively deserted, and according to people in the vicinity it is about as quiet a place as could be found in the City of London. It may be added that the square is well lighted, there being one standard lamp in the square itself, another fixed to the on the left hand entrance from Mitre street, a third on the corner of the court at the St. James place end, and two more fixed on the wall in Church passage, one being placed at each end, so that altogether there are five lamps throwing their light into the square.
At a quarter to 2 o'clock this morning City Constable Watkins 881 was on his beat, and as he passed through Mitre square he saw a body lying in the south-west corner. He had passed through the square fifteen minutes previously and he is certain that then there was no body there. The corpse was that of a woman, and it was lying on its back in the south west corner on the footway with the head towards a boarding and her feet in the carriage way. The head was inclined on the left side and both the arms extended outwards; the left le was extended straight out and the right leg was bent away from the body. After the first shock of the discovery the constable bent down and felt the body, which he found to be quite warm. Blood was all around and on the body, but it had not congealed. Watkins immediately ran across to George James Morris, a night watchman in the employ of Messrs Kearly, and sent him to Dr Sequeira's at 86 Jewry st, and then proceeded to call up Constable Pearce, who lives in one of the houses in the square itself. The constables then returned to the south-west corner, and throwing the light of their lanterns fully upon it found to their horror that the woman's throat was cut from ear to ear and half way round the head. In addition to these fearful injuries a portion of the right ear was cut off, and the nose was slashed half way through. The face was also slashed and cut about in the most brutal fashion.
Dr. Sequeira arrived at five minutes to two o'clock, and shortly after that time Major Smith, Assistant Chief Commissioner of the City Police Detective Force, Inspector McWilliams, Chief of the City Detective Department, Superintendent Forster and Inspector Collard, of Bishopsgate street Station, were on the spot. They had been preceded, however, by Dr. Brown, surgeon to the City Police Force, whilst Dr. Phillips, of Spital square, surgeon to the H Division of the Metropolitan police, who had previously examined the body of the woman found in Berner street, was also present. The doctors proceeded at once to make an examination of the body. It was lying in a pool of blood, which had flowed from the terrible wound in the throat, and there was also a considerable quantity round the abdomen. The ground around was eagerly examined by the police, but it soon became clear that the murderer had carefully avoided treading in the blood, and consequently no footmarks could be seen.
At the conclusion of this preliminary examination, the body was removed to the City Mortuary in Golden lane, where in the course of the afternoon an extensive post-mortem examination was made. As soon as the corpse had been removed from Mitre square, the south-west corner was carefully washed down in order to disappoint morbid sightseers, and it was not long before all trace of the awful crime had been removed. A sketch of the place was also made under the direction of the police in charge of the case.
The following is the official description of the body and clothing:- "Age about 40, length 5 feet, dark auburn hair, hazel eyes; dress - black jacket with imitation fur collar, three large metal buttons, brown bodice, dark green chintz (with Michaelmas daisy and Gordon lily pattern); skirt (three flounces), thin white vest, light drab linsey underskirt, dark green alpaca petticoat, white chemise, brown ribbed stockings (mended at feet with piece of white stocking), black straw bonnet, trimmed with black beads and green and black velvet, large white handkerchief round the neck, a pair of men's old laced boots, and piece of course white apron. The deceased had 'T C' on left forearm, tattooed in blue ink.
