An Evening Newspaper and Review.
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 1888.
The medical evidence at the Whitechapel inquest yesterday was important as tending to negative the "maniac" theory. The doctor fortunately spared the jury and the public from hearing more about the murderer's mutilation of his victim than was absolutely necessary; but enough was said to show that the man went about his work in a way which if viewed in one light it was demoniacal enough, may yet in another be described as scientific. "There were indications," said Dr. Phillips, "of anatomical knowledge, which were only less indicated in consequence of haste." Here, then, we have two sets of fact. One is that the murderer has used the utmost ingenuity in concealing all traces of his whereabouts; the other, that he did his bloody work, with the lust it is true of the savage, but with the skill of a savant. Do not these facts point rather to Mr. Hyde than to a wandering lunatic?
What an extraordinary state of things is "the state of Whitechapel" described by "J.F.S." in the morning papers! Here is what he says:-
Yesterday, at 11 A.M., a gentleman was seized and robbed of everything in Hanbury-street. At 5 P.M. an old man of seventy years was attacked and served in the same manner in Chicksand-street. At 10 A.M. to-day a man ran into a baker's shop at the corner of Hanbury-street and King Edward-street, and ran off with the till and its contents. All these occurred within 100 yards of each other, and midway between the scenes of the last two horrible murders.
If all this can happen now, when there is supposed to be a double police patrol in the neighbourhood, and when plain-clothes constables are said to literally jostle one another in the streets, the ease with which the murderer conducted his dissection and made his escape ceases to be at all wonderful.
The Lancet is raising a lament over the C.D. Acts, and proclaims its belief that they will be restored, "for there is no other effectual means of preventing this disease." Thus we see how true it is that in medicine as in everything else -
To some dear falsehood hugs it to the last.
Our contemporary is wroth with a Southsea doctor, who courageously proposes to pass the following enactment:-
That any male of immoral habits should be required to produce a certificate not more than three days old, from a legally qualified medical practitioner, stating that he is free from infectious disease. That any woman could demand production of this certificate, and if it was not produced, inform the police. The man to be fined £5. Half to go to the informer. That any man found to be suffering from contagious disease should be sent to hospital and detained until cured.
But surely the Southsea doctor is more logical and scientific than his critic!
Margaret Elmore was charged at Marlborough-street police-court to-day with behaving in a disorderly manner at Berners-street at three o'clock this morning. The "disorderly behaviour," according to the evidence of a police-constable, would seem to consist in quietly sleeping on a doorstep. The prisoner admitted that she was so sleeping; adding that the policeman shook her and otherwise handled her very roughly. She was in the habit of going into the streets late at night in the hope that she might find her daughter, who had been taken to Belgium, and was now back in London, walking the streets. Police-constable Olding, 269 D, before he took her into custody suggested that she should go to the workhouse. That was quite unnecessary, as she was in receipt of an income of some £40 a year. The magistrate, having heard her sad story, at once discharged her.
No fresh facts of the slightest importance have transpired in connection with the Whitechapel murder beyond the evidence given at the inquest. There have been no further arrests. The police have satisfied themselves that the man Pigott could have had nothing to do with the murders. His movements have been fully accounted for, and he is no longer under surveillance. The police to-day are making inquiries as to the whereabouts of the pensioner who was said to have kept company with the murdered woman, Chapman. All traces of him have been lost since Saturday last, which does not speak well for the police. Tim Donovan, who gave evidence at the inquest which connected this man with the deceased, says he is known by the name of "Ted Stanley," but he does not know his occupation; while the watchman at the lodging-house in Dorset-street, which place Annie Chapman left on Saturday morning last and was not afterwards seen alive, asserts that the pensioner went to the lodging-house on Saturday as usual, and on being informed that Chapman had been murdered nearly fainted. The police think that he is keeping out of the way more from the shame of having been associated with the deceased than from any fear that he has of being connected with the murder. It is more than probable also, they say, that he may be one of the regular comers from the country to the Spitalfields Market, and will put in his usual appearance on Saturday. Dr. Phillips's positive opinion that the woman had been dead quite two hours when he first saw the body at half-past six considerably adds to the prevailing confusion.
A statement was made last night by a young person named Lloyd, living in Heath-street, Commercial-road, E., to the following effect: - While standing outside a neighbour's door, at about 10.30, on Monday night, she heard her daughter who was sitting on the doorstep, scream, and on looking round saw a man walk hurriedly away. The daughter states that the man peered into her face, and she perceived a large knife at his side. (This, it must be admitted, does not appear very probable.) A lady living opposite stated that a similar incident took place outside her house. The man was short of stature, with a sandy beard, and wore a cloth cap. The woman drew the attention of some men who were passing to the strange man, and they pursued him some distance, until he turned up a by-street, and, after assuming a threatening attitude, he suddenly disappeared.
(Sole Lessee, Mr. HENRY IRVING.)
TO-NIGHT, at 8.15,
DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE.
NEXT WEEK, DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE at 9. Preceded at 8 by LESBIA, Classical Comedy in One Act. Lesbia, Miss Beatrice Cameron. - Box-office (Mr. J. Hurst) open daily from 10 to 5.