6 October 1888
Within the last few days, stimulated by the long list of unavenged horrors with which the public has been surfeited, there has been much talk, though as yet it has not led to practical results, of the possibility of calling in to our aid the sagacity which nature has bestowed upon certain breeds of dogs. A very natural and creditable repugnance rises in more tenderly constituted minds at the mere name of the species to which we should chiefly have to look - the bloodhound; but there is no great difficulty in proving that this compunction is unreasonable. To begin with, it is perfectly possible to train dogs of this species, not only to follow a certain and definite trail with undeviating fidelity, but to bring it to a conclusion which shall not aback the nerves of the most delicate philanthropist who ever opened a morning paper over his breakfast coffee. The bloodhound, in fact, like a well-trained staghound, will, under proper teaching, bring his quarry to bay and "chide" him there without attacking him until help comes up. So certain is this, and so heavily has his sanguinary appellation weighed upon a noble and docile breed, that it seems very desirable that the name, when the rare gifts it covers are recognized, should be abandoned for the older one of sleut or sleuth-hound - a word derived from the Saxon sleut, signifying the track of a deer, and no doubt the origin of the word "slot." The genuine bloodhound breed was large, strong, muscular, and broad-chested, the upper lip large and pendulous; the expression stern and noble; the colour a deep tan, and generally marked with a black spot over each eye. This species, however, has now been crossed with other and smaller hounds, until the genuine bell-mouthed tracker of fur and felons of the ballads and early poets is almost, if not quite, extinct. If, indeed, we could conquer the creditable modern repugnance to "let slip the dogs of war" even upon merciless villains, the breed might easily be revived, and its services enlisted in the cause of the civilisation which the East-end atrocities of the last few weeks have disgraced. Says an authority, "The bloodhound has been employed at various times in every part of the Kingdom; in the clan feuds of Scotland, in the border contests on the debatable land between the two kingdoms, and in the unhappy Irish rebellion, its extraordinary powers have been taken advantage of, without much regard to the claims either of justice or mercy. The improvement of the breed of hounds for the purpose of the chase, and the introduction of a more regular system of police, aided, we may hope, by some amelioration in the feelings of the people, have annihilated the use of the dog in all the objects for which it was formerly employed." This is well enough in theory, but when miscreants hide their victims’ mangled remains with impunity under the windows of the Foreign Office, and a ruffian accomplishes abominable deeds night after night in crowded neighbourhoods without a suspicion of his identity leaking out, the citizen mind naturally turns to hopes of assistance in quarters less expert in theories and more acute in practical methods than his energetic but ineffective detectives. One of the questions which would naturally arise in any consideration of the matter is whether it would be feasible or not in the streets of a crowded city, where footsteps are for ever succeeding footsteps, to utilise the services of the sleuth-hound in the detection of heinous crime. No doubt the surroundings are such as would put the sagacity and powers of the animal to their utmost test, but those who, like myself, have seen such animals at work, would not regard the case as at all hopeless. The sense of smell in these animals is so exquisitely acute, and their discrimination so infinitely beyond the powers of human comprehension, that almost anything may be successfully asked of them. On one occasion, in an early Cuban revolt, when the Negroes were in arms, a Spanish Government official was cruelly stabbed in the dark on his own verandah, and the assassin got safely away beyond the reach of ordinary detection. But these dogs were just then terribly popular, and though there was not one near at hand, a pair were sent for five miles away. They arrived nearly four hours afterwards, and being put upon the footsteps of the man at once "owned" them, and dashed off in pursuit with unwavering instinct through a crowded bazaar, across the wet rice-fields beyond, over the stepping-stones of a wide ford, through a couple of villages, and into the hills, 14 miles beyond, where they ran their man to bay in a deserted hut. Now, in such a case as this, it is absolutely certain that the miscreant would never have been brought to justice but for the help of the indomitable four-footed assistants of the cause of justice; and in the existing circumstances of the metropolis, and the freedom with which every sort of criminal appears to be escaping just at present through the stiff, tape-tied fingers of our police, it is a serious question whether the nice susceptibilities of the very compunctions ought to debar us from the use in extremities of what appears to be our only means of putting a stop to the monstrous things we all bewail." The very fact of the importation of a dozen Cuban bloodhounds into Jamaica in 1796 struck a death-blow at the cruel and spreading Maroon insurrection. One of the objects of that amiable rising was to kill all the white men, and distribute the English women among the negro leaders, but when the sleuth-hounds arrived the game was found to be not worth the candle, the mere terror of their presence, the vast increasing dread of their swift, unknown, remorseless pursuit was more effective in restoring order and harmony to a chaotic society than all the statute books in the cellars of Government House and all the cannon in the Kingston citadel to boot. I am not bloodthirsty (says "An old Tracker" in the Globe), and having followed through some of the fairest places in the world with constant admiration and pleasure the leadership of these strong and gentle dogs in sport and woodcraft, it is with something very like remorse that I commend them to such sad and ignoble duties. But so much is certain, that circumstances call for unusual remedies, and if the sleuth-hound has hitherto been chiefly associated in recent popular fancy with the perversion of justice and oppression of liberty it is less his fault than the fault of those who misuse or overlook instincts and acumen of which the heavy detective biped knows absolutely nothing.
