2 October 1888
The inquest on the remains of the unfortunate woman, Elizabeth Stride, who was barbarously murdered in Berner-street, Whitechapel, early on Sunday morning, was opened yesterday by Mr. Wynne Baxter in the Vestry-hall, Cable-street, St. George's-in-the-East. The evidence given was, in the main, a repetition of the statements made by members of the International Working Men's Club, and published in our issue of yesterday. No new facts had been elicited when the adjournment until to-day took place. No trustworthy clue to the identity of the assassin has been discovered with regard to either of the murders, though various disclosures more or less credible are current. An examination of the sewers under Mitre-square was made yesterday without result. The inquest on the second victim will be opened on Thursday.
At eight o'clock yesterday morning, it was discovered that the Aldgate Post-office had been entered by thieves, the safe burst open, and money and stamps to the value of nearly 400l. stolen. The building is very near Mitre-square, the scene of one of the recent murders.
Waddell, the man wanted on suspicion of having committed the Gateshead murder and mutilation, was apprehended at Yetholme, in Scotland, yesterday morning.
When the post-office in High-street, Aldgate, but a few yards from where the murder took place, was opened yesterday morning, it was discovered that it had been entered by burglars, and the safe forced. The thieves appear to have first entered some adjoining unoccupied premises, and then, forcing the trap door, walked downstairs. Making a hole in the staircase they went into the cellar, and from there got into the office, which is on the ground floor. The safe is kept under the counter, and contained an unusually large amount of money, 370l. being locked up in one of the drawers of the safe, and about 49l. being in an ordinary bowl just inside one of the compartments. Stamps to the amount of about 350l. were also in the safe. The burglars, after discovering the safe, proceeded to wrench open one of the sides. They were successful in this, and managed to reach the money in the bowl and the stamps, which they took. The drawer in which the larger amount of cash was locked was subjected to very rough treatment, but fortunately it resisted the thieves' efforts. A sum of about three pounds belonging to the postmaster was also taken from an upper room in the house. The fact that the office had been broken into was discovered by a clerk on his arrival at eight o'clock yesterday morning. On entering the passage he saw that some of the stairs leading from the upper part of the house, and over some steps by which the cellar is reached from the office, had been forced up. He at once informed the police, who then found the damage to the safe. It is supposed that the robbery took place on Saturday night, for it seems incredible that any thieves should have been daring enough to enter the premises after the great commotion caused by the discovery of the murder but a few yards away, and the consequent presence of so many police in the district.
No article in this month's magazines is likely to be perused with an interest equal to that which will be excited by DR. GEORGE SAVAGE'S paper in the Fortnightly Review on "Homicidal Mania." It was written, of course, before the terrible crimes which we recorded yesterday, but the occurrence of these only adds to the importance of the subject discussed. Dr. SAVAGE points out at the beginning that the phrase "Homicidal Mania" is one which we use for the sake of convenience only, there being no form of mental disease which has as its only characteristic a thirst for blood. That terrible craving may, however, be associated with forms of disease to which the term mania would be incorrectly applied. It may be found, for example, in an idiot, who is as different from the patient who is commonly known as a maniac as two persons both bereft of their right reason can well be. The murderous tendency is developed in some animals as well as in the human species. There are cases, particularly among the higher animals, in which a senseless and causeless passion for the destruction of life has been manifested. Professor BENEDIKT, of Vienna, has even developed a theory that the brains of murderers resemble in their conformation those of ferocious beasts. They have, he contends, a special likeness to the brains of bears. This latter observation may, or may not, be correct; but if it is correct, it will seem to militate rather against the professor's opinion, for bears are by no means exceptionally remarkable for ferocity. At the Medical Congress in London in 1880, when Professor BENEDIKT expounded his theory, the consensus of opinion was against him, though it appears to have been conceded that murderers' brains are usually of what is called a low type. There can be no doubt, however, that human beings are met with who, from some cause or other, manifest from their infancy an enjoyment in inflicting cruelty which is certainly congenital. Dr. SAVAGE has known children of the tenderest ages who, from pulling off the wings of flies, proceeded to the baking of live frogs and to the boring out of birds' eyes. Their exploits have culminated in the kicking of cats and dogs to death, and in the pouring over them of boiling water, or burning them alive. Theologians have pointed to such cases in proof of the doctrine of original sin and as a demonstration of the personality and power of the devil. The existence of such infant monsters, however it is to be accounted for, is undoubtedly but too certain, and it can be no matter of surprise if they grow up to be murderers of their fellow beings.
The apparently purposeless character of the crimes by which we have lately been shocked goes far to suggest that their perpetrator-assuming for the moment that there has been but one perpetrator-is really one of these unhappy creatures. There are various forms of mental disease, however, which have not shown themselves from early years in this conspicuous way, but whose subjects, under their influence, are irresistibly drawn to the commission of homicide. Epilepsy, unfortunately a very common affliction, is also a very common origin of murderous impulses. There is a case, for example, in Broadmoor, in which a mother was suddenly seized with an epileptic attack as she was taking a knife to cut a slice of bread for her child, the result being that she cut off the infant's legs. On recovering she was at once astonished and horrified at the awful piece of work which she had, all unconsciously, performed. A great many murders are committed under what is called uncontrollable influence. The perpetrator is not unconscious of what he is doing, but he cannot resist the influence which drives him on. This condition of mind is often seen in persons whom it does not inspire to the commission of homicidal acts. A man will feel irresistibly impelled to break a window or a piece of crockery, for example. There are others who cannot stand by a railway train without being tempted to throw themselves on the rails, or ascend to the top of a tower without the impulse to throw themselves to the ground. In many cases this tendency, which may easily lead to murder as well as to the destruction of property or to suicide, is congenital. In others it may be developed by any form of excitement which leads to the loss of self-control. Religious exaltation may produce it, and it is painfully certain that the discussion of any form of crime which has taken a great hold upon the public imagination may have the like effect upon weak minds. As Dr. SAVAGE says, "the more striking and effective a murder the more danger of imitation. After one regicide there is special danger that the act will be repeated." Bearing this in mind, it is at least conceivable that the crimes of last Sunday morning were not committed by the same hand, and that in neither of them was the author of the previous tragedies concerned. This, in view of some of the circumstances, may appear very unlikely, but that the publicity which has been given to the details-a publicity in these days unavoidable-would have a tendency to engender a repetition of the horrors is undeniable. Insane murderers are not, however, always to be looked for among persons labouring under abnormal excitement. Persons whose demeanour is perfectly calm and apparently rational may, nevertheless, be the victims of a delusion which prompts them under certain circumstances to take human life. Mothers, for example, will not unfrequently kill their children from the idea that they are thereby saving them from misery or ruin. There are cases of homicidal impulse, moreoever, which, as Dr. SAVAGE observes, are entirely incapable of explanation. He mentioned one remarkable instance which was under his own care. It was that of a young musician who had worked hard at a foreign conservatoire. The patient passed from mere moodiness to madness. He visited the city abattoir, and obtained and drank blood hot from the slaughtered animals. This practice was soon stopped, and the man was watched, with the result that he was seen to be decoying children to his room, with the object, as he confessed to Dr. SAVAGE, of drinking their blood; for, as he said, "Blood was his life, and his life was that of a genius."