It was sincerely hoped throughout the whole kingdom that the murder and mutilation of the poor wretch Annie Chapman in Hanbury street about three weeks ago would close the ghastly record of mysterious and diabolical atrocities which have been perpetrated on women in the Whitechapel district of London; but this morning we are confronted with a crime which, as far as can be ascertained at present, leaves little doubt as to its having been done by the same assassin or assassins who committed the others. The scene of this, the latest, murder is Berner street, Commercial road, on the St. George's-in-the-East side, and within about 200 yards of Buck's row, or Hanbury street, where the last two murders took place. About five minutes to one o'clock this morning a youth about twenty years of age named Joseph Koster was accosted by a little boy who came running up to him as he was passing on the opposite side of 40 Berner street, used by the International Socialist Club, and told him that a woman was lying in the gateway next to the club, with her throat cut. Koster immediately ran across the road and saw a woman lying on her sidein the gateway leading into Dutfield's stabling and van premises. The gate which is a large wooden one, was partly opened, and the woman lying partly in the opening and on the street. He immediately roused the neighbours, and by the aid of a candle it was seen that the woman's throat was cut open very nearly from one ear to the other, and her lips were drawn up as if she had suffered sharp pain. She was dressed in black and appeared to be in mourning. She wore a black bonnet, elastic sided boots, and dark stockings. To her breast was a small bouquet of flowers, and in her left hand she had a small packet of scented cachous. Constable Lamb, 252 East Division, soon afterwards, with the assistance of two other constables had the body, which was quite warm, removed to 40 Berner street, where it was placed in a back room. To all appearances the woman seems to have been taken into the stabling yard, and after having been treated like the former victims, carried out and laid openly in the street. The case, in fact, resembles in many points the Buck's row tragedy. She appears to have been about 26 years of age, and it is not thought that she belonged to the locality in which she was found. The wound must have been inflicted with a very sharp instrument, no trace of which has yet been found, as it is very deep, and she was lying in a pool of blood with which her clothes were saturated.
The news of the tragedy spread with great rapidity, and a large number of detectives from Scotland Yard, together with superintendents and inspectors of police, were soon on the spot. All those who were near the place at the time were detained, taken into the house, and closely examined as to the discovery, but nothing has as yet been obtained which can afford a clue to the murderer and the police have nothing whatever to go on. They seem completely at their wits end, and have taken great precautions up to the present to exclude all representatives of the Press from the house where the body lies. None of the women in the district who have seen her know the murdered woman, and it may be some time before she is identified. She is described as being of a dark complexion and rather slim, and about 4 feet 10 inches in height. Her hair is dark and wavy, with a large fringe in front, and the features somewhat delicate and refined. Dr. Blackhall and his assistant have both examined the corpse, and pronounced that the woman must have been murdered, as she could not have taken her own life. Dr. Phillips, who examined the woman found in Hanbury street, has also been called in, and made an examination of the woman, but he has been ordered to keep the result secret at present.
The affair has caused a great sensation throughout London, and the only surmise which can be given at present is that the woman for some reason or another was taken from a respectable district to Whitechapel and there murdered by the author of the former atrocities.
Further details of the tragedy tend to throw no light on the perpetrator of the crimes, and not only has no arrest been made, but the police seem to be absolutely without any clue to go upon. The murdered woman has not been identified, and, indeed, up to the present, none but the doctors have been allowed to enter Cable street Mortuary, where the body lies. It may be stated, however, that the police authorities at Leman street do not share the belief which prevails in the neighbourhood that the woman is a stranger to the Whitechapel district, and was decoyed there from some other part of London. On the contrary, they believe her to have been both a resident in the neighbourhood, and a member of the same unfortunate lass to which the former victims belonged. However this may be, both her clothing and general appearance, according to those who wre present when the ghastly discovery was made - for the police have apparently strict orders to close all channels of information to members of the Press - seem to indicate that she had not sunk so low as Chapman, the last of the unfortunate women murdered. The archway in which the murder was committed is a wide one, closing by two large gates, one of which is a small door for foot passengers. Messrs Walter Hindley and Cosack, manufacturers of 62 Queen street, Cheapside, have premises up the yard, as has Mr Arthur Duffield, van and cart builder, while there is also a side entrance to No. 40 Berner street, which is occupied by the International Workingmen's Education Society - a club of Jewish Socialists, mostly of foreign extraction who, judging from statements made this morning in the neighbourhood, are not in very good odour with their orthodox co-religionists. The yard only leads to the premises mentioned and there is no exit on the other side. The little wicket gate, the neighbours say, is always unfastened during the night, and more often the great gates themselves stand ajar, and this seems to have been the case this morning, unless, as may possibly have been the case, Lewis, by whom the body was found, opened them in order to put up his pony and cart. Lewis, who is now found to have been on the spot rather than Koster, is the steward at the Socialist Club at No. 40, and in addition he travels in some drapery goods, the purchase of which, according to his friends necessitated his attending last night's market. He seems to have returned home about a quarter to 1, and to have proceeded up the entry which, though not narrow, is a very dark one, for the purpose of putting up his pony and trap. While proceeding along the wall of No. 40, which is to the north of the entry, he stumbled against something which he presently discovered to be the body of a woman, and at first feared was that of his wife. On entering his door however, he found Mrs Lewis waiting for him, and explaining that a woman was lying outside, he asked a man who was in the house to come outside with him. A match was struck, and the men were horrified to see a great quantity of blood on the ground.