It is reported that Detective-inspector Marshall went to Guildford yesterday morning to bring to London a woman’s leg, which had been discovered near the railway there. We learn also that Superintendent Berry, of Guildford, has been in communication with the authorities at Scotland-yard with reference to the remains, which, it is considered, may be portions of the young woman whose trunk was discovered at Whitehall.
Mr. Edward Deuchar has communicated some information to the police which may afford a clue to the discovery of the man who deposited the body of the woman in Whitehall and the arm in the Thames. Mr. Deuchar is a commercial traveller, and a little over three weeks ago he went on a tram-car from Vauxhall station to London-bridge. He noticed a man on the car carrying a parcel. He would not have taken particular notice of the parcel but for the fact that there was a terrible smell emanating from it. The olfactory organs of most of the passengers were affected by the extraordinary stench which pervaded all the car. A lady gave her husband, who was sitting next to the man, some lavender to hold to his nose. The parcel seemed to be heavy. The man carried it with extreme care under his arm. It was tied up in brown paper. The top of it was under his arm while he held the corner end in his hand. Mr. Deuchar says the man looked ill at ease and agitated. He described him as a powerfully built man, of rough appearance, with a goatee beard, and rather shabbily dressed. Mr. Deuchar is confident that he could recognise him again. The car went on, and when at the Obelisk, St. George’s-circus, several persons alighted. Mr. Deuchar still remained on the car, but when about 30 yards past the Obelisk said, "This stink is awful; I can’t stand it any longer," and proceeded to go out. Just at that moment the suspicious-looking individual with the parcel asked the conductor, "Have we passed the Obelisk yet?" and then jumped out. Mr. Deuchar, when he had descended and walked some distance towards London-bridge, called a policeman’s attention to the retreating form of the "man with the stinking parcel," and told him to "keep an eye on him."
A late telegram from our Guildford correspondent says: - Some sensation was caused in Guildford to-day by the report that remains which were discovered on August the 24th in a brown paper parcel, lying on the railway near the Guildford station, were supposed to be part of the trunk of a woman found in the vault of the new police headquarters at Whitehall. It will be remembered that the remains found at Guildford consisted of a right foot and a portion of a left leg from the knee down to the ankle. The police doctor examined the limbs at the time, and considered them to be those of a woman, but the flesh had either been roasted or boiled. No clue had been found to solve the mystery, but after the discovery at Whitehall Superintendent Berry, of the Guildford Borough Police force, communicated with the authorities at Scotland-yard, with the result that Detective-inspector Marshall, who has the mystery in hand, proceeded to Guildford yesterday, and had the remains disinterred. He conveyed them in the evening to London, for careful examination by Drs. Bond and Hibbert.
At the resumed inquest on the body of the woman murdered in Berner-street, Whitechapel, the evidence previously given by two witnesses to the effect that the deceased had something the matter with the roof of her mouth was controverter by Dr. Phillips, who said that a renewed examination by himself and Drs. Brown and Blackwell had proved that no part of the plate, hard or soft, was defective. The identity of the deceased is thus once more somewhat open to question. No arrests of any importance were made yesterday.
