12 October 1888
VERDICT IN THE ALDGATE CASE
The following letter has been received by Mr. Metcalfe, the vestry clerk of Whitechapel, from the Home Office, in reply to a resolution of the vestry asking the Hon. Mr. Matthews to give every possible facility for the speedy arrest of the murderer:-
Whitehall, Oct. 10, 1888.
I am directed by the Secretary of State to acknowledge your letter of the 4th inst., forwarding a copy of a resolution passed at a vestry meeting of the parish of St. Mary's, Whitechapel, expressing sorrow at the recent murders in the East end of London, and urging Her Majesty's Government to use their utmost endeavours to discover the criminal. I am instructed to state that Mr. Matthews shares the feeling of the vestry with regard to these murders, and that he has given directions that the police have instructions to exercise any and every power they possess, and even to use an amount of discretion with regard to suspected persons in their efforts to discover the criminal. And I am further to state that the Secretary of State, after personal conference with the Commissioners of Police, at which the whole of the difficulties have been fully discussed, is satisfied that no means have been, or will be, spared in tracing the offender and bring him to justice.
I am, Sir, yours obediently,
E. Leigh Pemberton
T. Metcalfe, Esq., Vestry Clerk, Whitechapel.
Our Liverpool correspondent telegraphs: The following curious story is vouched for as being strictly correct, at least so far as the young lady referred to is concerned. On Wednesday evening the young lady in question was walking along Shiel road, Liverpool, not far from Shiel Park, when she was stopped by an elderly woman, aged about sixty, who, in an agitated and excited manner, urged her most earnestly not to go into the park. She explained that a few minutes previously she had been resting on one of the seats in the park, when she was accosted by a respectable looking man, wearing a black coat, light rousers, and a soft felt hat, who inquired if she knew if there were any loose women about the neighbourhood. Immediately afterwards he produced a knife with a long, thin blade, and stated that he intended to kill as many women in Liverpool as in London, adding that he would send the ears of the first victim to the editor of the Liverpool Daily Post. The old woman, who was trembling violently as she related this story, stated that she was so terribly frightened that she hardly knew how she got away from the man. She could not see a policeman or a park keeper, but, in addition to warning the young lady, she appears to have mentioned the matter to some workmen whom she met afterwards in Shiel road. The steamers leaving Liverpool for American and other ports are now being carefully watched by the police, and the passengers are closely scrutinised by detectives, there being an idea that the perpetrator of the Whitechapel murders may endeavour to make his escape via Liverpool.
It having been stated that the order for the removal of the writing on the wall, to which allusion was made at yesterday's inquest, was given personally by Sir Charles Warren, who visited the spot shortly after the discovery had been made, a representative of the Press visited Whitehall place yesterday afternoon for the purpose of asking whether this statement was correct. The representative saw Sir Charles Warren's private secretary, who on returning from the Chief Commissioner's room stated that "Sir Charles Warren was in Goulston street shortly after the murders, and if he had wished to make any communication to the Press on the subject he would have done so then." In reply to a further question as to whether it was to be understood from this that Sir Charles preferred to say nothing about the allegation, our representative was informed that such was the case.
The Belfast Evening Telegraph yesterday afternoon published the following letter, which it received by that afternoon's post:-
"Dear Boss -
I have arrived in your city, as London is too warm for me just now, so that Belfast ______ had better look out, for I intend to commence operations on Saturday night. I have spotted some nice fat ones, who will cut up well. I am longing to begin, for I love my work.
Jack the Ripper."
The communication, which is written in red ink, and bears several blotches, evidently made in imitation of blood, is stamped with the Belfast postmark.
The inquest respecting the death of Catherine Eddowes, whose body was found in a mutilated state in Mitre square, Aldgate, early on the morning of Sunday, the 30th of last month, was continued yesterday in the court of the City Mortuary, Golden lane, before Mr. S.F. Langham, the City coroner, and a jury.
Mr. Crawford, the City Solicitor, again appeared on behalf of the Corporation; Colonel Sir James Fraser, the Commissioner of the City Police, Major Smith, Assistant Commissioner, Superintendent Foster, and Inspector M'Williams, of the Detective Department, represented the police authorities of the City; Mr. Edwin Shelton was in attendance as ward beadle. Dr. Saunders, medical officer of health and analyst for the City; Dr. Gordon Brown, and Mr. F.W. Foster, architect, who produced the plans of the locality of the murder, were also present.