Dr. SAVAGE adds to his article a few words with regard to the Whitechapel murders, which he does not think were the work of a single person. One reason for this opinion, upon which he dwells, is the tendency, already referred to, of sensational crimes to beget their like. The scientific way in which the mutilations were accomplished does not seem to him conclusive proof that the murderers belong to the medical profession. There are men, he thinks, outside that profession who, in one way or another, may have obtained the anatomical knowledge which has been exhibited. Nor is he disposed to attribute the crimes to any of the forms of homicidal impulse which he has discussed. All things considered, he is rather inclined to attribute them to "a fiendishly criminal revenge," or to "some fully organized delusion of persecution or world regeneration." This is a question, however, upon which the non-medical world is perhaps almost as capable as a doctor of forming a sound judgment. Whatever be the origin of the crimes which have horrified the whole metropolis, the pressing concern of the moment is the detection of the perpetrator or perpetrators. We are not surprised at the strength of the feeling which is manifesting itself in favour of the offering of a Government reward. At the same time, there is much to be said on the other side. It is absurd to imagine, and almost criminal to assert, that the fact of this step not having been taken is due to apathy either at Scotland-yard or at the Home Office. If experience shows, as we are assured it does, that the offering of a reward in such a case is likely to be injurious rather than helpful to the efforts of the detectives, there is no reason to depart from what is deemed a wise rule because the circumstances are exceptionally horrible. We could mention instances in which, through hope of reward, fabricated evidence has been given, which, had its falsity not been discovered, would have certainly brought innocent men to the scaffold. Moreover, on the hypothesis, which is still strongly held by many, that the murderer (supposing there be only one) is really a madman, he cannot be supposed to have accomplices, and the offer of reward would be futile. No effort should be spared, of course, to follow up every clue, and we see no reason to think that effort is being spared. Nor need we give up hope if it is not immediately successful. The inhabitants of the whole district concerned are now thoroughly aroused to the magnitude of the danger in their midst, and, with extra police activity, the guilty party or parties, if still in the neighbourhood, ought speedily to be brought to justice.
INQUEST ON ELIZABETH STRIDE.
INQUEST ON ELIZABETH STRIDE.
The barrier of reticence which has been set up on all occasions when the representatives of the newspaper press have been brought into contact with the police authorities for the purpose of obtaining information for the use of the public has been suddenly withdrawn, and instead of the customary stereotyped negatives and disclaimers of the officials, there has ensued a marked disposition to afford all necessary facilities for the publication of details, and an increased courtesy towards the members of the Press concerned. Another direction in which the officials have been brought to a sense of their public responsibility has been by the spontaneous offers of substantial rewards by public bodies and private individuals towards the detection of the criminal or criminals guilty of these desperate crimes. The recent refusal of the Home Secretary to place Government funds at the disposal of the police for this purpose caused great dissatisfaction, and the feeling which this refusal provoked, though not finding public expression at the time, has been stimulated by the more recent crimes to outward manifestation. A meeting of the vigilance committee which has for some time been formed in Whitechapel was held yesterday at Mile-end, and a resolution passed calling upon the Home Office to issue a substantial Government reward for the capture and conviction of the murderer, and a letter embodying this was at once sent to the Home Secretary. One of the murders of Sunday morning having taken place within the precincts of the city of London, the fact led one of the common councilmen yesterday to give notice that at the next meeting he would move that a reward of 250l. should be offered by the Corporation for the detection of the Mitre-square murderer, but the necessity for this step was removed when, later in the day, the Lord Mayor, Mr. Polydore de Keyser, after consulting with Colonel Sir James Fraser, K.C.B., the Chief Commissioner of Police of the city of London, announced that a reward of 500l. would be given by the Corporation for the detection of the miscreant.
The following is a copy of the bill about to be issued offering the reward in question-
"Whereas at 1.45 am. on Sunday, the 30th of September last, a woman, name unknown, was found brutally murdered in Mitre-square, Aldgate, in this city, a reward of 500l. will be paid by the Commissioner of Police of the City of London to any person (other than a person belonging to a police force in the United Kingdom) who shall give such information as shall lead to the discovery and conviction of the murderer or murderers.
"Information to be given to the Inspector of the Detective Department, 26, Old Jewry, or at any police-station. "JAMES FRASER, Colonel, Commissioner.
"City of London Police Office, 26, Old Jewry,
October 1, 1888."
Colonel Sir Alfred Kirby, J.P., the officer commanding the Tower Hamlets battalion Royal Engineers, has offered on behalf of his officers a reward of 100l., to be paid to any one who will give information that will lead to the discovery and conviction of the perpetrator or perpetrators of the recent diabolical murders committed in the district in which his regiment is situated. Sir Alfred Kirby is also willing to place the services of not more than 50 members of his corps at the disposal of the authorities, to be utilized in assisting them in any way they may consider desirable at this juncture, either for the protection of the public or for finding out the criminals. Of course the volunteers will act as citizens, and act in a quasi-military capacity.