The alarm of "murder" was at once given and some neighbours assembled, and lifting the body on one side exposed the wound in the throat. The police were quickly on the spot and took possession of the yard, which was thenceforth closed to the public. The body was, however, suffered to lie where it was found till 4 o'clock. Dr. Blackwell, and subsequently Dr. Simmonds being sent for during the time, and submitting the body to a careful investigation, they discovered, it is understood, no marks of violence except the wound four or five inches long in the throat, and no sign that there had been any attempt to further violate the body in the horrible manner which added so much inexplicable horror to the Hanbury street and, as it seems, to one of this morning's murders also. After undergoing preliminary investigation here the body was removed to Cable street mortuary where it will undergo further examination, and where subsequently opportunities will be given for identification.
In the course of an interview with a witness shortly after 6 o'clock this morning Abraham Heshberg, a young fellow, living at 20 Berner street, said- "I was one of those who first saw the murdered woman. It was about a quarter to 1 o'clock, I should think, when I heard a policeman's whistle blown, and came down to see what was the matter in the gateway. Two or three people had collected, and when I got there I saw a short dark young woman lying on the ground, with a gash between 4 and 5 inches long in her throat. I should think she was 25 to 28 years of age. Her head was towards the north wall, against which she was lying. She had a black dress on, with a bunch of flowers pinned on the breast. In her hand there was a little piece of paper containing five or six cachous. The body was not found by Koster, but by a man whose name I do not know, a man who goes out with a pony and barrow, and lives up the archway where he was going, I believe, to put up his barrow on coming home from market. He thought it was his wife at first, but when he found her safe at home he got a candle and found this woman. He never touched it till the doctor had been sent for. The little gate is always open, or at all events unfastened, but I don't think the yard is one which is used by loose women. There are some stables in there - Messrs Duncan, Woollatt, and Cade I believe - and there is a place to which a lot of girls take home sacks which they have been engaged in making. None of these would be there though after about 1 o'clock on Saturday afternoon. None of us recognised the woman. I don't think she belongs to this neighbourhood. She was dressed very respectably. There seemed to be no wounds on the body About the club? Oh, yes, it would be open till 2 or 3 this morning. I suppose it is a Socialist club, and there are generally rows there. Both men and women go there. They have demonstrations up there, and concerts, for which they have a stage and plane. There was a row there last Sunday night. It went on till about 2 in the morning, and in the end two people were arrested.
The home which adjoins the yard on the south side, No. 38, is tenanted by Barnett Kenterich who, interrogated as to whether he heard any disturbance during the night, said - "I went to bed early, and slept till about 3 o'clock, during which time I heard no unusual sound of any description. At about 3 o'clock some people were talking loudly outside my door, so I went out to see what was the matter, and learned that a woman had been murdered. I did not stay out long though, and know nothing more about it. I do not think the yard bears a very god character at night, but I do not interfere with any of the people about here. I know that the gate is not kept fastened. The club is a nasty place." In this view Mrs Kenterich, who had come from the underground kitchen to take part I the colloquy thoroughly agreed, and both she and her husband, in reply to further questions, corroborated Heshburg's statement as to women and girls being taken to the club and as to the disorder which sometimes took place there.