Practically nothing of any moment transpired yesterday in connexion with the Aldgate murder. As Originally surmised, the "confession" of the young fellow William Bull, who gave himself into custody on Tuesday, came to nothing, and he was discharged at the Guildhall Police Court after the alderman had severely censured him for the silly practical joke he had played upon the police.
Early in the morning the police began to post up at the stations fac-simile copies of a postcard and letter which purport to have been written by the murderer, and these bills were eagerly read and discussed by large crowds. So far the police admit, that they have practically no clue, but the activity at the headquarters of the City Police in Old Jewry betokens that the City authorities are fully alive to the responsibility resting upon them.
The proceedings at the resumed inquest yesterday on the body of the Berner-street victim have again thrown some doubt on the identity of the person murdered - indeed, the mystery seems to deepen as time goes on. The deputy of the lodging-house where the deceased was said to have slept, as well as the man Kidney, who said he had lived with the deceased for about three years, both stated at the inquest on Wednesday that they were certain the body was that of Elizabeth Stride, and they gave what was considered to be conclusive evidence on that point to the effect that the roof of her mouth was defective. It was evident at the time that the doctors were somewhat surprised at the statement, and since Wednesday they have made another examination of the body, and have totally disproved the evidence of the witness mentioned. The doctors yesterday stated that they could find no trace of any injury to the palate. Such testimony cannot be doubted, but it certainly seems strange that the man Kidney could, by any possible means, have been mistaken; and, in addition, especially as the clerk of the Swedish Church in the East-end swore that he had known the deceased for the past 17 years as Elizabeth Stride. This witness also produced a register which contained the name of Elizabeth Stride - or Gustafadotter, as she was called before marriage - and, in reply to the coroner, he explained that all Swedes on arriving in his parish gave the necessary particulars to him as a matter of custom. Another significant circumstance which tends to show that all doubt is not at an end was the fact that, although the coroner’s officer at the second and third days’ hearing, in charging the jury, said that they were to inquire into the circumstances connected with the death of Elizabeth Stride, he yesterday informed them that they were to inquire into the death of a "person unknown."
The police at Arbour-street station, Mile-end, have received circumstantial information of an occurrence on Thursday night which may have some connexion with the Whitechapel murders. Mrs. Sewell, of 2, Pole-street, Stephney-green, a half-past nine was on her way to attend a meeting. As she was passing along Redman’s-road, a very dark thoroughfare, a man suddenly sprang out in front of her. She was greatly alarmed, especially when she observed that he was holding in his hand up against his sleeve something which glittered. The man noticed her alarm, and as if to ingratiate himself he said, "I did not hurt you, missus, did I?" Just then a young man came by, and the stranger took to his heels. The young man, in a tone of alarm, said to Mrs. Sewell, "Did you see what he had in his hand?" and the woman replied, "I saw he had something glittering." "Why," said the young man, "it was a huge knife, a foot long." The two followed the man, but failed to track him, and in the pursuit they lost sight of each other. Mrs. Sewell went on to the meeting, where she arrived in a state of the greatest nervous excitement. She said the mysterious man was rather tall, with red bushy whiskers. She noticed that he was wearing a brown overcoat, and that he had with him a white dog. Her strange experience was communicated to the inspector on duty at the Arbour-street police-station, and at one o’clock yesterday morning Mrs. Sewell was herself visited by police officials, who got her story from her direct.
Sir Charles Warren has, it is stated, been making inquiries as to the practicality of employing trained bloodhounds in special cases, in the streets of London; and, having ascertained that dogs which have been accustomed to work in a town can be procured, he is making immediate arrangements for their use in London.
A telegram from New York says: - The atrocious crimes committed in Whitechapel have aroused intense interest here. The following statement has been made here by an English sailor named Dodge. He says he arrived in London from China on August 12 by the steamship Glenorlee. He met at the Queen’s Music Hall, Poplar, a Malay cook, named Alaska. The Malay said he had been robbed by women of bad character in Whitechapel of two years’ savings, and he swore that unless he found the woman and recovered his money he would murder and mutilate every Whitechapel woman he met. He showed Dodge a double-edged knife, which he always carried with him. He was about 5ft. 7in. In height, 130lb. in weight, and apparently 35 years of age. Of course he was very dark.