The following letter was yesterday addressed to the Home Secretary:-
"11, Abchurch-lane, London, E.C., Oct. 1, 1888.
"The Right Hon. Henry Matthews, Q.C., M.P.,
Secretary of State for the Home Department.
"Sir,-In view of your refusal to offer a reward out of Government funds for the discovery of the perpetrator or perpetrators of the recent murders in the East-end of London, I am instructed on behalf of several readers of the Financial News, whose names and addresses I enclose, to forward you the accompanying cheque for 300l., and to request you to offer that sum for this purpose in the name of the Government.
"Awaiting the favour of your reply, I have the honour to be, your obedient servant,
(Signed) "HARRY H. MARKS."
Mr. Marks received the following reply:-
"1st October, 1888.
"My dear Sir,-I am directed by Mr. Matthews to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of this date, containing a cheque for 300l., which you say has been contributed on behalf of several members of the Financial News, and which you are desirous should be offered as a reward for the discovery of the recent murders in the East-end of London.
"If Mr. Matthews had been of opinion that the offer of a reward in these cases would have been attended by any useful result, he would himself have at once made such an offer, but he is not of that opinion.
"Under these circumstances, I am directed to return you the cheque (which I enclose), and to thank you and the gentleman whose names you have forwarded for the liberality of their offer which Mr. Matthews much regrets he is unable to accept.
"I am, Sir, your very obedient servant,
"E. LEIGH PEMBERTON.
"Harry H. Marks, Esq."
The excitement created in all parts of London on Sunday by the news of the atrocious crimes of Berner-street and Mitre-square was doubly intensified yesterday morning when the daily newspapers carried the startling news into every household, and yesterday there was but the one subject of conversation everywhere. Thousands of people visited the localities of the crimes, but there was nothing then to see. The police had removed all traces of the murder from the yard in Berner-street where the unfortunate Elizabeth Stride was found with a terrible gash in her throat; while, at Mitre-square, there was nothing which could recall the horrible spectacle which met the eyes of Constable Watkins at a quarter to two o'clock on Sunday morning. The remains of the disemboweled victim had been removed to the City mortuary and the pavement cleansed. The only trace left by the murderer was a portion of an apron picked up in Goldston-street, which corresponded with a piece left on the body of the victim, and this seemed to show that the murderer had escaped in the direction of Whitechapel.
From an early hour yesterday morning the vicinity of the International Working Men's Club, in the yard adjoining which poor "Long Liz" met her terrible fate, was besieged by an excited crowd. Spectators, however, were disappointed in the desire to gratify their curiosity, for not only were the gates giving admittance to the fatal yard closed, but they were further guarded by a strong body of police. But for the presence of the latter there is little doubt that the gates would have been forced by the public in their eagerness to view the spot where the murder was committed. The boldness and audacity of the deed becomes all the more apparent when the circumstances under which it was committed are sifted. Not only were the lights in the club all ablaze, but the side door, within three yards of which the murder was perpetrated, was half-ajar, and from it a gleam of bright light from the kitchen gas shot across the yard. Then, too, the occupants of some of the tenements in the yard had not at the time gone to bed, as was plainly to be seen from the lights still showing in one or two of the windows. Further than that, the yard was directly open to the intrusion of any passer by. It is singular that not a sound should have been heard indicating the committal of the crime, especially when it is remembered that the stewardess and her assistant must have been in the kitchen, which immediately shuts on the side door, and within a few feet of the victim at the time when the tragedy was being enacted. Yet the members of the club and the occupants of the yard are all equally positive on this point-that they did not hear a woman's voice, or even the sound of a scuffle.
Mrs. Deimschitz, the stewardess of the club, has made the following statement:-"Just about one o'clock on Sunday morning I was in the kitchen on the ground floor of the club, and close to the side entrance, serving tea and coffee for the members who were singing upstairs. Up till then I had not heard a sound-not even a whisper. Then suddenly I saw my husband enter, looking very scared and frightened. I inquired what was the matter, but all he did was to excitedly ask for a match or candle, as there was a body in the yard. The door had been, and still was, half open, and through the aperture the light from the gas jets in the kitchen was streaming out into the yard. I at once complied with his request and gave him some matches. He then rushed out into the yard, and I followed him to the doorway, where I remained. Just by the door I saw a pool of blood, and when my husband struck a light I noticed a dark lump lying under the wall. I at once recognised it as the body of a woman, while, to add to my horror, I saw a stream of blood trickling down the yard, and terminating in the pool I had first noticed. She was lying on her back with her head against the wall, and the face looked ghastly. I screamed out in fright, and the members of the club, hearing my cries, rushed downstairs in a body out into the yard. When my husband examined the body he found that life, so far as he could tell, was quite extinct. He at once sent for a policeman. He is positive that before entering the yard he did not see any man about the street. It was just one o'clock when my husband came home. Some twenty minutes previously a member of the club had entered by the side door, but he states that he did not then notice anybody lying prostrate in the yard. It was, however, very dark at the time, and he might, in consequence, have failed to see any such object on the ground. When the police came we were told that we must not quit the premises, and everybody was at once searched. Nothing was found to occasion suspicion, and the members were eventually allowed to go. At four o'clock the body was removed to the mortuary, and later on in the morning the police washed away the bloodstains from the side of the yard. I am positive I did not hear any screams or sound of any kind. Even the singing on the floor above would not have prevented me from hearing them, had there been any. In the yard itself all was as silent as the grave."
Mila, the servant at the club, strongly corroborates the statement made by her mistress, and is equally convinced there were no sounds coming from the yard between 20 minutes to one and one o'clock.
Julius Minsky, a Polish Jew, and a member of the club, states that at the time when the alarm was raised, just after one o'clock, there were some 20 or 30 members in the club room upstairs. They had finished the evening's discussion, and were amusing themselves with singing. The utmost joviality was prevailing when a member rushed excitedly into the room, and shouted out that the body of a murdered woman had been found in the yard. The singing was at once stopped, and all present rushed downstairs in a state of the utmost alarm into the yard. The first thing he noticed was the pool of blood by the kitchen door, and then glancing up the yard to the spot where Mr. Diemschitz was holding a lighted match in his hand, he noticed the body of a woman stretched out by the side of the wall. He was very much frightened himself, and remained in the doorway. Even from there he could plainly see the terrible gash that had been made in the neck. He had been in the club all night, and, so far as he knew, only one member came in before one o'clock. When the police came up they entered the club, and searched the persons of all present.