Dr. C.W. Sequeira, of Jewry street, Aldgate, surgeon, said - I was called to the scene of the murder on the morning of the 30th ult. I was the first medical officer to arrive. I was there at five minutes to two. I saw the position of the body, and I agree with Dr. Brown as to that position. I heard his evidence at the last examination, and I agree with it.
The Coroner - You agree with it entirely? - Yes.
By Mr. Crawford - The place where the murder was committed would probably be the darkest corner. There would be plenty of light for the perpetrator of the deed to inflict the injuries without the aid of any additional light.
Have you formed any opinion as to whether the perpetrator had any particular design in reference to any particular internal part of the body? - I formed an opinion that he had no particular design on any particular organ.
Do you think from the injuries inflicted that he was possessed of any anatomical skill? - No, I do not.
Can you account in any way for the absence of noise? - There would be no noise after the severance of the windpipe.
Would you have expected to find the clothes of the person who committed the deed bespattered with blood? - Not necessarily.
For how long do you think the life would have been extinct? - I arrived at that in a very few minutes. Probably not more than a quarter of an hour. I could tell from the condition of the blood and the blood vessels.
Mr. Crawford asked that Dr. Saunders might be called to clear up a point that was raised by the jury at the last examination.
The Coroner - Certainly.
Dr, W.S. Saunders, medical officer of health for the City, stated - I received the stomach of deceased from Dr. Gordon Brown. The contents had not been interfered with in any way. I carefully examined it and its contents, more particularly for poisons of a narcotic class, with negative results, there not being the faintest trace of these or any other poison.
By Mr. Crawford - I was present at the post mortem examination, and I agree with Dr. Brown and Dr. Sequeira that the wounds were not inflicted by anyone having great anatomical skill. I equally agree that the perpetrator of the deed had no particular design on any particular internal organ.
Annie Phillips, the next witness, said - I live at 14 Dilston grove, Southwark park road. My husband, Lewis Phillips, is a lamp blacker. I am a daughter of the deceased. She lived with my father. She was married to him. I have never seen the marriage lines. My father's name was Thomas Conway. I have not seen him lately - not for the last 15 or 18 months. He was living for some time with me and my husband at 15 Acre street, Southwark park road. He was a hawker. I do not know what became of him. He left us suddenly without assigning ay reason for it. He was a sober man - a teetotaller. They lived only on bad terms when she used to drink. I have not the least idea where he is living now.
Had he with your knowledge any particular ill will against you mother? - No, sir.
Was it entirely on the ground of your mother's drunken habits that he ceased to live with her? - Yes.
You father was in the 18th Royal Irish Regiment, was he not? - So I have been told. He had been a pensioner since I was eight, I am now 23. It is seven or eight years since he left my mother. I was in the habit of seeing my mother after he left. She frequently applied to me for money.
When was the last time you saw her? - Two years and a month ago.
Did you see anything of her on Saturday, the day previous to her death? - No. I lived at King street, Bermondsey, before, and when I left there I did not leave my address.
Were there any other family with your mother by Conway? - Yes; two brothers. My mother did not know where to find either of them.
They purposely kept from her? - Yes, for the purpose of preventing her from applying for money. By Mr. Crawford - I am not sure that it was the 18th Regiment (Royal Irish) my father belonged to. It may have been. I saw Kelly and my mother living together at Flower and Dean street about three and a half years ago. They were living as man and wife. My brothers were living with my father. I cannot tell where to find them. I lost all trace of them and my mother for 18 months, and cannot give the police the slightest clue as to where to find them.
The coroner asked if there was any evidence to show that every effort had been made to find these persons.
Mr. Crawford - yes. I propose to call some such evidence, and also as to the deceased's movements before her death.
Detective sergeant John Mitchell - I have made every effort to find the father and also the brothers of the last witness, but without success. I have found a pensioner Conway, belonging to the 18th Royal Irish regiment. He has been seen by other officers, but has not been identified as the Thomas Conway in question. I may add that every possible endeavour and inquiry have been made with the view of tracing the murderer, and are still being made.
Mr. Crawford - I am sure no one will question that.
Detective constable Baxter Hunt - Acting under instructions, I discovered the pensioner Conway, belonging to the 18th Royal Irish. I have confronted him with two of the deceased's sisters. and they have failed to recognise him as the man who used to live with the deceased. I have also endeavoured to trace the two brothers referred to by the witness Annie Phillips, but without result.
By the jury - The pensioner Conway, belonging to the 18th Regiment, was not confronted with the daughter, Annie Phillips, who had not been found at the time; but it shall be done.
Dr. Gordon Brown, before signing his deposition at the previous examination, in answer to Mr. Crawford, said he was of opinion it was impossible that the deceased could have been carried after the murder to the place where the body was found.