It was reported last evening that the police at Islington had effected an arrest in connexion with the Whitechapel murders, in Packington-street, Essex-road, and that the suspect was detained at the Upper-street police-station. An inquiry at this station elicited the fact that an arrest had been made in Packington-street, but that it was in no way connected to the recent atrocities.
Yesterday afternoon, at the Vestry-hall, St. George’s-in-the-East, Mr. Wynne E. Baxter, coroner for the Southeastern Division of Middlesex, resumed the inquest on the body of Elizabeth Stride, who was found murdered in Berner-street on Sunday morning last.
Superintendent Arnold, H division, and Detective-inspector Reid, of the Criminal Investigation Department, watched the case on behalf of the police.
Dr. Phillips, divisional police surgeon. - You will recollect that on the last occasion I was asked to reexamine the body in regard to the palate. Along with Dr. Blackwell and Dr. Gordon Brown, I went to the mortuary and examined the body, and found none of the hard or soft palate wanting. At your request I examined some handkerchiefs. I have not been able to discover any blood upon them. The stains on the larger handkerchief, I think, are those of fruit. Neither in the hands nor on the body of deceased did I find any grapes, or any connexion with them. I am of opinion that the deceased had not swallowed either a skin or a seed of a grape within many hours of her death. The abrasion on the right side of the neck which I spoke of was apparently only an abrasion, for on washing it it was removed and the skin was found uninjured. The knife that was produced on the last occasion was delivered to me, properly secured, by Police-constable 282 H, and on examination I found it to be such as one as is used in a chandler’s shop, and is called a slicing-knife. It has blood upon it, which has characteristics similar to that of a warm-blooded animal. It has been recently blunted, and its edge turned by apparently rubbing on a stone, such as a kerbstone. It evidently before was a very sharp knife. Such a knife could have produced the incision and the injuries to the neck, but it is not such a weapon as I would have chosen as inflicting the injuries in this particular case, and if my opinion as regards the position of the body is correct, the knife in question would become an improbable instrument as having caused the incision. I have come to the conclusion both as regards the position of the victim and that of the inflictor of the deed, and I find that she was seized by the shoulders, placed on the ground, and that the perpetrator of the deed was on her right side when he inflicted the cut. I am of opinion that the cut was made from the left to the right side of deceased, and therefore arises the unlikelihood of such a long knife having inflicted the wound described in the neck, taking into account the position of the incision.
The Coroner. - Was there anything in the cut which shows whether there was an incision with a point? - No, sir.
Have you formed any idea how the right hand of the deceased became covered with blood? - It is a mystery. There were small oblong clots of blood on the hand. I may say, sir, that I am taking it as a fact that the hand always remained in the same position as I found it - resting across the body.
How long had the deceased been dead do you think when you arrived? - Within an hour she was alive.
Would the injury take long to inflict? - Only a few seconds. It might be done in two seconds.
Does the presence of the cachous still remaining in her hand show that it was done suddenly, unexpectedly, without any struggle? - Some of the cachous were scattered about. I cannot draw anything from that. I have seen several self-inflicted wounds more extensive than this one, but they have not usually involved the carotid artery. I gather that there seems to have been in this case, as in others that I have seen, some knowledge where to cut the throat to cause a fatal result.
Is there any similarity between Chapman’s case and this case? - There is very great dissimilarity. In Chapman’s case the neck was severed all round down to the vertebral column, the vertebral bones being marked with two sharp cuts, and there had been an apparent attempt to separate the bones.
From the position you assume the perpetrator to have been in would he have been likely to get bloodstained? - Not necessarily, for the commencement of the wound and the injury to the vessels would be away from him, and the stream of blood - for stream it would be - would be directed away from him and towards the water way already mentioned.
Was there any appearance of an opiate or any smell of chloroform? - There was no perceptible trace of any anesthetic or narcotic. The absence of noise is a difficult question in this case under the circumstances to account for, but it must not be taken for granted that there was not any noise. If there was an absence of noise there is nothing in the case by which I can account for it.
