An Evening Newspaper and Review.
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 1888.
No further arrests have been made in connection with murders in Whitechapel, and, so far as we are at present informed, the search has been as far as the attainment of any real evidence is concerned, absolutely futile. There is only one man in custody at Leman-street, and all those who were taken on suspicion to Commercial-street and Bethnal-green have been discharged. As regards the arrests reported yesterday the man named Pizer, who was at first said to be the notorious "Leather Apron," was not liberated in the afternoon, but is still in custody, although not charged with any specific offence. It is thought that if he is not actually implicated in the murder, or murders, he may still be able to throw some light upon the affair, and it is considered probable that he will be charges on suspicion, as without that step being taken the police will be unable to keep him in custody. When this man was apprehended Detective Inspector Thicke took possession of five sharp long-bladed knives - which, however, are used by men in Pizer's trade (that of boot finisher) - and also several old hats. With reference to the latter, several women who stated they were acquainted with the prisoner, alleged he had been in the habit of wearing different hats.
Then as regards the arrest in a tavern at Gravesend of a man named Pigott. After being brought to London he was examined by several witnesses, who however, failed to identify him as the man wanted. The divisional surgeon pronounced him to be a lunatic, and he was removed to the Whitechapel Infirmary, where he is kept under close observation. It was, however, rather a singular story which this man told when the police arrested him:-
"On approaching the man, who seemed in a somewhat dazed condition, the sergeant saw that one of his hands bore recently made wounds. Being interrogated as to the cause of this, Pigott made a somewhat rambling statement to the effect that while going down Brick-lane, Whitechapel, at half-past four on Saturday morning he saw a woman fall in a fit. He stopped to pick her up, and she bit his hand. Exasperated at this he struck her, but seeing two policemen coming up he then ran away. The sergeant, deeming the explanation unsatisfactory, took Pigott to the police-station, where his clothing was carefully examined by Dr Whitcombe, the divisional surgeon. The result of the scrutiny was an announcement two shirts which Pigott carried in a bundle were stained with blood, and also that blood appeared to have been recently wiped off his boots. After the usual caution the prisoner made a further statement to the effect that the woman who bit him was in the street at the back of a lodging house when seized with the fit. He added that he slept at a lodging-house in Osbourne-street on Thursday night, but on Friday was walking the streets of Whitechapel all night. He tramped from London to Gravesend on Saturday. He gave his age as fifty-two, and stated he was a native of Gravesend, his father having some years ago had a position there in connection with the Royal Liver Society. Subsequently Pigott told the police that he had been keeping several public houses in London."
As the prisoner's description tallied with the description of the suspected murderer he was detained, and subsequently removed to London, but, as we have seen, when confronted with the women who had furnished descriptions to the police it was unanimous opinion that Pigott was not "Leather Apron".
A meeting of the chief local tradesmen was held yesterday, at which an influential committee was appointed, consisting of sixteen well-known gentlemen, with Mr J. Aarons as the secretary. The committee issued last evening a notice stating that they will give a substantial reward for the capture of the murderer or for information leading thereto. The movement has been warmly taken up by the inhabitants, and it is thought certain that a large sum will be subscribed within the next few days. Mr Montagu, the member for Whitechapel, has offered a reward of £100 for the capture of the murderer.
The following official notice has been circulated throughout the metropolitan police district and all police-stations throughout the country: "Description of a man who entered a passage of the house at which the murder was committed of a prostitute at 2 A.M. on the 8th, - Age thirty-seven; height 5ft 7 in; rather dark beard and moustache. Dress - shirt, dark jacket, dark vest and trousers, black scarf, and black felt hat. Spoke with a foreign accent."