Tuesday, 9 October 1888
It is stated that a number of constables from Dublin have been sent here on detective duty in connection with the Whitechapel murders. The reason for this arrangement is a matter of conjecture.
ARRESTS ON SUSPICION
It is officially stated that Sir Charles Warren has made arrangements for the employment of blood-hounds to track the murderer. In the event of any further persons being found murdered under circumstances similar to those in the cases which have recently occurred in Whitechapel, an instruction has been issued to the police that they are not to remove the body of the victim, but to send notice to a veterinary surgeon in the south-west district, who holds several trained blood-hounds in readiness to be taken to the sot where the body may be found, and to be at once put on the scent. No details as to the plan which will be followed are given. The plan of operations will to a great extent depend upon the circumstances of any particular case in which the aid of the blood-hounds may be called into requisition.
At 8 o'clock this evening no persons were in custody in connection with the Whitechapel murders. Some excitement was caused late this afternoon by the publication of a report to the effect that a man had been taken into late custody at Bethnal green and charged with being concerned in the murders. The only foundation for the statement was the fact that a youth had been arrested for the attempted theft of a barrow. Reports of arrests are of almost hourly occurrence, and such is the state of popular nervousness prevailing throughout the East End of London that every thief taken into custody is forthwith assumed to be the murderer, and he is invariably accompanied to the police station by an excited and shouting crowd. The police precautions for to-night are as complete as ever and amateur patrol men will also be out in undiminished force.
A suspicious affair is at present engaging the attention of the police authorities. On Saturday night a man stated to have been intoxicated entered the Bull Head publichouse, Oxford street, and gave the ladies behind the bar a parcel to be left with the manager. On moving the parcel it fell, disclosing three large new knives - one 20, one 14, and one 10 inches in length with a sheath and belt to be worn round the waist. The knives are very sharp. On Sunday information was given to the police, and when the man called for the knives he was told to call again to-day. Detectives watched the house to-day with the intention of detaining the man until he accounted for the possession of the weapons, and the purpose to which they would be put, but he did not put in an appearance.
It is stated that the telegram addressed to Sir Charles Warren threatening another murder was not personally handed in but dropped into a letter box. The sender could not, therefore, be traced. A tradesman in Whitechapel road stated that about 10 o'clock on the night of the last murder a man came into his shop for refreshments whose appearance corresponded with the description afterwards given of the man seen talking with one of the victims. Subsequently the same man entered the shop, but could not be detained.
Last Wednesday a middle-aged man of good physique and respectably dressed, left an overcoat and pair of trousers, both blood-stained, at the Central Branch of the London Clothing Repairing Company, Gray's Inn road, to be cleaned. He promised to call for them on Friday or Saturday. He did not, however, return until to-night, when he was arrested by detectives who had been awaiting his arrival for several days. He accounted for the blood stains by assertion hat he had cut his hand, but he is stated to have contradicted himself. He was conveyed to Leman street Police Station where he remains.
The man who was arrested to-night in a shop in Gray's Inn road and taken to the Leman street Police Station was liberated after the police had satisfied themselves of his innocence. The apparent inconsistency of his explanations was doubtless due to embarrassment.
INQUEST ON THE REMAINS
A remarkable feature in the case of the discovery of the mutilated body at Whitehall is the number of missing women brought to the notice of the authorities by persons making inquiries respecting the remains. It is thus shown that very many women leave their friends without communicating with them, and pass out of sight of those nearest to them. No trustworthy clue to the murder has yet been obtained from these inquiries, though each piece of information is closely sifted.
This afternoon Mr Troutbeck opened the inquest on the remains. The inquiry was held at the Westminster Sessions House. The first witness was a carpenter, who first discovered the parcel, this was on Monday last, but it was not till the next day that he and one of his mates opened the parcel and discovered what were the contents. There was nothing new in his evidence, but the witness went on to say that it would be difficult to get at the vault without knowing something of the place. Another labourer who gave evidence said he thought the parcel "was a lot of old bacon," so he dragged it out into the light, cut the string, and opened it. He had not been in the vault, which was quite dark, for some time before this. Then a detective deposed to going to the pace when information had been given to the police, and taking charge of the remains, which were wrapped up in a piece of dress material and tied loosely with string. Near the spot where the parcel was found he saw some more dress material. Witness thought it impossible for any stranger to find his way into the vault.