Constable Lewis Robinson - About half past eight on the evening of the 29th I was on duty in High street, Aldgate. I saw there the woman since recognised as the deceased. She was drunk, lying on the footway. I turned round to the crowd, and asked if there was anyone who knew the deceased, but I got no answer. I then picked her up, and carried her to the side by the shutters. I raised her up against the shutters, and she fell down again. I did not do any more until I got assistance. Another policeman came, and she was taken to the station. When asked for her name, she replied, "Nothing." She was then put into the cell. No one appeared to be in her company when she was first found.
By Mr. Crawford - The latest time I saw the deceased was about ten minutes to nine in the police cell. She was then wearing an apron (pieces of apron produced). To the best of my knowledge that was the apron she was wearing.
By the jury - The deceased smelt very strongly of drink.
Sergeant James Byfield - I remember the deceased being brought to the police station on the 29th of last month. She was very drunk. She was taken to the cell, and stayed there until one o'clock in the morning, when I discharged her, after she had given her name and address. She gave the name of Mary Ann Kelly, No 6, Fashion Street, Spitalfields. I did not see her going out. In answer to the last question I put to her she said she had been hawking.
By the Jury - It was quite possible for a person put into the cells at nine o'clock at night to be discharged in a sober condition at one o'clock in the morning.
Constable George Hutt, gaoler at the Bishopsgate police station, said - On the 19th (sic) of last month, at a quarter to ten o'clock at night I took over prisoners, among them the deceased woman. I visited her several times until five minutes to one on the following morning - Sunday - when she was brought from the cell and discharged as sober. When leaving, I asked her to pull the door to, and she replied, "All right, old cock." She pulled the door to, and then turned to the left, towards Houndsditch.
By the jury - It is left to the inspector to judge whether a prisoner is sober or not. About a quarter past twelve the deceased was singing a song to herself, and about half past twelve she said she was able to take care of herself.
By Mr. Crawford - She left the station about one o'clock and in my opinion she was then perfectly able to take care of herself. She did not tell me where she was going. A minute or two before one she asked me when going out of the station what time it was. I said, "Too late for you to get any more drink." She then said, "Well, what time is it?" I said, "Just gone one," and she replied, "Then I shall get a fine hiding when I get home." I said to her, "Serve you right; you had no right to get drunk." I supposed from that she was going home. I have seen the apron produced, and to the best of my belief it is the one she was wearing when she left the station. It is about 400 yards from the station to Mitre square - about 8 minutes ordinary walking.
George J Morris, watchman at the premises of Messrs. Kearley and Tonge, tea warehousemen, Mitre square, said - I went on duty at the premises at seven o'clock in the evening. I cleaned the offices and then looked about the warehouse. About a quarter to two o'clock Police constable Watkins, who was on the Mitre square beat, knocked at my door and said, "Come to my assistance." I asked him what was the matter, and he said, "Oh dear, there's another woman cut up." He showed me the body lying in the corner. I had my lamp, and threw the light upon it. I agree with what has been said by previous witnesses as to the position of the body. I went up Mitre street into Aldgate blowing my whistle, and got police assistance. I saw no suspicious persons about. Two police constables came. I followed with the constables, and took charge of my own premises again.
The Coroner - Had you heard any noise in the square before you were called by Constable Watkins? - No, sir.
The Coroner - If there had been any cry of distress would you have heard it where you were? - Yes.
By the City Solicitor - I was not called by anybody until Police constable Watkins came. There was nothing unusual in my door being open or my working until a quarter to two in the morning. I had not seen Watkins before this particular time.
By a Juror - The door had not been ajar for more than two minutes previous to Constable Watkins calling me.
Constable James Harvey was next examined. He deposed - On the night of the 29th ult. I went on duty at a quarter to ten, but I did not notice any suspicious person in the course of my beat. When I got into Aldgate I heard a whistle and saw the witness Morris with a lamp in his hand. I immediately went to him and asked him what was the matter. He replied, "A woman has been ripped up in Mitre square." I saw a constable on the other side of the street, and I said, "Come with me." We went together to Mitre square, where we saw Police constable Watkins. The constable (Holland) who followed me went for a medical man, and private individuals were despatched for more police assistance. It came almost immediately. I waited there with Constable Watkins and information was at once sent to the inspector.
The Coroner - What was the last time that you were in Aldgate?
Witness - Between one and two minutes to half past one.
By a Juror - My beat takes me to the end of Church passage.
By Mr. Crawford - I cannot pledge myself to the exact time that I was in Aldgate, but I know it was two minutes to the half hour by the church clock.