It has been definitely ascertained that Mrs. Stride's usual haunts at night were the Commercial-road East, Stratford, and Bow, the latter especially; and it is quite possible that from her old acquaintances information may yet be forthcoming as to her movements on the fatal night.
Although on Sunday night and early yesterday morning four arrests were made in the vicinity of Whitechapel, yet not one of them came to anything, and the persons detained were all discharged from custody. It is quite safe to state that up to the present time the authorities possess no trustworthy clue upon which to work. The miscreant has carried out his fiendish work without leaving a trace behind him beyond the bodies of his victims, and it is not to be wondered at that, under such circumstances, the East-end is a state of the greatest consternation. The officers of the Criminal Investigation Department who have been detailed for the work, aided by the district police (the latter having, by the way, been strongly reinforced from other division), have done, and are still doing, their best to detect the murderer, but their efforts have so far been fruitless. The nearest approach to a justifiable capture was that effected about ten o'clock on Sunday night in a house known as "Dirty Dick's," near Liverpool-street. Here in one of the bars a man was indulging in some very wandering and self-incriminating statements respecting the murders, and the fact was communicated by several men in the bar to a constable on duty close at hand. The incautious Bacchanalian was duly taken into custody and conveyed to the police-station in Commercial-street, followed by a large crowd. On arrival he was charged "on suspicion," and gave his name as Frank Raper, without any settled address. It was, however, evident from the first that he was not the man who was "wanted," and though still detained pending inquiries, his release is only a matter of time.
The excitement in the neighbourhood of the murders appeared to grow as yesterday wore on, and towards night the crowds thronging to the scene of the outrages became more dense than ever. A spirit of uneasiness and insecurity hangs over the East-end, and, to judge by the expressions of opinion to be heard on every side, the people are prepared at any moment to hear of further murders.
On Saturday night last, about half-past ten o'clock, a man entered the bar of the "Red Lion" public-house, in Batty-street, Commercial-road, and calling for half a pint of beer, plunged at once into a conversation with the landlord and the customers present about the murders in Hanbury-street and Buck's-row. He declared that he knew the man who committed them very well, that more would take place yet, and there would be another before the morning. The landlord observed that he thought he was talking very foolishly, and that as he seemed to know so much about the man who did them, perhaps he was the man himself. The man, who had indulged in a good deal more talk of a suspicious nature, upon this hastily put down a penny for his beer and decamped without another word. Information was given to the police of the above facts after the murders of Sunday morning, and they are now anxiously looking for the man, who is thus described:-Height about 5ft. 8in., dark hair, dark moustache of stubbly growth, dark complexion, smoothly shaven chin and cheeks, and dark blue eyes. The man wore a dark single-breasted coat and waistcoat, black corduroy trousers the worse for wear, a felt hat with a narrow brim, and had a comforter round his neck. He had no jewellery, and looked like a common man cleaned up for the evening. The landlord took particular notice of him, and would know him again among a thousand. Mrs. Warwick, of 19, Batty-street, who was also in the house at the time getting her supper beer, says she could also identify him, and so could, it is said, others who were present in the bar at the time. Batty-street is the next street eastward to Berner-street, and is the street in which Lipski's crime was committed.
Great excitement was caused yesterday afternoon in Mitre-street by the descent of an exploring party of ten men through one of the man-holes into the sewers adjacent to the scene of the murder in Mitre-square. The search was made in the hope that some weapon, clothes, or clue would be found. After a long investigation, however, the party returned without having made any discovery. There were on No. 36, Mitre-street, and also on Messrs. Smith's establishment some red marks, which were by many persons thought to be blood stains, but the occupants stated they had been there for months. The police detectives paid another visit yesterday to the Socialist club in Berner-street.
Last evening Dr. Thomas Stevenson, lecturer on medical jurisprudence at Guy's Hospital, and official analyst to the Home Office, being asked by a reporter to express an opinion on the recent murders at the East-end, observed that he would rather not advance a theory on the subject of the commission of the tragedies; but with regard to the extraordinary disclosure made by Mr. Wynne E. Baxter, the coroner, in the course of his summing up, he (Dr. Stevenson) thought that if the crimes were committed by a pathologist, as had been suggested, the only possible place that a demand for the organ alluded to could emanate from was a quack museum, such as existed in the West-end of London down to a few years ago. It was well known, the doctor added, that no English medical man would need specimens; and as for the publication of a book of the description that had been referred to, such a thing would be utterly impossible except in some far distant land. Questioned as to whether he was of opinion that all the recent murders were the work of the same miscreant, Dr. Stevenson reminded the reporter that there were always plenty of people ready to imitate others in acts of fiendish brutality.
Yesterday morning a newspaper reporter, who had been on the look out for the murderer, thinking it quite possible that he might commit further atrocities yesterday morning shaved off his whiskers and moustache, and, dressing himself as a woman, walked from his home in Leytonstone to Whitechapel, and made the tour of the streets frequented by the assassin, passing several detectives and constables on the way. He was unmolested until after he had covered a good deal of ground. Upon getting into the Whitechapel-road again, however, he was pounced upon by Police-constable Ludwig, 278 H, who said, "Stop, you are a man." Seeing that it was useless to deny it, the reporter admitted the fact, upon which he was asked, "Are you one of us?" and was answered in the negative; and it was explained why the disguise had been adopted. The constable, however, said he must take the reporter to the station, and he was accordingly conveyed to Leman-street, where the inspector on duty, after several questions, said, "I must detain you until inquiries are made." After a delay of an hour and a half, the officer was satisfied of the reporter's bona fides, and he was liberated.