Frederick Moore, a porter, gave evidence of the finding of an arm in the mud of the river off Grosvenor road, Pimlico. It was not wrapped in anything, but a string was tied round the upper part of the arm.
Charles Brown, assistant foreman at Messrs Grover's works in Cannon row, said that the site was shut off from the surrounding streets by a hoarding 17 feet high. There were three entrances to the street, two were in Cannon row. All the gates were as high as the hoarding. The vaults had been completed three months. No one was admitted to the works but the workmen and those who had business with the clerk of the works. The gates were all locked on the Saturday before the body was found, but one of the doors was only fastened by a piece of string. It would not be easy for anybody unacquainted with the place to unlock the gate.
From your knowledge of the works do you think it would require previous knowledge of the building to get at these vaults. Yes, I certainly do, because nobody would think of going to such a place without having looked for it.
Ernest Hedge, another labourer, said that he had occasion to go into the vault on Saturday before the discovery, but there was no parcel there then.
Dr. Bond deposed that on October 2nd he was called to the new Police Buildings. It seemed to him that the remains had been there for several days. He had since made an examination, assisted by Mr Hibberd. The trunk was that of a woman of considerable stature, and well nourished. The head had been severed and the lower limbs removed by a series of long, sweeping cuts. The circumference of the chest was 35½ inches and waist 28½ inches. The skin was light and some parts not much decomposed. The arms had been removed at the shoulder joint by several incisions from above downwards. The arm had been then disarticulated through the joint. The body appeared to be wrapped up in a very skilful manner. The woman was about 25 years of age, but there was no evidence of her having nourished a child. The date of death he judged to be between six weeks and two months ago. The arm brought to the mortuary corresponded with the trunk of the body. The hands indicated that the woman had not been used to manual labour. The wounds were made after death. There was nothing to indicate the cause of death, but in his opinion it was not due to drowning or suffocation. The height of the woman would be about 5ft 8in. The parts missing from the victims of the recent Whitechapel murders were also absent from the trunk.
Dr. Hibberd, assistant to the last witness, said he had examined the arm referred to. It had been separated from the body after death. The cut in the skin and bone exactly corresponded to those on the trunk. A certain amount of skill was shown in severing the limbs and in tying up the parcel, but not the skill of the dissecting room.
Inspector Marshal, who had charge of the case, said the piece of dress in which the body was wrapped was of broche satin cloth, of Bradford manufacture, but of an old pattern, probably three years. It was rather common material, costing about 6½d a yard when new. There was a six inch flounce round the bottom of the dress.
At this point the inquiry was adjourned for a fortnight.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE IRISH TIMES
SIR - I read with very great interest your leading article in a late issue touching on the recent murders in London. One would think that the London police had lost all ingenuity and tact. In my book published in 1884 I made the following remarks about their supineness:-
"Undetected crime in London has assumed a very formidable and disappointing shape. Note the Great Coram street murder, the Waterloo road murder, the Euston Square murder, the Burton Crescent murder, the Stoke Newington murder, and various minor atrocities. It seems that the Stoke Newington murder, having baffled the ingenuity of the detectives, has been ascribed by them to a case of suicide. This is a very adroit subterfuge, but it is rather hackneyed. The surroundings in the Stoke Newington tragedy were too palpable to admit of any other conclusion but that of foul murder. The knotted handkerchief, the earrings found on the scene of the scuffle, the various footmarks on the bank, all these point to a bloody deed."
Again is London startled with most appalling murders, committed with impunity in its most crowded thoroughfares. We in Ireland even stand aghast at the enormities of the crimes; although, God knows, we have bloodshed enough to answer for.
I have always been a strenuous advocate for rewards in cases of serious crimes. The police should certainly share in these rewards - i.e. taking into account extra duty, &c. The Government do not hesitate to give substantial sums of money to the inventors of destructive weapons, or to officers after a successful campaign. Why, then, should they hesitate to reward any person for the detection of a crime? Yours, &c., EDWARD WILSON.
Author of "Reminiscences of a Frontier Armed and Mounted Police Officer in South Africa."