That is assuming the clock was right? - yes.
George Clapp deposed - I live at 5 Mitre street, Aldgate, and I am caretaker of those premises.
The back part of the house No 5 looks out upon Mitre square. On the night of the 29th ult. I went to bed at about eleven o'clock. I slept in the back room on the second floor.
The Coroner - During the night did you hear any noise or disturbance? - No, sir.
No sound at all? - None
When did you first hear that anything had happened? - Between five and six in the morning. I heard that a murder had been committed.
By Mr. Crawford - My wife and I slept in the house that night, and the only person on the premises was a Mrs. Pugh, a nurse, who was sleeping in a back room at the top of the house. There was nobody sleeping on the ground floor or the first floor on the night in question.
Constable Pearce deposed - I live at 3 Mitre square. On the morning of Sunday, the 30th of September, I heard no noise whatever. I went to bed at twelve o'clock. It was twenty minutes past two when I first heard of the murder. I was called by a constable. I could see the body plainly from the front windows of my house.
By Mr. Crawford - My wife and family, four in number, are the only occupants of the house. They were not disturbed during the night by any noise whatever.
Joseph Lawende was next examined. He deposed - I live at 45 Norfolk road, Dalston, and am a commercial traveller. On the night of the 29th of September I was at the Imperial Club in the company of Mr. Joseph Levy and Mr. Harry Harris. It was raining, and we could not leave the premises. We were sitting in the club chatting. As we approached the club we noticed a man and woman together in Church passage. The woman was standing with her face towards the man, so that I only saw her back. I noticed that her hand was on his chest. I could not see the woman's face, but the man was taller than she was. The woman wore a black bonnet and a black jacket.
Mr. Crawford said it might save time if the witness were shown the articles which the deceased wore.
Witness replied that he had already seen them at the police station, and he thought they were the same clothes which th4e deceased wore on the night in question.
Examination continued - I cannot tell you the height of the woman, but she was about five feet high.
The Coroner - Now, can you tell us what the man was like? - He had on a peaked cloth cap, the peak of the same material apparently as the cap.
Mr. Crawford said that unless the jury wished it he had a reason why further evidence should not be given on that point at present.
The coroner and the jury assented to the suggestion.
Should you remember the man again? - I doubt that.
By Mr. Crawford - The Imperial Club is situated at 16 and 17 Duke street. The man and woman I saw standing together were about nine yards away from the club. Neither the man nor the woman appeared to be in an angry mood. There was nothing in their movements which attracted my attention except that the man was a rough looking fellow. The woman had her hand on the man's chest, but did not seem as if she was pushing him away. They were standing together conversing quietly, and I was not curious enough to look back and see where they went.
Mr. Joseph Hyam Levy, butcher, of 1 Hutcheson street, Aldgate, deposed - I was at the Imperial Club on the night in question with the last witness. We left about three or four minutes past the half hour (half past one). I saw a man and woman standing at the corner of Church passage, but I passed on, and did not take any further notice of them. I walked along as fast as I could. I cannot give any description of either the man or the woman, but all I can say is that the man was about three inches taller than the woman. I walked along home, which I reached, I should think, by twenty minutes to two. I fix the time by the clock in the club.
By a Juror - When I came out of the club I said to Mr. Harris, "Here, I'm off. I don't like the look of those people over there (alluding to the man and woman he saw.) I don't like going home by myself at this hour of the morning. I don't like passing that class of persons." The spot is better lighted now than it was prior to the morning of the murder. There is a better light at the club now than there used to be, and with the aid of the lamp a few yards off I could distinguish almost anybody. On the night in question, however, there was not sufficient light to enable me to distinguish the colour of the dress which the woman was wearing.
By Mr. Crawford - There was nothing in what I saw to suggest that the man was doing anything that was dangerous to the woman. Being a little deaf, I could not possibly have heard anything that was said.
Constable Alfred Lock, of the Metropolitan Police, said - I was in 15 Goulston street, Whitechapel, on the 30th of last month, about 2.55 a.m., and found a portion of a woman's apron (produced). It had recent stains of blood on it, once corner being wet. It was lying in the passage leading to the staircase of 108 to 199 building - a model lodging house. Above it on the wall was written in chalk, "The Jews are the men that will not be blamed for nothing." I at once searched the staircase, but found nothing else. I at once took the piece of apron to the Commercial road Police station, and reported to the inspector on duty.
Mr. Crawford - Was not what was written above the apron "The Jews are not the men that will be blamed for nothing?" - The words were as I have stated.
Is it not possible you put the "not" in the wrong place? - I believe the words were as I have stated.