In order to inquire further into these matters, the reporter next visited the club referred to , a rather low class little building covered with posters, most of them in the Hebrew language. Mrs Lewis, wife of the steward, as she explained, was standing at the door in the centre of a host of people, but she declined to call on her husband, who had been up all night, and had only just gone to bed. Pressed to speak as to the character of the club, Mrs Lewis was inclined to be retired, but a young man in the crowd volunteered an explanation of the institution. "You see," he explained, "the members are bad Jews - Jews who do not heed their religion, and they annoy those who do in order to show contempt for the religion. In the Black Fast a week or two ago, for instance, they had a banquet, and ostentatiously ate and drank, while we might do neither. They hold concerts there till early in the morning, and women and girls are brought there." "Were they here last night?" asked the reporter. "No" said Mrs Lewis, "there was only a concert and discussion on last night."
The young fellow who had previously spoken gave some further details at some length on the finding of the body by Lewis, but he could give no further facts that those given in the above statements.
A young Russian Pole, named M. Kozebrodski, born in Warsaw, and who spoke the English language imperfectly, gave the following information:- I was in the club last night. I came in about 6.30 in the evening and I have not been away from it since. About 20 minutes to 1 this morning Mr Diemshitz called me out into the yard. He told me there was something in the yard, and told me to come and see what it was. When we had got outside he struck a match, and when we looked down on the ground we could see a large pool of blood. It was running down the gutter, and in the direction of the gate, and reached about to the door of the club. I should think there was blood in the gutter for a distance of five or six yards. I went to look for a policeman at the direction of Diemshitz or some members of the club. I went in the direction of Grove street, and could not find one. I afterwards went into the Commercial road, and there along with Eagle I found two officers. The officers did not touch the body, but sent for a doctor. A doctor came, and an inspector arrived just afterwards. While the doctor was examining the body I noticed that she had some grapes in her right hand and some sweets in her left. I think she wore a dark jacket and a black dress. I saw a little bunch of flowers stuck above her right bosom.
Several members of the club, including the steward, stated that the yard adjoining the building had never been frequented by unfortunate women. The traffic there is constant, and continues almost all the night through. The yard in which the body was found is about 10 feet wide. The width is continued for a distance of 8 or 10 yards, at which point there occurs on the left hand side a small row of houses, which are set back a little so that the width is increased by two feet or more. The extreme length of the court is 30 yards, and it terminates in a workshop, which at present is being used as a dwellinghouse. The spot where the murder was committed therefore is overlooked on three sides, and inasmuch as the gates were open last night any casual pedestrian might easily have seen the commission of the crime. The windows of the clubroom are within ten feet of the spot, whilst the cottages stand almost opposite and command a complete view of it. None of the occupants of these houses, however, heard the faintest noise in the course of Saturday night or Sunday morning. The residents in the yard are tailors and cigarette makers, and they are not in the habit of retiring very early. A reporter who made inquiry among them, however, was unable to find any person who had either seen or heard anything suspicious. The club spoken of is occupied by what is known as the National Workmen's Educational Society, and is affiliated to the Socialist League, of which it is a foreign branch. Its members seem to be largely composed of Russian Jews, and Jews of other nationalities also find a welcome there. Many of them live on the premises which, however, are extensive. At the back there is a fair sized hall made by demolishing the partition between two rooms, and here on Saturday nights the members gather for the purpose of debate and amusement. Last night the debate was largely attended by Germans, nearly a hundred being at one time in the room, and the subject of discussion, which was "Is it necessary that a Jew should be a Socialist" proved so interesting that it was carried on to a late hour. After it had terminated there was a concert, at which thirty persons remained. There was considerable singing, and there is not doubt that the noise would have drowned any outcry which might have been made by the wretched creature who was being murdered in the yard beneath.