A representative yesterday morning visited the lodging-house in Flower and Dean-street, Spitalfields, where the murdered woman, Elizabeth Stride, passed the day before her death. Turning off the High-street, Whitechapel, on the left going east, one enters Commercial-street, and some few turnings down on the right is situated Flower and Dean-street, a narrow thoroughfare with perhaps, for the East-end, a fairly presentable appearance. One side of the street is mainly occupied by a huge pile of modern buildings, intended for occupation by the families of artisans, and rented almost exclusively by a colony of middle-class Jews. The other side presents a far more dingy appearance. The brickwork of the houses is blackened with age, and doors and windows alike present the only too familiar aspects betokening the abodes of the extreme poor. Most of the houses are registered lodging-houses, and it was in one of these places, at the entrance to the street from the main road, that poor "Long Liz," as she was familiarly known by her associates, spent her last night on earth. In Flower and Dean-street numbers are unknown, or at least invisible, and a certain amount of inquiry was absolutely necessary before "No. 32" could be unearthed. Although the external appearance was poor, yet within, for a house of its description, things seemed to look uncommonly comfortable, especially considering the fact that here nightly nearly 100 of the London poor find their resting place. Calling at an early hour yesterday morning the reporter found the occupants all astir, and the one topic of conversation amongst both sexes seemed to be the diabolical murders perpetrated in the early hours of Sunday. This was the experience that had likewise been gained just previously in traversing the street from end to end in search of "No. 32." Some knots of people, in more or less complete attire, were to be seen standing at the doorways discussing the all-absorbing theme, and the inquisitive stranger was regarded, if not with terror, at all events with interest. A palpable shudder ran through the frames of the three or four elderly dames who were gathered in front of a glowing fire yesterday morning when the representative entered the portals of No. 32, and opened a conversation with the inquiry if any of those present had known "Long Liz" in her lifetime. A chorus of voices-for by this time several curiosity-stricken, sleepy-looking youths had gathered round-readily answered "Yes;" and then an old gentleman, one of whose eyes was carefully bandaged, stepped forward from the throng and inquired, with rough courtesy, what the unexpected visitor required to know. Mutual explanations resulted in the owner of the damaged eye stating that his name was Thomas Bates, and that he was the watchman of the house, and had held that post for a good many years. Off and on, said he, "Long Liz" had lived with them for five or six years; but her real name he never knew. She was a Swede by birth, and some years ago lost her husband, who was shipwrecked and drowned. He had always known her as a clean and hardworking woman. Her usual occupation was that of a charwoman, and it was only when driven to extremities that she walked the streets. Amongst her companions and the occupants of the house she was extremely popular, despite her quiet and sometimes reserved demeanour. She would at times disappear for a month or so, even as much as three months, but she always turned up again, and they were ever glad to see her and welcome her back. She returned to the house on Tuesday last after a somewhat prolonged absence, and remained there until Saturday night. That evening she went out about seven o'clock, when she appeared to be in the most cheery spirits, and in excellent health. The fact of her not returning that night was not taken any particular notice of, for it was by no means an unusual circumstance. Their apprehensions, however, were aroused when rumours of the murder reached them, and their fears were confirmed when in the afternoon a man who knew "Long Liz" well in life called and informed them that he had identified her body at the mortuary. While narrating these facts the old fellow was visibly affected, and wound up his statement by exclaiming, "Lord bless you, sir, when she could get no work she had to do the best she could for her living, but a neater and a cleaner woman never lived." Mrs. Ann Mill, the bed-maker at the lodging-house, stated that she had known the deceased for some years as "Long Liz," though until now she was never acquainted with her real name. Mrs. Stride came to the house after a long absence on Tuesday night, and she last saw her on Saturday evening, when she went out about seven. On that particular day whitewashers were in the house, and in the course of the morning she had assisted her (Mrs. Mill) by cleaning two of the rooms where the workmen had been. The deceased at the time told her she wished she had known it before, as she would have given further help. Mrs. Mill further mentioned that "Long Liz" had told her more than once that she was over 50 years of age. Finally, the old lady, who is verging on 80 years of age, said, "A better-hearted, better-natured, cleaner woman never lived, God bless her soul. Though a poor unfortunate, she worked when she could get it." Other inmates of the establishment who were present while this conversation was going on corroborated the statements of the old couple, but so far as could be gathered no one living in the house saw the unfortunate woman after seven o'clock on Saturday night. The sad event has cast quite a gloom over the inhabitants of Flower and Dean-street, among whom the deceased appears to have been fairly well known.
A representative of the Press, in an interview yesterday with Superintendent Foster, of the City police, was assured that the rumour that a portion of the body of the woman found in Mitre-square was missing was totally unfounded. The inquest upon the body-which is still unidentified-has been fixed for Thursday next, at eleven o'clock. It is significant of the state of public feeling in the metropolis that constant reports are being received of the movements of what are supposed to be suspicious characters. Considerable excitement was caused in the neighbourhood of Fleet-street last evening by the extraordinary statements and behaviour of a man who was eventually taken into custody, but, it is understood, simply because he was creating a disturbance, and not from any belief that he had any complicity in or knowledge of the crime. People of a similar character have been detained in other parts of the metropolitan district. The description published of the man seen in company with one of the women murdered on Sunday morning corresponds almost exactly with that published a few days ago of a man who used violence towards a female in the same district, but made off on her screaming for help.
Mr. Wynne E. Baxter, coroner for South-east Middlesex, opened the inquiry yesterday morning, at the Vestry Hall, Cable-street, St. George's-in-the-East, on the body of Elizabeth Stride, the woman who was murdered in Berner-street, Commercial-road, early on Sunday morning. Inspector Abberline, of Scotland-yard, has charge of the case, assisted by Detective-inspector Reed and Detective-sergeant Thicke.
The first witness called was William West, of 40, Berner-street, Commercial-road, printer. He said:-I live on the premises. It is the International Working Men's Club. There are two windows on the ground floor facing the street, and the door opens into the same street.
Coroner.-At the side of the house there is a passage into a yard?
There are two wooden gates at the entrance to the yard?-Yes, sir; they open into the street. The first passage into the club leads into a room, and the door opens out of this passage.
Are the gates ever closed?-They are open at all hours of the day, but are mostly closed at night.
Is the door generally closed?-Not till the members leave.
Who looks after the door?-There is no particular person to look after it. The room contains three doors leading into the yard.
Is there any other way out of the yard?-No, sir, none except through the gate.
