Thursday, 18 October 1888
The "bloody shirt," having long figured as a standard of American party warfare, is likely to appear in this community as a flag of justice. For it is declared that the police are in possession of a most important clue to the Whitechapel assassin. This clue is a shirt saturated with blood, and supposed from circumstances needless to narrate to have been worn by the murderer when he killed his two latest victims. Great importance, it seems, is attached by the experts of the Criminal Investigation Department to this ensanguined garment, and the resources of the institution are at present directed to the discovery of the wearer. It must be said that the public do not share the great expectations of the authorities. The vision of Nemesis, waving aloft the banner of the bloody shirt, and calling on the constables to come on may be heroic, but Nemesis has been putting in such poor work of late that there is a tendency to think she ought to go out of office, and make way for some more competent goddess of vengeance.
AN IMPORTANT ARREST
The police attach much importance to the arrest of a man at King street Police Station, Whitehall, yesterday morning. The man entered the station and said he had lost a black bag. He then commenced a rambling statement about the Whitechapel murders. He offered to cut off the sergeant's head, and uttered other nonsense. He said he had studied for the medical profession, but gave it up for engineering, and had been staying in coffee houses. Dr. Bond, divisional surgeon, examined him and declared that the man was a dangerous lunatic of homicidal tendency. He answered the appearance of the suspected Whitechapel murderer, and is now detained pending inquiries.
From inquiries made this evening, there will be no evidence forthcoming to connect with the crimes the man who was taken into custody at King street Police Station. Latest information tends to prove that he could have had no part in the tragedies. In another direction, however, it is stated that the police believe themselves on the right track.
Sir Charles Warren wishes to say that the marked desire evinced by the Whitechapel district to aid the police in the pursuit of the author of the recent crimes, has enabled him to direct that, subject to the consent of the occupiers, a thorough home search should be made within a defined area. With few exceptions, the inhabitants of all classes and creeds have freely fallen in with the proposal, and have materially assisted the officers engaged in carrying it out. Sir Charles Warren feels that some acknowledgement is due on al sides for the cordial co-operation of the inhabitants, and he is much gratified that the police officers have carried out so delicate a duty with the marked good will of all those with whom they have come in contact. Sir Charles Warren takes this opportunity of acknowledging the receipt of an immense volume of correspondence of a semi-private character on the subject of the Whitechapel murders, which he has been quite unable to respond to in a great number of instances, and he trusts that the writers will accept this acknowledgement in lieu of individual replies. They may be assured that their letters have received every attention.
DISCOVERY OF MORE REMAINS
(FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT)
Between 12 and 1 o'clock to-day some further remains were discovered at the new police buildings, Cannon row, Westminster. A Mr Waring, who owns a Spitzbergen terrier, and a journalist sought and obtained permission to search the premises with the dog in the hope of being able to trace some further remains of the missing woman. On proceeding to the spot where the trunk was recently found the dog sniffed at a heap of earth in the opposite corner of the recess, and scratched away some of the earth. The journalist asked the labourer to fetch a spade in order to dig up the earth, and upon doing so the fleshy substance of a leg was discovered.
Inspector Peters, Sergeants Rose and Ferris, and several constables were quickly on the spot, and took possession of the remains, and refused all persons on the premises to leave or others to enter.
Dr. Bond was summoned immediately, and after examination stated that it was the left foot and part of the leg of a finely-developed woman, and that in all probability it had been deposited at least six weeks ago owing to its decomposed state. From the blood stains on the bricks of the wall where the trunk was found he considered they must have had considerable time to soak in, and that the workmen who stated that on the Friday previous to the discovery it was not there must have been mistaken. The spot where the foot and leg were found is distant about a yard and a half from the corner where the trunk was discovered, and was about four inches below the surface on the top being a lot of stones and broken bricks. The great wonder is how the person who deposited the remains found his way there, for daylight does not penetrate into the dark and winding subways leading to the vaults, and the natural conclusion arrived at is that it must be some one who knew his way about the premises. After Dr. Bond had completed his inspection Sergeant Rose wrapped up the remains in a brown paper parcel, which was sealed down and conveyed to the mortuary.
Mr Waring is continuing his search with the dog, and it is not thought improbable that other parts of the body may yet be turned up, possibly the head, which might lead to the identity of the unfortunate woman. A portion of the stocking was stated to have been found upon the leg, but this was not so. What appeared to be a thin covering was the skin which was peeling off the flesh.
This morning a further discovery of human remains was made on the site of the Police Buildings in Whitehall. Mr Jasper Waring having obtained the permission of the police and the contractor to use a Spitzbergen dog, the animal was taken into a vault where the trunk of a woman was discovered a fortnight ago, and in a short time it began sniffing at a mound of earth which had been thrown back from an excavation for a drain made eight or ten weeks ago. A labourer who was with the search party was at once directed to throw over some of the soil, and about a foot from the surface an object was found which was at once seized by the dog. Examination proved it to be portion of a human leg, in which decomposition was far advanced. The limb when found was lying eight or nine feet from the spot where the woman's trunk was discovered. The constable on duty at the works sent information of the discovery to King street police station, ordering that the digging should in the meantime be discontinued. The officers of the Criminal Investigation Department quickly arrived, and Dr. Bond, who was one of the surgeons who made the post mortem examination of the trunk, was summoned. He pronounced the limb to be that of a finely developed woman. It was the left leg, and had been severed at the knee, and the doctor's opinion was that it had been in the vault for about six weeks. The limb was afterwards conveyed to the mortuary. During the last fortnight strict guard has been kept over the works by the police, and access to the premises could not have been attempted within that time without a certainty of detection. The digging was afterwards resumed up to half-past four this afternoon, when the search was discontinued for the day, but no further discovery was made.