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Pall Mall Gazette
2 October 1888



The following suggestions, for the most part more or less aimless and absurd, have been culled from the morning papers in reference to the murders in the East-end:-

REWARD - Mr Matthews is opposed to the offer of blood money. "Rewards did more harm than good"; "there was nothing to justify such a departure from recognized rules", &c.; so he has declined 300 offered him as a contribution from the public. 2,000 or thereabouts is now offered, not by the Home Office.

PARDON TO ACCOMPLICES - There is a theory that the murderer must be known to some one who has withheld information in expectation of reward. He is now afraid. Promise him a pardon.

BLOODHOUNDS - They ran Fish, the Blackburn barber, to earth, and it is suggested they should be tried in Whitechapel. Mr. Percy Lindley, a breeder of bloodhounds, says that as all trace of the scent has been trodden out, they would be useless at present. But suggests that a pair of these dogs should be kept for a time at one of the police head-quarters, ready for immediate use.

EVERY ONE TO REPORT TO THE POLICE BEFORE GOING TO BED - Another idea is to draw a line round the area of the murders, constitute a number of temporary police-stations, and make every man living in the area report himself before going to bed.

KNIFE SEARCHING - It is seriously suggested by a correspondent in the Daily Telegraph that after dark in certain parts of London every policeman ought to have the right of stopping and searching any one, to see if he carries a knife such as might have been used in all these hideous crimes.

HE COMES FROM TEXAS - The Daily News says that some time ago Texas was horrified by a similar series of murders. They have ceased. Perhaps the murderer has crossed the Atlantic and renewed his experiments in Whitechapel.

A FANATICAL VICISECTIONIST - A surgical theory comes from Paris that the murderer is a fanatical vivisectionist and disciple of Hoeckel, the German naturalist, who followed in the steps of Darwin in studying the origin of species, and who advanced some startling ideas that have not yet been established.

POLICEMEN IN RUBBER SHOES - Policemen has mostly big feet, wear thick boots, and have a heavy tread. If they wore list or rubber shoes they might come on the murderer unawares.

POLICEMEN AS WOMEN - That policemen should disguise themselves as women, and act as decoys. The policemen say they have beards and bass voices.

PROFESSIONAL SLAUGHTERERS - Some suggest that a census of the men employed in slaughter-houses should be taken.

PROSTITUTES AND PISTOLS - That every street-walker should carry a pistol.

WOMEN WALK IN COUPLES - It is suggested that the Whitechapel prostitutes should walk in couples.

THE GANG THEORY - Some think that such a series of murders could only have been successfully executed by a gang of two or more.

THE WORK OF A RELIGIOUS MANIAC - "The murders point to one individual, and that individual insane. Not necessarily an escaped, or even as yet recognized lunatic. He may be an earnest religionist with a delusion that he has a mission from above to extirpate vice by assassination. And he has selected his victims from a class which contributes pretty largely to the factorship of immorality and sin".

THE BURKE AND HARE THEORY - Suggested by Mr Wynne Baxter, that the murderer is employed to get anatomical specimens for some experimentalist.

THE JEKYLL AND HYDE THEORY - That the murderer lives two lives, and inhabits two houses or two sets of rooms.

OBEDIENCE TO THE TALMUD - Among certain fanatical Jews there exists a superstition to the effect that if a Jew became intimate with a Christian woman he would atone for his offence by slaying and mutilating he object of his passion. Sundry passages of the Talmud are said to sanction this form of atonement.

BY A POLICEMAN - That no one but a policeman could have eluded vigilance.

Therefore --

AVENGING LIPSKI - That some of Lipski's compatriots have turned wholesale murderers for the purpose of showing that the police are mostly fools.

THE SCIENTIFIC SOLCIOLOGIST - The murderer is a scientific who wished to bring forcibly before the public mind the natural corollary of the impunity with which the maiming of women is regarded by the magistrates and judges.