Was the word spelt, not "Jews" but "Juwes"? - It may have been.
What called your attention to the writing on the wall? - On searching for marks of blood.
Did it appear to have been recently written? - That I could not say.
Did you make any inquiries in the dwelling house itself? - No.
Daniel Halse, detective officer, City Police, stated - On Saturday the 29th of last month, on instructions from the detective office, Old Jewry, I directed a number of officers to patrol the City all night. At about two minutes to two I was going round about Aldgate Church, in company with Detectives Outram and Marriott. I heard a woman had been murdered on Mitre square. We all three ran there. I had the light of Watkins turned on the body, and saw that it was a murder. I immediately gave instructions to have the neighbourhood searched and every man stopped and examined. I went by way of Middlesex street to the east end of the City into Wentworth street. There we stopped two men, who, on their giving a satisfactory account of themselves, we allowed to depart. I came through Goulston street, where the apron was found, about 20 minutes past two. I then went to the mortuary, saw the deceased stripped, and noticed that a portion of the apron was missing. I accompanied Major Smith back to Mitre square, and heard that a portion of the apron had been found. Directions were given for photographing the writing on the wall, but before it could be done the Metropolitan Police, thinking, as it was Sunday morning, the words might cause a riot if seen by the Jews, or an outbreak against the Jews, had the writing washed out.
By Mr. Crawford - Before the writing on the wall was rubbed out I took a note of it. The exact words I wrote down are, "The Juwes are not the men that will be blamed for nothing." The writing had the appearance of having been written recently. It was in white chalk on black facia (sic). By the Jury - The writing was rubbed out at the suggestion of the Metropolitan Police in case it should cause a riot.
By Mr. Crawford - I protested against its being rubbed out.
Mr. Crawford said that, excepting a few questions he had to put to the witness Long, who had gone away for his book, that was the whole of the evidence he proposed to call; but if there was any point which they would like cleared up he should be happy to render what assistance he could.
A juror - It seems surprising that a policeman should have found a piece of apron in the passage leading into a building, and that no further inquiry should have been made in the building itself. You get a clue up to that point, and then it is lost entirely.
Mr. Crawford - Long will be back; you can ask him. I may say with regard to a remark which fell from a juror with reference to the finding of the apron, that I have several members of the City Police here who made a careful search in every part of the tenement the moment the matter came to their knowledge.
The Juror - I think that is sufficient.
Mr. Crawford - Unfortunately, it did not come to their knowledge for two hours afterwards. I am afraid that will not answer the objection raised.
The Juror - I think it will.
Mr. Crawford - No, unfortunately there was a delay. The man who found this piece of apron is a member of the metropolitan police force, and he found it, I think he told us, at about twenty minutes to three.
The Juror - It is the man who found the piece of apron of whom I am complaining.
Mr. Crawford - He has gone to fetch his note book, but he will be here directly.
Police constable Long, recalled, produced the book in which he made his entry of the writing on the wall, from which it appeared the words of the entry were, "The Jews are the men that will not be blamed for nothing." In answer to Mr. Crawford, he said the inspector who took down the words had made the remark that the word Jews was spelt Juews - not Juwes. That was the only mistake the inspector pointed out.
What did you do when you found the piece of apron? - I at once searched the staircase leading to the building. I searched every one of the six or seven staircases, and found no trace whatever of blood or recent footmarks.
What o'clock was that? - About three.
What did you do next? - I at once proceeded to the station. I had heard before proceeding to the station that a murder had been committed in Mitre square. When I left to go to the police station I left another man, a member of the metropolitan police force, on the beat, and I told him to keep observation on the building to see if anyone left or entered. I next returned to the building about five o'clock. The writing on the wall had not then been rubbed out. It was rubbed out in my presence at half past five.
Did you hear anyone object to its being rubbed out? - No, I didn't.
A juror repeated what he had already said as to his surprise that the clue furnished by the finding of the apron in the passage of the building in Goulston street was not followed up by a search of the building himself. The evidence of Police constable Long and that of all the constables that had been given certainly redounded to their credit - (hear, hear, from the jury) - but it did seem strange that the clue was not followed up by searching the rest of the building, and not confining the search merely to the staircases. He asked the witness whether it did not occur to him that that should have been done.
Constable Long - I thought that the best thing I could do after searching the stairs, and instructing other constables to watch the building, was to proceed as soon as possible to the police station to make my report. The inspector was better able to deal with the matter than I was.