A Juryman. - That means that the woman might cry out after the cut? - Not after the cut.
But why did she not cry out while she was being put on the ground. She was in a yard and in a locality where she might cry out loudly and no notice be taken of her. It was possible for the woman to draw up her legs after the wound, but she could not have turned over. The wound was inflicted by drawing the knife across the throat. A short knife, such as a shoemaker’s well-ground knife, would do the same thing. My reason for believing that the deceased was injured when on the ground was partly on account of the absence of blood anywhere on the left side of the body and between it and the wall. There was no trace of malt liquor in the stomach.
Dr. Blackwell, who assisted in making the post-mortem examination, recalled, said - I removed the cachous from the hand of the deceased. That would account for nobody noticing them at the time. I think the hand would gradually relax while the woman was dying. When I was previously asked as to the possibility of the case being one of suicide I did not make myself quite clear. I meant that, taking all the facts into consideration, and especially the absence of any instrument, it was impossible that the case could be one of suicide. I have seen more severe wounds self-inflicted by suicides. With respect to the knife found, I concur with Dr. Phillips that although it might possibly have inflicted the injury, it is an extremely unlikely instrument to have been used. It appears to me that a murderer, in using a round-pointed instrument, would considerably handicap himself, as he would only be able to use it in a particular way. I am told that slaughterers always use sharp=pointed instruments, but I do not mean to suggest that this crime was done by a slaughterer. I endorse all that Dr. Phillips has said with respect to the post=mortem appearances. There were what we call pressure marks on the shoulders, which became better defined some time after death. There were not what are ordinarily called bruises; neither is there any abrasure of the skin. There is a mark on each shoulder, and they would be caused by the pressure of hands on the shoulders. It is rather difficult to say how long before death they were caused.
By the Jury. - I saw no grapes or grape stems in the yard when I was called to see the body.
Mr. Sven Ollson, 32, Prince’s-square, St. George’s-in-the= East, said - I am clerk of the Swedish Church in Prince’s-square. I saw the body of the deceased last Tuesday, and I recognise her as a person I have known for 17 years. She was a Swede, and her name was Elizabeth Stride, the wife of John Thomas Stride, a carpenter. Her maiden name was Gustafsdotter, and she was born at Dorslander, near Gottenburg, on the 27th November, 1843. At the church we keep a register of all Swedes coming to this country who desire to be registered, and the deceased was registered as an unmarried woman on the 10th July, 1866. She was not married at my church. In the registry I find a memorandum undated, written by the Rev. Mr. Palmayer, in Swedish, stating that the deceased had been married to an Englishman, named John Thomas Stride. I don’t know when this entry was made, but it must have been many years ago. I know the hymn-book produced. It is an old one published in 1821. There is no name in it, but I gave it to the deceased last winter. I believe the deceased was married to Stride in 1869. She told me that he was drowned in the wreck of the Princess Alice. At the time of his death she was very poor, and I gave her assistance.
The Coroner. - Do you know that there was a subscription made for the sufferers by the Princess Alice disaster - No.
The Coroner. - I can tell you there was, and I can also tell you that there was no person of the name of Stride made application for relief. Don’t you think that if her story had been true she would have applied? - I cannot say.
Have you ever seen her husband? - No; we gave her a little assistance before Stride died. Two years ago she gave me her address as Devonshire-street, Commercial-road, and she said she was doing a little work in sewing. She spoke English fairly well. I believe she came to England a little before she was registered in 1866.
William Marshall, 64, Berner-street, deposed - I am a labourer in an indigo warehouse. I have seen the body of the deceased at the mortuary. I saw deceased on Saturday evening in Berner-street, about three doors off from where I am living. She was on the pavement opposite No. 58. She was between Boyd-street and Fairclough-street. It was then about a quarter to twelve o’clock at night. She was standing on the pavement talking with a man.
How did you know this was the same woman? - I recognised the deceased was the same woman by her face and her dress. She was not wearing a flower in her breast. She and the man were talking quietly. There was no lamp near. The nearest lamp was some yards off. I did not see the face of the man distinctly.