Berner street is in a very notorious part of Whitechapel. It is close to a district which was formerly known as "Tiger Bay" because of the ferocious character of the desperadoes who frequented it. A few yards distant is the house wherein Lipski murdered Miriam Angel, and the neighbourhood generally has an evil repute. During the course of yesterday thousands of persons congregated I the vicinity of the scene of the crime and it was with the greatest difficulty that the police could keep the street clear, the bulk of the residents are Jews. At the back of the Workmen's Club hre is a Jewish paper published called the Workmen's Friend, which is printed in Hebrew, and shops and lodginghouses kept by Jews are very frequently met with.
The body of the murdered woman, which now lies in St. George's Mortuary, close to St. George's Parish Church, presents a dreadful spectacle. It is the corpse of a woman about 40 years of age, and, as it lies on the slab, exhibits prominently a fearful wound on the throat. The head is slightly thrown over to the right, and the gaping orifice is so clearly scooped out that the divisions of the jugular veins and the windpipe can be easily seen. The knife or other implemnt with which the deed was committed must have been of large size and very keen, and the wound is so wide that there is room for the supposition that after the blade had been inserted it was partially turned and then drawn with great force from left to right. The vertebrae of the neck was scraped owing ot the great force with which the weapon was wielded, and it is obvious that if the murderer had not been interrupted the poor creature would have been hideously mangled, for the savagery of her assailant is evidenced not alone by the terrible wound in her throat but also by two severe contusions on the head - one on the temple, the other on the cheek, which seem to point to the conclusion that he was proceeding to further outrage when some chance incident alarmed him and caused him to desist from his infamous work. With the exception of the injuries mentioned the body bore no signs of ill-usage. The woman has the appearance of an unfortunate, but not one of the worst class. Her black curly hair had been well combed and tied up. Her underclothing was clean, and her two petticoats and black frock tidy, though old. She had on a black alpaca frock, a black jacket trimmed with fur, an old velveteen body, once black but now brown, and a crepe bonnet (some spare space in which had been filled up by a current copy of a London evening newspaper), white stockings, white stays, and side spring boots. The bodice of the woman was open, exposing her chest. Another theory built up on this circumstance is that the assassin was intending to hack her breast, but could not carry out his purpose. In the pockets were found two pocket handkerchiefs - one a man's, the other a woman's, a thimble, and a skein of black worsted. There were no rings on the fingers. The height of the deceased is about 5 feet 5 inches. In her jacket was pinned a small bunch of roses and ferns. Her hair was matted with wet dirt, showing that a struggle had taken place on the ground. It is not believed, however, that the woman was in a recumbent position when attacked, the theory being that her murderer was standing with his left arm around her neck, and that while so placed he drew the knife and inflicted a mortal wound. The position of the body when found favours this view inasmuch as no attempt had been made to disarrange the clothing, and the woman was lying in an almost natural attitude with her head towards the bottom of the yard at 40 Berner street, and the legs towards the gates.
After the police authorities had been notified of the murder, the case was given into the hands of Chief Inspector Swanson and Inspector Abberline of Scotland Yard. In the first instance the police turned their attention to the Workingmen's Club. The doors were guarded and no person was allowed egress.
After the body had been moved to St George's mortuary, the police entered the club and made a careful examination of the inmates. Their pockets were searched and their hands and clothing particularly scrutinised, and some of them allege that they were made to take off their boots. All knives had to be produced, and each man had to give an account of himself before he was allowed to depart. Some of the members say that the police treated them badly, swearing at them and shouting, "You're no foreigners, or else where's your knives?" As a matter of fact, however, the police found nothing suspicious at the club or upon its members, and in (illegible) the unusual surveillance was withdrawn. Some of the neighbours were also subjected to investigation, but no clue was found. It may be mentioned here that the police discovered no blood splashes upon the wall in the yard. They caused the blood which had flown down the gutter to be removed at an early hour. The information of the crime reached Leman street Police Station at ten minutes past 1 o'clock, and Dr. Phillips, of 2 Spital square, the divisional police surgeon, was immediately communicated with. After he had made an external examination of the body it was removed to St. George's mortuary, where the post mortem will be made to-morrow.