This being all the evidence that was forthcoming, the Coroner briefly summed up, noticing some of the leading features of the case, and commenting on the fiendish character of the murder. The murderer, not satisfied with taking the woman's life, had endeavoured so to mutilate the body as if possible to render it unrecognisable. After the evidence which had been taken, he presumed all that the jury could do now was to find a verdict of wilful murder against some person or persons unknown, and allow the police to pursue their inquiries and follow up any clue they might have obtained.
The jury accordingly returned a verdict of "Wilful murder against some person unknown."
The Coroner - On behalf of myself and the jury, I wish to thank you, Mr. Crawford, and the police for the able assistance you have rendered in this inquiry.
Mr. Crawford - The police have simply done their duty, sir.
The Coroner - I am quite sure of that.
The inquiry then terminated.
At the Thames Police Court yesterday, John Pizer, who was arrested some time ago on suspicion of being concerned in the Hanbury street murder, but who was afterwards released, summoned Emily Patzwold for assaulting him. Pizer said that on the morning of the 4th inst., he went out to get some cheese for his breakfast, and he met the defendant, who made use of an insulting expression and called him "Leather Apron." He took no notice of her, and walked on. When he returned, she struck him three blows in the face, and his hat was knocked off. While he was picking it up, she again struck him. Some neighbours came to the witness's assistance and got him away. He told his brother of what had occurred, and the matter was reported to the police. The defendant said the complainant struck her and knocked her hat off, and she then struck him. The complainant denied the statement, and said he had several witnesses to corroborate his evidence. Emma Frangberg, of 2 and a half, Mulberry street, Whitechapel, said she saw the defendant knock Pizer about, and when the witness remonstrated the defendant struck her. The complainant did not strike the defendant. Lilly Brunswick, a girl, living at 28 Mulberry street, was examined for the defence, and said she saw Pizer come along and deliberately spit in Mrs. Patzwold's face. When he came back the defendant asked him why he did it, and he replied, "I like it. I like it." He then struck at her, and the defendant struck him. By the magistrate: After Pizer struck her, complainant called him "leather Apron." A woman named Brown said she saw Pizer spit in the defendant's face. When asked why he did it, he struck her and she struck him. By the magistrate: The defendant said to the complainant "I suppose you are Leather Apron." Mr. Lushington said he had no doubt the defendant struck the complainant in the face. He was not satisfied that Pizer assaulted her. She would be fined 10s and 2s costs.
The particulars of a case of suicide, which took place at 65 Hanbury street, Spitalfields, a house a few doors away from the spot where the unfortunate woman Annie Chapman was murdered, reached Dr. McDonald, the coroner for North east Middlesex, yesterday morning. The top floor of the house in question is occupied by a silk weaver named Sodeaux, his wife and child, aged eight years. For some time Mrs. Sodeaux has been depressed, and since the perpetration of the Whitechapel murders she has been greatly agitated. On Sunday a razor was taken from her, as it was thought she meditated suicide. On the following day she appeared to be more cheerful, and was left with her child. On Wednesday, however, she left her room, saying she was going on an errand, but when some time had elapsed and she did not return, her daughter went in search of her, and found her hanging from a rope attached to the stair bannisters. The child ran for assistance, and eventually the police were called in and the body cut down. Life was then extinct.
After some further evidence, the most interesting point in which related to the chalk writing obliterated from a wall in Goulston street by the Metropolitan Police, the coroner's inquiry into the death of Catherine Eddowes, in Mitre square, on Sunday 30th ult., was concluded yesterday, the jury returning a verdict of "Wilful murder against some person unknown."
At the Thames Police Court yesterday, John Pizer, who was some time ago arrested on suspicion in connexion with the East end murders, and who on giving a satisfactory account of his movements was discharged, summoned a woman named Patzwold for assault. It was proved that the woman called the complainant "Leather Apron" and struck him. The defendant was fined 10s and costs.