Did you notice how he was dressed? - Yes, he had a black small coat and dark trousers.
How old was he, do you think - young, or old, or middle-aged? - He seemed to me to be a middle-aged man. He was not wearing a hat; he was wearing a round cap with a small peak to it, something like what a sailor would wear.
What height was he? - He was about 5ft. 6in.
Was he thin or stout? - Rather stoutish.
Did he look well dressed? - Yes, sir, he looked decently dressed.
What class of man did he look? - He looked as if he worked at some respectable business.
Everybody works at a respectable business. - (Laughter.) - He did not look like a dock labourer nor a sailor. He had more the appearance of a clerk than anything I can suggest. I do not think he had any whiskers. He was not wearing gloves. He had no stick or umbrella in his hand. He had a cutaway coat.
Are you sure it was not me? - (Laughter.) - No, sir. - (Laughter.) I am sure deceased is the woman. I did not take much notice as to whether she had anything in her hand. I was standing at my door.
What attracted your attention to them? - I was first attracted by their standing there for some time, and he was kissing and cuddling her.
Did you overhear anything they said? - I heard the man say to the deceased, "You would say anything but your prayers."
Different people talk in a different tone and in a different way. Did his voice give you the idea of a clerk? - Yes, he was mild speaking. From the way he spoke I thought that he was an educated man. I did not hear them say anything more. They went away after that. I did not hear the woman say anything, but after the man made the observation she laughed. When they went away they went towards Helen-street. They walked in the middle of the road. They would not pass No. 40 (the International Club) on their way. The woman was dressed in a black jacket and a black skirt. Neither of them appeared to be the worse for drink. I went in doors about midnight. I did not hear anything till I heard murder being called in the street just after one o’clock on the Sunday morning.
By a Juror. - I was standing at my door from half-past eleven till twelve. During that time it did not rain.
By Detective-inspector Reid. - They were standing between my house and the club. They were standing there about ten minutes. They passed me in the road.
A Juror. - Did you see the man’s face as he passed you?
Witness. - No; the woman was next me, and the man had his arms around her neck. His face was turned towards me, but I did not take any notice of it, as I did not expect to come here. There is a gas-lamp at No. 70, Berner-street.
Detective-inspector Reid. - Were they hurrying along? - No, sir.
Was it raining at the time? - No, sir, not that I saw.
Sven Ollsson (recalled). - I find that the original entry of the marriage of the deceased is in the handwriting of Mr. Frost, who was the pastor for about eighteen years until two years ago.
James Brown deposed - I am a box-maker, and I live at 35, Fairclough-street. On Sunday morning last, about 12.45, I went from my own home to get something for supper at the corner of Berner-street, and was in the shop three or four minutes and then went back home. As I was going home I saw a man and woman standing against the wall by the board school in Fairclough-street. As I passed them in the road I heard the woman say, "No, not tonight; some other night." That made me turn round, and I looked at them. I am almost certain that the deceased was the woman. I did not notice any flowers on her dress. The man had his hand on the wall, and the woman stood facing him with her back against the wall. I noticed that the man had on a long overcoat which came down nearly to his heels. It was rather a dark place. I went indoors, and when I had nearly finished my supper I heard screams of "Police" and "Murder." That was about a quarter of an hour after I had seen the man and woman. The man appeared to be about 5ft. 7in. in height, and was of average build. Neither of them seemed to me to be the worse for drink. When I heard the screams I went to the window, but could not see anyone. A policeman was standing at the corner of Christian-street, and I heard a man tell him he was wanted, and he ran along Berner-street.