In the course of to-day Sir Charles Warren, the Chief Commissioner of Police, visited the scene of the murder. The police have no clue to the murderer, nor do they profess any hope of discovering one. He has disappeared without leaving a trace of the faintest kind, and there is nothing whatever upon which the detectives can work. A woman' apron was found in Goulston street, which is believed to have belonged to the deceased woman. It is suggested therefore that the murderer travelled to Mitre square, the scene of the second murder, by way of Goulston street, and took away the apron for the purpose of cleansing his weapon upon it. The efforts of the police are somewhat hampered at present by the fact that the woman has not as yet been identified.
In the course of to-day a large number of prostitutes were allowed to visit the mortuary with a view to identification. Several of them professed to recognise the deceased, but they were unable to state her name or address. The police of the district believed that the woman formerly walked the streets about St. George's, but they have lost sight of her in the last 18 months.
In consequence of the many murders in the locality the police force at Leman street and Commercial street Stations, as well as the adjacent stations, has recently been augmented from King street, Scotland Yard, and other centres. This has been done as a matter of precaution, as in some quarters a disposition is manifested to cast upon the Jewish population of the neighbourhood the responsibility for the murders. The following is a description of a man stated to have been seen in company with the woman murdered in Berner street, and for whom the police are looking:- "Age 28, height 5ft 8in., complexion dark, no whiskers, black diagonal coat, hard felt hat, collar and tie, carried a newspaper parcel, was of respectable appearance."
In the case of both of the murders committed yesterday morning the assassin had a very narrow escape from detection. The evidence that is forthcoming establishes the fact that the murderer commenced operations first in Berner street. Here the murder was committed as near as possible at 1 o'clock, and it is very probable that the man was proceeding to the commission of further outrages when he was disturbed by the arrival of Diemshitz, the steward of the club, who drove into the yard under the circumstances related elsewhere. Having failed in his purpose, which as in other cases appears to have been to secure certain portions of the body, he betook himself towards the city, and in Mitre court his second victim was done to death. Police beats in the city are considerably shorter than in the Metropolitan district, every beat being patrolled each ten minutes or quarter of an hour. None of the men on duty in the neighbourhood noticed anything suspicious in the course of the night, the neighbourhood being a particularly quiet one. Had Watkins, the policeman on the beat, been five minutes earlier, eh must inevitably have caught the murderer red-handed, as the deed had not been done more than a few minutes before he discovered it. Watkins has been in the city police a number of years, and is looked upon as a thoroughly reliable and trustworthy officer. There is a police constable actually residing in Mitre square - a man named Pearce, who says that he went to bed before 12 o'clock, and was only aroused when Constable Watkins called him up. He heard nothing whatever of the occurrence. Inquiries were made in the publichouses in the neighbourhood with a view of ascertaining whether any suspicious characters had been seen there drinking with a woman, but no clue could be obtained. Some of the inhabitants of the district have started the theory that in the case of the murder in Mitre court the woman was first chloroformed. The supposition is not sustained by any evidence, and probably promulgated merely as an explanation of the silence in which the deed was perpetrated. The scenes of both murders were guarded throughout the day by a number of policemen, who allowed no one to pass through the barriers. Curious crowds colleted at various points of interest, and they were followed in turn by scores of hawkers and fruit vendors, who drove a thriving trade.