Recent revelations as to the life of the homeless poor have brought into special prominence the common lodging house, especially as it exists in East London. A phase of existence previously unknown has been made familiar to many people, and they have been horrified at the facts with which they have become acquainted. The lodging house, however, according to those who know it best, is not so dreadful a place as it has been painted. It is a very different institution from that described under the same name, to the consternation of a past generation of readers, by Henry Mayhew, in his "London Labour and the London Poor." The abominations which then existed in the places where those who had no dwelling of their own were compelled to pass the night could not now be described in a newspaper intended for general perusal. The exposure happily had a good effect. Legislation followed, and a vast and enduring reform was the result. Every common lodging house is now open to police inspection, and sanitary regulations are strictly enforced. There is no overcrowding, at least in the legal sense, and a sort of rough decorum is maintained in the common sitting room - technically the kitchen - of the establishment. It is not possible for the proprietors of these places to exclude any applicant for admission who can pay the fourpence, which is the usual fee for a night's lodging, and it may well be supposed that the manners and customs are not such as would approve themselves to polite society. It is sad to think of young children being brought up amid their contaminating associations. At the same time, we may well pause before we concur in the demand put forth by certain enthusiastic philanthropists that they should be excluded by law. Children must sleep somewhere, and so long as they are under parental care it may be doubted whether legislation ought to forbid their sleeping even in a common lodging house. It is otherwise with the very numerous class of boys and girls - yet children in age, though in nothing else - who are at large upon the world. Hundreds of these young persons in London find a nightly refuge in the lodging house, and are unavoidably exposed to influences which, in the case of girls particularly, can only be described as ruinous. There is no reason why the law should not interfere for their protection, and we should cordially approve the passing of an Act forbidding common lodging house keepers to receive under their roof any boy or girl under sixteen years of age. But even this cannot be done until juvenile refuges are everywhere provided by public authority or private benevolence.
The lodging house is, however, after all, not by any means the greatest evil with which reformers have to contend. There has grown up of late years in London a system incomparably more demoralising, and it is very widespread in its operation, though the public know little about it. The jurisdiction of the police does not extend to what are called furnished rooms, which are commonly let at 9d a night, and may be occupied by a single individual, a married couple, or a family, small or large. So long as they are only occupied in this way no great harm is done, but no questions are asked of the person taking the room except concerning his ability to pay for it, which is tested before he receives the key. The room can be engaged for legitimate or for illegitimate purposes, and, the proprietor's fee once paid, it becomes an inviolable domicile till the next morning. The facilities which such a system offers for immorality need not be pointed out. It is open, moreover, to all the objections which could formerly be urged against the common lodging house on the score of overcrowding and general neglect of sanitary precautions. There is no security that all the persons admitted by the man or woman who hires and pays for the rooms are members of the same family, though by courtesy they are supposed to be, and it is asserted that in many cases they are not, the room being actually, though not avowedly, sublet. Even when this does not happen there is no limit to the number of children who may be accommodated with their father and mother, or to their ages. Unless an actual nuisance is created to the neighbourhood, neither officer of health nor policeman can interfere. This is a state of things which peremptorily demands attention, and it is said to be rapidly extending. Information reaches us to the effect that it is not confined to the East end or the quarters of London most frequented by the poor. It prevails largely, if the statements which we have received are correct, even within the limits of aristocratic Kensington. It is of little use to legislate for the common lodging house while we permit abuses at least as great as any with which that has ever been associated to flourish unnoticed and unchecked.
The inquest on the body of the woman who was found murdered and mutilated in Mitre square at a quarter to two on Sunday morning, September 30th, ended yesterday in a verdict of wilful murder against some person unknown. The inquiry has been commendably short, having occupied but two sittings, and Mr. S.F. Langham, the City Coroner, is to be complimented upon his skill in curbing the tendency to unnecessary and painful prolongation which has shown itself in the inquests that have followed the series of tragedies. Also he is to be congratulated upon his avoidance of anything approaching to sensationalism in his summing up. He left the evidence to speak for itself. That example we shall be content to follow, except where points have been raised which may possibly aid in the detection of the murderer. These points are few, and such as they are they throw a deeper shade of mystery upon the chain of crimes, for, unfortunately, the Mitre square tragedy cannot be considered by itself. They may be resolved into three. The first is, whether or not the perpetrator of the deed showed anatomical knowledge, and whether the mutilations he committed were with the object of obtaining certain parts of the body. The second consists of the discovery of part of the murdered woman's blood stained apron, and of the handwriting on the wall, in Goulston street, Whitechapel. And the third is in the disappearance of, or to state the matter more fairly, the failure to find the deceased's husband and his two sons. Taking the first point, it will be seen from our report that three doctors agree that the wounds were not inflicted by a possessor of "great anatomical skill" and that they