Police-constable William Smith, 452 H, deposed - On Saturday I went on duty at ten p.m. My beat was past Berner-street. I went from the corner of Gower’s-walk, Commercial-road, as far as Christian-street, down Christian-street to Fairclough-street, Grove-street, and back to Church-lane, up there to Commercial-road again. It takes about 25 minutes to half an hour to go round the beat. I was in Berner-street at about 12.35. About one o’clock I saw a large crowd of people outside the gate of No. 40. I did not notice any disturbance, and heard no cries of "Police." There were two policemen there. I do not remember passing anyone on my way down Berner-street. When I got there I saw the deceased, and went to the police-station for an ambulance, leaving the other constables in charge. Dr. Blackwell’s assistant arrived just as I was going away. I turned along Faitrclough-street, but saw no one. I saw a man and woman talking together in Berner-street at 12.30. The woman was dressed like the deceased. I feel certain that she is the deceased. She stood on the pavement, a few yards up Berner-street, on the opposite side to where she was found. I noticed the man who was talking with her. He had a parcel wrapped in a newspaper in his hand. His height was about 5ft. 7in. He wore a hard felt dark hat and dark clothes. I did not overhear any conversation. They both appeared to be sober. The man was about 28 years of age, and was respectably dressed. I noticed the woman had some flowers in her dress. I did not see the man and woman more then once.
James Kidney was recalled, and recognised a hymn-book belonging to the deceased. He found it in Mrs. Smith’s room, next to his own. Mrs. Smith said deceased gave it to her to take care of when she left on Tuesday.
By Detective-inspector Reid. - When deceased and I lived together she used to put a padlock on the door.
By the Coroner. - When deceased went away on the Tuesday I found she had gone in and taken away some things. I did not know from examination that the deceased had anything the matter with the roof of her mouth, except what she told me.
Philip Krantz said - I reside at 40, Berner-street, and am editor of a Hebrew paper called the Worker’s Friend. At the back of the ground-floor I have an editor’s room and printing office, with entrance from the yard. I was in my room on Saturday last, from about nine p.m. One of the members of the club came to me, and said there was a woman lying in the yard. Up to that time I had not heard any cry or scream or anything unusual. My window was not open. At the time the members of the club were singing upstairs, and I cannot say whether I should have heard anyone scream. When I went out I saw several members near a woman who was dead, but no one I know. Two of the members had gone to look for a policeman. It is not possible for any stranger to have escaped after my arrival there without my noticing him, but he might have done so before.
The rest of the evidence was of a formal character, consisting of the proof of plans of the locality in which the murder was committed. Detective-inspector Reid deposed to being called from the Commercial-street police-station, where he resides, to the scene of the murder, arriving there at about a quarter to two o’clock. He detailed to the coroner the steps he took, in conjunction with the other officers under his command, to thoroughly search the neighbourhood for any trace of the criminal. Every portion of the club-house, 40, Berner-street, and all the surrounding property, was carefully examined, but without any satisfactory clue being arrived at. Inquiries were still being vigorously pursued by the police.
The inquiry was then adjourned till next Tuesday fortnight, the 23rd inst.
At Guildhall Police Court yesterday, before Mr. Alderman Stone, William Bull, 27, describing himself as a medical student, of 6, Stannard-road, Dalston, was charged, on remand, on his own confession, with having murdered the woman who was found dead in Mitre-square, Aldgate, on the morning of Sunday last.
The facts of the case, which have already been reported, showed that the prisoner on Tuesday evening entered the charge-room at Bishopsgate-street police-station and made a statement, which Inspector Izzard, after cautioning him, wrote down. It was to the effect that on the night or morning of the murder he met a woman in Aldgate and went up a dark street with her. He gave her a half-crown, which another man took away from her. He had, he said, committed the murder, and could not put up with the suspense any longer.
Inquiries had been made, and it was ascertained that the prisoner was very well connected, but he was not a medical student. Yesterday Inspector Izzard said that the inquiries had led to the most satisfactory conclusion. The defendant bore a most irreproachable character, and he had been in his employ for a number of years.
Alderman Stone said that he was very sorry he was unable to punish the prisoner in some way, as it was a most stupid and dangerous thing, now that these scares were about, for people to make foolish statements. He thought prisoner ought to be thoroughly ashamed of himself for his conduct. He would be discharged.
At the Marylebone Police Court yesterday, before Mr. De Rutzen, George Payne, 42, who described himself as a labourer, and who spoke with a provincial dialect, was charged with being disorderly.
Detective-sergeant Gurtner, F division, said he received information about eleven o’clock on Thursday night that a man in the Harrow-road had been heard to say that he had committed half a dozen murders in the East-end of London and that he had come to the West-end to commit half a dozen more. He had also made defiant remarks about the Home Secretary. The witness went after the man, whom he found, and having questioned him, took him into custody. There was great excitement in the neighbourhood.