Opposite the gate there is a workshop, I believe?-Yes. It belongs to a sack manufacturer.
Is there any way out there?-I don't know, sir.
Is the manufactory on the ground floor or on the first floor?-It is on the first floor, I am sure, but I do not know as to the ground floor.
Do we now come to your building?-No, there is a stable on the left-hand side before you come to the club.
After passing that, you come to the club?-Yes, sir.
Now how are the rooms in your club used?-The room on the ground floor is used for meals. In the middle of the passage there is a staircase leading to the first floor, and at the back of the meal-room is a kitchen. The passage leads from the front room to the yard.
Do you know what the rooms are used for?-Yes; one is used as a printing-office.
Do you know what time they left?-I should think about two o'clock in the afternoon.
There is one thing I have forgotten to ask. Is there a w.c. opposite your doorway?-Yes; by the side of the house divided into tenements. There are two w.c.'s.
Who are the members of your club? Can anyone be a member of any nationality?-It is a Socialist club, and any working man, whatever his nationality, who professes Socialism, can be a member.
When did you reach the club in the evening?-About nine o'clock, but I left and returned about 10.30. I left the club for home at a quarter-past twelve. In the evening there had been a discussion going on in the large room on the first floor.
Are there any windows in that room?-Yes, there are two looking into the street.
How many persons were present on Saturday?-About 100 were present.
When did the discussion cease?-About midnight, and the bulk of the people left the premises then.
Which way did they go out?-Through the street door, which is the most convenient. Some of the members, about 30, remained behind. These latter were singing, and discussing various questions.
Were the windows open?-Partly.
Where did you go when you left?-To my lodgings, 2, William-street, Cannon-street-road.
Which way did you go out of the club?-I went out of the yard passage. I noticed the gates were open, so I went that way.
Is there any light in the yard?-None whatever.
Are there any lamps in the street that light the yard?-There are lamps, but not opposite.
How is the yard lighted?-By the light of the club windows.
When you left the club did anything attract your attention?-No, sir; I noticed nothing as I looked towards the gates.
Was there anything on the ground?-I can't say.
Might there have been?-I don't know; it was rather dark, so there might have been.
Did you notice anyone in the yard?-No, sir.
Did you meet anybody in Berner-street?-I can't recollect; but as I went along Fairclough-street, close by, I noticed some men and women standing together.
Did you see no one nearer?-No, sir.
Have you ever seen a man and woman in the yard?-About twelve months ago I happened to go into the yard, and heard some chatting near the gate, and I at once went there and shut the gate.
Morris Eagle, 4, New-road, Commercial-road, said-I am a traveler and a member of the Socialist club. I was at the club on Saturday night, and did not leave till after the discussion. I went through the front door on my way out at a quarter-past twelve, but returned to the club about 20 to one. When I returned the front door was closed, so I went in at the back door in the yard and along the passage into the club.
Did you notice anything lying on the ground?-No, I did not notice anything as I came in.
Could anything have lain there and you not see it?-I don't think so.
How wide is the passage?-About nine feet.
Can you say whether the deceased was lying there then?-I could not say for certain; it was very dark near the gates, and only the lights from the club shone into the yard.
If a man and woman had been there would you have seen them?-Oh, yes, I should certainly have seen them.
Do you often go down the yard late at night?-Oh, no, very seldom.
Have you ever seen a man and woman in the yard?-No; but I have seen them just outside near a public-house.
When did you hear of the murder?-A member named Gidleman came up and said there was a dead woman in the yard.
Did you go down?-Yes, and saw a woman lying on the ground in much blood.
Was she near the gateway?-Her feet were about six or seven feet from the gate.
Was she against the club wall?-Yes, sir.
Her head towards the yard?-Yes, her feet to the gate and her head to the yard.
What did you do?-I struck a light and saw her covered in blood. I could not look at her long, so I ran for the police. Another man went for them at the same time. We could not find one at first, but when we got to the corner of Grove-street, Commercial-road, I found two constables, and I told them there was a woman murdered in Berner-street.
Did they go with you?-Yes. One of them turned his light on down the yard. There were lots of people present in the yard at the time we returned. One of the constables said to his companion, "Go for a doctor," and turning to me he said, "Go to the police-station for the inspector."
Did anyone appear to be touching the body?-The policeman touched the body; not those standing close by. The people seemed afraid to go near it.
Can you fix the time the discovery was made?-About one o'clock was the time that I first saw the body. I did not notice the time, but I have calculated it from the time I left home to return to the club.
By a Juror.-On Saturday night there is a free discussion at the club, and anyone can go in. There were some women there on Saturday night. There were only those we knew; no strange women. It was not a dancing night, but there may have been a little dancing among the members after discussion.
The Coroner.-If there were singing and dancing going on would you have been likely to have heard the cry of a woman in great distress-a cry of murder, for instance-from the yard?-Oh, we should certainly have heard such a cry.
Lewis Deimschitz called, and examined.-I live at 40, Berner-street, and am steward of the International Working Men's Club. I am married, and my wife lives there too. She assists in the management of the club. I left home about half-past eleven on Saturday morning, and returned home exactly at one o'clock on Sunday morning. I noticed the time at Harris's tobacco shop at the corner of Commercial-road and Berner-street. It was one o'clock. I had a barrow, something like a costermonger's, with me. I was sitting in it, and a pony was drawing it. It is a two-wheeled barrow. The pony is kept at George-yard, Cable-street. I do not keep it in the yard of the club. I was driving home to leave my goods. I drove into the yard. Both gates were wide open. It was rather dark there. I drove in as usual, and, all at once, as I came into the gate, my pony shied to the left. That caused me to turn my head down to the ground on my right to see what it was that had made him shy.
Could you see anything?-I could see that there was something unusual on the pavement. I could not see what it was. It was a dark object. There was nothing white about it. I did not get off the barrow, but I tried with my whip handle to feel what it was. I tried to lift it up, but I could not. I jumped down at once and struck a match, and as it was rather windy I could not get sufficient light to see exactly what it was. I could see, however, that there was the figure of some person lying there. I could tell by the dress that it was a woman. I did not disturb it. I went into the club, and asked where my missus was. I saw her in the front room on the ground floor.