The Lord Mayor, acting upon the advice of the Commissioner of City Police, has, in the name of the Corporation of London, offered a reward of 500 for the detection of the Whitechapel murderer, the last crime having been committed within the jurisdiction of the City. The following is the placard offering the reward:-


Whereas, at 1.45 A.M. on Sunday, the 30th of September last, a woman, name unknown, was found brutally murdered in Mitre-square, Aldgate, in this City, a reward of 500 will be paid by the Commissioner of the City of London to any person (other than a person belonging to a police force in the United Kingdom) who shall give such information as shall lead to the discovery and conviction of the murderer or murderers. Information to be given to the Inspector of the Detective Department, 26, Old Jewry, or at any police-station - JAMES FRASER, Colonel, Commissioner.

The Home Secretary, having forwarded to him a cheque for 300, for the purpose of a reward being offered, had returned the cheque, with the intimation that such a course would not be attended with any useful result. But the prompt action of the Lord Mayor in offering a reward for the apprehension of the Mitre-square murderer has been received with general satisfaction. The sum offered by his lordship, together with 400 which two newspapers offer to supply, the 100 offered by Mr Montagu, M.P., and the 200 collected by the Vigilance Committee, make an aggregate sum of 1,200. It is probable that the reward will be increased to 2,000, as the Lord Mayor has been urged to open a subscription list, and some members of the Stock Exchange seem disposed to take the matter up. Colonel Sir Alfred Kirby, J.P., the officer commanding the Tower Hamlets Battalion Royal Engineers, has offered, on behalf of his officers, a reward of 100, to be paid to any one who will give information that would lead top the discovery and conviction of the perpetrator of the recent murders committed in the district in which his regiment is situated.



Still we are no nearer the solution of the East-end murder mystery. Although several arrests have been made, nothing important has come of them. "We attach no importance to any of them," said a responsible police officer last evening. "They have been merely cases in which inquiry seemed desirable, but we think little of them. We have been able to make no important arrests." As a matter of fact four arrests were made in the vicinity of Whitechapel, but the persons detained have since been discharged from custody. It is quite safe to state that at the present moment the authorities do not possess a reliable clue upon which to work. "You have had no doubt many suggestions made to you?" it was remarked. "Oh, yes, a great many," replied the officer mentioned above, "and some of the papers have made some startling discovered of important clues, but I am unable to say that the police have at present any knowledge of them." Two other men have now been arrested and are detained at Leman-street, but to these again no great importance is attached.

Statements made to the Police

One of the statements made to the police is to the effect that on Sunday evening a man answering in every particular the published description of the supposed murderer went up to the cabstand in Islington-street and asked if he might be allowed to wash his hands; but permission was refused, and the man walked away. Another statement is that of a cabman, who says that he drove a fare from Camden-town to Paddington on Sunday night, who said he had been in the company of the Whitechapel murderer, and was going to see him again. A third statement made to the police is that of a woman who says that on Sunday evening she was accosted in Graham-road, Stoke Newington by a respectfully-dressed man who remarked that she was "too good looking to murder", and then demanded money. She gave the man a shilling, upon which he remarked that she "had just saved herself from being served the same as was done at Whitechapel", and then decamped.

The Murderer's Trail

All the less lighted thoroughfares of East London were last night in a most deserted condition, and only out on the broad footways and under the glare of lamps were there many people ranging the streets. In connection with the Mitre-square murder a startling discovery was made. Sergeant Dudman had his attention drawn to 36, Mitre-street a house a short distance from the spot where the murdered woman was found, and there he found what appeared to be bloodstains upon the doorway and underneath the window, as if a person had wiped his finger on the windowledge and draw a blood-stained knife down part of the doorway. Mr Hartig, who lives on the premises, said he had only just noticed the stains, and then quite by accident. Almost immediately afterwards the same police-officer had his attention drawn to similar marks of the glass window of Mr William Smith at the corner of Mitre-square: but Mr Smith scouted the idea that they could have anything to do with the murders, as the windows were covered at night by shutters.

Related pages:
  Public Suggestions
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