Mr. George Nash, the landlord of a beer-house, No. 51, Harrow-road, said the prisoner entered his house and was supplied with half a pint of beer. At that time he appeared to be all right, but after a time the prisoner said he knew Mr. John Morley and the Home Secretary would like to get hold of him, but he was too clever for them. He had done five or six murders in Whitechapel, and now he thought he would come to the West-end. The witness thought that even if what the man had said was not true he ought not to escape punishment for making the statement.
The prisoner said he had not insulted anyone, and he appealed to the public at the rear of the court to say if he had insulted them. He lived at Whitechapel years ago, but had not been there since.
Mr. De Rutzen told the prisoner he was one of those mischievous fellows who go about and terrify people by boasting that he had done some horrible crime in the East-end. He would have to pay a fine of 10s., or go to prison for seven days.
The prisoner: Boasting, eh?
The British Medical Journal says: - "The theory started by the coroner (Mr. Wynne Baxter) - not altogether without justification on the information conveyed to him - that the work of the assassin was carried out under the impulse of pseudo-scientific mania, is exploded by the first attempt at serious investigation. It is true that inquiries were made at one or two medical schools early last year by a foreign physician, who was spending some time in London, as to the possibility of securing certain parts of the body for the purpose of scientific investigation. No large sum, however, was offered. The person in question was a physician of the highest respectability, and exceedingly well accredited to this country by the best authorities in his own, and he left London fully eighteen months ago. There was never any real foundation for the hypothesis, and the information communicated, which was not at all of the nature which the public has been led to believe, was due to the erroneous interpretation by a minor official of a question which he overheard, and to which a negative reply was given. This theory may be at once dismissed, and is, we believe, no longer entertained even by its author."
Though no satisfactory explanation has yet been given as to the cause of the atrocious murders systematically committed in Whitechapel, this long series of tragedies has at least (the Lancet remarks) served the good purpose of awakening the public conscience. It is worthy of note that the crimes have been committed in precisely the same district where, as sanitary reformers, we have often demanded the intervention of the authorities, and the more rigorous application of the Sanitary and other Acts by which the quarter could be improved. Undoubtedly great poverty, overcrowding, dirt, and bad sanitation have a lowering, brutalizing tendency, which renders more probable the conception and the execution of such crimes as those that now absorb the public attention. Possibly the actual perpetrator of these sanguinary deeds has not himself endured, to the full extent, the misery and the squalor of the Whitechapel district; but his nature has probably been influenced by the degradation of the quarter he seems to frequent. In any case, we are glad to note that the public have associated the prevailing misery with the present appalling record of crime. There is already some talk of rebuilding a large portion of Whitechapel, and calculations have been made to show that this can be done in a remunerative manner. For years past we have sought to draw public attention to the miseries of the poor, and especially the very streets where the murders were committed. Our efforts were not altogether fruitless; assistance was given, through our commissioners, to some extreme cases of distress, and one of our subscribers sent us 20Ł. for this purpose. We had then published a special report on the exceptional distress prevailing in London. This report appeared on March 15, 1879, and contained a heart rendering description of the children and inhabitants of George-yard, where a woman was murdered on August 7 last. Some time previously the lodging-houses in Flower-and-Dean-street, where another victim, who was murdered last Sunday morning, was believed to have been in the habit of lodging, were fully described by our commissioners. One of the worse sweating dens described in our report published four years ago was in Hanbury-street, where Annie Chapman was murdered and mutilated on September 7. This is the very heart of the sweating district, and Pelham-street, where some of the worse cases were found, runs parallel with Hanbury-street, and is only a few yards off. It cannot be said, therefore, that the public and the authorities have not had many opportunities of learning something of the dangerous condition of this district. Improvements have been effected, we acknowledge, and at the time the various reports we published were extensively quoted by the Press at large. Nevertheless, what has been done is altogether insufficient, and it does not reflect creditably on our boasted civilisation to find that modern society is more promptly awakened to a sense of duty by the knife of a murderer than by the pen of many earnest and ready writers.