do not show any particular desire upon any particular organ." The words we put in quotation marks are of a cautious character, but the general inference from them is an obvious one. It is hard to reconcile it with the facts disclosed by the medical examination. To the lay mind the medical opinion is in the teeth of the medical evidence, for, notwithstanding the unpleasantness of having to give prominence to facts that one would wish to pass over in silence, we must remind the public that parts of the woman's body were absent, and that with regard to the missing kidney, Dr. Gordon Brown himself said that this particular mutilation "must have been done by someone who knew its position and how to take it out," and that its extraction showed "great knowledge of its position." Moreover, the medical opinion adduced yesterday seems to clash with that given concerning the Hanbury street crime. It is not our province to decide doctors' differences - if serious difference there really be - but the evidence bears this interpretation: the assumption that the perpetrator of these deeds is a skilled anatomist, and that, therefore, he must be looked for in a comparatively limited class was hasty, may only be very partially true, if true at all, and has been given an exaggerated importance. One result of the inquest on the Aldgate victim is to broaden the class in which the murderer may be and was supposed to be. This is a fact that bears upon the detection of the criminal, and the public should note it. As for the handwriting on the wall in Goulston street, it is to be much regretted that it was not photographed. It is a reasonable assumption that it was the work of the murderer, for near it was found part of the victim's apron, wet with blood. We confess we cannot see much force in the reason given for its obliteration, namely, that it might have led to an outbreak among or against the Jews, who formed the subject of the enigmatical sentence. Surely the resources of the metropolitan police were sufficient to hide the offensive words from observation and guard them from the curious until they were photographed, or, failing this, to prevent or quell any outbreak among the Jews, who, to do them justice, are a most peaceably disposed section of the East end community. There can be little doubt that by the washing out of the chalk handwriting a clue that might have been of the utmost value has been lost. The excuse for its loss is a lame one; but it must be borne in mind that it comes not directly from the metropolitan police, but through the City police, who, we suspect from the evidence given yesterday, think their metropolitan confreres might have shown more smartness, and who are, not unnaturally, annoyed at the loss of a clue. There is an air of mystery about the impossibility to trace the husband of the deceased with his two sons. It is for the police to find out these men and make them account for themselves. In these days of cheap newspapers it is hard to believe that one of the three, at least, does not know who it was who was murdered in Mitre square. Whatever new light the inquest that closed yesterday throws upon the tragedies is chiefly to be found in the facts here recounted.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE MORNING ADVERTISER
Allow me to contribute my little experience to the discussion now current as to the value of the bloodhound (or sleuthhound as I prefer to call it) in tracking. I had some years ago a dog of the best strain, a son of Mr. Holford's famous "Regent." I took great interest in training "Reveller" to follow the slightest scent, which he did admirably. One instance will suffice. A few days only after I took him in hand I showed him a dry bone, and then started a lad with it, giving him instructions to conceal it a few miles away, the route and hiding place being both unknown to me. An hour after I started with the dog, and with unfaltering and unerring scent he led me from Upper Norwood, over Streatham common, to Tooting Bec common, and to a bush at the latter place, wherein the bone, which I had previously marked, was found. The distance was considerably over three miles.
But the sleuthhound scent is merely the high development of a faculty common to all dogs. As a humorist recently pointed out, when two dogs converse in the street, they do not say "Where have you been?" or "What have you seen?" but "What have you smelt?" I am constantly reminded of this by the actions of a Newfoundland dog which is used as a yard dog at the firework factory of Messrs. C.T. Brock and Co., where I am engaged. At the present time, owing to the immense pressure of the November business, many fresh hands are temporarily employed. These are always introduced to and smelt by the dog. After the first introduction, he invariably recognises them by the scent as they enter the gate, until his sight is as accustomed to them as is his nose; and they can go to their work unmolested as soon as the latter organ is satisfied as to their bona fides. Apologising for the length of this letter,
I am, Sir, yours &c.,
South Norwood, London, S.E.
Oct. 10, 1888
Michael Sullivan, 23, and Michael Murphy, 28, were charged, on remand, with violently assaulting Constable Bishop, 160 H, while in the execution of his duty. The case has been reported. The officer stated that on the night of the 26th ult., he was passing through Northeast passage, and stopped to make inquiries about a woman who was lying on the ground. He was set upon and savagely assaulted by the two prisoners. Mr. Lushington characterised the assault as one of a most brutal character, and sentenced each prisoner to six months' hard labour.
Frederick White, 42, describing himself as a commission agent, was charged, before Mr. Alderman Cotton, with using threatening language to a young woman named Mary Ann Galling. The prosecutrix said that she was entering Moorgate street railway station on Wednesday evening, when the prisoner, whom she had never seen before, spoke to her. She declined to have any conversation with him, and he struck at her and said "I will rip you up. I am Jack the Ripper. If I don't do it now I shall know you again." The witness ran away, and the prisoner followed her and tried to trip her up. She spoke to a policeman and gave the accused into custody. Police constable Stringer deposed to arresting the prisoner and to hearing him threatening the prosecutrix. The prisoner made a rambling statement in answer to the charge, and Mr. Alderman Cotton fined him 10s.