What did you do with the pony in the meantime?-I left it in the yard by itself, just outside the club door. There were several members in the front room, where my wife was, and I told them all, "There is a woman lying in the yard," but I could not say whether she was drunk or dead. I then took a candle and went out at once, and by the candle light I could see that there was blood about before I reached the body. I did not touch the body, but went off at once for the police. We passed several streets without meeting a policeman, and we returned without one. All the men who were with me halloaed as loud as they could for the police, but no one came. When I returned a man that we met in Grove-street, and who came back with us, took hold of the head, and as he lifted it up I first saw the wound in the throat. At the very same time Eagle and the constable arrived. I noticed nothing unusual on my approach to the club, and met no one who looked at all suspicious. The doctor arrived about ten minutes after the constable arrived. The police afterwards took our names and addresses, and searched everybody.
Did you notice if her clothes were in order?-In perfect order, as far as I could see.
How was she lying?-She was lying on her side, with her face towards the wall of the club. I could not say whether the body was on its side, but her face was. As soon as the police came I ceased to take any interest in the matter. I did not notice in what position her hands were. I only noticed when the doctor came up he undid the first buttons of her dress next the neck, and put his hand in. He then told the constable that she was quite warm yet. He told the constable to put his hand in and feel the body, and he did so. There appeared to me to have been about two quarts of blood on the ground, and it seemed to have run up the yard from her neck. The body was lying, I should say, about a foot from the club wall. The gutter of the yard passage is made of paving stones, the centre being of irregular boulders. The body was lying half on the paving stones.
Have you ever seen men and women in the yard?-Never.
Have you ever heard anyone say that they have found men and women there?-I have not.
By a Juror.-Was there room for you to have passed the body with your cart?-Oh, yes. Mine is not a very wide cart; it only took up the centre of the passage. If my pony had not shied, perhaps I would not have noticed it at all. When I got down my cart passed the body. The barrow was past the body when I got down to see what it was.
Another Juror.-Was anyone left in charge of the body while you went for the police?-I cannot say, but there were several about when I came back. I cannot say positively, but I do not believe anyone touched the body.
Detective-inspector Reid.-All the people who came into the yard were detained and searched?-Yes, and their names and addresses were taken. The first question was whether they had any knives. They were then asked to account for their presence there.
By a Juror.-It would have been possible for any one to have escaped from the yard if he had been hiding there while you went into the club to inform the members?-Yes, it would have been possible; but as soon as I informed the members every one went out, and I do not think it would have been possible for anyone to get out then.
If any one had run up the yard, you would have seen him?-Yes; because it is dark just in the gateway; but further up the yard you could see anybody running or walking by the lights of the club.
Do you think any one could have come out of the gateway without you seeing them?-No, I think they could not.
Detective-inspector Reid stated that the body had not been identified yet.
The Coroner.-It has been partially identified; but it is a mistake to say that she has been identified by one of her relatives. It is known, however, where she lived.
At this stage the inquiry was adjourned till two o'clock this afternoon.
At a meeting of the Whitechapel District Board of Works, held last evening, Mr. Robert Gladding presiding, Mr. CATMUR said he thought that the board, as the local authority, should express their horror and abhorrence of the crime which had been perpetrated in the district, and although it was not within their province to suggest anything, it would be right that they should address the authorities really responsible. Proceeding, Mr. Catmur spoke of the evil effect which had resulted in the district in the loss of trade. Evening business had become practically extinct in many trades, women finding themselves unable to pass through the streets without an escort. Moreover, the inefficiency of the police was shown in the striking circumstance that but an hour or two later than the murders in Berner-street and Mitre-square the post-office in the immediate vicinity was broken into, and property of great value taken from it.
Mr. NICHOLSON said that while the local authority might not be responsible for the efficiency of the police, they were responsible for the proper lighting of the district. In one instance, which he mentioned, a court had been absolutely without light for nearly a week.
Mr. ABRAHAMS said he could not agree with the wholesale condemnation of the police, nor with any resolution which did not indicate a means of reform. He could, however, vouch from his own personal experience that the effect of these murders had been most injurious to business in Whitechapel-indeed, it was the most disastrous blow to the trade of the district that he had known in his experience of a quarter of a century.
The Rev. DANIEL GREATOREX said the emigrants' houses of call were feeling the panic to such an extent that emigrants refused to locate themselves in Whitechapel even temporarily. The new system of police, whereby constables were frequently changed form one district to another, kept the policemen ignorant of their beats. This was one great cause of police inefficiency, and the inspectors themselves testified that what he said was correct. In days gone by constables were acquainted, not only with the streets in their district, but also with all the houses.
The CHAIRMAN said that local bodies had no responsibility in these matters, as the management of the police had been taken away from them.
Mr. TELFER said the fact of four or five murders having taken place was no reason why there should be universal hysteria. In fact the new method of murder suggested the reverse, the victims in every case having chosen to place themselves before their murderers. Their object was privacy and the earning of the price of their lodging. As long as these poor creatures were driven by the stress of circumstances to put themselves in the power of night prowlers, such deeds must be possible under any system of police. It was, however, to be hoped that these recent crimes would result in a reversion to the old system by which constables were acquainted with every corner of their beats.
Mr. G.T. BROWN said the weak part of the London police system was the want of a proper detective element in dealing with the criminal portion of the community, and there was also a large amount of disaffection running throughout the whole force. The Government itself should be appealed to in the matter rather than the Home Secretary or Chief of Police, who were themselves really only upon their trial.
Mr. CARAMELLI said the change in the condition of Whitechapel in recent years would suggest an entire revision of the police arrangements. Whitechapel was now a place for the residuum of the whole country and the Continent as well, but it was not so a generation ago.
After further discussion, the following resolution was carried, on the motion of Mr. CATMUR, seconded by Mr. BARHAM:-"That this board regards with horror and alarm the several atrocious murders recently perpetrated within the district of Whitechapel and its vicinity, and calls upon Sir Charles Warren so to locate and strengthen the police force in the neighbourhood as to guard against any repetition of such atrocities, and that the Home Secretary be addressed in the same terms."