Mr Wynne Baxter, the Coroner for East Middlesex, has fixed the inquest on the woman murdered in Berner street for to-morrow (Monday), at 11 a.m., at the Vestry Hall, St. George's. Although up to this time the police are without a clue, it is hoped that now the city police have the matter in hand as well as the metropolitan that the murderer may be arrested. Mitre square is a thoroughfare leading out of Aldgate, and so comes under the surveillance of the city authorities, who are now for the first time actively interested in the East End murders. Berner street is within a stone's throw of Hanbury street where the woman Annie Chapman was recently murdered, and adjacent also to Buck's row, where Mary Anne Nichols met her death, and to Osborne street, wherein still another of the unfortunates was shamefully mutilated. It lies to the right of Commercial road going east, and is about eight minutes walk from Mitre square. Therefore it is seen that the murderer has confined his operations to a radius of about a quarter of a mile, and it is within that area that the police expect to find him, if, indeed, he be ever found. The city police adopt the view that the miscreant for whom they are searching is a man of a different class to that which he has hitherto been supposed to have been a member. They point to a fact that women of the street obviously yield readily to his solicitation, and draw the inference that he is a person of respectable appearance, and by no means the rough uncouth creature which the popular imagination has depicted him.
Up to half-past 7 last evening the police had no clue except the discovery of the woman's apron mentioned elsewhere, which apron, by the way, has turned out to belong to the woman murdered in Mitre square, nor had either of the dead persons been identified.
A strong opinion was expressed in the neighbourhood that the Government should be appealed to on the question of offering a substantial reward for the discovery of the murderer. This, it is thought, would put the whole of the residents on the alert, and lead them to keep a sharp look out each upon the doings of his neighbour, and to report to the police any suspicious proceedings. In view of the identification of the apron belonging to the woman murdered in Mitre square, it appears that the murderer must have gone to his home by way of Goulston street, and so lives in all probability in the district between Houndsditch and Commercial street. This neighbourhood is being closely watched as well as other portions of the district, and a large number of extra police and detectives have been placed on duty.
The post-mortem examination of the woman found in Mitre-square was made this afternoon at the City Mortuary, Golden lane. The proceedings lasted from 2.30 until 6 o'clock. Dr. Brown, of 17 Finsbury Circus, surgeon to the city police force, conducted the operations, and was assisted by Dr. Sequeiras, of 34 Jewry street, and Dr. G. B. Phillips, of 2 Spital square. Dr. Sedgwick Saunders was also present. The doctors decline to say whether any portion of the body is missing or to give any information as to the autopsy until the inquest is held. This will probably be on Tuesday at the mortuary in Golden lane. During the day the police thoroughly searched the empty houses in Mitre street, and also the yard where the body was found, and took up a grating near the spot where the woman was discovered. Nothing, however, in the shape of a weapon was found, nor did the investigations lead to anything likely to throw light upon the matter.
The public were not admitted to the square until late in the afternoon, after an official plan of the square had been made for production at the inquest. Up to a late hour in the evening the woman had not been identified, although several people have been to the Bishopsgate street police station and have seen the clothing. Two women who inspected this and also saw the corpse were certain that it was the body of a woman named Jane Kelly, but subsequently on inquiries being made, it was found that this individual was alive. A man who saw the body said he was sure it was that of a woman known as "Phoebe the Jewess," but the inquiries in this case are not yet complete.
Shortly before midnight a man whose name has not transpired, was arrested in the Borough on suspicion of being the perpetrator of the murders in the East End. This morning a tall dark man, wearing an American hat, entered a lodginghouse in Union street known as Albert Chambers.He stayed there throughout the day, and his peculiar manner riveted the attention of his fellow-lodgers. He displayed great willingness to converse with them, and certain observations he made regarding the topic of the day aroused suspicions. To-night this mysterious individual attracted the notice of the deputy-keeper of the lodginghouse, whose suspicions became so strong that he sent for a policeman. On the arrival of the officer the stranger was questioned as to his recent wanderings, but he could give no intelligible account of them, though he said he had spent the previous night on Blackfriars Bridge. He was conveyed to Stours End Police Station, Blackman-street, Borough.