A man, evidently of the artisan class, applied to Mr. De Rutzen, at the Marylebone Police court yesterday, for process against a gentleman living at Tottenham, for injuries he had sustained by being arrested on suspicion that he was the perpetrator of the Whitechapel murder. He had been helping to repair the organ at St. Saviour's Church, Warwick-road, Paddington, and was on his way home when the person against whom he was applying said he (the applicant) was "Leather Apron," and gave him into custody on suspicion of being the Whitechapel murderer. He was taken to the Carlton-terrace police-station, where he was detained for three and a half hours.-Mr. De Rutzen told the applicant he could not grant him process in that court. If he had suffered any wrong by being locked up on the suspicion that he was the author of the murders in Whitechapel, and thought he could recover redress, he must bring an action in the county court.
In the course of an interview with a reporter yesterday, Dr. Forbes Winslow, the eminent specialist in lunacy cases, said:-"I have carefully read the reports in the morning papers, and they confirm me in the opinion which I had previously formed. While I am clearly of opinion that the murderer is a homicidal lunatic, I also believe him to be a monomaniac, and I see no reason why he should not, excepting at the periods when the fit is upon him, exhibit a cool and rational exterior. In all probability the whole of the murders have been committed by the same hand, but I may point out that the imitative faculty is very strong in persons of unsound mind, and that is the reason why there has been a sort of epidemic of knives. We shall probably find that a good many knives will be displayed to people within the next few weeks. Still all the evidence that is forthcoming up to the present moment shows clearly enough that the Whitechapel crimes have been perpetrated by the same hand. My idea is that under the circumstances the police ought to employ for the protection of the neighbourhood, and with the view of detecting the criminal a number of officers who have been in the habit of guarding lunatics-that is to say, warders from asylums and other persons who have had charge of the insane. These men, if properly disposed in the neighbourhood, would assuredly note any person who was of unsound mind. I have sent a letter embodying this suggestion to Sir Charles Warren, but I have received only a formal communication acknowledging the receipt. It is not easy to prevail upon the police to accept a suggestion from outside sources. This I discovered the other day, when a man, in emulation of the Whitechapel murder, drew a knife and sharpened it in the presence of a relative of mine at Brighton under circumstances which have been published in the newspapers. When I made a statement to the police on that occasion they thought very little of it indeed. I attach not the least importance to the American physiologist story. It is a theory which is utterly untenable, and I should think there were very few medical men who ever entertained it seriously. All that has recently happened appears to me to be strong confirmation of the views which I have previously given expression to upon this subject. The murderer is a homicidal monomaniac of infinite cunning, and I fear he will not be brought to justice unless he be caught while engaged in the commission of one of his awful crimes."
James Henderson, 22, a well-dressed young man, described as a tailor, of Woodland-street, Dalston, was charged with assaulting an unfortunate woman named Rose Goldstein, by striking her on the head with a stick, and further with threatening to "rip her up."-The prosecutrix, whose head was surgically bandaged, appeared weak from loss of blood. She said that at about one o'clock on Sunday morning she was proceeding along Dalston-lane, on her way home, when the prisoner made overtures to her, which she resented. He then struck her on the back of the head with the buckhorn handle of his walking-stick, causing the blood to flow freely, and rendering her partially insensible. He said, "I will rip you up the same as a few more have been done."-Ellen Barber, a friend of the prosecutrix, deposed that she saw the two walk down a street, and almost immediately heard cries of "Murder!" and "Police!"-Constable 330 J said he saw the prosecutrix bleeding very much. She went to the German Hospital, where her head was dressed.-The prisoner, who spoke with a Scotch accent, said "so far as he knew" he did not strike the woman. The woman followed him about, and when he pushed her away she screamed.-Mr. Smith thought the assault proved. It was not because this class of women were unfortunate that they were to be knocked about. He should inflict a fine of 40s., or one month's imprisonment.
Frederick Lawrence, 40, a working man, of Pedro-street, Clapton, was charged, before Mr. Horace Smith, with violently assaulting his wife Eliza by kicking and biting her, and further with attempting to stab her.-The prosecutrix, a tall and well-built woman, who was rather showily dressed, said that on Saturday night she went out to market, and when she returned at one o'clock on Sunday morning the prisoner would not let her in. The landlord let her in ultimately, and she found the prisoner in bed. He got up, picked up a knife, and made a stab at her heart. He made the remark, "How would you like to be done like the Whitechapel women? I would not mind doing it." In avoiding the blow the witness's right arm was cut, but she succeeded in knocking the knife out of his hand. He then struck her in the face and kicked her. She struck him back, and he seized her left hand and bit one of her fingers through to the bone. The prisoner had suffered 14 days' imprisonment for kicking her in the back.-The prisoner alleged that the woman stabbed and kicked him, and said that while he was lying in bed she threw a quart of beer over him. He denied that he had ill-treated the woman as she had stated.-Dr. Jackman, the divisional surgeon, said he had examined the woman. There was a mark such as might have been caused by a bite on one of the fingers of the left hand, and on the right arm there was a slight scratch, which might have been caused in the struggle for the knife. There was also a slight injury on her body.-The prisoner called his landlord, who gave him a good character as a hard-working man, and the prisoner added that the superintendent of police at Windsor, where had lived, could also speak well of him.-Mr. Smith remanded the prisoner for a week, and refused to accept bail. The magistrate directed the police to make inquiries at Windsor.
Among the night charges before the Court were ten or a dozen against parties for loitering and for disorderly conduct.-In the course of the hearing of a charge against a man for assaulting Police-constable 537 H, the officer having proved that about three o'clock on Sunday morning, in Commercial-street, Spitalfields, the prisoner was loitering about, and that when spoken to knocked him (the officer) down, the magistrate (Mr. Montagu Williams, Q.C.) said that if ever there was a time at which he was inclined to deal severely with men who assaulted the police it was the present. The police had not merely to walk their beats, but to have eyes and ears for everyone found about the streets at such hours. The present state of affairs was too horrible to continue and the police must be supported in putting an end to it. He would not allow a fine for assaults on the police, and he sentenced the prisoner to 14 days' hard labour.